CSA SpotBeam California, May 2, 2011
- From: Dianna Minor <dianna.minor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- To: csa@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 02 May 2011 13:30:51 -0700
<mailto:edward.ellegood@xxxxxxxx?subject=SpotBeam%20California> SpotBeam California Voice, Visibility, EdgeAn e-publication of the California Space Authority (CSA).SpotBeam items do not necessarily reflect the policy or opinions of CSAor its members and stakeholders.Unsubscribe <mailto:dianna.minor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx?subject=SpotBeam%20-%20REMOVE%20from%20distribution>Subscribe <mailto:dianna.minor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx?subject=SpotBeam%20SUBSCRIBE>
*May 2, 2011* *California**Items* *REGISTER **NOW**!! California Space Day, **Sacramento**is May 24*This is an opportunity for space enterprise stakeholders to join with the California Space Authority (CSA) in discussing space policy and regulatory issues with state legislators and key executive branch officials. Our goal will be to ensure a greater awareness of the impact of space enterprise on the every-day lives of ordinary Californians, advocate a positive, supportive business climate, and promote science, math, and hands-on, contextual learning in our public schools. Additional details available at _www.californiaspaceauthority.org <http://www.californiaspaceauthority.org/>_
*Lompoc Approves Agreement for California Space Center*(Source: CSA)The Lompoc City Council, in a vote of 5 to 0, approved an Exclusive Negotiation Agreement (ENA) between the City and CSAon April 19 for the California Space Center. The ENA allows the City and CSAto enter into formal negotiations expected to result in either the lease or purchase of a 96-acre site adjacent to AllanHancockCollegewhich has sweeping views of launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Under terms of the ENA, CSAmust provide the City with documents such as a revised master plan, pro forma, letters of intent from tenants, and evidence of financing.
In order to obtain a lease, CSAmust (1) complete the state environmental process, (2) obtain city permits, and (3) request a change in zoning for the site. These processes will occur in parallel and are expected to be completed in 12 months or less. The City of Lompocwill serve as the lead agency for the environmental process, which is estimated to take 5 to 12 months. This compares to a 3 to 10 year process at the Air Force site. Upon completion of the environmental process, construction of the Center could begin.
Benefits of the Lompocsite include access to existing utilities, proximity to the college and its classrooms, as well as inclusion of an existing park with playground and picnic area. A final decision regarding relocation of the Center to the Lompocsite will be made by the CSABoard of Directors. (4/22)
*Scaled Composites Ramps Up SS2 Test Rate at Mojave Spaceport*(Source: Aviation Week) Scaled Composites marked a dramatic increase in the test rate of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo (SS2) by completing two glide tests over five days, including a 16-min. 7-sec. glide on April 27 that represents the longest flight to date. Back-to-back flights tested minor aerodynamic and control system improvements to the 60-ft.-long, 42-ft.-wingspan vehicle.
The sudden surge in testing follows several weeks of weather-related delays, and has seen release altitudes from the WhiteKnightTwo mothership raised to 51,000 ft. and beyond. The higher altitudes provide more time to continue the flutter envelope expansion that began with the third flight in November 2010.
The flights also evaluated stability and control, and provided pilot training for the Scaled test team. Glide testing is being used to refine the vehicle's aerodynamics and low-speed handling qualities. The next test phase will involve higher-speed subsonic flight with a short burst of thrust from the Sierra Nevada-developed RM2 rocket engine. (4/30)
*TED Talk: Jeff Greason*(Source: TED)Mojave-based XCOR Aerospace's Jeff Greason talks about Making Space Pay and Having Fun Doing It! Click here <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8PlzDgFQMM&feature=youtu.be>to see the video. (4/25)
*Raytheon Plans to Move Some **California**Operations Out of State*(Source: Noozhawk) Raytheon employees in Goletawere informed Wednesday that one of the company's divisions will see layoffs and be moving its operations to other states. The company's Tactical Airborne Systems and Electronic Warfare division, or TAS-EW, learned that the move eventually will directly affect 114 employees, as well as some support employees.
Layoffs are expected to begin as early as June and continue through the rest of the year. Moving production to sites in Dallas, Texas, and Forest, Miss., is expected to be completed by the end of 2011. The company recently laid off nearly 50 employees in its Vision Systems department. Despite that, the company is committed to a strong presence in Goleta, as well as the future of the TAS-EW division. (4/27)
*SpaceX Says It Can Do Commercial Manned Flight in 2014*(Source: Satellite Spotlight) Fresh off its win under NASA's CCDev awards this week, upstart rocket manufacturer SpaceX says it will be prepared to transport the first astronauts up to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2014, a scant 3 years from now. (4/25)
*Interview: Elon Musk* (Source: Newsweek)The electric-car (and space travel) pioneer and space prophet talks about his Hollywoodreputation and why so many billionaires have intergalactic fantasies. Click here <http://www.newsweek.com/2011/04/24/interview-elon-musk.html>. (4/25)
*Asteroids Collide at 11,000 Miles Per Hour; Scientists Study Debris*(Source: UCLA) Scientists have captured and studied the collision of two asteroids for only the second time in the history of astronomy. UCLA's David Jewitt and colleagues reported on observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope of a large asteroid that was hit by a much smaller one.
On Dec. 11, 2010, astronomers noticed that an asteroid known as Scheila had unexpectedly brightened and was sporting short-lived dust plumes. Data from NASA's Swift satellite and Hubble Space Telescope showed that these changes likely occurred after Scheila was struck by a much smaller asteroid, probably in late November or early December. The shape, evolution and content of the plumes enabled the scientists to reconstruct what occurred. (4/30)
*Still Searching: SETI Pioneer Jill Tarter Talks Shutdown, Aliens* (Source: WIRED) For many alien enthusiasts, Jill Tarter is synonymous with the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. As the SETI Institute's research director --- and the inspiration for Jodie Foster's character in Contact --- she's done more than anyone to raise the search for cosmic company from a fringe effort to serious science.
After receiving a TED prize in 2009, Tarter had grand plans for the Allen Telescope Array, a proposed field of 350 big-nosed radio dishes that would be the world's only dedicated SETI telescope, as well as its most sensitive. But this week, budget cuts forced the ATA's existing 42 dishes into hibernation mode. The rest are now just a dream. Click here <http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/04/jill-tarter-qa/>for the Q&A. (4/28)
*Search for Alien Life Put on Hold* (Source: CNN)Interstellar radio has lost one of its most avid and high-profile listeners. A collection of sophisticated radio telescopes in Californiathat scan the heavens for extraterrestrial signals has suspended operations because of lack of funding.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute operates the Allen Telescope Array, the field of dish-like scopes some 300 miles north of San Francisco. The telescopes are a joint effort of SETI and University of California-Berkeley's Radio Astronomy Lab and have been funded largely by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who donated more than $25 million to the project.
A state budget crisis and reduced federal dollars have choked the project of funding, said Karen Randall, SETI's director of special projects. SETI put the Allen Telescope Array on hold a week ago -- a situation publicly revealed by Franck Marchis, a principal investigator for SETI who doesn't work on the affected project, on his blog. (4/25)
*San Francisco Space Enthusiast Invited to Watch Shuttle Launch* (Source: San Francisco Examiner) Kathryn Hill, the 38-year-old Web art director and San Francisco resident, was one of 150 @NASA Twitter followers randomly invited to witness the final launch of space shuttle Endeavor as part of a Tweet-up sponsored by NASA. (4/28)
*National and International Items**Endeavour Launch Slips to No Earlier Than May 8*(Source: NasaSpaceFlight.com) Endeavour's critical -- and final -- mission to the International Space Station (ISS) has been delayed until at least May 8, following an engineering evaluation into her Auxiliary Power Unit 1 (APU-1), which suffered from a heater problem, breaking Launch Commit Criteria rules. The investigation found the root cause relates to a hybrid driver inside the (Load Control Assembly), requiring the lengthy process of removing and replacing the box. (5/1)
*Shuttle Delay Doesn't Stop Obama Visit to KSC* (Source: Florida Today)President Barack Obama came and went Friday, but shuttle Endeavour stayed put on the SpaceCoast. "I bet you were hoping to see a rocket launch today," shuttle Commander Mark Kelly told Obama, who flew into the Capewith his family planning to see Endeavour off on its mission to the International Space Station.
Obama, his wife Michelle, daughters Sasha and Malia and mother-in-law Marian Robinson were to view the launch from the roof of the LaunchControlCenterbut instead toured the building and met with Endeavour's crew, their families and NASA officials. That followed a tour of KSC's Orbiter Processing Facility, where shuttle Atlantis is being prepared for the final mission in program history on June 28. (4/30)
*Gabrielle Giffords Meets with Obamas *(Source: Arizona Republic)Rep. Gabrielle Giffords didn't get to see her husband blast off into space on Friday, but she met privately with him and President Barack Obama at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. Giffords has been in Floridasince Wednesday. It is her first trip away from the Houstonfacility where she has been undergoing rehabilitation since an assassination attempt in late January. (4/30)
*Barack Obama's Shuttle Diplomacy* (Source: Politico)President Obama told Floridians more than a year ago that no one was more committed to human space flight than he, an aficionado who appreciates Tang orange drink, Sputnik references and the program's place in the American imagination. But Floridastill feels a bit lost in his orbit.
Obama returned Friday to the state, in part to ease the political damage of job losses in the space industry and reaffirm his commitment to space exploration, which looms large in a high-unemployment battleground state that looks to the skies for its future, self-image and economic well-being. His trip follows the loss of a promised $40 million grant to help laid-off shuttle workers find jobs, a casualty of the recent federal budget deal between the White House and Congress.
