January 31, 2016

How to Expand Space Business in Florida (Source: Florida Today)
During Florida Space Day on Feb. 3, industry leaders and other aerospace supporters will meet with legislators and executive branch officials. Specifically, we support the following legislative actions: Reauthorize the Qualified Defense and Space Contractor tax incentive; Eliminate the sales tax on manufacturing machinery/equipment; Create a $250M Florida Enterprise Fund for economic development; and Fully fund Space Florida with $10M for operations and $7M for aerospace financing. Click here. (1/31)

U. S. Astronaut Hall of Fame Inductee Announcement (Source: KSCVC)
Join us for the announcement of the 15th space shuttle class of U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame inductees on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Astronaut Scholarship Foundation's chairman and Hall of Fame member Dan Brandenstein will make the announcement in Journey To Mars: Explorers Wanted at 10 a.m. Click here. (1/30)

Midland Officials Tour Orbital Outfitters (Source: Midland Reporter-Telegram)
Jeff Feige, CEO of Orbital Outfitters, stands next to the two person pressure chamber as members of the MDC board tour the Orbital Outfittes facility Friday 01-29-16, watching a demonstration of the pressure chamber and the affect on water in a low pressure atmosphere. The water goes from room temperature at normal pressure to boiling and then freezing as the altitude climbes above 80,000 feet and the pressure decreases. Click here. (1/30)

First Laser Telecomm Satellite for the 'SpaceDataHighway' in GEO Orbit (Source: Space Daily)
The first communication node of the SpaceDataHighway system, EDRS-A, is a hosted payload carried on Eutelsat 9B, a Eurostar E3000-type satellite built by Airbus Defence and Space and to be operated by Eutelsat. EDRS-A, the first relay satellite of the SpaceDataHighway, was successfully launched into geostationary orbit on 30 January 2016. After a test period, it will become operational for its first end-user customer by mid-2016.

The SpaceDataHighway system will provide high-speed laser communication in space at up to 1.8 gigabits per second. This major program, which cost nearly euro 500 m to develop, is the result of a public-private partnership (PPP) between the European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus Defence and Space. (1/31)

Galileo Satellite Project Over Budget, 13 Years Late (Source: Sputnik)
The French Court of Auditors has found that the much-vaunted European Galileo and EGNOS satellite navigation program is three times over-budget and 13 years late in delivery, after a series of cost overruns and strategy failures. The Galileo and European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) program is the first Pan-European satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate global positioning service under civilian control.

The French Court of Auditors has reported that its costs have risen to US$14.2 billion - well above the original budget of US$5 billion and that the program is already 13 years late. The Court reported delays and significant additional costs, saying that although EGNOS has been operational since 2009, Galileo will not begin until 2017. The whole project - which was approved in 1999 - was due to be in operation by 2008, but now it is not estimated to be fully running until 2021. (1/31)

Are We Getting Closer to Understanding Where the Moon Actually Came From? (Source: LA Times)
The moon may be the closest object to us in space, but scientists are still struggling to understand how it got there. Most planetary researchers think the moon was created as the result of a collision between the Earth and a long-hypothesized protoplanet called Theia about 100 million years after the birth of the solar system.

But whether that impact was a glancing blow or a full, head-on crash is still up for debate. This week researchers at UCLA provided new evidence that the collision was head-on, and so powerful that materials from both bodies mixed completely before settling into the Earth-moon system we know today.

To come to that conclusion, the researchers analyzed seven lunar rocks collected by the Apollo 12, 15 and 17 missions, as well as six volcanic rocks that include material from Earth's mantle. Specifically, they wanted to see if the ratio of oxygen isotopes in lunar rocks was the same as that in the terrestrial rocks. (1/29)

Why Lasers are Better for Communication in Space (Source: CSM)
Europe began building Phase One of a data highway in space by launching a laser-equipped satellite into space on Friday. The newly launched satellite is the first node of a relay system designed to gather images from surrounding satellites by laser and return them to Earth in a concentrated laser beam. The completed system could transmit images of Earth from satellite to desktop in minutes. The current system, using radio waves, takes hours to transmit images back to Earth.

The laser system can speed up transmission rates because it enables spacecraft circling the Earth to transmit upward to the newly launched node, which is easier to reach because it orbits at a higher altitude than other satellites. Because it is further from the ground station back on Earth, however, the satellite employs laser communication, which transmits a stronger, less degradable beam. (1/30)

On Clinton Campaign Trail, Astronaut Mark Kelly Talks Smart Guns (Source: WIRED)
Astronaut Mark Kelly says preparing for the Iowa Caucus is a bit like preparing for a rocket launch. “It takes months and months even years of preparation to get to that point where you ignite the solid rocket boosters on that space shuttle and build an incredible amount of momentum to complete this mission,” he said, speaking to Hillary Clinton supporters in Des Moines, Iowa, alongside his wife, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

Apt as that metaphor may be, Kelly and Giffords weren’t in Des Moines today to talk about rockets. Instead, they’re traveling through Iowa this weekend to voice their support for Clinton’s stance on gun control. “What is wrong with us? How can we continue to ignore the toll that this is taking on our children and our country?” (1/30)

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