May 5, 2016

Le Gall Calls for More Satellites to Help Fight Climate Change (Source: Via Satellite)
Satellites will play a vital role in ensuring the agreements reached last year at the COP21 Paris Climate Conference are followed through, but more are needed, according to Jean Yves Le Gall, president of the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency.

“I think that one of the lessons learned from the cooperation of the COP21 is that we changed the paradigm. Usually the space community says ‘we need politicians,’ but to prepare the COP21 I convinced my colleagues — other heads of space agencies — that we have to explain to the politicians that they need space agencies,” said Le Gall. (5/4)

Contact Lost With Satellite Launched From Russia's Vostochny Cosmodrome (Source: Moscow Times)
Russia has lost contact with one of three satellites launched from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome last week. "We have been unable to establish a connection with the spacecraft since its launch. The connection most likely did not switch on after launching into orbit,” a space-industry source told TASS.

Experts will decide later today whether to continue attempts to establish a connection or to recognize the satellite as lost. The SamSat-218 satellite was launched with a Soyuz-2.1a rocket on April 28. It was the first launch to take place at Russia's new Vostochny Cosmodrome, where technical problems postponed the launch for 24 hours. (5/5)

How Tucson Can Shape the Future of Spaceflight (Source:
Tucson is poised to become a world-class commercial space center, and private-public partnerships and investments are key to making that happen. Tucson already boasts of space-related entities such as the Planetary Science Institute; the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Lab (LPL), Optical Sciences and Astronomy Departments; and the National Optical Astronomy Observatory.

These agencies bring many millions of dollars to Tucson and much prestige. Just the OSIRIS-REx mission to near-Earth asteroid Bennu, conceived and run by a team at UA LPL, garnered a $805 million NASA contract, much of which will be spent in Tucson. On the commercial side we have Raytheon Missile Systems, Paragon Space Development Corporation, and World View Enterprises, Inc.

With Pima County's incentive investment, World View will be able to manufacture and launch their short and long-duration stratollites for communications, astronomy, science experiments, remote sensing, weather observation and tourism. For the political leaders in Tucson and the surrounding area, the question is therefore simple: Do you wish to nurture the industry here with reasonable public investments, or let others do it and thus reap the rewards elsewhere? (5/5)

What a Clinton and Trump Presidency Would Mean for NASA Space Exploration (Source: Mic)
A new U.S. president could mean a new direction for the country's space exploration. NASA's funding — and, by extension, what space exploration missions it can actually pull off — is closely tied to the president's ideas, and whether or not Congress approves the budget the president asks for.

Now that Donald Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton is getting closer to securing the Democratic nomination, it's worth asking: How will our space program fare under a Trump presidency or a Clinton presidency? Click here. (5/5)

New UCF Football Uniforms Take Inspiration From Space Program (Source: UCF)
"The unique thing for UCF is where it is and how the school is set up. So we really rally around that, just being in Orlando, the connection to the space program, mascot and the Pegasus...UCF was founded in 1963 with the mission of supplying personnel to support the U.S. space program in Florida. The school provided training for careers in engineering and other space-age, high-tech professions. The university's slogan is "Reach for the Stars." Click here. (5/5)

NASA Audit Questions KSC's Largest Contract (Source: Florida Today)
A NASA audit released Thursday questions more than $460,000 in fees that Kennedy Space Center has paid under its largest contract, a $1.9 billion contract for engineering services described as complex, expansive in scope and lacking definition.