Two weeks ago, NASA's prime shuttle contractor announced an additional 2,000 layoffs as the agency winds down the 30-year-old program. And over the past week, a parade of high-profile Florida Republicans has signaled that they will use the agency's challenges as a wedge issue in the 2012 elections, vowing to protect NASA funding even as they call for greater fiscal restraint. (4/29)
*What Was Lost When Shuttle Missions Started to Feel Ho-Hum* (Source: New York) It is objectively no small feat, slipping the surly bonds of Earth. But somehow, over its 30 years of existence, NASA's Space Shuttle program has become roughly as thrilling as the Delta Shuttle. Still, there's something sad about the end of the program. It's not so much that the program's increasingly prosaic missions---they have amounted, in recent years, to something like space carpooling---will be missed. The sadness instead comes from the petering out of space travel's promised transcendence.
The commonplace marvels of modern technology probably have something to do with this awe deficit---a 400-mile vertical round-trip in a less-than-sleek 1992-model vehicle may not seem as miraculous as it did in a time before one could, if booked on the right airline, stream Parks and Recreation onto an iPad mid-flight. The Shuttle program's geopolitical moment has passed, too.
We're no longer going to space to prove that our way of life is superior to an evil empire's; instead, we're going up there to do some repairs, drop off a magnetic spectrometer, and see the sights. And with deficits suddenly the Greatest Threat Our Nation Has Ever Faced, such errands now stand out as a sore thumb of a line item. (4/25)
*Here's What We're Really Giving Up with the Shuttle's Retirement*(Source: Houston Chronicle) On Friday space shuttle Endeavour will probably launch, ferrying a fantastic science experiment known as the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station. This is quite a large science experiment, weighing 15,000 pounds, standing 11 feet tall and with a width of 15 feet. Now imagine trying to get something like that into space.
The experiment itself is too large and needs too much power to feasibly be a standalone satellite, so it needs to be attached to the International Space Station. Fortunately, we have the space shuttle, which was built just for such purposes, to carry large objects into orbit.
A lot of people are concerned about the shuttle's retirement because the United Stateswill have to rely on the Russians to transport our astronauts to orbit, and that's a valid concern. But equally worrisome, and perhaps moreso, is losing our ability to safely launch big stuff to the station. (4/28)
*John Glenn Talks End Of NASA Space Shuttle Program* (Source: NBC4i)Ohio's own John Glenn believes it's a mistake for NASA to abandon the shuttle program and as a result, cut its access to the $100 billion space station, which he calls the most unique laboratory ever designed. "We need the basic research and innovation that is provided not just by the ability to go farther into space, but by all of the research that we can do within earth's orbit here," Glenn said. (4/30)
*Cernan Deplores Loss of Shuttle Program* (Source: Houston Chronicle)Gene Cernan was the last man to walk on the moon, so he's experienced the end of a NASA spaceflight program. With the shuttle program now ending like Apollo, Cernan, 77, gives his thoughts on where NASA is today, and where he'd like to see it go. Q. What are your thoughts as we near the end of the shuttle program in a couple of months?
A. In the shuttle we have the finest flying machine that's ever been designed and flown. One of the greatest engineering feats in recent history has been the assembling of the International Space Station, which could not have been done without the shuttle. The shuttle is now in the prime of its life. We suffered through a few mistakes and a couple of tragedies; we've paid our dues. It's not even at the halfway point of the shuttle's design life, and we're taking them and putting them into museums. Click here <http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/7545229.html>to read the interview. (5/1)
*Fifty Years of Piloted Spaceflight: Where are We Going?* (Source: Space Review) It's clear to many that, half a century after the era of human spaceflight began, we have fallen fall short of our early dreams for the exploration and settlement of space. Claude Lafleur take a look at what went wrong. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1830/1to view the article. (4/25)
*Blastoff Obscures NASA's Troubles* (Source: Wall Street Journal)Space shuttle Endeavour's scheduled launch Friday recalls sunny spectacles that marked NASA's former glory. But the sense of excitement surrounding the event masks the uncertain future of America's manned exploration program. Lawmakers, contractors and NASA leaders continue to squabble over how to divvy up shrinking space budgets.
And with the final shuttle countdown expected this summer, no consensus has emerged on how to meet the administration's goals of exploring an asteroid around 2025, and eventually sending astronauts to Mars. "NASA's fundamental problem is a lack of clear-cut direction and goals," said Scott Pace, a former senior NASA official who now teaches at GeorgeWashingtonUniversity. "The current path is a very risky one, and time is quickly running out to correct course." (4/28)
*Shuttle Era Fades Into Space; NASA's Plans Up in the Air* (Source: Sunshine State News) "It will be bittersweet to watch as Endeavor makes its final launch after just 25 missions," said U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, whose district encompasses part of the Kennedy Space Center. Space Floridais working to stay in the game by recruiting commercial launch companies to locate near the KennedySpaceCenter.
Frank DiBello, head of Space Florida, remains optimistic that commercial crew and cargo programs will bridge the gap to the next generation of deep-space exploration. Earlier this year, his agency signed a memorandum of understanding with Bigelow Aerospace, which intends to launch its first Orbital Space Complex from Cape Canaveralin 2014.
"The next vehicle to carry astronauts into space from Florida's SpaceCoastwill be a commercial spacecraft -- and this marks a historic change, perhaps the biggest in NASA's 50-year history," said Bretton Alexander, president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, a Washington, D.C.-based consortium of space companies. (4/28)
*Charles Bolden: NASA's New Endeavor* (Source: Florida Today)Six astronauts are scheduled to lift off into space on shuttle Endeavour's final mission, reminding the world of the U.S.'s continued leadership in space. And while Endeavour will complete its last voyage, the Obama administration's commitment to human exploration remains as strong as ever.
American astronauts continue to live and work aboard the International Space Station 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year, as they have for more than 10 years. And this critical research facility in low- Earth orbit will continue to be the anchor of our human spaceflight for the next decade.
We at NASA are committed to maintaining America's leadership role in human exploration --- and sending U.S.astronauts into space aboard American-made spacecraft. It's time for NASA to get out of the expensive business of owning and operating space transportation systems to service the International Space Station, and focus our limited resources on developing new vehicles to take us farther into deep space. (4/29)
*Alabama**Rep: NASA Has No Friend in White House*(Source: Space Politics)Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) complained about a lack of support for NASA from the White House. "I am afraid that NASA does not have a friend in the White House," he said when asked whether NASA will push to have the new Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lifter in service by 2016.
Brooks added that Bolden "did nothing to fight a $300 million budget cut to the space agency." What budget cut he's referring to isn't clear: the final FY11 continuing resolution (which Brooks voted for earlier this month) funded NASA at about $240 million below FY10 levels, and more than $500 million below the FY11 request. (4/26)
*Bill Introduced Directing NASA to Establish a Moon Base* (Source: Ars Technica) Assuming that Congressman Posey's bill could clear the full House and Senate (and survive an Obama veto), the impact may be much less than its supporters hope. As its text notes, a return to the Moon has been a Congressional priority several times before; that didn't stop Obama from dismissing it with "We've been there." And, more significantly, it clearly didn't ensure that the NASA budget was sufficient to actually accomplish that goal.
Simply stating that NASA's budget will be "consistent" with achieving it by 2020 leaves open a lot of room for different definitions of consistent, and allows the current Congress to shift the burden of finding money onto future ones, which may not be inclined to do so. Thus, on its own, the bill would accomplish nearly nothing and is sufficiently vague that it probably won't even be viewed as providing direction to NASA, at least within NASA.
And, given how contentious budget issues have been in the current Congress, any attempt to turn it into something concrete would probably make it a non-starter. (4/25)
*Republican Dilemma: Reduce Federal Spending, But Not My Special Interests* (Source: Daily Caller) George LeMieux wants to cut government spending and shrink the federal government. That is, unless you're talking about paying for space ships that fly to asteroids. The former Florida Republican senator, who recently launched his campaign to unseat current Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, vowed Tuesday to increase spending for the nation's space exploration program while simultaneously touting his record on limited government.
"There are very few things the federal government should be doing," LeMieux said during a conference call with reporters Tuesday. "But one of the few things the federal government can only do is space exploration. We are seeing good private sector folks that are trying to go into low- Earth orbit and that's great and we should encourage them, but the only folks that are going to go to an asteroid or go to Mars is going to be NASA."
Space ships are to the SunshineStatewhat farm subsidies are to Iowa. And for Republican candidates straining to out-Tea Party fellow conservatives, the massive federal spending on the behalf of the nation's farmers and rocket scientists can be a real dilemma. LeMieux, who doesn't support Obama's economic "stimulus" program, made a passionate case for how, at least in the case of space exploration, government spending creates jobs. (4/27)
*Funding Manned Space Exploration is Not Rocket Science* (Source: Big Think)After the space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center this week, there will only be one more space shuttle mission left before the era of NASA's manned space exploration comes to a close. Yes, nearly 50 years to the day that President John F. Kennedy called for a brave new era of space exploration, and 30 years after the launch of the space shuttle program, the U.S.is turning over the future of space exploration to the private sector.
By the end of 2011, NASA will no longer own, operate or develop its own spacecraft. In fact, until commercial space exploration takes off, the U.S.will pay as much as $50 million to the Russians each time we fly our astronauts to the International Space Station. So who lost this Sputnik Moment? The problem is, it's probably not anyone's fault. Take a look at the burgeoning U.S.deficit -- there's your culprit. It takes bucks to be Buck Rogers.
The all-out privatization of the space exploration program is simply the latest sign that the U.S. government no longer has the budgetary wherewithal to fund "non-core" programs (Beltway speak) -- like manned space travel. At a time when tax cuts pile up for the wealthy and billions of dollars are siphoned off to pay for healthcare and other government benefits, there's just no longer room in the federal budget for space travel. (4/26)
*Funding the Seed Corn of Advanced Space Technology* (Source: Space Review)The final NASA fiscal year 2011 funding bill provided no explicit funding for space technology activities, a key element of the agency's future plans. Lou Friedman says that without such investment, it will become increasingly difficult to make new advances in robotic or human space exploration. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1832/1to view the article. (4/25)
*Penn State Alumni Astronauts Not Pleased with Space Policy* (Source: PennLive) Three Penn State alumni astronauts are not all pleased with how the transition away from the shuttle is being handled. Originally, NASA had a plan for a new vehicle system that would be ready to replace the shuttles. Then, missions changed and budgets were cut. Now, it might be five years before the United Statescan put a person in orbit without renting space on a Russian rocket.
