CSA SpotBeam California, November 8, 2010

 

SpotBeam California

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An e-publication of the California Space Authority (CSA).  SpotBeam items do not necessarily reflect the policy or opinions of CSA or its members and stakeholders.  Unsubscribe   Subscribe

November 8, 2010

 

California Items


CSA Chief Featured at Aerospace/Defense Forum (Source: CSA)
California Space Authority Executive Director, The Honorable Andrea Seastrand will be the guest speaker at the
November 19, 2010 Aerospace & Defense Forum November meeting in Los Angeles. Ms. Seastrand will discuss the latest economic impact of California Space Enterprise, conducted by A.T. Kearney for the California Space Authority and the status and plans for CSA's major project, the California Space Center. RSVP is required to irosenberg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or 818-505-9915. Click here for additional information. (11/5)

California Space Authority Plans Annual Membership Event in Los Angeles on Dec. 2 (Source: CSA)
A California Space Authority (CSA) Annual Membership Reception and Dinner Meeting will be held at The Proud Bird Restaurant in Los Angeles on December 2. Join your CSA Board of Directors and fellow CSA members for a night of networking and dinner. RSVP Required by Monday, November 22. This is a Members Only event. For information on becoming a member and to register for the meeting, please contact Elizabeth Burkhead at 805-349-2633 or
Elizabeth.Burkhead@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. (11/5)

California Space Center Attracts First Users (Source: CSA)
Two aerospace companies have reserved space at the
Mission Support Center of the CA Space Center (CSC). The CSC will be built on a 71-acre site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County. The companies – SpaceX and Orbital Sciences -- have requested a total of more than 25,000 square feet for offices and a command and control center. The first phase of the Mission Support Center will include about 100,000 square feet of Class-A office space a mile from the front gate of VAFB on Highway 1. For additional information regarding this opportunity, please contact Dianna Minor at 805-349-2633, ext. 110.

Development of California Space Center Moving Forward at Vandenberg Spaceport (Source: CSA)
Proposals for the first phase of the California Space Center are due on November 12 More than 20 companies have formally expressed an interest in participating in that phase, which will focus upon site preparation and the installation of utilities. Oral interviews are scheduled for November 22 and 23. Contract award is expected the week of December 13. (11/5)

Delta Rocket Soars From California Spaceport with Italian Payload (Source: SpaceFlightNow.com)
After multiple delays, a Delta 2 rocket blasted off from the California coast on Friday, beginning a 58-minute flight to deploy the fourth craft in a quartet of Italian satellites observing Earth. Liftoff was at
7:20 p.m. PDT. (11/5)

SpaceX Awaiting FAA Approval of Dragon Re-entry License (Source: Space News)
SpaceX is awaiting U.S. regulatory approval to launch its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo vessel as soon as Nov. 20 after more than a year spent tying up loose ends associated with the recoverable space capsule’s re-entry license application, which the company submitted in final form to federal regulators Oct. 29.

FAA spokesman Hank Price said the agency is continuing to review SpaceX’s updated application for the re-entry license, which would be the first ever granted by the agency since Congress gave the FAA authority to license commercial re-entry vehicles in 2004. ”The caveat, with a lower-case ‘c’, is that when doing re-entry, the launch license really is not valid until you receive a re-entry license.” (11/6)


Ride a Starship? Not for a Century (Source: MSNBC)
It turns out that the $1.1 million "Hundred Year Starship" project is a yearlong study for a multigenerational mission which is yet to be named ... and for which humans might need to be re-engineered. Pete Worden, director of NASA's
Ames Research Center, created a stir last month at a conference sponsored by the Long Now Foundation when he mentioned that the space agency was kicking in an extra $100,000 to the project, sponsored by DARPA. Here's a clip from DARPA's news release:

"The 100-Year Starship study will examine the business model needed to develop and mature a technology portfolio enabling long-distance manned spaceflight a century from now. This goal will require sustained investments of intellectual and financial capital from a variety of sources. The yearlong study aims to develop a construct that will incentivize and facilitate private co-investment to ensure continuity of the lengthy technological time horizon needed." (11/2)

'100-Year Starship' on the Drawing Boards at NASA (Source:
AOL News)
A NASA official's brief mention of a spaceship that could travel to the stars has set off a flurry of speculation over the space agency's plans. "We just started a project with [Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency]," Simon "Pete" Worden, the head of the NASA Ames Research Center, said last month at an event sponsored by the Long Now Foundation in San Francisco. "It's called the 100-year starship."

This is no round-trip flight to the moon, or even Mars. The astronauts wouldn't come back. The goal of this starship would be a one-way flight for humans to colonize other planets. "The human space program is now really aimed at settling other worlds," Worden said. The project is getting about $1 million in seed funding from DARPA, the far-out research and development arm of the Pentagon. That's not a lot of money by Pentagon standards, but DARPA's support has sparked even more interest in the mysterious project. (11/1)

Craig Venter to NASA: Think About Engineering Your Astronauts (Source: Sign On San Diego)
What is the right genetic profile for an astronaut-—someone who’s going to spend months living on the moon, or years traveling to an asteroid or Mars? Craig Venter has an answer. The biologist told a group of scientists at NASA Ames on Saturday that NASA already does genetic selection when it picks astronauts. He just suggests that the space agency get even more systematic about its process.

“Inner ear changes could allow people to escape motion sickness,” Venter said. “(You could have genes for) bone regeneration,
DNA repair from radiation, a strong immune system, small stature, high energy utilization, a low risk of genetic disease, smell receptors, a lack of hair, slow skin turnover, dental decay and so on. If people are traveling in space for their whole lives, they may want to engineer genetic traits for other purposes.” Click here to read the article. (11/3)

JPL Probe Set for Close Encounter with Comet (Source: Los Angeles Times)
Thursday morning at 7:01 a.m., a Jet Propulsion Laboratory probe will sweep within 434 miles of comet Hartley 2 and take its picture, only the fifth time a spacecraft will have captured images of a comet up close. Each of those previous encounters has surprised scientists, painting a diverse picture of the makeup of comets, which were once thought to be little more than "dirty snowballs." Hartley 2 has already startled researchers by spewing cyanide for eight days in early October. (11/3)

Major Surgery Complete for Deep Space Network Antenna (Source: JPL)
The seven-month upgrade to the historic "Mars antenna" at NASA's Deep Space Network site in Goldstone, Calif. has been completed. After a month of intensive testing, similar to the rehabilitation stage after surgery, the antenna is now ready to help maintain communication with spacecraft during the next decade of space exploration. The month of October was used as a testing period to make sure the antenna was in working order and fully functional, as scheduled, for Nov. 1. (11/2)


Google Sky Adds Galaxy Clusters (Source: WIRED)
Using Google Earth in Sky mode is a fun and interactive way to explore the universe. By importing images from space telescopes like Hubble and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Google Sky lets you fly deep into the visible universe for close-ups with planets, galaxies and star clusters. But something’s been missing, say astronomers at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Google Sky’s view of galaxy clusters is fuzzy and incomplete because the program uses low-resolution pictures to speed up image transfer over the web.

To have higher resolution images, you need to add in better pictures yourself. Luckily, the Fermi astronomers have made this easy. They’ve loaded about 100 scans from one strip of the sky onto a public server at Fermilab, and made them available for web browsers. If you already have Google Earth, the whole thing takes a remarkably simple one-click download. (11/3)

Aviation-Focused Design Challenge Registration is Open (Source: CSA)
Registration is now open for the 2010-2011 Real World Design Challenge. The Challenge is totally free to participate in and open to teams of 3-7 high school students. It is an aviation design competition that uses real engineering tools. We have added some new tools this year, and each teacher that participates gets more than $1 million in professional engineering software. Teams get access to mentors, and state winners get an all-expenses-paid trip to
Washington, DC to compete in the National Finals. Please check out our new website www.realworlddesignchallenge.org and sign up. (11/5)


Life, the Universe and Everything (Source: San Francisco Examiner)
The California Academy of Sciences’ new planetarium show, “Life: A Cosmic Story” is an enormously ambitious undertaking. The aim is nothing less than to explain the origin, nature and interconnectedness of life in the universe — in 25 minutes. Opening with a scene in the Muir Woods redwood grove, the camera — computer simulation, actually — dives into the cells of a single leaf, showing life at the microscopic level. In a dizzying sequence, those building blocks of life are followed back to the Big Bang and the creation of life, almost 14 billion years ago. Click
here to see the article. (11/7)

 

National & International Items

 

Discovery Launch Delayed Until End of November (Source: SpaceToday.net)
NASA scrubbed Friday's scheduled launch of the space shuttle Discovery because of a hydrogen leak, making it unlikely that the mission would launch before the end of November. During fueling of the shuttle's external tank Friday morning technicians discovered a gaseous hydrogen leak at the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, equipment that also caused problems on two previous shuttle missions. The launch is now likely to be delayed until November 30. (11/5)

Critical Factors Go Into Shuttle Launch Delay Decisions (Source:
AIA)
A wide variety of critical factors needs to be considered when the launch of a space shuttle is delayed, as occurred when the space shuttle Discovery launch was delayed to make repairs. Those factors include the two 10-minute windows per day in which the International Space Station flies over the
Kennedy Space Center, the angle of the Earth's rotation at that time, and even the astronaut crew's sleep cycle. (11/1)

A Last Go for the Go-To Shuttle (Source: Houston Chronicle)
After more than a quarter century of ferrying crews, satellites, space station parts and even the Hubble Space Telescope to orbit, Discovery will begin one final voyage Wednesday afternoon. One of just two or three space shuttle missions remaining before the program's end, Discovery will deliver the final component of the International Space Station, essentially a large storage closet, as well as more than a ton of scientific experiments, plentiful supplies and the first humanoid robot in space, Robonaut 2.

