May 7, 2017

Lockheed Martin Moving 300 Ballistic Missile Jobs From California to Florida's Space Coast (Source: WKMG)
Lockheed Martin Corp. plans to move about 300 fleet ballistic missile program jobs from California to the Space Coast during 2018 and 2019. Brevard County Commission Chairman Curt Smith disclosed details of Lockheed's plans following a meeting this week in the Washington area with Lockheed officials. Smith said the jobs will include senior management of the ballistic missile program.

Lockheed said in its statement that the moves to locations that "have complementary facilities and employee skill sets, are expected to deliver substantial cost savings, while centralizing mission expertise in key locations." Lockheed said it "will be working closely with its Navy customer to ensure a smooth transition as people, facilities and equipment move in phases." Smith said the Lockheed Martin decision is the latest in a series of positive job news for Brevard County. (5/5)

As Part of Program Consolidation in Florida, Air Force's X-37B Space Plane Lands at KSC (Source: Florida Today)
An unmanned military space plane on Sunday morning concluded a nearly two-year mission with its first touchdown on Kennedy Space Center's former shuttle runway. The Air Force shortly after 8 a.m. reported on Twitter that the reusable X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle had landed safely to complete its fourth classified mission. The exact time was not confirmed.

The fourth X-37B mission, known as OTV-4, launched from Cape Canaveral atop a ULA Atlas V rocket on May 20, 2015, for a total mission duration of about 718 days — the most yet by about six weeks. First launched in 2010, the Air Force's two mini-shuttles have now each completed two missions. Three prior X-37B landings occurred at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. But the program operated by Boeing has consolidated its operations at two of NASA's former space shuttle hangars, called Orbiter Processing Facilities 1 and 2, enabling the mini-shuttles to launch and land in the same place. (5/7)

Sorry Nerds, But Colonizing Other Planets Is Not A Good Plan (Source: Forbes)
In November, Stephen Hawking warned that humans needed to colonize another planet within 1,000 years. Now, six months later, he’s saying we have to do it within 100 years in order to avoid extinction. There’s a problem with this plan: under almost no circumstances is colonizing another planet the best way to adapt to a problem on earth.

Let’s start with Mars, which is a favorite planet for colonization scenarios, including for Elon Musk who thinks we should colonize Mars because earth will eventually face a “doomsday scenario”. The problem with this is that there is almost nothing that could happen to earth that would make it less hospitable than Mars. Whether it’s nuclear war or massive global warming, post disaster earth would be way more habitable than Mars. (5/6)

Space Diplomacy Triumphs: But will South Asia Satellite Become White Elephant in Space? (Source: Financial Express)
Unparalleled space bonding was witnessed on Friday when seven heads of states from South Asia unanimously applauded India’s Rs 450 crore gift to its neighbors by way of a communications satellite. There is no precedent in the space-faring world of a free regional communications satellite being gifted like this, and it shows India has a large heart. The South Asia Satellite is now in orbit, so the riskiest, but easy, part is really over and undoubtedly the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has delivered.

The tricky bit starts now when the seven member-states have to start putting in their own hard earned resources to get the ground infrastructure in place and to get the software ready for the content that will be beamed by the satellite. Easier said than done. With this single out-of-the-box foreign policy initiative, New Delhi was essentially trying to contain China’s growing influence in the region.

In its cussedness, Pakistan opted out of the project citing its existing space program which everyone knows is rather primitive in comparison to India’s advanced space- faring capabilities. While there is no doubt India has end-to-end capabilities in space technology but many of the country’s space assets often turn into so-called “white elephants in space”. (5/7)

NASA Langley Helping to Get New Deep Space Gateway Off the Ground (Source: Daily Press)
The journey to Mars, the moon and other celestial destinations might soon have a deep-space port of call. In a few short years, NASA plans to have a Deep Space Gateway — a sort of small, orbiting pit stop — for astronauts to visit before they venture off on longer-duration missions.

"A gas station without the tanks, basically," said Patrick Troutman, space architect at NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton. "It allows the crew to freshen up. It allows them to fix their vehicle. It allows them to go into the snack shop and get provisions and Coke and stuff. Fuel up." Troutman is oversimplifying, of course. But that's the gist.