"I think that's shameful," Pawelczyk said. "I think that's a violation of our national policy." Our nation's reputation for scientific exploration will get seriously damaged as Russiaand Chinacontinue sending rockets up, Weitz said. The lack of a defined goal --- Mars, the moon, an asteroid, a fixed point in space --- makes it harder for the public to get behind the space program, Pawelczyk said. (4/27)
*U.S. Astronauts Not Sure Where They Go Next* (Source: CNN)As the space shuttle program winds down with the last launch scheduled this summer, many in the astronaut corps are wrestling with what to do next. For the foreseeable future, Russian rockets will be the only way for U.S.astronauts to get to space. Mike Fincke, an Endeavour mission specialist, has spent a year in space but is flying on a shuttle for the first time.
"I think all of us with all the changes that going on with our country's space program and NASA, all of us professional astronauts are looking into our hearts to see what we're gonna do next," Fincke said. "I really want to stay. I want to stay here at NASA. I believe in what we are doing." (4/27)
*Huntsville Shuttle Team Nearing the End of Long Journey* (Source: Huntsville Times) They've known the end of NASA's space shuttle program was coming this summer, but knowing it and feeling it are different things. "I had to go down to Florida(last) week for a flight readiness review, and driving off the center it hit me," said Johnny Heflin of Huntsville, leader of the design engineering team in the Space Shuttle Main Engine Project Office.
"You know, I'll get to do this a few more times, and then I'll have KSC in the rear-view mirror as I'm leaving," Heflin said last week. "And I don't know if I'll get to go back and see those guys again and be part of another launch." Heflin is one of about 1,500 people working on the shuttle at Huntsville's Marshall Space Flight Center. Not all of them are in Floridafor Friday's liftoff of America's next-to-last shuttle mission. (4/27)
*Breaking Out of Low Earth Orbit Presents Challenges, Experts Say* (Source: AIA) Witnesses who testified before a National Research Council panel said that efforts to explore deep space face technical as well as financial challenges. The hurdles will likely force NASA to partner with the Department of Defense, international entities, the aerospace industry and academia. However, such alliances could raise concerns about security and other issues, according to the experts. (4/29)
*NASA Wary of Bid Protests in Developing Heavy-Lift Approach* (Source: Space News) As NASA hashes out an acquisition strategy for building a congressionally mandated heavy-lift launch vehicle that leverages space shuttle and Ares rocket technologies, agency officials are hoping to minimize the potential for a formal protest from industry. In addition to settling on a final design, the agency is sorting through different contracting mechanisms for procuring the heavy-lift vehicle.
Congress expects NASA to make the most of billions of dollars already invested in rocket hardware, including the space shuttle's RS-25 main engine and solid-rocket boosters, and the Ares-1 J-2X upper-stage engine. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is prime contractor for the RS-25 and J-2X, while ATKbuilds the solid-rocket boosters, which were to be modified for Ares-1.
However, if NASA chooses to leverage this hardware under existing contracts for the heavy-lift rocket, as directed in the NASA Authorization Act of 2010, it could face a challenge from companies that are not currently in the mix. Propulsion provider Aerojet of Sacramento, Calif., for example, has made clear its desire for a competition to build elements of the Space Launch System. (4/29)
*Boeing, ULA Wrangle with Air Force Over Delta 4 Launch Contract Prices* (Source: Space News) Boeing and United Launch Alliance (ULA) have filed a second complaint to a U.S. government contract-appeals body to get the U.S. Air Force to reprice three Delta 4 rocket launch contracts that expose the hazards of Air Force contracting practices, industry officials said.
The contracts also lay bare what industry officials agreed is a hard-to-explain loophole that Boeing allowed the Air Force and which may turn out to be costly for the company. Boeing said ULA in March filed a complaint with the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals to compel the Air Force to adjust the prices of three Delta 4 launch contracts signed in the late 1990s.
Boeing said if it cannot win a price adjustment on the three launches, it could book a pretax loss of $285 million --- $95 million per launch. With the low-end versions of the Delta 4 generally costing no more than around $200 million, it would appear that Boeing signed firm, fixed-price contracts with the Air Force that were 40 percent or more below cost. The Air Force has already refused to accept a price adjustment, in effect saying that a contract is a contract. (4/29)
*United Space **Alliance**Repositions Itself for Survival*(Source: AIA)USA, the main contractor for space shuttle operations, is making changes to deal with the uncertainty of the post-space shuttle times. "We've known the shuttle program was going to be ending for some time, and we've been planning and working for an orderly transition for over two years now," said Daniel Brandenstein, chief operating officer. "The goal that we've been working toward is to retain the critical skills that we have in our organization, so that when the next program is better defined and moves into reality we will have not have lost all those skills." (4/27)
*ATK**Received $57 Million Contract from Orbital for Taurus II Second Stage*(Source: ATK) ATKwas awarded a $57 million contract to provide the CASTOR 30XL as an upgraded second stage motor for Orbital Science Corp.'s Taurus II commercial launch vehicle, which will supply cargo for NASA to the International Space Station. The first two test flights of the Taurus II will use the original CASTOR 30A configuration, the next two flights will use a higher-performing CASTOR 30B motor, while the CASTOR 30XL will be used after the first four flights. (4/25)
*NASA Counts on Private Companies to Fill Spaceflight Void *(Source: AIA)NASA has granted four companies -- Boeing, Sierra Nevada Corp., SpaceX and Blue Origin -- a total of $269.3 million to return the U.S. to space. The program could help protect spaceflight from government budget decisions, according to NASA managers. "Both NASA and our industry partners are going to have to change the way we do business in order for this program to succeed, but the benefits of this new approach are clear and compelling," said Phil McAlister, acting director of commercial spaceflight at NASA. (4/29)
*Commercial Crew's Final Four *(Source: Space Review)Last week NASA announced that four companies would share nearly $270 million in commercial crew development awards, the next step in efforts to develop commercial vehicles to carry astronauts to orbit. Jeff Foust reports on the outcome of the competition and whether there's room for other companies to compete later in the program. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1831/1to view the article. (4/25)
*NASA Over a Russian Barrel* (Source: Washington Examiner)Russians are trying to maintain their monopoly on providing lifeboats and (after we retire the Shuttle later this year) crew transportation for the International Space Station. SpaceX could compete with them, starting later this year, at least for provisioning cargo, once they demonstrate that their Dragon capsule can rendezvous and dock with the station.
With the addition of a life-support system (currently under development), SpaceX could take over lifeboat duties, with a system that can return seven instead of three (as the Russian Soyuz does), potentially allowing an increase in station crew size. That could be done in as little as a year. With the addition of a launch abort system (also under development), they could offer rides to orbit for $20 million a seat, instead of the $63 million that the Russians now charge, knowing that they will have a monopoly with the upcoming end of the Shuttle program. Click here <http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/opinion-zone/2011/04/nasa-over-russian-barrel>. (4/27)
*FAA Commercial Space Issues Get Hearing* (Source: Space Politics)The space subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee is holding a hearing on May 5 to consider the FY2012 budget request of the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST). The FAA requests $26.6 million for the office in 2012, up considerably from the $15.2 million it got in FY2010.
The increase is largely due to the planned creation of the CommercialSpaceflightTechnicalCenterat the KennedySpaceCenter, as well as a proposed $5-million Low Cost Access to Space Initiative prize announced by FAA/AST in February. In addition to the budget, there are moves afoot in industry to adjust existing law regarding commercial spaceflight that could come up at the hearing.
Some industry advocates want to extend a current moratorium on new FAA spaceflight regulations that is set to expire in Dec. 2012. They propose revising the moratorium to expire eight years after the first U.S.commercial human spaceflight. This change might be rolled up into another proposal to include third-party indemnification for spaceflight participants, similar to existing indemnification for commercial satellite launches. (4/28)
*Space Companies Bullish on Future* (Source: BBC)The four companies that recently won NASA funds to develop astronaut "taxis" say they are convinced there will be a market to sustain their businesses. They plan eventually to sell seats in these ships to NASA and other agencies wanting to put humans in orbit. But the firms believe further NASA seed funds are critical to that outcome.
Three of the companies confidently predict they will have people in orbit in 2014 or 2015. Only Blue Origin is reluctant at this stage to discuss timelines. It is giving payments to the four companies to help them mature their vehicle concepts. The firms will only get the funds if they meet set milestones, and they also have to invest their own money towards the projects. (4/29)
*Air Force Officer Upbeat on Launches* (Source: Florida Today)After the shuttle takes its final flight, the Space Coast will still hear the familiar rocket rumble -- and reap some economic benefits -- thanks to unmanned space launches. That's the outlook from Col. James Ross, vice commander of the 45th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base.
Ross was a guest speaker at the annual Florida's Space Coast Tourism Day Luncheon, which drew about 300 hospitality workers and tourism officials to the Radisson Resort at the Port. Ross said unmanned launches have brought as much as $1.1 billion in annual revenue into the county. (4/29)
*Atlas-5 Will Launch This Week From Cape Canaveral Spaceport* (Source: SpaceFlightNow.com) A United Launch Alliance Atlas-5 rocket will launch the U.S. military's first Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, or SBIRS GEO 1, for missile early-warning detection. The rocket will fly in the 401 vehicle configuration with a four-meter fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage. The launch is scheduled for May 6 during a 40-minute window that opens at 2:14 p.m.(5/1)
*Federal Officials Meet with Florida Space Industry Leaders* (Source: Florida Today) In town for the Endeavour launch, officials from NASA, the Office of Personnel Management, NOAA and other federal agencies met for an hour with about 100 space industry officials Friday in Cape Canaveral. No new programs or additional funding was announced, but continued support of Brevard and its space programs was reiterated.