Since the shuttle program reached a peak 2½ years ago with nearly 16,000 employees, NASA and its contractors have shed more than half that total as the program winds down. All but a few hundred will be gone or shifted into new jobs in another year. (11/1)

A Decade on the Fly: Building the International Space Station (Source: Scientific American)
On
November 2, 2000, a Russian Soyuz capsule docked with the fledgling International Space Station (ISS). The spacecraft carried on Expedition 1 two Russians and an American—Sergei Krikalev, Yuri Gidzenko and Bill Shepherd—the three of whom would spend more than four months on the station as its first crew. Ten years on, the ISS is now the longest continually manned orbiting outpost in spaceflight history, having remained occupied with replacement crews since Krikalev, Gidzenko and Shepherd first arrived. Click here to view a slideshow of the ISS assembly. (11/3)

NASA Tallies Space Station Launches To-Date (Source: NASA)
In a recent Twitter post, NASA says there have been 103 launches to the International Space Station, including 67 by Russia, 34 Space Shuttle missions, one European and one Japanese. Discovery's mission will be the 39th assembly flight (35 of which have been by the
U.S. and four have been Russian). (11/2)

Obama Hails 'Important Milestone' in Space Exploration (Source:
AFP)
President Obama hailed the 10th anniversary of crews aboard the International Space Station as an "important milestone" in the history of human space exploration. His statement came ahead of the fourth and final
US shuttle flight of the year to the orbiting ISS, scheduled for Thursday. "Today marks an important milestone in the history of human exploration," Obama said in a statement. "Truly an international endeavor, the space station has brought disparate nations together for a common purpose -- to better our lives on Earth." (11/3)

Is the International Space Station Worth $100 Billion? (Source: Space.com)
Asking the International Space Station to justify its existence is a tall order. NASA estimates the station has cost
U.S. taxpayers $50 billion since 1994 — and overall, its price tag has been pegged at $100 billion by all member nations. To put that in perspective, the Large Hadron Collider — the world's largest particle accelerator, near Geneva — was a relative bargain at a total of $9 billion, and even its contributions are likely to be too abstract to hold most people's attention. (11/1)

Non-Profit Organization Proposed for Space Station Lab Management (Source: SpaceRef.com)
A new NASA-sponsored study provides guidance for how the agency should manage the
U.S. research capabilities aboard the International Space Station (ISS). NASA should hand over responsibility for managing and marketing the ISS National Laboratory to a non-profit organization (NPO). Click here to download the report. (11/5)

Red States, Blue States, ISS Astronauts Vote in Weightless State (Source: CFnews13)
The three Americans orbiting the planet on Election Day have cast their ballots. Space station astronaut Scott Kelly voted Sunday via a secure e-mail system. Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker also voted recently 200-plus-miles up. Kelly said Tuesday it was an "honor and a privilege" to vote from the International Space Station. (11/2)

Election Adds To Space Policy Uncertainty (Source: Aviation Week)
The Nov. 2 midterm U.S. congressional elections gave NASA a new House appropriations “cardinal” and a tight-fisted Republican majority in the House that might scuttle plans for an extra space shuttle flight next summer. NASA needs $600 million to keep the shuttle program running long enough to send one more shuttle-load of supplies aloft to keep the International Space Station stocked until commercial cargo carriers come online.

The Democrat-controlled House authorized the mission, but NASA still does not have a Fiscal 2011 funding appropriation. Unless the post-election lame duck session – controlled by the outgoing Democratic majority – finds a way to fund the
STS-135 mission, it will be a tempting cash cow next January as the Republican majority looks for ways to match their belt-tightening campaign rhetoric with legislative action. (11/4)

Congress to Face Tough Defense Budget Decisions (Source:
AIA)
The 112th Congress will face difficult decisions on the size of the defense budget and arms control, with pressure expected from "tea party" activists to reel in out-of-control debt. Democrats are expected to bring the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START, to vote in the upcoming lame-duck session, but Republicans are expected to oppose the treaty. (11/3)

GOP Win in House Expected to Boost Defense Companies (Source:
AIA)
Manufacturers of submarines and sea-based anti-missile systems, as well as other defense contractors, may benefit from the turnover in the House to Republican control, as the GOP pushes for a more aggressive approach to China. While Congress faces continued pressure to pull in the Pentagon's budget, many companies -- including Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman -- could get a boost. (11/2)

How Politics Will Spin Science (Source: MSNBC)
Political shifts will produce a fresh set of skirmishes over science issues ranging from stem cells to spaceflight. And when it comes to climate change, the skirmishes could well escalate into a war over science. Here are the top issues: climate change, energy policy, stem cells, human spaceflight, and research funding. Click
here to read the article. (11/3)

U.S. Needs Shift in Science/Technology Strategy (Source: National Academies)
The U.S. will need to shift from a national S&T strategy predicated on the 1950s paradigm of "control and isolation" to a global innovation environment focused on "engagement and partnerships," according to a new National Academies report. S&T Strategies of Six Countries: Implications for the United States provides an overview of national science and technology strategies in Japan, Singapore, Brazil, China, India and Russia.

The report concludes that the U.S. should focus on improving its balance of "top-down" and "bottom-up" innovation. The report also suggests that the U.S. should improve its global exchanges in education and R&D talent, international and national recruitment of R&D talent, and multinational corporate collaborations. Click
here to read the report. (11/1)


NASA Could Be in Budget Limbo for Months After Tuesday's Election (Source: Huntsville Times)
Get used to limbo, NASA. You're going to be there a while. Political observers say it could be February or even longer before NASA gets a budget to pay for the new space program Congress authorized in late September. Chances are almost zero that the outgoing Congress will write a new FY 2011 federal budget when it convenes Nov. 15 in a lame duck session, according to former North Alabama Congressman Bud Cramer.

Cramer is now a Washington lobbyist and political consultant who heads Huntsville's Second to None Initiative. That's a committee formed by Mayor Tommy Battle to lobby for NASA's role in Huntsville. "The feeling is the leadership will not push for an omnibus spending bill in the lame duck," Cramer said Wednesday by telephone from Washington. "Respecting the will of the country" that government should move another direction, Cramer said, the outgoing House Democrat leadership will likely OK a continuing resolution to keep funding at 2010 levels. (11/4)

Can the Lame Duck Congress Pass a NASA Appropriation? (Source: SPACErePORT)
Although Congress recently passed a NASA Authorization Bill that provides programmatic policy direction for the agency, the funding bill required to implement the policy is awaiting Congressional action. NASA is currently operating under a budgetary "continuing resolution" that keeps the agency operating at a level consistent with last year's budget, and without clear authority to change previously funded projects.

To avoid another prolonged Congressional debate on NASA's funding and programs, the current "lame duck" congress could conceivably pass an FY-2011 appropriation bill that would finally allow NASA to proceed with its authorized programs. However, this is unlikely to happen without the support of a strong majority of members from both parties. (11/3)

Future Budget Battles (Source: Space Politics)
Another aspect of the election outcome is a new focus on budgets and spending. A major concern is the new Republican leadership would seek to make sharp cuts in spending across the board, including for NASA. Back in September the House GOP leadership proposed rolling back spending to FY2008 levels in its “Pledge to America”, which would trim NASA’s budget from the $19 billion proposed for FY2011 by nearly $2 billion. Such cuts would put additional stresses on the budget that some believe is already too small to carry out everything NASA is tasked to do in the new authorization bill.

Can NASA escape those cuts, if they are in fact pushed through Congress? While Republicans have control of the House now, Democrats remain in charge of the Senate, with the chair and ranking member of the Senate appropriations subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes NASA, Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Richard Shelby (R-AL), easily winning reelection. That may make it more difficult for House Republicans to get sharp budget cuts through; however, Democrats eager to retain their now narrower majority in the Senate may be willing to go along with some cuts.

How those cuts will affect specific NASA programs remains to be seen: outgoing House Science Committee chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) told Florida Today that it would be “hard to move forward with this new commercial track” should NASA spending be reduced. (11/5)


Election Brings New Leadership to NASA Oversight Committees (Source: Space News)
The Nov. 2 elections will put Republicans in charge of the U.S. House of Representatives, likely elevating to leadership positions two vocal critics of President Obama’s new direction for NASA. Republican leaders pledged to curtail U.S. federal spending, which also could have implications for NASA.

Reps. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Ralph Hall (R-Texas), who both won re-election and are expected to assume leadership of key NASA oversight committees, have criticized Obama’s plans to cancel the nation’s Moon program and outsource crew transit to and from low Earth orbit. Wolf is expected to assume an appropriations chairmanship. A staunch critic of the Obama plan, Wolf, who is entering his 16th term in Congress, has said the president’s vision effectively would cede U.S. leadership in space. (11/3)

Space Winners and Losers in Arizona Election (Source: Space Politics)
It took three days, but late Friday Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) declared victory in her fight for reelection to Arizona’s 8th district, narrowly defeating Republican Jesse Kelly. Giffords, who had been the chair of the House Science and Technology Committee’s space subcommittee, will now be, at best, ranking member of that committee in the new Congress with the Republican takeover of the House.

Meanwhile, in the neighboring 7th district, self-identified “rocket scientist” Ruth McClung lost her bid to oust Rep. Raúl Grijalva, with the Democratic congressman declaring victory Thursday night. However, McClung told the AP that she would not formally concede until remaining outstanding ballots were counted, even as Grijalva’s lead widened. (11/6)

Sen. Hutchison Gets Award for Keeping Federal Funds Flowing Into Houston (Source: Parabolic Arc)
As newly emboldened Republicans make plans for major rollbacks of federal spending, one of their own is being honored for maintain the flow of federal dollars into conservative Texas. Kay Bailey Hutchison is the recipient of the 2011 Quasar Award for helping to pass the NASA authorization bill — which saved thousands of federally funded jobs in Houston — and for ensuring other federal largess. (11/5)

 

Does GOP Control of House Jeopardize NASA's Future? (Source: WFTV)
Is NASA's future is in jeopardy now that Republicans have control of the House. The Republicans ran their election campaigns promising to cut government spending and that puts the extra shuttle mission, and much of NASA's future in question. Congress still has to approve billions for NASA. It gave its OK to fly Discovery, Endeavour and Atlantis one more time, but it hasn't provided funding for that last extra Atlantis mission. In fact, NASA could be fighting just to keep what it has under the new Congress.

