February 2, 2010

KSC Facilities Will Be Available for Commercial Missions (Source: SpaceFlightNow.com)
The director of the Kennedy Space Center said Tuesday the spaceport's two launch pads, mammoth Vehicle Assembly Building and other one-of-a-kind facilities will be upgraded and made available to private space companies after the space shuttle's retirement. The facilities include the 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building, twin oceanfront launch pads, a launch control center and payload and shuttle processing hangars. "Whether it's commercial or government, we are going to have facilities available, up to date, ready to launch to support anything to ensure that we are the premier launch complex anywhere," KSC Director Bob Cabana said. (2/2)

Alabama Lawmakers Vow to Save Constellation Moon Mission (Source: Huntsville Times)
Members of the Alabama congressional delegation swiftly rallied around the Constellation moon mission Monday, saying that the Obama's administration's proposed cancellation is far from the last word on its fate. Congress cannot and will not sit back and watch the reckless abandonment of sound principles, a proven track record ... and the destruction of our human space flight program," Sen. Richard Shelby, R-AL, said. To varying degrees, Shelby's sentiments were echoed by Reps. Parker Griffith, R-Huntsville, Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, and Artur Davis, D-Birmingham, as well as Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Mobile. Joining in the drumbeat of denunciation were lawmakers from Florida and Texas, states that also have big stakes in the venture. (2/2)

Sen. Hatch Blasts Obama (Source: Main Street Business)
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, blasted the Obama administration today for spending too much on wasteful government bureaucracy and not enough on important initiatives such as NASA’s manned space flight program. While the Administration wastes money on government bailouts and a bloated $2.5 trillion takeover of the nation’s healthcare system, Hatch noted, it is also “poised to send NASA back to the pre-Sputnik era by seriously damaging our nation’s manned space flight capacity.” (2/2)

Decatur Could Prosper From NASA Woes (Source: WAFF)
United Launch Alliance is the result of Lockheed Martin and Boeing joining forces in 2006. Both provide launch services of spacecraft for the government. And now doors may be opening for the company. Communications Manager Doug Shores said, "United Launch Alliance is prepared to support NASA in current and future efforts and we're very interested in competing for commercial space work with NASA." He said the Delta 4 and Atlas 5 Rockets have a perfect launch record. (2/2)

X Prize CEO Thinks Obama's 2010 NASA Budget Good for Space (Source: Popular Mechanics)
News that private space will be playing an expanded role in NASA's 2010 budget has created a buzz among Google Lunar X-PRIZE competition's 20 teams. "Everyone's excited this might mean a chance for a much larger market for the technology that the Google Lunar X PRIZE teams are creating," Peter Diamandis says. "Contracting with entrepreneurial companies and focusing on core technology is going to be critical to NASA being able to achieve its goals more flexibly, more reliably and much more cheaply. I think we're going to see incentivized competitions used as a tool to try and get new players and new approaches to areas that are difficult, that we don't know how to solve...Incentivized competition can take that risk because you only pay the winner, you don't pay the multiple attempts that fail." (2/2)

Jobs At Stake in Louisiana as NASA Shifts Gears (Source: AP)
The future of Louisiana's gateway to space is uncertain after a sudden shift in the space program directed by President Obama. The administration on Monday killed NASA's $100 billion plan to return astronauts to the moon in favor of using most of that money for new rocket technology research. With the space shuttle program ending, that leaves the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans without a definitive future space mission -- at least for now. Stephen Moret, head of the state economic development agency, said Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration believed the president had "misplaced priorities" by going with a program "years in the future and highly uncertain." (2/2)

NASA's 7 New Space Pioneers are Companies (Source: Forbes)
A half century ago the Mercury Seven embodied America's space future. Now it's the merchant seven - space companies for hire. Mimicking a scene 51 years ago when the Mercury astronauts were revealed, NASA's boss beamed Tuesday as he introduced the "faces of a new frontier:" representatives of the seven companies that NASA is funding to develop future private spacecraft." And more money is coming. In President Barack Obama's proposed budget, he not only killed his predecessor's $100 billion moon program, he proposed spending $6 billion over five years to develop private space taxis. NASA would then pay them to carry astronauts to the International Space Station. (2/2)