The meeting comes after the loss of a $40 million grant to help laid-off shuttle workers, which was promised by the Obama administration but was cut during budget negotiations. A $15 million award, however, has been delivered to help retrain thousands of engineers and technicians. "We are really focused on our future," Space Florida President Frank DiBello said. "We recognize it's in our hands, not Washington's." (4/30)
*Space Coast Loses Federal Job-Development Grants* (Source: Florida Today)A $40 million plan to help Space Coast workers find jobs after the shuttle program retires has become a casualty of recent congressional spending cuts. The plan depended on congressional approval of President Obama's plan to expand NASA's budget. Instead, Congress cut the agency's budget. Obama had proposed $35 million in Commerce Department grants to spur creation of high-paying jobs in fields such as aeronautics and medical research, to replace some of the thousands of lost shuttle jobs.
Commerce officials had reviewed grant applications and were prepared to act on them months ago. Obama also proposed giving the FAA $5 million to develop a commercial spaceflight "TechCenter" at KennedySpaceCenter, another source of regional jobs. Meanwhile, Obama has proposed spending $850 million in FY-2012 to develop private rockets, but that amount remains contentious in Congress. Obama also proposed spending $550 million in fiscal 2012 to fully fund the retirement program for 10,000 past and present shuttle workers, and $5 million for the FAA tech center. (4/27)
*Who Broke Obama's $40 Million Promise to **Space****Coast**?*(Source: FloridaToday) The grant money appeared in the 2011 budget passed last fall by the U.S. House, led then by Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California. The Commerce Department had the list of projects and was poised to cut checks, Sen. Bill Nelson's (D-FL) office reports. But it was an election year. Republican Senators killed the budget bill on Nov. 30, along with Brevard's $40 million. Then-Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL) was among those who did this (he's now running for Senate again).
"There was no point person to put it in any budget," Bill Posey's (R-FL) office said. "This was not our initiative. If the president had reached out, we could have helped." Meanwhile, Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL) never weighed in publicly on the $40 million, and her office did not respond to a request for comment last week. Adamsvoted against an April 8 budget compromise, not because of NASA, but because Congress didn't cut deep enough, she said in a prepared statement.
White House spokeswoman Hannah August stressed Friday that Obama has also proposed much bigger initiatives in Brevard, including $4.25 billion over five years to develop human spaceflight on commercial spacecraft from the Capeto the International Space Station. True, that's much bigger and possibly more important than the $40 million for a few clean-energy startups or a spec building for a research lab. But a promise kept by Washingtonto the SpaceCoastwould have proved significant nonetheless. (5/1)
*Space **Florida**Pleased With Likely Outcome in **Tallahassee*(Source: SPACErePORT) After negotiations among House and Senate lawmakers in Tallahassee, Space Florida's FY-12 budget has been finalized at $10.4 million (non-recurring). The agency will also have access to $16 million for spaceport infrastructure projects.
The House and Senate agreed to provide $10 million in non-recurring tax credits for space-related business expansion/relocation under the Space Business Incentives Act, and $7.1 million in recurring tax credits for R&D expenditures. The Spaceflight Informed Consent bill appears to be a done deal, but a Jobs and Tuition Tax Credit was not included in a House/Senate conference package and will not become law. Governor Scott is expected to approve the bills. (4/29)
*In Shuttle's Waning Days, One of the Last Reasons to Cheer* (Source: New York Times) As it has many times before, sometime Friday afternoon the stretch of Route 1 in front of Chris Galorneau's restaurant will turn into a parking lot. Drivers will abandon their cars, and customers will pour out of the Village Inn, where Mr. Galorneau is the general manager, as they will at businesses up and down Route 1, which serves as a main street for this city of 45,000.
The main draw is the fact that after this liftoff, and the launching of the Atlantis in two months, there will be no more space shuttle voyages. After three decades, the program has just about reached the end of the line. "You're not going to see another one --- this is going to be it," said Truman Scarborough, who was Titusville's mayor in the 1980s and served as a BrevardCountycommissioner for 20 years.
Mr. Scarborough and others said that for the past three or four launchings, the crowds have been getting larger as the program nears its end. Officials were forecasting perhaps a million or more for the Atlantis launch, a crowd that would rival the glory days of the space program. (4/28)
*Portland****State**Aerospace Society Wants to Launch a Micro Satellite*(Source: Oregonian) In terms of sophistication, the rockets built by the Portland State Aerospace Society fit right between amateur rocketry and NASA. In other words, these guys aren't just some oddballs blowing things up in the desert. And this group of community members and students has a pretty lofty goal: shooting a miniature satellite into orbit.
The society builds low-cost, open-source rockets that feature sophisticated electrical, navigational and communication systems. Even though shooting a nanosatellite into orbit verges on crackpot, it holds a special place in the imaginations of society members and guides each project as they make small steps toward outer space.
As the Portland State Aerospace Society moves into more and more complex territory, its funding needs grow. Members keep costs low by building pieces of equipment rather than purchasing them new. Each launch costs about $3,000, and the group is still in debt to past members for the last launch. The next launch is scheduled for the end of summer, and members are trying to raise $30,000 for the launch, other expenses and to build an improved rocket. (4/29)
*Payload Rockets Take Flight at Spaceport **America*(Source: New Mexico Business Weekly) Tourists might have to wait another couple of years, but rockets are already flying at the New Mexico Spaceport. In May, UP Aerospace will launch its third suborbital rocket with experiments from nearly 1,000 students. In December, UP will fly more payloads for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Armadillo Aerospace plans multiple low-altitude launches in May with a new test vehicle it's using to gather data for the construction and launch of passenger rockets to space. (4/29)
*Building Tourism Momentum at **New Mexico**Spaceport*(Source: New Mexico Business Weekly) The road to Spaceport Americaoffers a unique view of New Mexico's past and future. Cattle ranches dot the vast landscape, framed by the SanAndresMountains. Nearby is the Camino Real Trail, where earlier explorers and settlers trekked from what is now Mexicoto the capital in Santa Fe.
And rising out of the high desert floor is the iconic curved building that will one day house a new generation of vehicles headed for the stars. Only a handful of people have been able to see these contrasting views, but starting in May, there will be regular tours to the spaceport. (4/29)
*Spaceport **America**Budget Cut 57 Percent*(Source: Las Cruces Sun-News)Spaceport America's operating budget was slashed 57 percent in this year's legislative session, spaceport officials heard for the first time Wednesday. The agency received about $1.17 million in the current fiscal year that ends June 30, according to spaceport Director Christine Anderson. But it's slated to get about $500,000 next year, she said.
The state budget assumed that the spaceport would receive, in addition to the half-million dollars, about $200,000 as part of the first lease payments from Virgin Galactic, the main tenant at Spaceport America, Andersonsaid. But she said those payments hinge upon the company moving into the under-construction terminal-hangar building in the coming year, which isn't guaranteed. (4/28)
*New Mexico Spaceport Lacking 'Visitor Experience'* (Source: Albuquerque Journal) The Spaceport Authority plans to seek bids in the weeks ahead for a contract to design what is called the tourist "visitor experience" at the state-financed spaceport, but staffers acknowledge the effort is at least eight months behind the curve. "We're very late on this," Spaceport Authority executive director Christine Anderson, who started her job in early March, told the authority board.
She said requests for proposals should have been issued in September for the agency to be able to open a visitor center at the spaceport, 30 miles southeast of Truth or Consequences, by the first quarter of 2013. That is when Virgin Galactic is now projected to begin its first commercial suborbital flights. The cost of the visitor centers is estimated at $15 million, but Spaceport Authority board Chairman Rick Holdridge said at that price the project is "underfunded... That's why it's really important to find some investors," Holdridge said. (4/28)
*Virgin Galactic Has Eyes on Posh Hotel Near New Mexico Spaceport* (Source: Las Cruces Sun-News) Truth or Consequences boasts a hodgepodge of local attractions: an expansive lake and tandem state park, a downtown full of quirky art museums and shops and a lineup of natural hot springs. Not on the list? An upscale hotel. But that may be about to change.
The area will need luxury lodging to accommodate the tourists who plan to launch into suborbital space at Spaceport America, said Julia Tizard, operations manager for Virgin Galactic, the British company planning to launch spaceflights 30 miles away from T or C. That's because plenty of spaceflight passengers - some 420 have made paid reservations so far - will want more high-end amenities than the area now offers. (5/1)
*Virgin Galactic Touts Spaceport Business*(Source: KRQE)Building new hotels, restaurants, homes and stores in the middle of the Jornada del Muerto, an iconic New Mexico desert. It might sound like a reach to some, but Virgin Galactic says there are lots of opportunities for developers to cash in on the creation of a shimmering space city around New Mexico's Spaceport Americain the Jornada east of Truth or Consequences.
