June 2, 2017

Florida Governor Approves Budget, Vetoes Aerospace Workforce/Education Items (Source: SPACErePORT)
Florida Governor Rick Scott has approved (most of) the ~$83 billion budget passed by the Florida Legislature last month, despite its omission of funding he considered imperative for economic development and tourism promotion. Instead, he has vetoed nearly $12 billion in line-item projects. Among the vetoed items are $2M for an Embry-Riddle manufacturing academy and apprenticeship program, and $2M for an Eastern Florida State College technology education institute.

The governor also ordered legislators to return to Tallahassee on June 7-9 for a Special Session to consider establishing and funding a new Job Growth Grant program and to increase funding for the state's tourism promotion agency. (The budget for Space Florida had eliminated funding for their popular We Are Go space tourism marketing program, so maybe there's an opportunity to have that funding restored in the Special Session.) (6/2).

Space Coast - 2nd Fastest Job Growth In U.S.! (Source: EDC)
The Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast (EDC) is proud to be able to say that the extraordinary success we have had in driving job creation both by attracting new businesses and supporting the expansion of existing companies continues! Thanks to the support of Governor Scott, our economic development partners at the state, including Enterprise Florida and Space Florida, and with the help of our local economic development partners the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville MSA continues to be one the among the strongest areas in the country for job growth, ranking #2 behind Provo-Orem, Utah. (6/2)

FCC Set to Vote on OneWeb License (Source: Wall Street Journal)
The FCC is set to vote on a license for OneWeb later this month. The agenda for the commission's next meeting, scheduled for June 22, includes an item to approve an order granting a license for the company's broadband satellite constellation. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai signaled his support for the company, saying its system "holds unique promise to expand internet access in remote and rural areas." (6/2)

Soyuz Capsule Returns Humans to Earth (Source: NASA)
A Soyuz spacecraft carrying two people undocked from the station this morning bound for Earth. The Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft undocked from the station at 6:47 a.m. Eastern, carrying Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet. The spacecraft landed in Kazakhstan, ending the 196-day mission for the two men. Three people remain on the ISS, with a new crew scheduled to launch in July. (6/2)

China's Busy June in Space (Source: GB Times)
China has a busy month in spaceflight scheduled for June. China plans to launch its first astrophysics observatory, the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope, in mid-June, followed by the launch of the Shijian-18 experimental communications satellite on the second Long March 5 near the end of the month. The Tianzhou-1 spacecraft, launched in April, will perform another docking and refueling test with the Tiangong-2 module during the month. China will also host the Global Space Exploration Conference in Beijing next week. (6/2)

Iran Abandons Human Spaceflight Program (Source: New York Times)
Iran is ending efforts to launch humans into space. An Iranian news agency reported this week that the country's space agency had canceled the program, citing costs of $15-20 billion over 15 years. Iran launched a monkey on a suborbital flight in 2013, which at the time was seen as a first step for a human spaceflight program that could see its first mission in five to eight years. Iran's space program has attracted Western scrutiny as a cover for missile development activities. (6/2)

Georgia Space Innovations Symposium Planned (Source: GA Tech)
The Georgia Tech Center for Space Technology & Research and the Georgia Center of Innovation - Aerospace are hosting a two-day event at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia highlighting recent innovations in space science and technologies. Activities will feature a combination of invited and contributed technical presentations, panel discussions, and complimentary luncheon with a prominent keynote speaker in the space industry. Click here. (6/2)

Vice President Pence to Visit NASA JSC for Astronaut Class Announcement (Source: NASA)
Vice President Mike Pence will visit NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston on June 7, to welcome America’s newest astronaut candidates, chosen from more than 18,000 applicants to carry the torch for future human space exploration. Additionally, the Vice President will tour the Christopher C. Kraft Jr. Mission Control Center and hear briefings on current human spaceflight operations. (6/2)

Eutelsat Awards Three Launches to Arianespace, Hints at Ariane 6 Interest (Source: Space News)
Fresh off the successful launch of an all-electric satellite on an Ariane 5 rocket, satellite fleet operator Eutelsat announced June 2 a commitment to launch three more satellites with Arianespace, and signaled an early interest in using the next-generation Ariane 6. Paris-based Eutelsat said the Eutelsat-7C satellite from Space Systems Loral, the African Broadband Satellite from Thales Alenia Space and the first Eutelsat Quantum satellite from Airbus Defence and Space will all launch with the European launch provider. (6/2)

SpaceX Bets the House to Become Satellite Internet Provider (Source: Florida Today)
SpaceX, the upstart California company that brought the world reusable rockets and dramatically lower launch costs, now has plans to beam broadband internet from space to consumers around the world. Why would a rocket manufacturer want to get into the broadband internet business?

The hope is to create a cash cow that would enable Elon Musk to compete with his arch rival, fellow billionaire and space entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, in the race to make humanity a "multi-planetary species." But the risk, some industry analysts say, is huge and Musk may be betting his company's future on the effort.

Some experts see the challenges facing SpaceX – federal regulations, costs and competitors, to name a few – as surmountable, but the massive barrier of entry to the satellite broadband market could mean slimmer profits than expected. Musk may also be late to the game as several companies, most notably OneWeb, which has a Florida manufacturing plant under construction and plans to launch its first satellites in May 2018, have made clear their satellite broadband intentions. (6/2)

OneWeb Open to Other Acquisitions After Intelsat Merger Tanks (Source: Reuters)
Satellite builder OneWeb Ltd will look for other acquisitions or partnerships after a proposed takeover of Intelsat fell through, OneWeb founder and Executive Chairman Greg Wyler said. OneWeb is among a handful of startups planning to build, launch and operate thousands of small satellites to provide internet access worldwide and received a $1 billion investment from Japan's SoftBank Group Corp late last year. (6/2)

No comments: