August 14, 2015

NASA Contractor's Ex-Brass Swiped Trade Secrets, Suit Says (Source: Law360)
MDA US Systems LLC sued four former employees in California court Tuesday for allegedly poaching the NASA contractor's customers and ripping off its trade secrets to bolster their newly formed firm, in violation of employment agreements. (8/13)

UK Space Sector Heads to US on Major Growth Mission (Source: Eureka)
Nine UK space companies are in the US on a trade mission to boost investment of proprietary equipment. It will feature some of the most exciting British companies in the space industry, from small start-ups to established market leaders, with the overall aim of growing the UK presence in the global space sector from 6.5% to 10% by 2030.

While the US is best known for its space launch systems, the UK has strong reputation for developing sensors and systems that are extremely capable as well as lower cost compared to revivals. Tim Just, head of space at Innovate UK said: "All of these burgeoning firms are at the forefront of the new space race and have genuinely built innovative solutions to some of the sector's greatest challenges." (8/13)

NASA Tests Shuttle-Era Engine for SLS (Source: SpaceFlight Now)
NASA successfully tested an RS-25 engine Thursday as part of the development of the Space Launch System. The agency said the 535-second test of the engine, conducted on a test stand at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, was a success. One final test of this developmental engine is scheduled before tests of flight engines begin this fall. (8/13)

NASA Seeks Smartwatch Apps for Astronauts (Source: Mashable)
NASA is looking for smartwatch developers. A contest offers $1,500 for designs of smartwatch apps that provide astronauts quick access to information they need, including timers, alerts, and communications status. Entries are due Sept. 9. And sorry, iWatch fans: the contest uses the Samsung Gear 2 as the "hardware reference" for the competition. (8/14)

US to Get Second Shipment of Russian RD-181 Rocket Engines Later in 2015 (Source: Space Daily)
The American satellite and rocket builder Orbital ATK Corporation is set to receive a second shipment of Russian-made RD-181 rocket engines for its Antares launcher in late fall. "Now when the first shipment has already come in and the second is expected later in autumn, the Antares is strictly keeping up with its schedule of flight resuming in the beginning of 2016," Scott Lehr, a senior company representative told RIA Novosti.

The Russian engines will considerably increase the lift capacity of the launcher. In January, Russian rocket producer Energiya signed a $1 billion contract with US Orbital Sciences Corporation for the delivery of 60 RD-181 engines. The contract also specifies a range of included services such as flight training, the installation of the engine on the rocket and engine tests.

Editor's Note: Interesting how these RD-181 engines are pouring into the country without relative ease, while the RD-180 engines are creating so much controversy and debate in Congress. (8/14)

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