Addressing the New Mexico Commercial Real Estate Development Association, NAIOP, Virgin Galactic Vice President Will Pomeranz said each space tourist who comes here will bring an entourage that will need a complete spectrum of travel and tourist destination services. (4/27)
*No Shuttle? Build One, Ohio AF Museum Backer Suggests* (Source: Dayton Daily News) Supporters of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force are suggesting that the community could get involved in helping to build the body of a space shuttle orbiter to incorporate the historic pieces that NASA intends to transfer to the museum. Mark Brown, a Daytonbusiness executive and former shuttle astronaut, said he thinks it could be a morale booster for the community and help create excitement about the Air Force museum. He has suggested it to others, as well as museum officials. (4/25)
*Satellite Launch From Wallops This Summer* (Source: Baltimore Sun)The Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport is preparing for another Minotaur rocket launch down on Wallops Island, Va., the fourth since 2006. The 70-foot rocket will carry an ORS-1 satellite for the Pentagon. It's designed to provide "multi-spectral" imaging for combatants on the ground. The launch date remains uncertain, but liftoff should occur sometime this summer. When skies are clear, orbital launches from Wallops can be seen for hundreds of miles. Watch this space. (4/28)
*Final Poker Flat Rocket Launch of the Season Set* (Source: Fairbanks News Miner) The last launch of the season was scheduled for midnight on April 26 at Poker Flat Research Range in Alaska, if skies are clear and the weather is good. A Terrier Black Brant will be launched so NASA scientists can study the rocket's performance in the upper atmosphere and test recovery aids packed into the rocket's 22.5-foot payload. The rocket is expected to reach a peak altitude of 183 vertical miles. Chuck Brodell, from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, says this rocket launch provides NASA an opportunity to learn what recovery mechanisms, such as strobe lights and streamers, work best in the Alaskaterrain. (4/27)
*Scientists Itching for Suborbital Space Research* (Source: Space.com)When private companies like Virgin Galactic and XCOR Aerospace start regularly flying passengers to the edge of space, thrill seekers and space fanatics won't be the only ones standing in line. The commercial spaceflight industry's potential to provide frequent and relatively inexpensive trips to the upper reaches of the atmosphere could revolutionize the science and research community. (4/29)
*Rocket Escape Systems Go From Tractors to Pushers* (Source: New Scientist)Looks like its time to say goodbye to the traditional "pointy bit" we're used to seeing on US space rockets. The wunderkind space flight outfit SpaceX is following Boeing's lead by developing a launch escape system (LAS) for its forthcoming human-rated rockets that does not require a clunky booster tower to be mounted on top of the crew capsule.
Rockets like Russia's Soyuz, China's Shenzhou and NASA's Saturn V have large rocket motors on top of the capsule. If any rocket stages below the crew exploded on the launch pad, four solid rockets in the tower would loft the capsule well clear of the mayhem and allow it to parachute to the ground a safe distance away. But the tower's weight slows the launch and, if it's not needed, dumps a perfectly good set of rocket motors in the ocean. So it's a big waste of resources. And there are better ways to do it in any case, say US experts. Click here <http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/onepercent/2011/04/integrated-escape-system.html>. (4/27)
*Space Tourism Travel Comes Closer to Fruition* (Source: USA Today)For years, when John Spencer talked about tourists taking forays into space, he often was met with giggles or a blank stare. "The laugh factor on this was really intense," says Spencer, founder of the Space Tourism Society, an advocacy group based in West Los Angeles. But with corporate visionaries pouring millions of dollars into the building blocks of such an industry, Spencer says, few people are laughing now.
"It's happening," he says. "There's a market. There's a waiting line. ... Our ultimate goal is: Tens of thousands of space tourists actually leave Earth, go to orbital cruise ships, lunar ships, lunar resorts, and have a great time." (4/27)
*Space Tourism for the Rest of Us* (Source: CBC)Dennis Tito made history on April 28, 2001, when he blasted off for the International Space Station and became the world's first space tourist. Several have followed him, although none are "ordinary citizens" --- they're people able to spend millions for an off-world vacation --- but 10 years after Tito's trip, cheaper ways to experience space are starting to appear. Click here <http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2011/04/27/f-space-tourism.html>to read the article. (4/28)
*Future of Space Tourism: Who's Offering What*(Source: Space.com)Fifty years after Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to experience the wonders of spaceflight, commercial companies appear to be on the cusp of a breakthrough industry -- space tourism. In a bid to open up the final frontier to an expanding group of people, private firms are racing to provide paying customers with unique orbital and suborbital experiences.
Suborbital spaceships would take passengers up to space at an altitude of about 62 miles (100 kilometers) -- commonly known as the edge of space -- before returning to Earth. These passengers would get a glimpse of the edge of our planet and the blackness of space while experiencing several minutes of weightlessness.
On orbital flights, only those who can afford the multimillion dollar ride will have the chance to rocket into low-Earth orbit and visit the International Space Station. But, as the space tourism industry expands and more vehicles are able to take customers into space, these trips could go down in price. Click here <http://www.space.com/11477-space-tourism-options-private-spaceships.html>to read the article. (4/25)
*Want to Travel to Space? It'll Cost You* (Source: El Paso Times)Space travel will soon be within the reach of ordinary people, provided that they have extraordinary bank accounts. A two-hour flight from New Mexico's Spaceport Americawill cost $200,000 per traveler. Test flights are still being conducted, and the first suborbital launch with passengers may not occur until 2013, said Will Pomerantz, a vice president of the company. But Virgin Galactic sees a ready market for high-dollar commercial space travel, Pomerantz said. About 400 people already have made deposits for flights. (4/26)
*Space Adventures Circumlunar Mission Teleconference on May 5* (Source: Parabolic Arc) Space Adventures Board Chairman Eric Anderson and Vice-Chairman Richard Garriott will outline the future of private exploration and announce new developments regarding the company's circumlunar mission during a teleconference on May 5 at 2:30 p.m. Space Adventures has already sold one seat reservation for a circumlunar mission aboard a Russian soyuz spacecraft. One remaining seat must be sold to make the mission a reality. The third seat would be for the Russian cosmonaut mission commander. (4/30)
*Space Adventures and Virgin Galactic Make Waves in **Munich*(Source: NewSpace Journal) On Sunday afternoon Eric Anderson of Space Adventures, and George Whitesides of Virgin Galactic appeared on a panel in Munich. The panel's moderator, Spencer Reiss of Wired, introduced Andersonas the person would sell you a ticket for a trip around the Moon, "and there's only one ticket left, and it's $150 million." When Space Adventures announced its circumlunar flight plans in 2005, they said they would sell two seats for $100 million each.
Andersonindicated a short time later that the price apparently had gone up, but, "we have sold one of those." Reiss asked Andersonwho the purchaser was, but Andersondidn't give a name: "When we tell you, you'll know who it is. You'll recognize the name." Andersonsaid "we've got people we're finalizing with right now" for the second seat on the flight, which he said would take place around 2015. (4/26)
*Japanese Space Tourism Entrepreneur Heads to Jail* (Source: NTD)Once touted as a symbol of a new, dynamic Japan, 38-year-old entrepreneur Takafumi Horie is now heading to jail. Known for his celebrity lifestyle and aggressive takeover bids, Horie rattled corporate Japan, as he expanded Internet Company Livedoor into a conglomerate worth $6 billion at its peak. But this week, he lost his final appeal in a fraud case, and is resigned to doing time.
The two-and-a-half year prison term is unusually harsh by Japanese standards, as most white-collar criminals are often able to avoid jail time. Horie is vowing to return to his current business in space tourism once he gets out of prison. (4/30)
*Manx Company to Offer Holidays in Space* (Source: BBC)The Isle of Man may not be the first place you think of when pondering space exploration, but an island based company is planning to become the world leader in space tourism. Director of Economic Development Tim Craine told the BBC: "Excalibur Almaz is a full orbital space tourism company. "They have acquired four Russian space capsules and two Russian space stations, which they intend to refurbish in Jurby." The company plans to offer holidays in space and claims it could run possible trips around the moon and back, by 2015. (4/29)
*Media Inspects Commercial Space Stations*(Source: Manx Radio)It may not be NASA, but to a local space tourism company Jurby is 'out of this world' as it shows off some of its craft. Excalibur Almaz brought two space stations to the Isle of Manearlier this year and they are now being turned into space hotels in a hangar. The craft, which look like giant ice cream cones, are nearly 15 metres long and five wide, and the company hopes to send them into orbit to provide accommodation for tourists and researchers.
There will be an opportunity for members of the public to see the space stations when they are put on display in June. Click here <http://www.manxradio.com/oNews/uploaded/audio/space-tokarevApril283711April285721.wma>to hear an interview with Russian Cosmonaut Valeri Tokarev as he explains why it was decided to modify the Soviet-era stations on the Island. (4/28)
*Budding Space Tourists Given Help to Take Off From UK* (Source: Telegraph)At present, would be space travelers are bound by the rules relating to commercial air travel, making it difficult for operators to launch rockets from this country. David Willetts, the Science Minister, announced that the space industry would no longer come under the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority.
He ordered the UK Space Agency to: "Develop reforms which will remove restrictions which put UKoperators at a competitive disadvantage, and prepare proposals for new regulation for space vehicles to promote tourism in the UK." A spokesman said that the Government would work with the European Aviation Safety Authority to ensure that the next generation of space planes were safe for tourists to travel in. (4/28)
*India Joins Bid to Clean Space Debris* (Source: Express News Service)Space agencies are starting off in a small way to clean up man-made clutter in space. The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has joined sister agencies abroad to identify methods to pluck out at least three to five large junk objects from space every year. (4/28)
*China Astronaut Calls for U.S. Cooperation* (Source: Reuters)China's most renowned astronaut said on Friday his country and the U.S. should make good on their presidents' promises to cooperate in space. "I think the two countries should proactively implement the intent expressed in the joint communique to eliminate obstacles and promote exchange and cooperation in our space programs," Yang Liwei, now the vice director of the country's Manned Space Engineering Office, said.
Efforts at U.S.-China cooperation in space have failed in the past decade, stymied by economic, diplomatic and security tensions, despite a 2009 attempt by President Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, to launch collaboration. Obama and Hu, in a statement in November 2009, called for "the initiation of a joint dialogue on human spaceflight and space exploration, based on the principles of transparency, reciprocity and mutual benefit." (4/30)
*Countdown Begins for China's Space Station Program* (Source: China Daily)Authorities in charge of the manned space program unveiled plans on Monday to build a 60-ton space station, made up of three capsules, and develop a cargo spaceship to transport supplies. The China Manned Space Engineering Office said at a news conference that it also wants the public to get involved by suggesting names for the space station, due to completed around 2020.