The audit by NASA's Office of Inspector General suggests that KSC consider breaking up the Engineering Services Contract awarded to Vencore Services and Solutions – formerly QinetiQ North America – into smaller, more manageable contracts. It also recommends establishing fixed costs for some services, more clear milestones and better ways of evaluating the contractor’s performance. (5/5)

MDA Corp. Sees Growth in Commercial Satellites (Source: Space News)
Canada's MDA Corp. says commercial satellite bidding activity is at record levels. Outgoing CEO Daniel Friedmann said he can't recall a similar level of activity for both geostationary and non-geostationary satellites. Space Systems Loral, owned by MDA, recently won contracts to build prototype satellites for proposed constellations by both Telesat and an unnamed but "well-funded" customer. Friedmann added that the company's satellite servicing development efforts, which have evolved into a U.S.-based one using an SSL bus, will depend on the status of servicing projects underway by NASA and DARPA. (5/4)

Orbital ATK Reports Dip in Revenues (Source: Orbital ATK)
Orbital ATK reported a small decline in adjusted revenue in its fiscal first quarter Thursday. The company reported revenues of $1.065 billion in the first quarter of 2016, compared to $1.116 billion in the first quarter of 2015, adjusted to account for the closing of the merger of Orbital Sciences and ATK last year. Operating income increased, though, from $116.7 million to $125.6 million. The company said revenues were affected by "timing on certain programs and milestone payments," but expected to see revenue and cash flow strengthen in the second half of the year. (5/4)

Vostochny Launch Delay Spurs Resignation (Source: Tass)
The one-day delay in the launch of a Soyuz rocket from Russia's new spaceport last week has cost the head of one company his job. Leonid Shalimov, director general of NPO Automatics, has resigned as the investigation into the technical problem that delayed the launch from the Vostochny Cosmodrome by one day continues. The head of Roscosmos said the scrub was most likely caused by a faulty cable supplied by NPO Automatics. (5/4)

Airbus Leads European Orbital Debris Effort (Source: Airbus)
Airbus Defence and Space will lead a European project to mitigate the growth of orbital debris. The company received a grant of more than $3.2 million from the EU's Horizon 2020 program for the Technology for Self-Removal of Spacecraft (TeSeR) project. That effort seeks to develop a module to remove spacecraft from orbit at their end of their lives. (5/4)

Florida's Space Coast, Taking Off (Source: Forward Florida)
Having made history throughout its 54 years, NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on Merritt Island finds itself at the forefront of a burgeoning new industry. A potent formula of resiliency mixed with “The Right Stuff,” has KSC in the pilot’s seat and on course to keep making history in the growing $200 billion space commercialization industry. Click here. (5/4)

Planet Nine: A World That Shouldn't Exist (Source: Space Daily)
Earlier this year scientists presented evidence for Planet Nine, a Neptune-mass planet in an elliptical orbit 10 times farther from our Sun than Pluto. Since then theorists have puzzled over how this planet could end up in such a distant orbit. New research by astronomers at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) examines a number of scenarios and finds that most of them have low probabilities. Therefore, the presence of Planet Nine remains a bit of a mystery. Click here. (5/5)

Aerospace Corp. Selected to Perform Georgia Spaceport Safety Analysis (Source: SPACErePORT)
Camden County has hired Aerospace Corp. to perform the safety analysis for the proposed Georgia spaceport. Aerospace Corp. was among multiple candidate companies pre-approved by the FAA to perform the study. This kind of analysis is exhaustive and based on decades of experience with NASA, Air Force and commercial launch operations.

While an opposition group (SpaceportFacts) in Camden County complains that some safety concerns might be overlooked, it seems highly unlikely that any FAA-mandated analysis will disregard such concerns as part of their study. The real battle for opponents like the SpaceportFacts group will come after the safety analysis is completed if it finds that the proposed spaceport can effectively operate within the safety constraints required by the FAA.

That's when opponents and supporters will fight to convince Camden County and the State of Georgia that the spaceport is or is not a wise investment of tax dollars. There currently are too many spaceports in the U.S. to support the demand for spaceflight and several of them are being criticized as bad public investments despite their ability to operate safely. (5/5) 

Fermi Space Telescope Links Cosmic Neutrino to Blazar Blast (Source: SpaceFlight Insider)
Almost 10 billion years ago, a supermassive black hole at the center of a galaxy named PKS B1424-418 produced a powerful outburst. Light from the blast began arriving at Earth in 2012. Researchers using data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and other space and ground-based observatories recently discovered a link between that event and a record-breaking cosmic neutrino observed in December 2012. (5/5)

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