There's a chance the change in power in Congress could not only keep Atlantis from making that extra trip, it could cut into NASA's future. "NASA is going to have to decide which of its children it chooses to protect," said Dale Ketcham, Spaceport Research and Tech Institute. Ketcham says Congress could still cut NASA's budget despite the President's proposal to increase it by $1 billion. That would also affect plans to invest in commercial rockets and a new, so-called, heavy-lift spacecraft.

"There is definitely not going to be enough money for all of them to thrive," Ketcham said. "There's no question the shuttle launch will be put into jeopardy, because they are going to have to get the money from somewhere," Ketcham said. (11/3)

What Does the GOP Takeover Mean for Space? (Source: Space News)
According to Bill Adkins of the Center for Space Strategic Studies: "The current FY11 budget may be NASA’s high-water mark for a while. If NASA’s budget is reduced to 2008 levels — basically a 10% cut back to $17.3 billion — it will put a lot of pressure on NASA to address fundamental questions about the size and scope of what the agency does. The House may have trouble getting the Senate to go along with such cuts, but the budget hawks seem to be growing in strength in the Senate as well. A key question is whether the new Congress will view NASA as an investment in the nation’s future or a drain on the economy."

According to Marcia Smith of Spacepolicyonline.com: "The Republican takeover of the House is not good news for NASA. It’s not that Republicans don’t like NASA...But they love NASA more in good economic times than in bad...The $6 billion increase over 5 years [President Obama] included for NASA in his FY2011 budget request was always just a proposal and it is difficult to believe that it can survive the current economic and political climate...

What does the election mean for NASA? Probably a continuation of being asked to do too much with too little coupled with extended uncertainty about what human spaceflight program the country wants NASA to pursue and how much taxpayers are willing to invest in “commercial” endeavors. In short, Groundhog Day." (11/4)

Fox News Examines (Briefly) the Future of NASA Funding (Source: Space Politics)
A brief segment on Fox News on Friday featured Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) (an odd choice, given that he doesn’t play a major role in space issues, although he does sit on the full House Science and Technology Committee) claiming that NASA is a “national security issue” and that the Obama Administration “cut back on spending” for NASA. “I think space is a necessity,” he said, suggesting he would seek to protect the agency’s budget from potential cuts.

Berin Szoka of the Space Frontier Foundation played up the commercial aspects of the administration’s plan. “In the short term, quite frankly, it doesn’t matter whether we’re sending astronauts up into orbit,” he said. “What matters is, is NASA going to build a commercial sector that can make our presence in space sustainable?” Unfortunately, there was no opportunity in the brief segment for the two to debate their viewpoints. (11/5)


With NASA Budget, Time for Republicans To Be... Republicans (Source: Pajamas Media)
The new Congress is going to face some very ugly budget choices, and be looking for savings wherever it can. There is little doubt that NASA will face serious scrutiny, even after the turmoil of the past nine months, since the Obama administration ineptly rolled out its budget request in February. Now that they are taking over the House, it is time, with respect to human spaceflight, for Republicans to grow up and start acting like the conservatives, fiscal and otherwise, they profess to be. There is no reason to continue NASA programs that can be more efficiently run privately, and which provide meaningless prestige rather than progress.

A best-case scenario may be a roll-back to 2008 levels ($17.3B, or a 9% reduction from the FY2011 request of $19B), as the Republican leadership has suggested. A worse one is a cut back to $15B (as rumors indicate will be the recommendation of the Deficit Commission), a 21% reduction. The worst, at least for those who favor manned spaceflight, is program cancellation entirely, though this is unlikely given international obligations for the International Space Station. (11/5)

The Fading Final Frontier (Source: Space Daily)
After NASA's initial successes, bureaucratic creep slowly took over, and soon programs were being designed by political committees and bean counters. The public lost interest in human space flight and NASA lost congressional support for exploration, except when jobs in districts were at stake. NASA has now become a mature and politically driven government agency. Human space exploration programs are essentially jobs programs. For example, Constellation has been cancelled, but congress is yelling for a new large booster, an example of a solution looking for a problem.

Frankly, there is nothing wrong with a jobs program. Let's just not call it something that it is not. For example, call NASA's human space exploration activities a research program that will assure the availability of top technical talent for future programs. Everyone knows that PowerPoint engineering is not rocket science. Let's tell it like it is and maybe we can move beyond "ho-hum" space. (11/2)

U.S. Should Learn From Early China's Exploration Mistakes (Source: Pajamas Media)
In the early 15th century, the Ming Dynasty of China, Admiral Zheng was sending out fleets of large sailing ships — the biggest in the world — laden with treasure of the empire to distribute to and impress the heathens in other lands. The ships reached all the way to the coast of Africa and perhaps even across the Pacific to the Americas.

Unlike the Europeans who would explore a few decades later and went to the Americas and East Indies for “God, Gold, and Glory,” it was a program of purely national prestige. Accordingly, because it was not engaging in trade or returning anything of value commensurate with the cost, it was ultimately canceled and the ships destroyed, to the point at which even building such ships became a capital crime.

Many space advocates take a false lesson from this history — that China should not have turned its back on exploration, and by so doing relinquished the new worlds being discovered to the Europeans who settled the Americas and Australia. But the true lesson is that exploration should be done not for prestige, but as a precursor to exploitation and a return on investment, and in this new frontier there are fortunately no Siberian-Americans or Australian aborigines to enslave or exterminate. (11/5)


Shuttle Discovery's Retirement Plan in Limbo (Source: CollectSpace)
Space shuttle Discovery is ready to fly its final flight this week, but where it will make its last landing is still up in the air. Long thought destined for the Smithsonian, NASA's oldest flying orbiter may actually end up elsewhere unless the Washington, DC institution can find the millions of dollars needed to prepare Discovery for delivery and display, collectSPACE has learned.

The first of NASA's three remaining space shuttles set to retire after flying its last mission, Discovery has been set aside for the Smithsonian. Like the 20 other organizations that applied to NASA for a retired orbiter though, the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum would need to pay the $28.8 million (current NASA estimate) to prepare and transport Discovery to the museum. This sum is still beyond the Smithsonian's reach and NASA is not in the position to underwrite the cost, sources close to both the museum and space agency said.

"What if" the Smithsonian cannot afford Discovery? "At this point, we're not in a position to go down the 'what if' road," said Robert Jacobs, NASA's deputy associate administrator for communications. "...The process has been put on hold." He said Charles Bolden "has tabled all discussion of where Discovery or any of the orbiters are going for museum display." (11/1)

Post Shuttle Economic Adjustment Threatened by Election Results? (Source: SPACErePORT)
President Obama has requested the transfer of $100 million from NASA's FY-2011 budget to fund programs in Florida and other states to mitigate the economic impacts of the Space Shuttle program's retirement. $40 million would come to Central Florida for an FAA space transportation tech center at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport, and for Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants under a Regional Innovation Clusters program. The other $60 million will be distributed in other states (Texas, Alabama, etc.) impacted by the Shuttle's retirement.

With a new mandate for cost cutting, the GOP-led House of Representatives is likely to take a hard look at NASA for potential reductions. Whether this $100 million program is implemented may depend on whether NASA's appropriation bill is passed before or after the next Congress is sworn-in in January. (11/3)

More Layoffs at United Space Alliance (Source: Florida Today)
Some 171 United Space Alliance workers at Kennedy Space Center received layoff notices this week. Their last day will be Jan. 7. "Most people were notified in person," USA spokesperson Tracy Yates said. "Those who were out on leave were notified by mail." The layoff affects 320 workers companywide. USA now employs slightly more than 4,100 workers at KSC. (11/5)

 


Crash Course: Florida's Economy Sinks as Space Shuttles Make Final Flights (Source:
ABC)
Florida's unemployment rate is reported to be 12 percent, but people around here say they cannot believe it is that low. NASA is winding down the space shuttle program, which has employed thousands of people around here for 30 years -- and the Obama administration has canceled the program that would have come after it.

In the heady days of John Glenn and Neil Armstrong, this part of Florida began to call itself the Space Coast, but today, except for the Space Coast Credit Union, there are few signs that astronauts used to hang out in Cocoa Beach. Florida has moved on. Blame the Democrats. And the Republicans. Both the Republicans and the Democrats have made their share of enemies around here. They're blamed for wasteful government spending -- and for cutting off spending when local jobs are involved. (11/1)

Election Brings Change to Florida Space Policy Outlook (Source: SPACErePORT)
Tuesday's election results include losses for two incumbent Florida Democrats (Rep. Suzanne Kosmas and Rep. Alan Grayson) who serve on the House subcommittee in charge of NASA oversight. Republican incumbent Rep. Bill Posey was re-elected. Rep. Kosmas will be replaced by Sandy Adams, a veteran state legislator who favors extending the Space Shuttle program. Another Tallahassee legislative veteran, Daniel Webster, defeated Rep. Grayson, but his campaign platform included no space policy statements.

Veteran state legislator Marco Rubio will be Florida's next U.S. Senator. Like Sandy Adams, Rubio has spent time with Space Coast space industry leaders to learn about space policy issues. And Florida's next governor will be political newcomer Rick Scott, with veteran state legislator Jennifer Carroll serving as Lt. Governor. Scott and Carroll also met recently with space industry leaders, and Carroll will likely serve as the chair of Space Florida's board of directors.

With the House changing hands in Washington, Republicans will shuffle the membership and leadership of the committees and subcommittees that oversee space-related programs and spending. Expect Posey and Adams to pursue seats on the relevant subcommittees. It will be interesting to see whether their support for NASA can overcome what appears to be a House mandate for major reductions in spending. (11/3)

Redistricting Promises Changes in Florida Representation in Washington (Source: SPACErePORT)
With Florida's population growth, the state will probably add two new Congressional Districts for the 2012 election. The Florida Legislature will be responsible for the redistricting in 2011. Previous redistricting allowed powerful state legislators to establish Congressional districts that were tailor-made for their own congressional campaigns. (This was considered the case when the Cape Canaveral Spaceport was split into two districts, allowing State House Speaker Tom Feeney to become a Congressman.)