According to documents provided by the office, the space station, weighing about 60 tons, is composed of a core module and two others where experiments will be conducted. A cargo spaceship to transport supplies will also be developed. Click here <http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2011-04/26/content_12394445.htm>to see the article and an artist's rendering of the station. (4/26)
*China to Attempt First Space Rendezvous* (Source: AFP)China will attempt its first space docking between two unmanned vehicles this year, the first step in efforts to build a Chinese space station, a senior official said. The maneuver will involve the Tiangong 1 module and the Shenzhou 8 rocket. The eight-ton orbiter is on a two-year mission that will see it rendezvous in 2012 with the Shenzhou 9 and 10 rockets, both of which will have astronauts on board. (4/29)
*An Exercise in the Art of War* (Source: Space Review)Chinacontinues to press for a treaty banning the placement of weapons in outer space, even while developing its own ASAT capability. Michael Listner examines what may be at the root of Chinese strategy regarding space weaponization. Visit http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1828/1to view the article. (4/25)
*Putin Fires Russia Space Chief After Mishaps* (Source: AFP)Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Friday fired the Russian space agency chief after a series of high-profile setbacks cast a shadow on the 50th anniversary year of Yuri Gagarin's first space flight. Anatoly Perminov will be replaced as head of Roskosmos by First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin.
Putin's order said Perminov had reached the maximum age for state employees but there have been clear indications for some time of growing frustration in the government with Roskosmos' performance. (4/29)
*Russia**, **Sweden**to Boost Space Cooperation*(Source: RIA Novosti)Russiaand Swedenagreed on Wednesday to improve cooperation in the space industry, including their intention to launch Swedish satellites using Russian carrier rockets. The two countries signed a relevant declaration during Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to Stockholm. The sides also agreed to jointly use ground facilities to gather information for operating their own orbital objects and those of third countries.
Swedenand Russiawill also cooperate within a Russian space research project to monitor the Earth's polar regions. The project envisions using a new satellite cluster, called Arktika, to provide environmental monitoring data for accurate weather forecasts and to aid national socio-economic development. The system is scheduled to begin operating in 2015. The cost of the project is estimated at 30 billion rubles ($1.23 billion). (4/27)
*Russian Cargo Spacecraft Takes Off for ISS* (Source: Xinhua)A Russian cargo spaceship was launched into space Wednesday from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan. The launch was this year's second Russian resupply Progress M-10M spacecraft to the Space Station, which delivers about 2.6 tons of cargo. Besides water, food, fuel and oxygen, the vessel also brought drosophilas and plant seeds for scientific experiments. The cargo ship is scheduled to dock automatically with the ISS on April 29. (4/27)
*Russia to Build Aerospace Defense Shield* (Source: Voice of Russia)Russia will build a national aerospace defense shield by the end of 2011, Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Viktor Ozerov said. He believes that a combined aerospace defense force will cooperate more effectively with NATO's European anti-missile defense system.
Last year, President Medvedev approved a plan to merge the Space Forces created in 2001, the Air Defense Forces and also the missile attack warning and space surveillance systems into a single military force. (4/27)
*European Space Agency Prepares Soyuz for Dry Roll-Out* (Source: RIA Novosti) The first Russian Soyuz ST rocket built for launch from the European Space Agency's site at Kourou in French Guyana will be rolled out to the launch pad for dry systems tests on April 29, the Russian Space Agency said on Thursday. The rocket, including a Fregat SB upper stage produced by Russia's NPO Lavochkin, is due to be launched from Kourou for the first time on August 31. (4/28)
*Can **Canada**Afford the Final Frontier?*(Source: Canada.com)Here's a question for you: how many Canadian astronauts can you name? Marc Garneau and Roberta Bondar, yes. Chris Hadfield would make the list too, since he's about to command the International Space Station in a couple of years. If you're from Quebec, you'll probably add Julie Payette. But is that all of them?
Well, if you go to the Canadian Space Agency's Astronauts page, you'll see biographies of 11 Canadian astronauts. However, bear in mind that most -- Cdr. Garneau and Dr. Bondar included -- were selected in 1983, 28 years ago. Col. Hadfield was selected in 1992. As things stand right now, only three Canadians -- Col. Hadfield, Ms. Payette and Dr. Robert Thirsk -- are active and qualified for space flight, though two more astronauts recruited in 2009 are now in training.
The cost for these five people? About $6.3 million. This is the amount reported by the Canadian Space Agency, in its planning and priorities report for 2010-11, for "human space flight mission -- operations." It's meant to cover not just salaries, but training, medical support and maintenance, skills plan development (i.e. working out how to teach the skills the astronauts need in a standardized, effective process), and so on. (4/27)
*NASA and USAID Advance International Development With Science And Technology* (Source: NASA) NASA and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have agreed to expand their joint efforts to overcome international development challenges such as food security, climate change, and energy and environmental management. The agencies signed a five-year MOU that formalizes ongoing agency collaborations that use Earth science data to address developmental challenges, and to assist in disaster mitigation and humanitarian responses. (4/25)
*USTR**Report Cites Continued Satellite Market Protectionism in China, India*(Source: Space News) The U.S. government has again singled out China and India as nations that maintain barriers to foreign satellite service providers in order to protect domestic, government-owned satellite operators. In a new report, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) pays special attention to the state of the satellite services markets in the world's two most populous nations, both of which are fast expanding their satellite telecommunications sectors.
The report concludes that not much has changed in either nation despite regular promises from their government agencies that trade barriers would be eased. The USTRreport says U.S.organizations asked to provide an update on the situation in Chinaand Indiafound a continued "lack of transparency in rules governing the provision of satellite capacity" in both nations. "The requirement to sell capacity only through government-owned satellite operators is problematic." (4/28)
*Babbitt Raises Concerns About FAA Reauthorization Bill* (Source: AIA)FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said the reauthorization bill approved by the House inadequately funds the agency, which could "degrade" safety and efficiency. Rep. John Mica, R-FL, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said the four-year $59.7 billion bill "saves $4 billion by streamlining and consolidating FAA programs and facilities, increasing the use of cost-effective programs, and responsibly increasing the role of the private sector in facility operations." Babbitt is urging lawmakers to pass legislation that adequately funds the FAA. (4/28)
*Analysis: Panetta Would Oversee Reduced Pentagon Spending* (Source: AIA)President Barack Obama is poised to nominate Leon Panetta -- formerly a White House budget director and House Budget Committee chairman -- as the next defense secretary, replacing Robert Gates. Panetta would have the Pentagon steadily decrease its spending to help lower the deficit. Panetta "would undoubtedly result in a faster pace of cuts to the defense budget in future years," according to Loren Thompson, a defense consultant. (4/28)
*Lawmakers Indicate More Cuts to Defense Budget Possible* (Source: AIA)Lawmakers in the House and Senate have been discussing the idea of reducing or freezing the defense budget as they consider ways to deal with the deficit. The situation is expected to come to a head in May when lawmakers must decide whether to raise the debt ceiling or face a new crisis. (4/26)
*Fill 'Er Up at an Orbital Gas Station* (Source: CNET)A spaceship isn't much use if it doesn't have the juice to go somewhere. And if you're an astronaut bouncing around destinations like the moon, random asteroids, Lagrange points, and Mars, you'll probably need an interstellar gas station.
NASA has launched an "In-Space Cryogenic Propellant Storage and Transfer Demonstration Mission Concept (PDF)" study, which is essentially a call for scientific institutions around the globe to help create a space gas station. Those wishing to build a fueling stop in the sky have until May 23 to submit their proposals.
However, there are many challenges to creating a gas station in the stars. The primary objectives of the study are to address key elements including a fail-safe way to transfer the propellants from a storage container to a ship. The difficulty is high since hydrogen tends to leak (it's the smallest element), and can eventually deteriorate the container it's stored in. (4/29)
*NASA **Langley**to Test New Docking System*(Source: Daily Press)If it works on the Ford Escape, why not a spaceship? That's the theory behind NASA's newest gadget, which engineers say may eventually lead to hands-free parking at the International Space Station and other destinations. The gadget is called STORRM, which stands for Sensor Test for Orion Relative Navigation Risk Mitigation. Essentially, it is a high-powered laser and camera that provides real-time, three-dimensional images as a spacecraft approaches its destination. It will be tested in space for the first time on the shuttle Endeavour. (4/27)
*NASA Tests Jet Fuel Made From Chicken and Beef Fat* (Source: AIA)NASA said that in late March and early April it tested jet fuel made from animal fat. "The test results seem to support the idea that biofuels for jet engines are indeed cleaner-burning and release fewer pollutants into the air," according to Ruben Del Rosario, manager of the Subsonic Fixed Wing Project at NASA. (4/26)
*NASA Solar Sail Is the 'Little Satellite That Could'* (Source: AOL)If you gaze up at the night sky on April 26 or 27, you might catch a glimpse of a promising new technology, a cult favorite of astrogeeks and something of a taxpayer treat in one shiny package -- NASA's NanoSail-D2 cruising past Earth using the power of the sun. The 100-square-foot polymer solar sail unfurled in low Earth orbit about 400 miles out on Jan. 20, winning some surprisingly enthusiastic followers.
Not bad for a little satellite that almost wasn't -- more than once. Actually, the NanoSail currently in space was not the one intended to make it off the ground. It was supposed to stay on Earth as backup for the first one. But the commercial rocket carrying it, Falcon 1, didn't separate stages properly after takeoff and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. (4/25)
*Boulder, Huntsville are "Final Two" in National Solar Observatory Competition* (Source: NSO) The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURAInc.) has elected to pursue advanced negotiations with the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Alabama in Huntsville for selection of a new home to host the National Solar Observatory (NSO). NSOis operated by AURAunder a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation for the benefit of the astronomical community.