And NASA Langley is helping to get the gateway off the ground by reaching out to major commercial contractors in the space industry, evaluating their ideas for what the gateway should look like and how it should be built, then advising headquarters on the best path forward. "So Langley's playing a pretty big role in this," said Troutman (5/6)

California’s Plan to Tax Rockets by the Mile is Exactly What Space Companies Want (Source: Quartz)
California has come up with a remarkable plan to tax rocket launches from its coast. Specifically, their tax payments will be determined by how often they fly the 62 miles (100 km) from a California launchpad to the very edge of space while transporting goods or tourists. After 62 miles, the companies are deemed to be in space, and would not incur further taxes.

The proposal comes as the state’s technology sector ploughs increasing amounts of money into aerospace start-ups, and homegrown company SpaceX asserts itself as the leader in low-cost space access. California is home to highly skilled aerospace engineers and technicians, thanks to the long presence of companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, as well as research centers like JPL and Ames Research Center.

At the moment, however, the proposed rocket tax will apply mainly to just two companies: SpaceX and United Launch Alliance, the only launch firms that regularly operate in the US. A third California company, Virgin Galactic, intends to fly space tourists in California and launch satellites, but is likely more than a year from commercial operations. Yet all three companies have backed the new tax rule in meetings with the California government, according to government records and sources familiar with the matter, because the change would clarify their tax status. (5/6)

Dark Matter Is the Real Guardian of the Galaxies (Source:
In honor of the release of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" in movie theaters May 5, scientists with the Hubble Space Telescope have released gorgeous new images of all the galaxies in our universe. The abundance of galaxies in Hubble's view illustrates that, in the grand scheme of things, the fictional Marvel galaxy is pretty insignificant.

Not only does the real universe have far more galaxies (an estimated 2 trillion of them) but it also has a much bigger, darker and mysterious guardian of those galaxies: Dark matter, according to Space Telescope Science Institute astronomer Dan Coe. Coe explains how dark matter is really holding the universe together. "So dark matter is this mysterious stuff that makes up most of the stuff in the universe. It's all around us, but we don't know what it is yet," Coe said. "We can start to map it out and see it with gravitational lensing." (5/6)

Harris Corp. Takes Aim at Europe for Growth (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
An effort by some Eastern European countries to modernize their militaries has proven to be fruitful for Harris Corporation, CEO Bill Brown said. The company hopes to capitalize on its telecommunications division’s strength and bid on what Brown called a “substantial upgrade” of the United Kingdom’s so-called Morpheus program. Morpheus is a full-scale upgrade to what the British government calls a “next-generation” communications system.

“Over time, we know there will be substantial upgrades in the U.K.,” Brown said. That could mean “some meaningful revenue for Harris.” The company previously has landed upgrade contracts in Poland and Romania. Countries in Latin America could also represent potential sales when they modernize, he said. The company employs about 6,000 people in Central Florida, with its headquarters in Melbourne. (5/3)

Trump’s 2nd Nominee for Army Secretary Withdraws (Source: New York Times)
Mark E. Green, President Trump’s second nominee to be secretary of the Army, withdrew from consideration on Friday, saying in a statement that his nomination had become a distraction because of “false and misleading attacks against me.” Mr. Green, a Tennessee state senator who was an Army flight surgeon, has criticized federal attempts to bar discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender people in workplaces and businesses.

“Tragically, my life of public service and my Christian beliefs have been mischaracterized and attacked by a few on the other side of the aisle for political gain,” Mr. Green said in the statement. “While these false attacks have no bearing on the needs of the Army or my qualifications to serve, I believe it is critical to give the president the ability to move forward with his vision to restore our military to its rightful place in the world.” (5/5)

Goldman Sachs - Profiles in Innovation - Space - The Next Investment Frontier (Source: Goldman Sachs)
A new Space Age is emerging. Rocket launches are being privatized, the most ambitious satellite constellation ever is being deployed, man is looking back to the Moon and to Mars, and militaries are vying for the ultimate high ground. In the latest in our Profiles in Innovation series, we examine where new industries are being created, and where others are being disrupted in the latest race to harness the cosmos. We show how technological advances and necessity are creating a wave of opportunity as business and governments invest in a new Space Economy.

Goldman Sachs does and seeks to do business with companies covered in its research reports. As a result, investors should be aware that the firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this report. Investors should consider this report as only a single factor in making their investment decision. Click here. (5/5)

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