Two newly approved Florida ballot initiatives are designed to prevent the kind of politically motivated redistricting that occurred in previous years. Nevertheless, Florida's Congressional influence on space policy could change profoundly after 2012, with the potential addition or subtraction of a Space Coast district, and more members available to serve on relevant committees. (11/7)


Space Florida Explores Economic Opportunities with Europe (Source: Space Florida)
The European Business Innovation Centre Network (EBN) and Space Florida last week initiated a Memorandum of Understanding to develop new market opportunities and resources for Small and Medium Aerospace Enterprises in Europe and Florida. Ongoing activities will further business development and job creation initiatives in the aerospace sector for Florida, as well as establish Florida as the threshold to American markets for European SMEs. The agreement was signed at the European Satellite Navigation Conference in Munich. (11/4)

Bigelow Still Thinks Big (Source: Space Review)
For over a decade Bigelow Aerospace has been quietly working on inflatable habitat modules for use on commercial space stations. Jeff Foust reports on how, as the company's profile grows, so do its ambitions. Visit
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1719/1 to read the article. (11/1)

Commercial Space Travel Rules of the Road (Source: Discovery)
Fast-forward 10 years and in addition to flying cars and unmanned aircraft, there are suborbital rocket rides launching from New Mexico, astronauts getting ready for a taxi ride to the space station, and people living in privately owned outposts in orbit. That's the future showing up on FAA radars as the agency prepares for commercial space travel.

Figuring out the ground rules for operating in space falls on the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation. Unlike NASA, the FAA is a regulatory agency, with powers to license, police and punish offenders. The agency is gearing up for the new world of commercial space with a research consortium, headed by New Mexico State University. The FAA also plans to set up a technical operations center at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport if Congress approves funding. (11/5)

Group Offers Insurance for NASA Commercial Crew Programs (Source: SPI)
Space Partnership International (
SPI) is offering a suite of space insurance products to support NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) initiative, which includes vehicles for human space transportation to and from the International Space Station ("ISS"). NASA recommends that CCDev participants obtain commercial insurance to include coverage for damage to the participant's property (such as its launcher and other flight hardware) and for third-party damages not otherwise addressed by FAA requirements.

"The
SPI Team has a long and successful history in understanding the complexities of space liability and how the various concepts of domestic and international law, including the NASA Act, the Commercial Space Act and UN Outer Space Treaties, interact," said SPI Managing Director Jean Michel Eid. The SPI team has been involved with these issues for over 25 years, with placement of the first policies for: space shuttle cargos, civilian astronauts, mars mission, X-Prize, satellite de-orbit liability, and coverage for NanoRacks relating to its operations with the ISS. Click here for more. (11/8)

Space Tourism: Will It Be Worth the Money? (Source: TIME)
Even before Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon's surface in 1969, people were planning their holidays to space. A year earlier, when Apollo 8 showed the world the first image of Earth from orbit, airline Pan Am started taking advanced bookings for its first flight to the moon. But 40 years on, just a handful of private citizens have flown into space, and that's only after going through rigorous medical examinations, enduring months of training and shelling out between $20 million and $45 million for the privilege.

This could be about to change. Virgin Galactic is now offering $200,000 trips to space. The spacecraft will set off attached to a mother ship, which will climb to 50,000 feet before detaching. Then the ship will accelerate to three times the speed of sound, taking it up over the Earth's atmosphere. At that point, the engines will shut off, leaving passengers weightless, able to somersault freely, and, most importantly, see Earth from space. After four or five minutes gravity will begin to drag the Enterprise back down to earth. The whole trip is over in less than an hour.

While Virgin Galactic is offering quick sub-orbital jaunts, Space Adventures is planning to take its customers even further, for longer. The company has already sent seven private citizens on orbital flights — which travel hundreds of thousands of miles, as opposed to sub-orbital's 100 miles, and last around 10 days.
CEO Eric Anderson says going orbital is "absolutely a real space-travel experience." "It's the difference between tickets to the World Cup where you're sitting in the front row and a five-second view of it on TV. It's just not the same thing." Click here to read the article. (11/1)

Commercial Space Tourism May Spike Black Carbon Emissions (Source: Reuters)
At a time when a half-dozen U.S. companies are vying to be the first to bring tourists to space, a report to be published in November in the journal Geophysical Research Letters warns that fuel emissions from such rocket launches may pose serious consequences for the Earth’s stratosphere—causing as much as a 1-degree Centigrade rise in polar temperatures and a 5 percent to 15 percent reduction in polar ice. The study looked at the emissions that could be expected in the stratosphere from rocket engines.

“What we’ve discovered from these [engineering] models is that the stratosphere is particularly sensitive to black carbon particles, commonly called ‘soot,’ from rocket engines,” explained study co-author Martin Ross, an atmosphere scientist with The Aerospace Corporation, a Los Angeles–based, federally funded research and development nonprofit organization that provides guidance and technical advice to military and civilian space operations. (11/6)

Editorial: Naming Spaceport Runway After Governor is Missed Opportunity (Source: Las Cruces Sun-News)
By naming the runway at Spaceport America after Gov. Bill Richardson, a needed opportunity to help recoup taxpayer money was missed. Going the corporate sponsorship route would have been a much better idea. Local taxpayers in Doña Ana and Sierra counties have a huge stake in this facility that will be used to send civilians into space in as soon as nine months. And it will be quite some time before this space-age private facility becomes financially profitable.

Whereas Richardson helped push this Virgin Galactic project through the New Mexico Legislature, it is not his money that built the 10,000-foot runway at Spaceport America in Upham, some 45 miles north of Las Cruces. Also, Richardson has turned into a unpopular governor, especially in the second half of his second term in office. The "pay-to-play" culture clouding his administration has left sour tastes in many mouths.

Since this Virgin Galactic endeavor is so huge on a worldwide scale, one would think major, worldwide corporations would want to get in on the sponsorship act. It would have been better to name a road in honor of Richardson's part in the project. Or a plaque could be mounted when construction on the terminal-hanger facility is completed. (11/1)


Alaska Multi-Satellite Launch Scheduled for Nov. 20 (Source: SPACErePORT)
An Air Force Minotaur 4 rocket will launch a group of satellites in a launch from Alaska's Kodiak Island spaceport on Nov. 20, sponsored by the Air Force's Space Test Program. The payloads include the Air Force's STPSat 2 satellite, NASA's FASTSAT (Fast, Affordable, Science and Technology Satellite), two FASTRAC spacecraft from the University of Texas, the Air Force Academy's FalconSat 5 satellite, and NASA's O/OREOS CubeSat mission. (11/7)


United Launch Alliance Launches 350th Delta in Program's 50-Year History (Source: ULA)
For the 350th time in its illustrious 50-year program history, a Delta rocket launched from U.S. soil, adding another chapter to one of the most successful rocket launch programs in American history. The 350th mission was a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket launching the fourth Italian-built Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean Basin Observation (COSMO-SkyMed 4) satellite from Space Launch Complex-2 at California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. (11/6)

California Space Authority Plans Annual Membership Event in Los Angeles on Dec. 2 (Source: CSA)
A California Space Authority (CSA) Annual Membership Reception and Dinner Meeting will be held at The Proud Bird Restaurant in Los Angeles on December 2. Join your CSA Board of Directors and fellow CSA members for a night of networking and dinner. RSVP Required by Monday, November 22. This is a Members Only event. For information on becoming a member and to register for the meeting, please contact Elizabeth Burkhead at 805-349-2633 or
Elizabeth.Burkhead@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. (11/5)

NASA: Lockdown at Glenn Research Center in Ohio Just a Drill (Source: Space.com)
A lockdown at NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland on Friday was just a drill, NASA confirmed. "It was an unscheduled security test," NASA headquarters spokeswoman Katherine Trinidad said. During the drill, local police and emergency responders arrived at the scene. The unexpected events caused widespread news reports of a gunman on the premises and possible shots fired. (11/5)

Journeying to Mars -- On a One-Way Ticket (Source: Discovery)
Finished having kids? Perhaps it's time to think about moving to Mars. Scientists Dirk Schulze-Makuch and Paul Davies figure that sending astronauts -- particularly ones past their reproductive years -- on one-way journeys to Mars is the most economical way to pioneer the space frontier and establish humans as a multi-planet species.

"This is not a suicide mission. The astronauts would go to Mars with the intention of staying for the rest of their lives, as trailblazers of a permanent human Mars colony," Schultz-Makuch, with Washington State University, and Davies, at Arizona State, write in this month's Journal of Cosmology. "Their role would be to establish a base camp to which more colonists would eventually be sent, and to carry out important scientific and technological projects," the scientists wrote. (11/1)


Can NASA Save a Struggling America? (Source: Clean Technica)
If we took a moment to rank every government agency in the United States on the basis of tackling complex problems, NASA would have to be at the top of everyone’s list. NASA has proven time and again that they know how to execute. Imagine for a moment any other agency being charged with getting a 4.5 million-pound payload into outer space on a regular timetable. Never mind time and again performing these miracles on a budget. But as the country became worried about more pressing issues such as record unemployment, terrorism, climate change and healthcare, NASA was becoming irrelevant.

So the agency started looking around for a little side project. So NASA quietly embarked on a program called “space-based solar.” They were determined to solve, once and for all, the growing need for clean, renewable energy, for the American people and every man, woman and child on the planet. The idea behind space-based solar was to install solar cells high above the Earth’s atmosphere where the yield is more intense. The energy would be transmitted in the form of diluted, harmless wavelengths to a small satellite dish attached to the roof of every home and business (think satellite TV dish).

