February 6, 2017

Editorial: Spaceport Camden Will Be An Asset to Southeast Georgia, Not a Threat (Savannah Morning News)
A few weeks ago, this newspaper published an opinion piece by Athens attorney Kevin Lang about perceived threats to Cumberland Island from a proposed space launch site nearby and an unrelated zoning issue of a private family. As Camden County’s aerospace consultant, I hope to correct several inaccuracies in Mr. Lang’s piece. Mr. Lang’s more specious claim in his Jan. 21 column is that one in 20 rockets fail; a false statistic that he is intent on repeating.

In an effort to correct the record, I have provided Mr. Lang and the public with launch data from all active vertical launchers in the United States commercial fleet. The success rate for active U.S. vertical orbital launchers is approximately 100 successes for every one failure (99 percent success rate). By continuing to repeat the debunked 1 in 20 falsehood, instead of the 1 in 100 fact, Mr. Lang is spreading false-facts to fit his narrative or relying upon generalized industry (or 1950s and 60s) data that misrepresent today’s modern American rockets.

Mr. Lang’s opposition to Spaceport Camden is based on erroneous data for launch safety and public access to Cumberland Island. The concern is that Mr. Lang’s is a case of vacation house NIMBY (not in my back yard) that ignores the enhanced economic and educational opportunities the full-time residents and children of Camden County and all of South East Georgia, including the greater Savannah area, should enjoy due to Spaceport Camden. (2/4)

NASA Debunks Bogus Trump Tweet Sent From ‘ISS’ (Source: New York Post)
Houston, it’s not a problem. When Donald Trump tweeted Friday night, “We must keep ‘evil’ out of our country,” an account claiming to be the International Space Station replied, “We have space for you up here. Come join us.” One problem — NASA never wrote it. “That tweet is fake. It’s just someone having fun,” said NASA social media manager John Yembrick. He said space station tweets are managed from the ground in Houston, and that the offending tweet came from a bogus account. (2/4)

Cosmologists a Step Closer to Understanding Quantum Gravity (Source: UoP News)
Cosmologists trying to understand how to unite the two pillars of modern science – quantum physics and gravity – have found a new way to make robust predictions about the effect of quantum fluctuations on primordial density waves, ripples in the fabric of space and time. Researchers from the University of Portsmouth have revealed quantum imprints left on cosmological structures in the very early Universe and shed light on what we may expect from a full quantum theory of gravity.

“Physicists do not yet know how to combine theories of gravity and the quantum world. Yet both play a crucial role in the very early Universe where the expansion of space is driven by gravity and cosmological structures that arise from quantum fluctuations. “Quantum fluctuations during inflation are thought to be the origin of all structure in the Universe. Structures we see today such as galaxies, stars, planets and people can be traced back to these primordial fluctuations.” (1/23)

Musk Says He's 'Doing Good' on Trump's Advisory Council (Source: CNN)
Elon Musk has gotten flak for his decision to join President Trump's economic advisory council. But he says it's better to be on the inside and that he is "doing good" by advising Trump. Musk said via Twitter on Saturday -- one day after the council met with Trump in Washington -- that he's committed to pushing Trump on issues like immigration and climate change.

Musk is one of 18 business leaders on the council. Some have faced backlash, including boycott threats, from anti-Trump activists. A Twitter user wrote to Musk: "Your continued defense of and collaboration with this administration is going to be damaging to you and your companies." (2/4)

'Space Between Us' Took Long Time to Land in Theaters (Source: Worcester Telegram)
When producer Richard Barton Lewis first began developing this story in 2006, the idea of travel to Mars was "plausible, but a pipe dream," he says. "Now it's going to happen," he notes, citing space-travel enterprises like Elon Musk's SpaceX and Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic. "My joke has been that I just want to get this movie into theaters before we actually land on Mars."

Easier said than done. It took 11 years to bring the story to life. Then came the task of picking a release date. "Space," originally slated to open last summer, was bumped to December, then to February after its distributor, STX Entertainment, realized that going up against December juggernaut "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" was probably not a good idea. The film is an intriguing amalgam of teen adventure, corporate intrigue (Gary Oldman plays an inscrutable CEO and space-travel pioneer along the lines of Musk or Branson) and Popular Science article. (2/5)

ULA's Navy Delivers Atlas to Florida for ISS Resupply Mission (Source: SpaceFlight Now)
The ocean-sailing ship that transports rocket stages from United Launch Alliance’s factory to U.S. launch sites completed its latest voyage overnight, pulling into port to deliver the Atlas 5 that will send a cargo freighter to the International Space Station in March.

The Mariner, owned and operated by the Foss Maritime company, made a week-long voyage from the ULA production facility in Decatur, Alabama to Cape Canaveral, Florida. Originally built to carry Delta 4 rockets for Boeing to the Cape and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the Mariner now also delivers Atlas 5 stages for ULA whenever circumstances permit. (2/5)

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