July 24, 2016

India Ready for Air-Breathing Propulsion Experiment (Source: The Hindu)
The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is looking forward to performing “an experiment” before July-end aboard its RH-560 rocket fitted with a supersonic combustion ramjet (scramjet) engine for demonstrating air-breathing propulsion technology. At three tonnes, the two-stage RH-560, christened Advanced Technology Vehicle (ATV), is the heaviest sounding rocket built by the ISRO. (7/24)

Aldrin, Takei Inspire Astronauts of Tomorrow at KSC (Source: Florida Today)
Neil Karl John Robert Eugene Wellman is going to grow up to be a heck of an astronaut, if his father has anything to say about it. Born on April 12, 2016 — the International Day of Human Flight — and named for five former astronauts, Neil slept soundly through the Apollo 11 Anniversary Gala on Saturday night. But of the 250 guests who came out to Kennedy Space Center, he was the only one.

Inspiring kids, like Neil, to imagine the unimaginable and reach for the unreachable is the mission of Buzz Aldrin's ShareSpace Foundation, which hosted the evening. "The future has a great possibility of being great, but it's up to us," said Aldrin. Placing an emphasis on STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art and math — the ShareSpace Foundation aims to get kids hands-on experience in the classroom. Although the foundation has reached more than 50,000 students in two years, Aldrin says the education system has a long way to go. (7/24)

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Earnings Down Despite Big ULA Contribution (Source: Space News)
Lockheed Martin on July 20 reported lower revenue and operating profit at its Space Systems division for the six months ending June 26 despite a large profit contribution by launch-service provider United Launch Alliance (ULA). The company slightly raised is expected 2016 Space Systems revenue and profit forecast but said revenue and profit are likely to be down by about 5 percent each in 2016 compared to 2015.

For the six months ending June 26, Lockheed reported equity earnings – mainly from ULA – totaling $170 million, compared to $119 million for the same period a year ago. These earnings alone accounted for 29 percent of the operating profit of the Space Systems division. (7/21)

Emirati Women Reach for the Stars and Beyond (Source: The National)
But that is increasingly the case for a new generation as the UAE continues to work towards securing its post-oil future. At Strata Manufacturing, an advanced composite aerostructures manufacturing facility in Al Ain, part of Mubadala, 86 percent of the Emirati workforce are women.

"It is an unprecedented outcome that is unique to the entire global aerospace industry," said Badr Al Olama, Strata’s chief executive. "The aerospace industry is an integral part of the UAE’s vision of sustaining a diversified industrial and knowledge-based economy that embodies national capabilities at its core. (7/22)

5 Years After Space Shuttle, Obama’s NASA Still Can’t Put A Man Into Space (Source: Daily Caller)
The last Space Shuttle launched 5 years ago Thursday, but NASA still cannot put men into space without Russian cooperation due to President Obama’s cuts to the agency’s exploration and spaceflight capability. NASA plans to return to Earth’s orbit are entirely dependent on private companies, some of which are scheduled to launch by the end of next year.

NASA’s inability of America to send humans into space forces the U.S. to pay Russia tens of millions of dollars for access to the International Space Station. Russia has repeatedly threatened to block American access to the $150 billion International Space Station (ISS) in response to U.S. sanctions. The U.S. paid for 84 percent of the costs associated with building the ISS. Editor's Note: Not surprised to see this kind of slanted "reporting" coming from the Daily Caller. (7/23)

Southern California's Aerospace Industry, Long in Decline, Begins to Stir (Source: LA Times)
When Tim Buzza joined McDonnell Douglas in the late 1980s and worked on the C-17 cargo plane, lots were so jammed that workers often had to park as much as a mile from the Long Beach plant and take a shuttle bus. Last year, the C-17 production line shut down, ending the last large aircraft assembly operation in the region. Today, Buzza, 52, works on the old Douglas property, but for Virgin Galactic, billionaire Richard Branson’s space start-up.

Southern California is a long way from its aerospace glory years. Employment today is about one-third of what it was in 1990. But analysts and industry leaders believe that the sector is poised to grow again, behind a new generation of entrepreneurial private space companies like SpaceX in Hawthorne and Virgin Galactic, and defense projects such as the B-21 long-range strike bomber, which could bring thousands of jobs to the area. (7/22)

ULA Targeting Thursday Morning for Rocket Launch (Source: WKMG)
United Launch Alliance is targeting 8:37 a.m. Thursday, for the launch of an Atlas V rocket from the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. News 6 partner Florida Today reported ULA will be launching the classified NROL-61 intelligence mission for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. Launching for the 64th time, the Atlas is flying in a "421" configuration with two strap-on solid rocket boosters. (7/22)

Companies are Flooding Earth’s Orbit with Satellites, But No One’s Directing Traffic (Source: Washington Post)
Companies around the globe are launching an increasing number of satellites, crowding Earth’s orbit in an effort to satisfy the ravenous on-demand desire for more broadband, satellite television and communications. In the past five years, the number of operational satellites has jumped 40 percent, and nearly 1,400 now orbit the Earth.

Industry officials say that number could more than double in five years as a revolution in technology has made satellites smaller and more affordable. Entrepreneurs eye the ethereal real estate a couple of hundred miles up as a potentially lucrative new market. Companies such as OneWeb, Boeing and SpaceX plan to put up constellations of small satellites that could number in the hundreds, if not thousands, and beam the Internet to the billions of people not yet connected.

Just last month, Boeing filed an application with the FCC that would allow it to send up nearly 3,000 satellites for broadband services. But U.S. officials are concerned about all the traffic in space and the lack of oversight. Although the Pentagon tracks objects orbiting the globe and warns of close approaches, it does not have the power to order an operator to move a satellite out of the way to avoid a collision. Click here. (7/22)

Russia and China Envision Joint Space Exploration (Source: SpaceFlight Insider)
Russia and China are discussing broad cooperation in the field of space exploration. Both countries have said they are willing to collaborate in a wide range of areas, including joint missions to the Moon and Mars. According to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, both sides have the potential to implement impressive space projects as they trust each other at the political level as well as at the level of specialists.

Rogozin made his remarks on the possible Russia-China cooperation last week, during a meeting with the heads of Russian regions and Chinese provinces as well as the managers of companies from both countries. He noted that during his talks with the Vice Premier of China’s State Council, Wang Yang, cooperation on the issue of interaction between both space agencies was debated. The officials discussed large projects like the delivery of rocket engines and also collaboration in navigation systems. (7/23)

Running at 150,000 RPM, This Tiny Motor Could Help Satellites Keep On Course (Source: Tech Crunch)
The future is small in space: picture Cubesats the size of toasters and Femtosats an inch across crowding the skies. A newly invented motor that’s both tiny and powerful goes hand in hand with that vision, providing compact spacecraft with the ability to adjust their position without using a drop of fuel. First, though, a little engineering lesson. Here comes the science!

It’s not practical, especially in small, long-mission spacefaring units like satellites and probes, to use fuel for much of anything except critical accelerations and maneuvers. After all, you can’t exactly top off a New Horizons when it runs low on hydrazine. So in order to make small adjustments to a craft’s attitude, reaction wheels are often employed.

Basically, these things are flywheels mounted inside the satellite that spin at a constant speed — and varying that speed (say by slowing counterclockwise spin on the Y axis), results in a reactive force from the satellite. Every action has its reaction, remember? And in this case, the reaction is that the satellite rotates around its center of mass proportionally to how much the wheel’s speed is altered. (7/23)

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