But what would you say if I told you that NASA has this technology today? What if I said that NASA has been banging at the door of the U.S. Department of Energy for over a decade and no one will answer. Every time they get a foot in the door they are chastised for “mission creep” and “overreach.” NASA? Those scientists need to stick to pictures of Mars. (11/1)

Promise - and Problems - of Power From Space (Source: San Francisco Chronicle)
The vast challenge of space, frigid and airless, lured 100 engineers and entrepreneurs to Sunnyvale recently to dream about using extraterrestrial manufacturing and mining projects to pave the way for what may be the final migration of our species. "We're talking about opening the space frontier to human colonization," said Gary Hudson, an organizer of the Space Manufacturing conclave held last weekend at NASA Ames Research Center.

Such proposals were advanced in the mid-1970s when now-deceased space scientist Gerard O'Neill and retired solar expert Peter Glaser argued that orbital photovoltaic arrays could send energy wafting down to Earth in the form of electromagnetic waves gentler than sunlight. John Mankins says such arrays would be far more economic today, thanks to efficiencies in everything from solar cells to rocket launchers - not to mention the environmental benefit of supplying electricity without adding greenhouse gases.

Mankins estimated that it would cost $10 billion over 10 years to mount a large orbital solar program - which seems like a lot until compared with the 40-year, $50 billion investment that the United States and other countries have poured into determining the feasibility of Earth-based fusion reactors. Click
here to read the article. (11/6)

Indian, U.S. Experts Team On Space Solar Power (Source: Aviation Week)
Former Indian President A.P.J. Kalam has lent his name to a new cooperative effort by experts in the U.S. and India to advance space solar power (
SSP) as a way to improve life on Earth. Kalam, 79, is a space pioneer who served as the 11th president of India. He and his former associates at the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) have teamed with the Washington-based National Space Society (NSS) for an initiative aimed at accomplishing the work necessary to field a system of large satellites that would collect solar energy and beam it safely to Earth’s surface.

Kalam was joined on the line by John Mankins, a former exploration chief technologist at NASA who is president of the Space Power Association, and T.K. Alex, director of the ISRO’s Satellite Center. Alex will join Mankins as co-principal investigators on the Kalam-National Space Society Energy Initiative. The group plans a bilateral meeting in Huntsville, Ala., next May to establish a course of action and organizational structure. (11/5)

Pariahs No More? Indian Agencies Removed from US "Entities List" (Source: Economic Times)
“Increased commerce between the US and India can be and will be a win-win proposition for both nations,” US President Barack Obama told top business executives in Mumbai. The US has decided to take ISRO and four of its subsidiaries and DRDO and its subsidiaries off its "entities list". Indian agencies would no longer be classified along with Pakistan and North Korea, but would move into a group populated by US top allies like the UK and Japan.

In the current classification system, India cannot even access some critical kinds of technologies that it wants. The US will also support India’s membership in global nonproliferation regimes like the Wassenaar Arrangement and Australia Group and, in future, Nuclear Suppliers Group. This means India will have to harmonize its export control regimes to these groups. But membership to these groups also helps India access critical technologies, software and equipment from all countries, who currently deal with such sensitive technologies. (11/7)


No Pact Likely on Indian Launches of US Commercial Satellites (Source: Indian Express)
With the US still in the process of finalizing export reforms on commercial satellites by restructuring the US Munitions List on spacecraft, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is not expecting to see a much anticipated Commercial Satellites Launch Agreement inked during the visit of US President Barack Obama later this week.

The agreement, seen as a progression on a Technology Safeguards Agreement (
TSA) signed in July 2009 during the visit of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will allow US commercial satellites or satellites with US components to be launched on ISRO space vehicles, significantly opening up the nearly $2 billion global space launch business for India. (11/7)


India: Militarizing Space With U.S. Help (Source: Counter Currents)
U.S. President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have a meeting scheduled in Delhi on November 8. Certain to be on the agenda is the removal of the last remaining export controls on U.S. dual-use technology and military hardware to India, including technology appropriate for development of space weapons. Since President Obama pledged in 2009 to seek a ban on space weapons, the United States should not be helping other countries develop these weapons, especially in dangerous regions that have nuclear weapons on hair-trigger alert. But with the final hurdles of export control removed, Washington could be doing just that for India, with so far little or no objection.

India is using space development as a way to advance a stronger geostrategic position in the region and globally. The U.S. defense industry is facilitating this military expansion with its aggressive move in to South Asian markets to supplement reductions in their Pentagon contracts. The potential long-term ramifications of both moves have been neglected in favor of short-term, understandable, gains. Nevertheless, the U.S. arms control community, by failing to address this dangerous situation, is asleep at the wheel. Click
here to read the article. (11/4)

Technology Opens U.S. Military Space, Despite China's Concerns (Source: Aviation Week)
Analyst Dean Cheng says Chinese doctrine makes no distinction between deterrence and compellance (making an adversary take an action, rather than refraining), and that deterrence extends across all domains, including conventional, cyber and space. He said China’s policy of compellance and deterrence stresses the importance of demonstrating the will to act.

China, added Cheng, sees the U.S. Schriever X space wargame—conducted at Nellis AFB, Nev., in May—as a demonstration of intent, and although China has proposed to stop the “weaponization” of space, these proposals encompass only weapons on-orbit, not ground-launched systems or orbital sensors. Ballistic missile defense (BMD) technology can be adapted to counterspace use, and will only increase its reach into higher orbits with the advent of higher-velocity interceptors now under development.

Space-based infrared technology, used to track orbital objects in the U.S./Boeing Space Based Surveillance System and to support BMD in the Space Tracking and Surveillance System, can be used against satellites as well as missiles or debris. Click
here to read the article. (11/2)

China Sets New Record for Annual Launch Activity (Source: SpaceFlightNow.com)
Sunday's launch of a navigation satellite was the 12th flight of a Long March rocket in 2010, eclipsing the record for most Chinese space missions in a single year. This weekend's flight broke an annual record China set in 2008, when it conducted 11 launches of human, scientific and military payloads. This year, the country's burgeoning space program has launched 12 rockets, all successfully.

Payloads include four Beidou navigation satellites launched in January, July, August and October. China plans to continue a rapid pace of Beidou flights over the next two years, eventually reaching an intermediate stage of deployment by 2012, when it will provide positioning services over China and neighboring regions. (11/1)

China Launches Weather Satellite (Source: RIA Novosti)
China has launched a new meteorological satellite. The launch was made from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern China's Shanxi Province. The satellite is equipped with a dozen advanced detectors and is capable of carrying out a three-dimensional, all-weather, multi-spectrum quantitative detection to acquire data from the ground surface, the ocean and space. (11/5)

India Plans Two Rocket Launches Next Month (Source: PTI)
India is planning two rocket launches next month that would carry on board home-made communication and remote sensing satellites, along with a Russian payload and a Singaporean micro spacecraft. The first to go up would be a geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV), carrying the GSAT-5 Prime communications satellite. Preparations are also in full swing for the launch of the PSLV-C16 which would carry on board India''s advanced remote sensing satellite Resourcesat-2 and auxiliary spacecraft of Youthsat and X-sat, expected towards the end of December. (11/3)

Russian Military Payload Launched on Soyuz Rocket (Source: SpaceFlightNow.com)
A Soyuz rocket and Fregat upper stage successfully launched a Russian military communications satellite Tuesday to a high-altitude orbit above Earth. The venerable expendable booster, upgraded with digital control systems and improved engines, blasted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. (11/3)

Modernized Soyuz-2 Rocket Lifts Off From Russia's Plesetsk Spaceport (Source: Itar-Tass)
A carrier rocket in the family of modernized Soyuz-2 carriers lifted off from the Plesetsk space center at 03:38 Moscow Standard Time Tuesday to bring into space the Meridian probe. The latter has been launched in the interests of the Russian Defense Ministry, Lieutenant Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin, an official spokesman for the Russian Space Troops said. (11/2)

Russo-Chinese Space Meeting Wraps Up in Beijing (Source: Parabolic Arc)
The 11th meeting of the Russian–Chinese Space Cooperation Subcommittee finalized in Beijing on Nov. 2. The meeting is attended by the delegation of Federal Space Agency led by Roscosmos Head Anatoly Perminov. The Subcommittee deals with preparation of the Heads of the Governments. Perminov noted that Russian-Chinese Space Program of 2010–2012 approved in Oct. 2009 laid reliable grounds for further development and intensification of cooperation for the upcoming years, as it implies mutually beneficial collaboration aimed at improving space science and products. (11/2)


Saudi Arabia, Ukraine to Hold Joint Space Explorations (Source: RIA Novosti)
Saudi Arabia and Ukraine have signed an agreement to cooperate in peaceful space exploration, the website of the Space Agency of Ukraine said. The agreement was signed between President of King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel and Director General of the National Space Agency of Ukraine Yuriy Alekseyev. The agreement stipulates that Saudi Arabian and Ukrainian scientists will cooperate in fundamental space research and a range of applied sciences, particularly geophysics. (11/6)

UK Space According to Martin Sweeting (Source: Space News)
Sir Martin Sweeting, chairman of Surrey Satellite Technology, predicts the glamour of manned space exploration will return within the next 10 years after the discovery of significant amounts of water on the Moon. He believes nations will shift their priorities back to human travel, which, he claims, could mean big business for the UK. His vision is that the UK will ‘own’ large areas of space, as countries like China and India vie to establish colonies on the Moon. His plan is to surround the Moon with small satellites to provide internet and communication capabilities. (11/1)

Arianespace To Launch Azerbaijan’s 1st Satellite (Source: Space News)
Arianespace will launch Azerbaijan’s first national telecommunications satellite in mid-2010 aboard an Ariane 5
ECA rocket under a contract signed Nov. 5, Arianespace and the Azerbaijan government announced. The Azerspace/Africasat-1a satellite, carrying 24 C-band and 12 Ku-band transponders, will be operated from 46 degrees east longitude in geostationary orbit in a partnership between Azerbaijan and Malaysia’s Measat satellite operator, which is expanding into Africa. (11/5)

U.S. Diplomacy: A Holding Pattern in Space (Source: All Things Nuclear)
Every year since the early 1980s, the United Nations General Assembly’s “First Committee,” which deals with international security issues, has voted on a resolution calling for efforts toward “Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space” (PAROS). Every year since 1983 it has passed overwhelmingly-—and without the support of the United States. During that time the U.S. abstained 19 times and voted “no” 8 times (most recently from 2005 to 2008)—sometimes alone, sometimes in the company of a few other states.