Bolden Denies Abandoning Human Spaceflight (Source: Florida Today)
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden denied Tuesday that the agency was abandoning human spaceflight under President Barack Obama’s proposal to funnel $6 billion over five years to commercial space companies. Bolden said the agency would chart its new destinations over the coming months under the regime. “We’re not abandoning human spaceflight by any stretch of the imagination,” Bolden said. “I think we’re going to get there perhaps quicker than we would have done before.” Asked what destinations and timetables NASA would set, Bolden said the goals beyond the space station remain the moon, Mars and asteroids. He said committees have already formed to map where to go and how. (2/2)

Obama Budget Could Spur Space Station R&D Growth at KSC (Source: SPACErePORT)
In addition to funding improvements for commercial launches at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport, President Obama's budget plan for NASA includes funding to potentially shift the fenceline at KSC to allow increased access to KSC facilities. This very likely refers to assisting the State of Florida to reposition the fence surrounding the state-funded Space Life Sciences Lab such that it would be outside of KSC's security perimeter. The SLS Lab is currently leased by NASA, but Space Florida hopes to open it up to non-NASA space researchers as part of an "Exploration Park" development. It is hoped that the SLS Lab can serve as a ground-based node of the International Space Station National Laboratory (ISSNL), supporting the development, processing, operation, and return of research aboard the ISSNL. (2/2)

Obama Budget Oozes Uncertainty for NASA (Source: Florida Today)
President Barack Obama proposed a radical shift in U.S. space policy Monday, saying he wanted commercial companies -- rather than NASA -- to take over development and operation of the rockets and spacecraft flying American astronauts. NASA would invest in new technologies for the eventual human exploration of the solar system, but its Project Constellation, which aimed to return astronauts to the moon by 2020, would be killed. NASA would have no set destination or timeline for sending astronauts beyond Earth orbit, and it's unlikely that missions to the moon, Mars or asteroids would happen before the early to mid-2020s. (2/2)

Candidate: Giffords Should Resign as Chair of Space Subcommittee (Source: NASA Watch)
"Representative Gabrielle Giffords should immediately resign as Chair of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee. She has a clear conflict of interest from the tens of thousands of dollars her campaign has received from the aerospace industry. She took in over $10,000 in one day alone from people at large corporations such as ATK, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and United Space Alliance. These are companies who stand to make or lose millions of dollars based on decisions made by her subcommittee...A December 20th article in the Orlando Sentinel explored a possible conflict of interest with her husband’s line of work. Now we realize the true conflict comes from large campaign donations by corporate special interests." (2/2)

Johnson Space Center to Retain Role Amid NASA Spending Decisions (Source: AIA)
While Texas lawmakers criticized President Barack Obama's decision, announced on Monday, to drop NASA's program to return to the moon, NASA officials said Houston's Johnson Space Center would remain central to space operations and that the agency would in fact benefit from Obama's budget decisions. While the Constellation space program would be dropped, Obama proposed a five-year extension of International Space Station operations, a 42% increase in spending for biomedical research during space flight and for harnessing robotic tools for human use in space. (2/2)

Aerospace Alliance Could Lead Multi-State Space Policy Effort (Source: SPACErePORT)
The mission of The Aerospace Alliance is to establish the Gulf Coast and surrounding region as a world-class aerospace, space and aviation corridor. The Aerospace Alliance is a 501(c)(6) private/public organization whose members advocate for policies, programs and specific aerospace projects on the local, state and national level. By promoting their common assets – and the region’s long-standing tradition of excellence in the aerospace industry – participating states can take advantage of opportunities to grow the sector in the region. The members include business leaders, economic development professionals and government officials from the Gulf Coast and surrounding region. The current member states include: Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi. Click here for information. (2/2)

Obama Proposes a Record $708 Billion for Defense Spending (Source: AIA)
President Barack Obama has proposed spending a record $708 billion in defense for fiscal 2011, a 3.4% increase over the Pentagon's base budget, in addition to $159 billion to fund U.S. military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Obama said he would push ahead, however, to eliminate wasteful weapons programs. (2/2)

NextGen to Receive $1.1 Billion Under Obama's Budget (Source: AIA)
NextGen technology would see a 32% funding increase under President Barack Obama's 2011 budget proposal, while the FAA would get an additional $14 million to hire 82 new inspectors and safety technicians. The increased spending will be accomplished without higher taxes or fees in fiscal 2011, though passengers can expect to see a $1 bump in the three succeeding years. "In addition, the administration did not propose an increase to any of the customs, immigration or agriculture inspection fees, which demonstrates that our 'do no harm' message is resonating," said Air Transport Association CEO James May. (2/2)

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