National Space Society Names OU 'Center of Excellence' (Source: Athens Messenger)
Ohio University has received recognition from the National Space
Society by being named a “Center of Excellence in Space Solar Power and
Power Beaming.” OU professor emeritus Don Flournoy, who has been
associated with the satellite communications industry for years, said
space solar power can be defined as the sun’s energy beyond Earth’s
atmosphere and that power beaming would be the means by which that
energy could be captured and delivered to Earth as an abundant source
of clean and renewable electric power. (7/31)
"I See You, You See Me": What Space
Means for the Surge of Intelligence (Source: Forbes)
The expansion of commercial space imaging is a disruptive force for
many governments. Given its security implications, Western players will
not be the only ones to shape its spread and uses. Asian players too
are already moving to harness the underlying technologies and trends.
Here is why they are all in the game: Sharper images of virtually any
location around the world taken from space – deserts, oceans, remote
villages, refugee camps, urban settings, and so on – changes things.
Such imagery, whether in still or video clips, can now be continuously
updated and promises to become available on a routine commercial basis
to big and small governments, private and corporate players, as well as
non-state actors and global institutions. (7/30)
SpaceX Shows Off Texas Testing
Facility to Big McGregor Crowd (Source: Waco Tribune)
About 1,500 Central Texans accepted an invitation from the Space
Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, to its
community appreciation picnic Saturday afternoon at the Central Texas
Youth Rodeo Indoor Arena, a close neighbor to the SpaceX testing
facility whose rocket engine tests frequently blanket the prairie with
artificial thunder. (7/30)
Jack White's Space Mission is a Success
(Source: The Tennessean)
In a way, it was a scene not unlike one from "Apollo 13," "Armageddon"
or another space flight drama: a packed mission control room, cheering
at the success of a daring mission. But in a lot of other ways, this
scene was pretty different. This mission control room had beer, snow
cones and a cranked-up rock show.
Jack White's Third Man Records hosted a "launch party" at its Nashville
headquarters on Saturday, revealing the results of their latest grand
experiment: an attempt to play the first phonographic record in space.
The event doubled as a seventh anniversary celebration for the label
office, record store and concert venue, which opened in 2009. (7/30)
Vostochny Cosmodrome: Russian Space
Project Isn't Going to Plan (Source: NBC News)
Russia is building a spaceport designed to reinstate it at the
forefront of cosmic travel and evoke its 1950s Soviet heyday when
Moscow put the first human in orbit. But five years after construction
began, the Vostochny Cosmodrome is behind schedule, billions of dollars
over budget, and dogged by accusations that officials have embezzled
funds and did not pay workers for months at a time.
Officials reportedly requested another $105 million earlier this month
to help complete the project. The complex in Russia's Far East designed
to launch missions to the Moon and Mars is on course to be the most
expensive spaceport ever built. It is located seven time zones and
almost 3,500 miles from Moscow — further than the distance from Miami
to Alaska. (7/31)
As Commercial Space Race Grows,
Student Interest Takes Off (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
The number of Central Florida students enrolling in aerospace
engineering and other space-related majors has taken off as a new
commercial space race lifts the industry's profile. SpaceX and United
Launch Alliance are both launching rockets on Florida's Space Coast –
ULA sent up a spy satellite Thursday. Although ULA recently announced
layoffs, it has been launching steadily while SpaceX launches are
getting more frequent this year.
Successful new feats, like SpaceX landing reusable rockets repeatedly,
have generated more interest, as has the goal of more U.S.-based manned
space missions soon. "As launch frequency grows, there is more hype and
a lot of kids here see it, too," said Justin Karl, program coordinator
for Embry Riddle Aeronautical University's commercial space operations
program. "They start thinking that maybe the industry isn't so bad
after having some low years." (7/31)
Virgin Galactic’s Next Big Bet
Hello World’s Ashlee Vance went to the desert to attend the
SpaceShipTwo press event at the Mojave, Calif., airport and to find out
how much resolve Branson has left. With his typical flair, Branson
brought the spaceship out amid a sea of champagne and celebrities and
huge helpings of optimism. Flashing his brilliant smile, he said that
the world’s wealthiest people will be able to travel to space soon.
Some more of us will follow, someday. Click here.
Humanity Finally Travels to Mars in
Ron Howard's New Half-Documentary TV Series (Source: io9)
This November, the National Geographic Channel will take audiences into
outer space in a way we haven’t seen before. From producers Ron Howard
and Brian Grazer comes Mars, a six-part TV miniseries that blends
documentary and science fiction to dramatize humankind’s first trip to
Mars in 2033—and io9 is proud to exclusively debut the first trailer.
The Lie That Is Orion (Source:
Behind the Black)
Several weeks ago NASA put out one of its periodic press releases
touting the wonders of the engineering the agency is doing to prepare
for its future missions to Mars. In this case the press release
described a new exercise device, dubbed ROCKY (for Resistive Overload
Combined with Kinetic Yo-Yo), for use in the Orion capsule.
As is their habit these days in their effort to drum up support for
funding for SLS and Orion, the press release was filled with phrases
and statements that implied or claimed that Orion was going to be the
spacecraft that Americans will use to explore the solar system. The
wording is very carefully phrased to allow NASA deniablity should
anyone question these claims. Nonetheless, the implied intent of this
wording is to sell Orion as America’s interplanetary spaceship,
destined to take us to the stars!
The truth is that Orion is nothing more than an overpriced and
over-engineered ascent and descent capsule, whose primary function is
to get humans to and from Earth orbit. As a mere capsule, no bigger
than a small passenger van, it is totally inadequate for use on a many
month long mission to an asteroid, to Mars, or to any distant
interplanetary destination. NASA itself recognizes this on their own
Orion webpages, if you read carefully between the lines. Click here.
Kuwait Mulling Development of National
Satellite Capability (Source: SpaceWatch)
The Kuwaiti cabinet, the Council of Ministers, is considering the
acquisition and launch of a satellite, according to local reports in
Kuwait City. Draft legislation has been submitted to the cabinet from
the Communications and Information Technology Commission. The reports
say that the cabinet has formed a committee to examine the economic
feasibility of, and the requirements and needs, the satellite project.
The New Asian Space Race
Asia is home to three established space powers – Japan, China and India
– and there are several new players, some with rising aspirations of
reaching the Moon, thus giving way to a new competition in Asia. The
fact that six of the ten countries – China, India, Iran, Israel, Japan
and North Korea – that have independently launched satellites into
orbit are in Asia is reflective of this new trend.
The space race in the twentieth century referred to the competition
between the then two superpowers – the US and the Soviet Union. In more
recent years, however, space has become highly competitive with more
than 60 actors as of date, including non-state actors. Click here.