The Bush administration opposed discussions on space, maintaining that “there is no arms race in space, and therefore no problem for arms control to solve.” The Obama administration abstained from voting on the resolution in 2009. However, on June 28, 2010, the administration released . So there was some hope that the administration might support this year’s resolution in the First Committee as a way of showing its interest in getting discussions of these issues started.

However, on October 27 the U.S. once again abstained from voting, along with Israel. The 170 countries that did vote all supported the resolution. It’s not clear how strong the U.S. allergy to discussing space security at the CD remains. Click
here to read the article. (11/1)


Space Requires New Thinking, Practices, Lynn Says (Source: DOD)
Once the private preserve of the United States and the Soviet Union, space has become “congested, contested and competitive,” requiring a shift in the military space community’s thinking and practices, Deputy Defense Secretary William J. Lynn III said. Lynn noted that the United States has “derived tremendous benefits from its presence in space” for more than 50 years.

“We are -- and continue to be -- the world’s pre-eminent leader in space,” he said. “But the environment we operate in has changed so markedly that we have reached a historical inflection point.” Space has become congested, he said, because 60 nations now have a presence there. “Nine-thousand satellite transponders will be active by 2015,” he noted, “and the skies over Earth are so cluttered with debris that further collisions could eventually put usable orbits in jeopardy.” (11/4)

Clapper Seeks To Phase-In Intelligence Spending Cuts (Source: Space News)
The United States will soon begin pulling back spending on intelligence activities, and a strategy has been initiated to gradually phase in targeted budget cuts over the next two to three years, said U.S. Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper. He will start by eliminating staff positions in his office and shifting those responsibilities elsewhere within the intelligence community. Clapper did not specify any other areas that will be targeted for reductions. (11/3)

NGA Looking at Amazon and Apple for Imagery Distribution Ideas (Source: Space News)
The chief of the U.S. agency that provides commercial satellite imagery to the nation’s defense and intelligence community on Nov. 2 said the agency will adopt the practices of online retailers and smartphone application developers to make itself more user-friendly. Letitia A. Long, director of the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), also said her organization needs to expand its expertise from analyzing what is happening toward anticipating what is likely to happen.

Long promised that NGA would be doing more to transform itself into a provider of online, on-demand geospatial information services whose data is available without laborious intervention by NGA personnel. She said NGA’s distribution of data in the wake of the Haiti earthquake in January was exemplary, but too draining on NGA resources. (11/3)

Shortage of Skilled Engineers Plagues Aerospace Industry (Source:
AIA)
The long-term solution for the serious shortage of high-quality aerospace engineers is to convince schools to include aerospace in their curriculum. But in the short term, many companies are forced to poach engineers to ease the stress on existing engineers. "This industry is 24/7 and has a harsh demand on a person's time," Alex Choo, assistant honorary secretary of the Singapore Institute of Aerospace Engineers, said yesterday at Aviation Week's
MRO Asia conference and exhibition in Singapore. (11/3)

Purdue Unveils 'Impact: Earth!' Asteroid Impact Effects Calculator (Source: Purdue)
Purdue University on Wednesday unveiled ''Impact: Earth!'' a new website that allows anyone to calculate the potential damage a comet or asteroid would cause if it hit the Earth. The interactive website is scientifically accurate enough to be used by homeland security and NASA, but user-friendly and visual enough for elementary school students, said Jay Melosh, the distinguished professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and physics at Purdue who led the creation of the impact effects calculator. Click
here to see it. (11/3)

Did Earth Encounter Pieces of an Alien Visitor Last Night? (Source: Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)
Did Earth encounter pieces of an alien visitor last night? Apparently so! It appears tiny pieces of Comet Hartley 2 may have presented a spectacular and startling sky show across the country yesterday. NASA meteor experts had predicted it was a long shot, but the evenings of November 2nd and 3rd might display a meteor shower from dust which puffed off this visiting comet as it passed within twelve million miles of Earth. And indeed, the Center for Astrophysics has collected several sightings of bright meteors called fireballs, which result when comet dust burns up in Earth's atmosphere. (11/3)

Earth May Have Had Water From Day One (Source: New Scientist)
In the beginning, there was water. Earth's life-sustaining liquid came from the dust from which the planet was born, a new look at these particles suggests, and not simply from collisions with objects that later crashed into the planet from space. The origin of the oceans has long been a mystery. Earth's birthplace in the dusty nebula around the young sun should have been hot enough to keep any water vaporized. So it seemed clear that the dust that coalesced to create Earth was bone dry, and that water somehow arrived later.

Ice-rich comets or asteroids from farther out in the solar system could have supplied it, but that raises a further problem. Comets are richer in deuterium, a stable heavy isotope of hydrogen, than Earth's oceans. And asteroids should have brought more platinum and other rare elements than have been found. These mismatches are difficult to explain if most of Earth's water came from impacts.

Now, it seems that water may after all have been present in Earth's building blocks. Simulations by Nora de Leeuw of University College London and colleagues suggest that the dust grains from which Earth formed had such a tenacious grip on water that they could have held onto the molecules despite the high temperatures. (11/5)

New Rock Type Found on Moon (Source: Science News)
For the first time in decades, astronomers have identified a new rock type on the moon. Tucked away on the lunar farside, unseen until a space probe spotted its odd mineralogy, are a few deposits of what is probably ancient material that originated deep inside the moon. Pieters has dubbed the new rock type OOS, because it is rich in the minerals orthopyroxene, olivine and spinel. Lunar scientists are particularly intrigued by the amount of spinel in the rock; every other part of the moon has only trace amounts. On Earth, in larger chunks, spinel is a gemstone prized in such collections as the British crown jewels. (11/3)

At NASA, a Quiet Quest to Send a Humanoid Robot to the Moon (Source: New York Times)
For $150 billion, NASA could have sent astronauts back to the Moon. The Obama administration judged that too expensive, and in September, Congress agreed to cancel the program. For a fraction of that — less than $200 million, along with about $250 million for a rocket — NASA engineers at Johnson Space Center say they can safely send a humanoid robot to the Moon. And they say they could accomplish that in a thousand days.

The idea, known as Project M, is almost a guerrilla effort within NASA, cooked up a year ago by Stephen J. Altemus, the chief engineer at Johnson. He tapped into discretionary money, pulled in engineers to work on it part time, and horse-traded with companies and other NASA units to undertake preliminary planning and tests. “We’re doing impossible things with really very little, if any, money whatsoever,” Mr. Altemus said.

Project M also draws on other NASA projects that were already under way, including rocket engines that burn liquid oxygen and methane — a cheap and nontoxic fuel combination — and an automated landing system that could avoid rocks, cliffs and other hazards. Project M’s planners say that a robot walking on the Moon would capture the imagination of students, just as the Apollo Moon landings inspired a generation of scientists and engineers 40 years ago. (11/1)

Architects Vie to Design the City of the Future--On the Moon (Source: Scientific American)
The moon has long loomed large as the next logical site for human expansion, a frontier land still lightly explored but visible to all throughout human history. With the recent discovery of a significant volume of water on the lunar surface, the idea of the moon as a livable habitat has become just that much more plausible. A new competition, Moon Capital, turned the question of what that habitat will look like over to the imagination of architects, engineers and artists. Let's say it is the year 2069, exactly a century after the first lunar landing. The colony has finally been built. What does it look like? What do the moon-dwellers need both to survive and to enjoy their new surroundings? Click
here to see a slide show. (11/7)


Obama's Dream of Mars at Risk from Radiation (Source: Physics World)
Higher levels of space radiation between 2020 and 2040 could endanger US President Barack Obama's vision for a manned mission to Mars, according to a NASA scientist. The result of two separate solar-activity cycles, which are both predicted to hit their maximum during the period, the increased radiation could cause radiation sickness and an increased cancer risk for any astronauts venturing away from the safety of the Earth's atmosphere. (11/4)

Slug-Like Dunes of Mars (Source: Discovery)
Just in case you didn't think Mars could get any more alien, here's an intriguing photograph taken by the HiRISE camera aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (
MRO) in 2007. What are those dark objects? Giant slugs slithering over the Martian plains? Are the Sandworms from Frank Herbert's classic 1965 novel "Dune" real? As much as I'd love to be announcing the discovery of an alien herd of rampaging giant invertebrates, alas (as you might have guessed) this is actually an image of some odd-looking dunes inside a 150 kilometer-wide Martian crater. Click here for more. (11/2)

Deep Impact Gets First Look at Hartley 2 Comet (Source: SpaceFlightNow.com)
NASA's Deep Impact probe flew by the second comet of its mission Thursday, successfully navigating near an unusually active ball of ice and rock more than 13 million miles from Earth. The probe hit its aimpoint and navigation was spot-on, according to controllers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

Controllers stayed in contact with the craft during the flyby, proving it survived the risky flight through a cloud of icy debris surrounding its rocky core. Flying past the comet at a relative speed of more than 27,500 mph, the Deep Impact spacecraft was in autopilot mode to enable the probe to quickly pivot and keep the comet nucleus in view of two scientific cameras. These five images were the first snapshots returned from the probe more than 13 million miles away from Earth. Click
here to see them. (11/4)

Galileo's Send-Off (Source: Nature)
At an aerospace facility in Denver, engineers are busy attaching scientific instruments to NASA's next mission to Jupiter, set for launch in less than a year. Team members on the billion-dollar Juno mission are quietly talking about slipping something extra onto the spacecraft — a tiny fragment of bone from Galileo Galilei. The idea of sending a piece of the famed astronomer to orbit the giant planet, in the company of the moons that he discovered, has charmed some of the US participants in the mission. Officials at the Italian Space Agency, which is providing two instruments, seem to be less enthusiastic. But the plan should move forward. (11/3)

This is How Saturn's Rings Roll (Source: MSNBC)
The scientists behind the Cassini mission to Saturn say they have figured out the reasons behind the irregularities in the behavior of the most dynamic regions in Saturn's rings. They're due to a combination of natural oscillations that are amplified by the motions of the ring particles themselves -- plus an extra disturbance created by the moon Mimas. The scientists also have discovered two regions within the rings that are the likely homes of moonlets yet to be discovered. Click
here to read the article. (11/2)

Using Space-Time Distortions, Scientists Discover Hidden Galaxies (Source: Space.com)
Previously hidden behind veils of dust, ancient galaxies have been detected using an effect caused by the space-time distortions in the vast distance between those galaxies and Earth. The discovery of the distant galaxies could shed light on formation of the early universe and galaxies, researchers said.