NSOcomprises offices and observatories in Sunspot, Sacramento Peak, NM; Tucsonand Kitt Peak, AZ; and a global network. NSOhas started building a 4-meter Advanced Technology Solar Telescope to go on Haleakala, Maui, HI, and is merging two existing facilities into a new worldwide Synoptic Observing Network. Seven organizations from Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, and New Mexicoresponded to the opportunity. (4/27)
*Former Planet May Have Grown a Tail* (Source: Science News)Just like Mickey's dog, the former planet Pluto has a tail --- or at least a hint of one. Scientists have detected a wisp of carbon monoxide in Pluto's thin upper atmosphere, extending a quarter of the way to its largest moon, Charon, or about 3,400 kilometers above Pluto's surface. To the astronomers who detected it, the cloud appears to have properties resembling a comet's gas tail. (4/30)
*Voyager Set to Enter Interstellar Space* (Source: NASA)More than 30 years after they left Earth, NASA's twin Voyager probes are now at the edge of the solar system. Not only that, they're still working. And with each passing day they are beaming back a message that, to scientists, is both unsettling and thrilling. The message is, "Expect the unexpected." Click here <http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2011/28apr_voyager/>to learn more about the program's discoveries. (4/28)
*Missing Matter: Where Did Half the Universe Go?* (Source: New Scientist)Forget dark matter -- a vast amount of normal matter visible in ancient gas clouds has gone AWOL. Now astronomers are finding clues to where it's hiding. When Isabelle Grenier surveys our galaxy, she sees things that aren't there. Atoms, specifically. Atoms that are present when she looks into deep space, to regions seen as they were just a billion or so years after the big bang.
They should still be in our cosmic neighborhood today. Except they aren't. "We lose them," says Grenier. "We see all this atomic matter in the past, but not around us now." Forget dark matter, dark energy or any other hypothetical substance postulated to plug gaping holes in the fabric of the universe. Here is a tangible scandal of cosmic bookkeeping right on our doorstep.
When we tot up all the everyday atoms in our galaxy - the sort that make up its stars, planets and people - about half of what we expect to see is missing. Grenier and others have started to see some of the missing matter: hidden pockets of extremely cold matter all but invisible to conventional telescopes. Problem solved? Not a bit of it. The new entries in the cosmic ledger leave us a long way from balancing the books, and are raising questions of their own. (4/26)
*Super-Civilizations Might Live Off Black Holes* (Source: Discovery)The sad unplugging of the Allen Telescope Array due to lack of funding brings a screeching halt, at least temporarily, to the most ambitious search for "hello" radio transmissions from E.T. But perhaps it's time to simply think far outside of the box regarding our preconceptions of how to find extraterrestrial civilizations, says researcher Clement Vida. And, the most advanced aliens may be the easiest to find.
He emphasizes that we have to look at variety of search strategies in solving the mystery of our cosmic loneliness. That is, if we are satisfied with simply finding E.T. and not communicating with it. Vidal's reasoning: The universe is so old there have to be far-advanced civilizations out there, billions of years more evolved than us.
Energy-hungry galactic empires might extract energy from black holes. They are far more efficient at converting mass to energy than are the fusion engines of stars. But more than that, says Vidal, is the ability to control the microcosm as well. Today we can manipulate individual atoms via nanotechnology. But advanced alien physicists would tinker with elementary particles and the very structure of space-time itself. (5/1)
*Groupthink Not a Problem in Simulated Mars **Mission*(Source: WIRED)Getting along with your fellow astronauts can be dangerous. Too much consensus --- what some psychologists call "groupthink" --- can keep crews from being creative in a crisis. But a new study found that six "cosmonauts" on a simulated Mars mission emerged from 105 days in a replica spacecraft with their quirks intact.
The study was the first to directly tackle the possible downside of harmony, rather than antagonism, in a space mission. "Earlier, we had been focusing on how tension increases over time," said social psychologist Gro Sandal of the Universityof Bergenin Norway. "This paper has more or less the opposite focus: whether people start to think more and more similar while they are isolated."
Groupthink is still a controversial concept: Not all social psychologists think it exists. But those who believe in it think it tends to happen when people isolated in an extreme situation --- a war zone, for instance, or a ship in the Arctic --- start thinking in lockstep and avoiding outward disagreement. Groupthinkers also often feel like they're united against a common enemy --- on a space mission, this could be Mission Control. (4/30)
*Space: Medicine's Final Frontier* (Source: WIRED)On September 18, 2006, aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis, astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper turned a crank and gave millions of bacteria an impromptu bath. She was holding a carefully sealed device composed of several glass barrels, each containing separate fluids that could be mixed at will. Carefully, she dunked some dormant bacteria into a nutritious broth that allowed them to grow, change and multiply.
At the same time, scientists under the supervision of Cheryl Nickerson turned a similar crank in a room at KennedySpaceCenter, designed to mimic the Shuttle's temperature and humidity. The scientists synchronized their efforts via real-time radio communication. The experiment was a groundbreaking one: it demonstrated that bacteria turn into superbugs in the gravity-free environment of space, gathering together, gaining strength and becoming much more effective at causing disease.
The results were remarkable: the bacteria killed half the infected mice at a third of the dose and in five fewer days than their Earthbound peers did. They had not changed in size or shape. Instead, they had become better at forming biofilms -- the bacterial equivalent of cities. In these communities, bacteria gather in large numbers, protected by a network of substances that they secrete. (5/1)
*Astronaut Flew on Atlantis 2 Years After Parkinson's Diagnosis* (Source: KHOU) It's been 15 years since astronaut Rich Clifford boarded the shuttle Atlantis with a secret -- a secret he's now willing to share. Clifford had a problem with his shoulder, but the doctors had missed it. More than once, in fact. So finally, in 1994, he got an answer that would change his life. "I asked him to look at my shoulder because my right arm wasn't swinging naturally," Clifford recalled.
First thing the next morning, Clifford and his flight surgeon arrived at the TexasMedicalCenterto see Dr. Joseph Jankovic. "It was the standard neurological stuff. You tap your toes, and you touch your nose. And he said it all looked pretty normal. Then he said, 'I want you to walk down the hall for me,'" Clifford said of his first meeting with Jankovic. A walk down the hall was all it took to diagnose a progressive degenerative disease for which there is no known cure. Clifford had Parkinson's.
What surprised Clifford then was how the doctors -- including Jankovic -- regarded his diagnosis as good news. "He said, 'I know you've got Parkinson's, but I've got to prove to NASA that it's not something else. Something worse, like ALSor MS,'" Clifford recalled. By the time an astronaut is ready to fly, NASA has invested anywhere from $10 million to $20 million in each crew member. They've already been pilots in the military, been to test pilot school, gotten a master's in engineering and have been at NASA for 10 years. (4/27)
*NASA Explorer Schools Symposium Showcases Student Research* (Source: NASA)Students from across the nation will gather at NASA's KennedySpaceCenterin FloridaMay 4-7 for the NASA Explorer Schools symposium. Future leaders in science, technology, education and math, or STEM, will present their work to NASA scientists, engineers, fellow students and educators.
The competitively selected group of fourth through 12th-graders consists of 58 students and 29 educators. The various research projects were designed to improve teaching and bolster interest in STEMdisciplines. The students were required to complete an original investigation focused on existing NASA missions or research interests. Participants presented their work to experts at virtual regional symposia held January through March at NASA centers using the agency's Digital Learning Network. (4/27)
*New Stamp Honors First **U.S.**Astronaut in Space*(Source: Washington Post)The U.S. Postal Service's recent stamp rollout continues today with two new stamps honoring America's space program. Postal and NASA officials will unveil images honoring former astronaut Alan Shepard, who piloted the first U.S.manned space flight on May 5, 1961. Another image commemorates the Messenger unmanned spacecraft currently orbiting the planet Mercury. The formal dedication of the stamps will occur May 4. (4/27)
*A Book Store. That's Right. Book, Singular.* (Source: New York Times)At first glance, it looks like a charming independent bookstore, a WestVillagegem with a window display featuring artful stacks of gleaming hardcovers. But, wait a minute. Is that one book? Like, many, many copies of the same book? Selection isn't the strong suit of Ed's Martian Book, but 3,000 or so copies of "Martian Summer: Robot Arms, Cowboy Spacemen, and My 90 Days With the Phoenix Mars Mission", by a 32-year-old Brooklyn author named Andrew Kessler, are available for $27.95 each.
The book is Mr. Kessler's account of NASA's 2008 Phoenix Mars Lander mission, reported during 90 days inside mission control, in Tucson, alongside 130 leading scientists and engineers. Publishers Weekly calls the book a "slightly offbeat firsthand account of scientific determination and stubborn intellect" that "delivers a fascinating journey of discovery peppered with humor." (4/28)
*Editorial: Space Law Not So Far Out* (Source: JournalStar.com)When University of Nebraska officials began talking about starting a new program on space and telecommunication law, some people scratched their heads in wonderment. There was a lot of snarky comment about going to infinity and beyond, and how NU was going boldly where no university had gone before. Actually, that last part is true.
