December 26, 2015

Experts Say Blocking Defense M&A a Bad Idea  (Source: Breaking Defense)
A legislative proposal to increase the Pentagon's ability to block mergers is meant "to make the government appear to have more regulatory power in the industry than it actually has," said Richard Aboulafia from Teal Group. Meanwhile, Lexington Institute's Loren Thompson said that "it's hard to see how national security would be harmed by a proposed combination if it does not raise antitrust implications." (12/23)

Space School Program Launched by Brevard Schools, KSC (Source: Florida Today)
Brevard Public Schools and Kennedy Space Center have teamed up to create a new “Space School” that will provide a hands-on learning experience right where the action happens. The program will include 16 days of hands-on learning inside the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for fifth-graders at Title 1 schools. Partnerships with KSC, Delaware North and the KSC Education Foundation have made the new venture possible.

Students from Apollo Elementary in Titusville will pilot the program and be transported to the KSC property. Here, students will have the opportunity to meet astronauts, explore exhibits and work in teams for various projects. Curriculum will focus on STEAM education – science, technology, engineering, art and math – and will include segments in the rocket garden, Saturn V, Atlantis and Mission Mars: Exploring Space exhibits and other facilities.

Apollo Elementary was selected to pilot the program because of its proximity to KSC, teacher support and demographics -- the school has a high level of poverty with 69 percent of its students on free or reduced lunch. Space School will kick off Jan. 7. Space School is modeled after Zoo School, a program here in Brevard that allows students to attend class at the Brevard Zoo. (12/23)

Pentagon: R&D Push Could Spur Investment, Slow Buybacks (Source: Reuters)
The U.S. military's plans to spend up to $15 billion over the next five years on funding research should help encourage U.S. weapons makers to spend more on internal research instead of share buybacks, the Pentagon's chief arms buyer said.

Defense Undersecretary Frank Kendall, who has been critical about the high level of buybacks in the weapons industry, said he hoped new research funding in the Pentagon's fiscal 2017 budget proposal would help motivate companies to invest more in internal research and development, or IRAD. (12/24)

Telesat, APT Partner on New Joint Satellite (Source: Space News)
Satellite fleet operators Telesat of Canada and APT Satellite Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong have agreed to divide the cost of a new satellite to replace their jointly owned Telstar 18/Apstar-5 at 138 degrees east, with the successor, called Telstar 18 Vantage/Apstar-5C, to be built by Space Systems Loral and launched in early 2018. (12/24)

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