Distant galaxies are normally difficult to see, but those whose dim light are shrouded in dust are especially difficult to detect, even using the largest available telescopes. However, astronomers are able to essentially boost the effectiveness of their telescopes by relying on lenses of a sort — massive galaxies or clusters of galaxies between the astronomers and the objects they want to look at. (11/4)

Observatories on 5 Continents to Scan Skies for Extraterrestrial Life (Source: Washington Post)
The scientific search for extraterrestrial intelligence went global this weekend as observatories in 13 nations on five continents trained their telescopes on several promising star systems. While they don't expect their one-day joint effort will find the kind of intentionally produced signal from afar that enthusiasts have been seeking for decades, participants say the undertaking illustrates just how far the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, or SETI, has come. (11/7)

Bye Bye to a Lovely Planet (Source: Huffington Post)
The planet Gliese 581g might be a chimera. This intriguing object has dominated science news for the last few weeks because it was the first world found in deep space that might sport an environment comparable to our own. Gliese 581g could be wrapped in oceans, a thick atmosphere and -- who knows? -- some biology. After discovering nearly 500 planets around other stars, it appeared that astronomers had finally tripped across one that might approximate the Earth.

Well, buck up and stand down. A new analysis by astronomer Michel Mayor and his Swiss team suggests that Gliese 581g is an apparition -- a planet conjured into existence by other researchers' faulty interpretation of noisy data. It now seems you can stop fantasizing about oddball Gliesians 20 light-years from your doorstep.

Disappointing, sure. But there's nothing either novel or disturbing in this. Astronomy is largely an exploratory science, heavily dominated by observation. Astronomers have mapped out the cosmos by using their telescopes first and their imaginations second. And since the really exciting discoveries are perforce made at the hairy frontier of telescope performance, mistakes happen. (11/2)

Super-Earths May be Hostile to Life (Source: New Scientist)
Rocky planets a few times heavier than Earth that we thought might be life-friendly may lack one vital feature: a protective magnetic field. Planets are thought to owe their magnetic fields to an iron core that is at least partly molten. But a simulation of super-Earths between a few times and 10 times Earth's mass suggests that high pressures will keep the core solid.

Without a magnetic field, the planets would be bathed in harmful radiation, and their atmospheres would be eroded away by particles streaming from their stars. So life would have trouble getting started on super-Earths, even if they lie in the habitable zone around their stars. However, other researchers reckons it is too soon to rule out molten iron cores - and magnetic fields - for super-Earths. Their interiors might get hot enough to melt iron, he says. "Actual temperatures could be much larger than assumed - we simply do not know." (11/7)

Failed W3B Satellite To Remain in Orbit for Decades (Source: Space News)
The Eutelsat W3B satellite declared a total loss less than 24 hours after its Oct. 28 launch because of a leak in its propulsion system will spend the next 20-30 years in its parking orbit following ground teams’ inability to guide it into a controlled atmospheric re-entry, satellite manufacturer Thales Alenia Space said Nov. 5. (11/5)

Deep Ops (Source: Space Review)
On the first KH-9 reconnaissance satellite mission, one of its reentry capsules missed its midair capture and plummeted to the bottom of the Pacific. Dwayne Day recounts the effort by the US Navy to recover that capsule. Visit
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1720/1 to read the article. (11/1)

NASA and LEGO Partner for Education (Source: NASA)
A LEGO space shuttle headed to orbit helps mark the Tuesday signing of a Space Act Agreement between NASA and The LEGO Group to spark children's interest in science, technology, engineering and math (
STEM). To commemorate the beginning of this partnership, the small LEGO shuttle will launch with the crew of the space shuttle Discovery from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The partnership marks the beginning of a three-year agreement that will use the inspiration of NASA's space exploration missions and the appeal of the popular LEGO bricks to spur children's interest in STEM. The theme of the partnership is "Building and Exploring Our Future."

As part of the Space Act Agreement, NASA will send special LEGO sets to the International Space Station aboard shuttle Endeavour's
STS-134 mission in February 2011. The sets will be assembled by astronauts on-orbit and by children and student groups across the country. The construction process and activities with the sets will demonstrate the challenges faced when building things in the microgravity environment of space. (11/2)

DigitalGlobe Warns on U.S. Budget Climate (Source: Space News)
Earth imagery provider DigitalGlobe on Nov. 2 warned investors that downward pressure on the U.S. government defense and intelligence budgets could reduce the amount of revenue it receives under a keystone 10-year, $3.55 billion contract that took effect in September. (11/3)

Loral Future Hinges on Telesat Decisions (Source: Space News)
Loral Space and Communications on Nov. 5 said it likely will spin off or sell all of its Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) satellite-manufacturing subsidiary in the event that satellite fleet operator Telesat, in which Loral has a 64 percent economic interest, decides to pursue a stock offering or a strategic transaction. (11/5)

Astrotech Reports First Quarter 2011 Financial Results (Source: Astrotech)
Astrotech cash flow of $1.6 million the quarter ended September 30, 2010 resulting in $9.7 million in cash and cash equivalents at September 30, 2010. The Company posted a first quarter fiscal year 2011 net loss of $1.2 million, on revenue of $5.3 million, compared with a first quarter fiscal year 2010 net income of $0.8 million on revenue of $7.8 million. The Company's 18-month rolling backlog, which includes contractual backlog and scheduled but uncommitted missions, was $19.9 million at September 30, 2010. (11/5)

ATK Reports FY11 Second-Quarter Operating Results (Source: ATK)
ATK reported operating results for the second quarter of its Fiscal Year 2011, which ended on October 3, 2010. Second quarter sales of $1.2 billion were in line with the prior-year quarter. Second quarter net income rose 34 percent to $97 million compared to $73 million in the prior-year quarter. Second quarter sales in the Aerospace Systems group declined by 10 percent to $376 million, compared to $417 million in the prior-year period. The decrease primarily reflects lower sales on the Space Shuttle's Reusable Solid Rocket Motor program as the program nears completion, partially offset by higher sales on the Ares I program. (11/4)

Hughes Projects Strong Broadband Subscriber Growth (Source: Space News)
Satellite broadband hardware and services provider Hughes Communications on Nov. 3 reported continued success of its U.S. consumer broadband business in the teeth of a sharp economic downturn and said it will have more than 930,000 subscribers by late 2015. That would be a 67 percent increase over the 558,000 U.S. subscribers that Hughes counted as of Sept. 30, for an average 19 percent annual growth in net subscribers between 2010 and 2015. (11/4)


Secrets of the Red Planet (Source: Space Review)
The movie "Capricorn One" hardly put NASA in a good light, yet the movie uses props like a lunar lander replica. Dwayne Day examines how the movie producers got access to that hardware. Visit
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1718/1 to read the article. (11/1)

Baikonur Film Blasts Into History (Source: Russia Today)
The hub for Russian and Soviet space explorers for decades, Baikonur is now raking on a new role as German art house director Viet Helmer has brought his cast and crew to the Star City to shoot his new movie. “Baikonour” is a love story with a twist, featuring a French cosmonaut who blasts off from the cosmodrome as a space tourist only to crash land upon re-entry. (11/4)

'Apollo 18' Movie to Focus on Alien Link to 'Canceled' Mission (Source: Deadline.com)
The Weinstein Company won a bidding battle to make Apollo 18, an extraterrestrial film that is being creatively spearheaded by Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov. The picture, which is well into production and will be released
March 4, 2011, shapes up as the next in a line of films that use a tinge of reality to launch into thriller story lines. Bob Weinstein met several times with Bekmambetov before making a deal that came after Bekmambetov presented film footage purported to have been shot by the crew of Apollo 18.

That moon mission from the early 70s was officially canceled by NASA, but according to urban legend, it actually happened. Timur's footage shows signs of alien life, and the events of the mission are built into a thriller story line. The film so far has been a well kept secret but would have to be well underway to be ready for release five months from now. (11/7)


Finding Bumper (Source: SpaceKSC.blogspot.com)
As a volunteer docent for the Air Force Space and Missile Museum at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport, Stephen Smith has access to unrestricted areas of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS). "Today I sought out Launch Complex 3 (LC-3), where on
July 24, 1950 the first rocket was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral... After Dr. Wehrner Von Braun and his scientists surrendered to the U.S. Army, they were sent to White Sands, New Mexico where they conducted a series of launch tests" using Nazi V-2 rockets with WAC Corporal upper stages attached to the top. "Only one of the six White Sands launches, Bumper 5, was deemed successful."

"The Bumper program moved to Cape Canaveral for several reasons, the main one being that rockets could be launched over the ocean where if they failed they wouldn't land on anyone. Two remaining rockets, Bumpers 7 and 8, were shipped to the Cape. Bumper 7 misfired, so Bumper 8 was the first to successfully launch. Bumper 7 flew five days later. I knew from the bus tour that remnants of LC-3 survived..." Click
here to see photos of the abandoned, historic launch pad. (11/1)

 

California Aerospace Events Calendar

 

JPL Official Speaks at El Camino College I&T Event on Nov. 11

JPL Deputy Manager Randii Wesson will speak at El Camino College in Torrance on Nov. 11. The college's Industry and Technology Advisory Committees will meet at 5:00 p.m. Registration deadline is Nov. 9. Contact jjones@xxxxxxxxxxxx to RSVP.