The program, which accepted its first students in 2008, remains the first and only program of its kind in the United States, and the only one worldwide taught in English, according to university officials. It seems to have found a niche. The program will graduate its third class this year. Click here <http://journalstar.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_3f2c3add-bd39-5912-8ddf-7dc22e8ef673.html>to read the article. (4/25)
*Defense Firms Profit Despite Budget Woes* (Source: AIA)U.S. budget woes, along with President Barack Obama's call to rein in defense spending by $400 billion over the next decade, have hindered sales and caused uncertainty among defense contractors. "The trouble for the defense stocks has got more to do with the direction of the defense budget because of pressures from federal spending than with who is in charge at this point," said Anil Daka, an analyst at Morningstar. (4/28)
*Raytheon Reports Quarterly Income of $384 Million* (Source: AIA)Raytheon reduced its full-year forecast after reporting lower first-quarter profit. Sales at the defense contractor were little changed at $6.1 billion. The quarterly results include an $80 million charge related to a contract dispute with Britain's Border Agency. Dave Wajsgras, chief financial officer at Raytheon, said that sales were hindered by delays related to U.S.defense appropriations legislation. (4/29)
*General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman Deliver Solid Profits* (Source: AIA)Northrop Grumman reported a 13% increase in earnings on higher operating margins. General Dynamics posted a 3.5% rise on higher overall revenue and margins. Analysts praised Northrop's decision to spin off its shipbuilding unit, while General Dynamics CEO Jay Johnson cited the Gulfstream unit as GD's "growth engine." (4/28)
*California**Aerospace Events Calendar*** *RS2011 - Reinventing Space Conference, LAX Westin Hotel - May 2-6*The Responsive Space Conference is expanding to become the Reinventing Space Conference to re-emphasize the importance of creating affordable and responsive space missions.Come join the continuing conversation on Responsive Space.For more information and on-line registration, go to: http://www.reinventingspace.org
*2011 GE Aviation Small Business Supplier Symposium May 9*GE Aviation executives will be on hand to provide insight into GE Aviation's business, focusing on opportunities for West Virginiasuppliers like you to provide direct or sub-tier materials to GE's supply chain. A post-event study quote with GE Aviation sourcing focals is also planned for those suppliers that GE Aviation feels match capacity, capability and overall aerospace industry needs. Visit http://www.connectory.com/portal_home.aspx?portalid=6
*Aerospace & Defense Forum Meeting in **Los Angeles**on May 20*Terry Fisher, Director Operations, CIRCOR Aerospace will present "CIRCOR Aerospace's Journey to Lean"The conversion to lean manufacturing principles and practices has been key to CIRCOR's being able to meet the seemingly incompatible customer demands of continually improving reliability (schedule and meeting requirements) while simultaneously lowering cost. Some of the remaining challenges, such as adjusting customer and supply-chain relationships to fit with lean processes, will also be discussed. Visit
_http://www.frontier-assoc.com/Services/AD%20Invite%20May%202011.pdf_ *REGISTER **NOW**!! California Space Day, **Sacramento**is May 24*This is an opportunity for space enterprise stakeholders to join with the California Space Authority (CSA) in discussing space policy and regulatory issues with state legislators and key executive branch officials. Our goal will be to ensure a greater awareness of the impact of space enterprise on the every-day lives of ordinary Californians, advocate a positive, supportive business climate, and promote science, math, and hands-on, contextual learning in our public schools. Additional details available at _www.californiaspaceauthority.org <http://www.californiaspaceauthority.org/>_
*Central****Coast****STEM**Education Forum to be Held on May 24 *Mark your calendars for the Central Coast STEMEducation Forum to be held on May 24, from 9-3 PM. Keynote speakers for the event are Lt. General Susan Helms (Former Space Shuttle Astronaut and current Commander of the Air Force Space Command at Vandenberg) and Chris Roe (former Deputy Director of the Business Higher Education Forum in Washington DC and newly appointed CEO of the California STEMLearning Network). Visit http://endeavours.org/STEMForum/
*Space Day Celebration Planned at **San Diego****Museum**on May 28*(Source: San DiegoAir & SpaceMuseum) Enjoy demonstrations, giveaways, the opportunity to meet a real astronaut, and hands-on activities with local and national space experts! Invited Presenters include NASA, Deep Space Network, JPL, The Mars Society, SETI, San Diego Astronomy Association, UCSD EarthKAM and others. Kids 17 and under are FREEwith a paid adult! Click here <http://sandiegoairandspace.org/>. (4/28)
*Tweetup At NASA's JPL on Jun. 6*(Source: NASA)NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., will host a Tweetup for approximately 120 Twitter followers on Monday, June 6. With four space missions launching this year and an asteroid belt encounter nearly underway, 2011 will be one of the busiest ever in planetary exploration. Tweetup participants will interact with JPL scientists and engineers about these upcoming missions: Aquarius, to study ocean salinity; Grail, to study the moon's gravity field; Juno to Jupiter; and the Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity rover. Participants also will learn about the Dawn mission and its upcoming encounter with the asteroid Vesta.
*San Jose School Plans Space Experiment Conference on Aug. 1-2*Come join us for the debut of an exciting new education conference to teach high school administrators, teachers and students educators how to start and maintain a meaningful space education program in your school. This HANDS-ON conference will focus on many exciting topics: what it takes to start a first class space education program in your school. Visit http://www.vcs.net/quicklinks/mathscience/space-conference/index.aspx.
*APSCC 2011 Satellite Conference & Exhibition on Sep. 27-29*APSCC will hold its annual Asia-Pacific Satellite Communications, Broadcasting and Space Conference and Exhibition (APSCC 2011), an international festival of the satellite and the space-related industries, from September 27 to 29 in Bali, Indonesia. This is the 14th annual conference of APSCC and the first one taking place in Indonesia--triggering the attention of the satellite industry for business activities to the Southeast-Asian region.Visit http://www.apscc.or.kr/apscc2011.html
*X PRIZE Plans 2011 Radical Benefit for Humanity in **San Francisco**on Oct. 2*
Co-chairs for this event include Wendy & Eric Schmidt and Suzy & James Cameron. Please contact Meghan Murphy at Meghan@xxxxxxxxxx to reserve a table or for sponsorship opportunities.
*Space Tourism 2011 (ST11) and Space Tourism Society (**STS**) Orbit Awards Dinner in LA on Oct. 4*
Space Tourism 2011 will be the "crossroads" of the growing and diversifying interests in space tourism experiences.Join us for an exciting one-day high-end business, adventure travel, marketing, design, and media event.Hosted by the Space Tourism Society www.SpaceTourismSociety.org. Contact John Spencer at jssdesign@xxxxxxx or call 310-313-6835.
*Spacecraft Technology Expo Planned in **Los Angeles**on **May 10-12, 2012***
The world's only exhibition and conference to focus exclusively on the design, manufacture and pre launch testing of spacecraft, from satellites and deep space explorers to launch vehicles and spacecraft for space tourists. Visit _http://www.spacetechexpo.com_
** *Last Week's DOD Contract Awards in **California****Fisher Scientific Co*., LLC, Pittsburgh, Pa., was issued a modification exercising the second option year on the current contract SPM2DE-09-D-7340/P00004.Award is a fixed-price with economic price adjustment contract with a maximum $256,000,000 for selection of Laboratory Integrated Delivery System Program distributor.Other locations of performance are Massachusetts, Illinois, *California*, Kentucky, Delaware, Colorado, Texas, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, New York, New Mexico, Washington, Georgia, Maryland, and North Carolina.Using services are Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and federal civilian agencies.The date of performance completion is May 3, 2012.The Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pa., is the contracting activity.
*Science Applications International Corp*., Company 117 Health, Energy 7 Civil Solutions, McLean, Va., is being awarded a maximum $85,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide engineering and technical services to support Air Force Operational Test and EvaluationCenterin accomplishment of operational test and evaluation activities.At this time, $500,000 has been obligated.Work will be performed at *Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.*, and Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.AFOTEC/A-7K, Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M., is the contracting activity.
*The Boeing Co., **Long Beach**, **Calif*., is being awarded a $7,276,990 fixed-price contract modification to provide total C-17 weapon system sustainment responsibility under a single prime contractor with the goal of achieving improvements in logistics support and mission readiness while reducing operating and support costs.This effort is for the procurement of fiscal 2011 C-17 Globemaster IIIsustainment partnership support for the United Arab Emirate Air Force and Air Defense fleet of six C-17 aircraft, which were purchased through a direct commercial sale with Boeing, to be delivered in fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2012.At this point, $7,276,990 has been obligated.Work will be performed in *Long Beach**, **Calif*., and the United Arab Emirates.ASC/WLMK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.
Bechtel National, Inc., Frederick, Md. (HDTRA1-11-D-0010); *Parsons Global Services, Inc., Pasadena, Calif*. (HDTRA1-11-D-0008); Raytheon Technical Services Co., LLC, Dulles, Va. (HDTRA1-11-D-0007); and URSFederal Services International, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio (HDTRA1-11-D-0009) are each being awarded a multiple award indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to provide integration services supporting the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Cooperative Threat Reduction Program.The maximum estimated combined total of all four contracts will not exceed $950,000,000.This contract consists of a five-year base ordering period with one one-year optional ordering period.Work will be performed at various locations overseas and is expected to be completed April 2020 (April 2021 if the option is exercised).Contract funds for the $500,000 minimum guarantee for each contract will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.This requirement was competitively awarded through the Federal Business Opportunities website, with eight offers received.The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Fort Belvoir, Va., is the contracting activity.
*General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., **Poway**, **Calif*., was awarded on April 22 an $8,330,000 cost-plus-incentive-fee contract.The award will provide for the incremental funding for the system development and demonstration contract extension.Work will be performed in *Poway**, **Calif*., with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2011.One bid was solicited with one bid received.The U.S. Army Contracting Command, AMCOMContractingCenter, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the contracting activity.
*Raytheon Co*., Tucson, Ariz., was awarded on April 21 an $8,255,265 firm-fixed-price contract.The award will provide for the procurement of the Block LA-2 M982 Excalibur Unitary 155mm precision engagement projectile for Canada.Work will be performed in Tucson, Ariz.; McAlester, Okla.; Farmington, N.M.; Niceville, Fla.; *Healdsburg**, **Calif*.; Anniston, Ala.; Cincinnati, Ohio; *Anaheim**, **Calif*.; Williamsport, Penn.; Joplin, Mo.; Lowell, Mass.; Baltimore, Md.; Kariskoga, Sweden; and the United Kingdom, with an estimated completion date of March 31, 2013.One bid was solicited with one bid received.The U.S. Army Contracting Command, Picatinny Arsenal, N.J., is the contracting activity.
Compiled for the CaliforniaSpace Authority by Edward Ellegood <mailto:ellegood@xxxxxxxxx?subject=SpotBeam%20California>
-- Dianna Minor, Executive Administrator/Office Coordinator California Space Authority 3201 Airpark Dr., Suite 204 Santa Maria, CA 93455 805-349-2633 http://www.CaliforniaSpaceAuthority.org/
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