March 9, 2017

New EPA Chief: CO2 Not Primary Contributor to Global Warming (Source: CNBC)
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said he does not believe carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming. "I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see," he said. "But we don't know that yet. ...We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis."

Pruitt's view is also at odds with the opinion of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "The planet's average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere," NASA and NOAA said in January.

Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, co-chair of the Senate Climate Action Task Force, slammed Pruitt for his comments, calling his views "extreme" and "irresponsible." "Anyone who denies over a century's worth of established science and basic facts is unqualified to be the administrator of the EPA," he said. (3/9)

House Passes $578B Defense Spending Bill (Source: Law360)
The House of Representatives on Wednesday again passed the $577.9 billion funding bill for the U.S. Department of Defense, as the body works toward funding the government for a fiscal year that is almost 6 months old. Overall, the 2017 defense appropriations bill provides $516.1 billion in base-level funding and $61.8 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations funding, for a total of $577.9 billion. Democrats have criticized the bill for increasing base budget spending through the use of OCO funds. (3/8)

Enterprise Florida CEO Chris Hart Resigns Amid Legislative Battle (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
Chris Hart resigned as CEO of Enterprise Florida on Monday, leaving the embattled jobs agency in the middle of a fight for its life with the state Legislature. Hours after Hart resigned, a House panel passed a bill, HB 7005, that eliminates Enterprise Florida and several other tax incentive programs aimed at luring companies to the state. The panel also passed a measure, HB 9, that imposes strict oversight measures on Visit Florida, the state’s tourism marketing arm.

“Enterprise Florida does not hold all of the business handles of the state of Florida,” said Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami, chairman of the House Rules committee that passed the bills. “The state of Florida has done it because people have wanted to live here. How many incentives could have gotten people to live here prior to air conditioning?”

Scott is engaged in a battle of wills with House Speaker Richard Corcoran over a House plan to kill Enterprise Florida and clamp down on Visit Florida. Corcoran has said he believes Enterprise Florida’s incentive programs that give tax breaks to businesses that create high-wage jobs are “corporate welfare.” Scott, though, has put Enterprise Florida and Visit Florida at the forefront of his economic agenda, saying increased funding for the groups is vital to keep the state’s economy growing. (3/2)

FSU Celebrates Space Day Too (Source: Nole Central)
FSU's Sophomore Class Council celebrated Florida Space Day! Representatives from NASA brought a display to FSU to put on for the students. There was free pizza, refreshments, and swag provided by the Sophomore Class Council. This was a fun way for students to learn about Space and connect with SGA. (3/7)

3D Printing Saving Satellite Builders Time and Money (Source: Space News)
Satellite manufacturers are turning increasingly to additive manufacturing to reduce the cost and time required to design and build spacecraft. Space Systems Loral announced March 7 that its most complex additively manufactured part, an antenna tower with 37 printed titanium nodes and more than 80 graphite struts, is performing as intended in orbit on SKY Perfect JSAT’s JCSAT-110A satellite launched in December.

SSL is now using the same strut-truss design methodology on other satellites it is building. That includes 13 structures SSL is designing and manufacturing. SSL is putting hundreds of 3D printed titanium structural components on its satellites per year, according to the firm’s announcement. Boeing Satellite Systems International is similarly enthusiastic about additive manufacturing. (3/8)

Satellite Builders Unsure What Trump Will Mean for Their Business (Source: Space News)
“I think we need to be very careful about how we have the discussion with the administration and with congress,” Frank Culbertson, president of Orbital ATK’s space systems group, said March 8 at the Satellite 2017 conference here. “Simplifying by saying, ‘buy only American’ … this doesn’t work for two integrators who relied on each other, as it is a global business.” (3/8)

NASA Selects Over 100 Small Business Projects for Funding (Source: Parabolic Arc)
NASA has selected 133 proposals from U.S. companies to conduct research and develop technologies that will enable NASA’s future missions into deep space and benefit the U.S. economy. The proposals, valued at approximately $100 million total for contract negotiations, were selected under Phase II of NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Only one is from Florida: Mainstream Engineering (on Florida's Space Coast) will develop Bidirectional Dual Active Bridge Power Converter for Spacecraft Power Systems. (3/8)

Google Patent Filing Hints at How SpaceX’s Satellite Broadband Network Could Work (Source: GeekWire)
When it comes to providing global broadband internet coverage, two satellite constellations in low Earth orbit are better than one. At least that’s the implication of a patent application filed by an inventor who used to work at Google and is now part of SpaceX’s Seattle-area satellite operation.

Mark Krebs’ concept is described in a patent application. It calls for setting up two sets of satellites orbiting at different altitudes with different inclinations. The scheme brings a couple of advantages: It eases the way for putting up thousands of satellites in orbits that cross over each other without having to worry about the threat of collision. The orbital arrangement also makes it easier to provide overlapping coverage for customers down below.

That allows for a smooth handoff from one satellite to another, and provides more of a backup in case a single satellite goes offline. The higher-orbiting constellation provides wider coverage, while the lower-orbiting constellation provides higher bandwidth. (3/8)

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