 

New Space-Focused Meet Up in Los Angeles Area Set for Nov. 13

Join us  for a series of conversations focused in and around New Space. Our next meeting is on Nov. 13 at 10:30 am  in Los Angeles. RSVP is required. Please go to http://www.meetup.com/Trends-in-New-Space-Industry-Group-of-Los-Angeles/ for more details. If you are interested in presenting at a future meeting, please contact the organizer, Robert Jacobson through the Meet Up Page.

 

GameChangers Fall 2010 Conference in Pleasanton on Nov. 16-17

We have several slots available for presenting companies seeking capital. On November 16-17, over 50 funders (angels, VCs, corporate investors, alternative lenders) representing over $10B in committed capital are looking for deals -- they'll be participating in the statewide Game Changers Fall 2010 conference and  at the beautiful Casa Real venue in Pleasanton. The conference features ten exciting keynote speakers, statewide awards from the Governor's Office of Economic Development and U.S. Congressman John Garamendi, and lots of networking! Visit http://www.grow-california.com/

 

Astronomer to Discuss Search for Earth-Like Planets on at UCSC on Nov. 17

Greg Laughlin, a professor of astronomy and astrophysics at UC Santa Cruz, will take the audience on a guided tour of the bizarre menagerie of planets that have been discovered outside our solar system, in a free public lecture on Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. For more information about this lecture, call (831) 459-2844.

 

AFA 2010 Global Warfare Symposium Planned in Beverly Hills on Nov. 18-19

On Nov. 18-19 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, this annual symposium will focus on the global role of the Air Force in the world today and will cover topics ranging from the nuclear enterprise, cyberspace, expeditionary forces and space. For a full agenda visit: http://www.afa.org/events/NatlSymp/2010/GWS2010_Agenda.asp. Visit https://registration.afa.org/reg/la2010reghome.aspx to register.

 

Global Initiatives Council - Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce on Nov. 19

On Wednesday, November 17, 2010 -  9:00 am - 10:30 am, LA Chamber Members & Invited Guests gather to hear guest speaker,Dr. Ira Kalish, Director of Global Economics, Deloitte Research, examine the global economic environment and offer his view on what to expect in 2011 and beyond. To register, contact Global Initiatives Manager Jasmin Sakai-Gonzalez jgonzalez@xxxxxxxxxxxxx or 213-580-7569

 

Aerospace & Defense Forum Meeting in Los Angeles on Nov. 19

Join us on Friday, November 19, 2010 - 7:30 am - 9:00 am at Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Mitchell, 1900 Avenue of the Stars, 7th Floor, LA.  The Honorable Andrea Seastrand, Executive Director, California Space Authority will discuss the latest economic impact report of California Space Enterprise, conducted by A.T.Kearney for the California Space Authority (CSA), and the status and plans for CSA's major project, the California Space Center. RSVP is required to irosenberg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or 818-505-9915. Visit http://www.frontier-assoc.com/Services/AD%20invite%20Nov%202010.pdf

 

CSA Annual Membership Reception and Dinner Meeting in Los Angeles on Dec. 2

Join your CSA Board of Directors and fellow CSA members for a night of networking and dinner from 4:00 - 5:00 pm at The Proud Bird Restaurant, LAX. RSVP Required by Monday, November 22. This is a Members Only event. For information on becoming a member and to register for the meeting, please contact Elizabeth Burkhead at 805-349-2633 or Elizabeth.Burkhead@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

 

ITAR Export Compliance Training in Hawthorne on Dec. 6

The El Camino Center for International Trade Development (CITD) offers low-cost export compliance training on Monday, December 6, 2010 from 10:00 am - 3:30 pm at El Camino College Center for International Trade Development in Hawthorne.  Many defense products require U.S. export licenses even, if not directly exported.  For example, if your component or part is adapted or modified and assembled into another company's military aircraft destined for export, your product falls under the jurisdiction of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and your company is subject to trade controls. If you are concerned, want to know more, or want reassurance that you are in compliance, this program will guide you through all the requirements and procedures. RSVP by Monday, November 29. To register and for additional information, visit http://www.californiaspaceauthority.org/images/events/event_itar_101206.pdf

 

SpaceUp "Unconference" Planned in San Diego on Feb. 27-28

SpaceUp is a space unconference, where participants decide the topics, schedule, and structure of the event. Everyone who attends SpaceUp is encouraged to give a talk, moderate a panel, or start a discussion. Sessions are proposed and scheduled on the day they’re given, which means the usual “hallway conversations” turn into full-fledged topics. Visit http://spaceup.org/sandiego/

 

RS2011- Reinventing Space 2011 at LAX - May 2-5

This year the Responsive Space Conference has become the Reinventing Space Conference in order to put a renewed emphasis on the importance of reducing cost. Most of the people working in Responsive Space have also wanted to create much lower cost space missions. At RS3, Dr. Pete Rustan urged the community to use Responsive Space developments and advancements as a means of reducing the cost of larger, more traditional space systems. The current economic crisis makes that need even more critical if we are to meet the ambitious goals of the American space program. If a solution to the prohibitively high cost of space is not found, then the shortfall in future years will require major cuts in space activity. We are already starting to see that occur. It’s a problem that must be addressed and addressed quickly. Our goal for RS 2011 is to try to help. A classified session (DoD Secret) will also be held on May 6, 2011. For additional information visit http://www.ResponsiveSpace.com

 

Mark your calendars! The week of March 28, 2011, will be Space Week in Washington, D.C.

CSA and its members will meet with Congressional members and staff to discuss issues of vital importance to CA space enterprise. In addition, there will be private meetings with key executive branch officials representing the White House, NASA, the Air Force, Department of State, DARPA, Department of Commerce and the Department of Transportation. Additional details will be available soon!

 

Last Week’s DOD Contract Awards in California

 

Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding, Inc., Newport News, Va., is being awarded a $55,127,166 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-2116) for procurement and manufacture of additional materials in support of the construction preparation efforts for CVN 79, the second aircraft carrier of the Gerald R Ford (CVN 78) class.  Work includes necessary research studies; engineering; design; related development efforts; advanced planning; advanced procurement for detailed design and procurement of long lead material; logistics data; and other data to support the anticipated fiscal 2013 ship detail design and construction.  This contract modification provides for additional specific materials in support of these preparation efforts.  Work will be performed in Sunnyvale, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Aug. 25, 2014.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

 

EDO Communication and Countermeasures Systems, Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif., is being awarded a $29,112,179 cost-plus-incentive-fee, cost-plus-award-fee, cost only, and firm-fixed-price modification to previously awarded contract (N0024-09-C-6316) to exercise options for all material and services to support the system development and demonstration phase through engineering design model for the three capabilities (dismounted, mounted and fixed site) of the joint counter radio-controlled improvised explosive device electronic warfare 3.3 system of systems.  Work will be performed in Clifton, N.J. (67 percent), and Thousand Oaks, Calif. (33 percent), and is expected to be complete by March 2012.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

 

Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Tewksbury, Mass., is being awarded an $8,493,000 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-10-C-5126) to exercise options for engineering services for the Zumwalt (DDG 1000) class destroyer program.  Work includes performing test and evaluation, design solution, shock qualification testing, training, and life time support class services.  Work will be performed in Dulles, Va. (31.0 percent); Portsmouth, R.I. (19.7 percent); Moorestown, N.J. (13.7 percent); San Diego, Calif. (11 percent); Sudbury, Mass. (6.6 percent); Bath, Maine (5.5 percent); Philadelphia, Pa. (5.5 percent); Arlington, Va. (5.5 percent); Tewksbury, Mass. (1.1 percent); and Washington, D.C. (0.4 percent).  Work is expected to complete by September 2011.  Contract funds in the amount of $3,805,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

 

Ontic Engineering and Manufacturing, Inc., Chatsworth, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $12,825,000 firm-fixed-price contract for shock strut assembly parts.  There are no other locations of performance.  Using service is Army.  There were originally two proposals solicited with two responses.  The date of performance completion is Dec. 31, 2013.  The Defense Logistics Agency Aviation (Redstone Arsenal), Huntsville, Ala., is the contracting activity.

 

Northrop Grumman Space and Missions Systems Corp., San Jose, Calif., was awarded a $23,646,636 contract which will provide for the design and build of a pod mounted prototype for the MQ-9 platform.  At this time, $17,106,465 has been obligated.  ASC/WINK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

 

Northrop Grumman Space and Missions Systems Corp., San Jose, Calif., was awarded a contract modification which will provide for a prototype sensor for the MQ-9 installed in a pod to support a limited flight demonstration of the ASIP-2 functionally.  The contractor shall support the General Atomics effort to certify the pod for air worthiness on the MQ-9.  At this time, $5,433,892 has been obligated.  ASC/WINK, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity.

 

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Tewksbury, Mass., is being awarded a $10,314,427 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-05-C-5346) to exercise an option for the next phase of production design verification for the Zumwalt (DDG 1000) class destroyer program.  Work will be performed in Tewksbury, Mass. (42.3 percent); Moorestown, N.J. (36.6 percent); Portsmouth, R.I. (14.2 percent); Leesburg, Va. (2.7 percent); Sudbury, Mass. (2.4 percent); San Diego, Calif. (1.1 percent); and Minneapolis, Minn. (0.7 percent).  Work is expected to be completed by March 2012.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.

 

Compiled for the California Space Authority by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Edward Ellegood

 


-- 
Dianna Minor, Executive Administrator
http://www.CaliforniaSpaceAuthority.org/
3201 Airpark Dr. #204, Santa Maria, CA 93455
(805) 349-2633 x110, FAX (805) 349-2635
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