[CSA] CSA: SpotBeam California, July 28, 2009

  • From: Jamie Foster <jamie.foster@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: csa@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 13:36:17 -0700


SpotBeam California

Voice, Visibility, Edge


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

July 28, 2009


California Items

JPL Director Predicts a Decade of Space Progress (Source: CNN)
What can we expect from space exploration over the next decade? By the time Brainstorm Tech 2019 convenes, we will have established a permanent presence on another planet (Mars), we’ll know if life exists on other planets in our solar system, we’ll have a “family portrait” of our neighboring 2,000 solar systems, and we’ll have a better understanding of what’s happening on our planet. This is what Dr. Charles Elachi, director of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and vice president of the California Institute of Technology, predicts is within our grasp. (7/23)


Join us at the Space-Enabled Global Communications and Electronic Systems Industry Update, Aug. 6
Co-Hosted by CSA and Cisco in
Irvine. Tour included. "Space" has served as a utility for the communications industry for years and 21st century emerging technologies will increase performance, reliance on space, innovative technology requirements and opportunities for communications products providers and electronics suppliers. Other corporate supporters include Loral. Visit http://www.californiaspaceauthority.org/images/events/events_090806_Cisco.pdf for information and registration.


California SpotBeam Awards Dinner, Nov 18 (Source:CSA)
SAVE THE DATE . Join us at California Space Authority's Signature Event, the 2009 California Space Enterprise  SpotBeam Awards Reception and Dinner, to be held on
November 18, 2009 at the Proud Bird Restaurant in Los Angeles. For sponsorship opportunities contact Elizabeth.Burkhead@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or visit http://www.prestoregister.com/cgi-bin/order.pl?ref=csa-event&fm=1 to register.


California SpotBeam Awards Nominations Deadline is Aug 31 (Source: CSA)


Ion Engine Could One Day Power 39-Day Trips to Mars (Source: New Scientist)
There's a growing chorus of calls to send astronauts to Mars rather than the moon, but critics point out that such trips would be long and grueling, taking about six months to reach the Red Planet. But now, researchers are testing a powerful new ion engine that could one day shorten the journey to just 39 days. Traditional rockets burn chemical fuel to produce thrust. Most of that fuel is used up in the initial push off the Earth's surface, so the rockets tend to coast most of the time they're in space.

Ion engines, on the other hand, accelerate electrically charged atoms, or ions, through an electric field, thereby pushing the spacecraft in the opposite direction. They provide much less thrust at a given moment than do chemical rockets, which means they can't break free of the Earth's gravity on their own. But once in space, they can give a continuous push for years, like a steady breeze at the back of a sailboat, accelerating gradually until they're moving faster than chemical rockets. (7/24)

Armstrong Snubs Pelosi Autograph Request (Source: The Hill)
Speaker Nancy Pelosi got dissed by astronaut Neil Armstrong after a ceremony at which the California Democrat honored the moonwalking hero and his historic Apollo 11 flight. After the event marking the 40th anniversary of Armstrong’s “giant leap for mankind,” held in the
Cannon House Office Building on Tuesday, an admiring Pelosi approached Armstrong with pen in hand, a witness said.

Pelosi asked the publicity-shy former astronaut to autograph something for her, but he wouldn’t oblige. “I’m sorry, I don’t do that anymore,” Armstrong informed the autograph-seeker. Turns out, Pelosi shouldn’t take his put-down personally. Armstrong reportedly refuses all autograph requests, no matter how powerful the person asking. He stopped giving out his John Hancock years ago, news reports say, fearing forgeries and concerned about those making large amounts of money from autographed items. (7/22)

Hornet to Commemorate Role in Apollo Missions (Source: San Francisco Chronicle)
Forty years ago, the crew of the aircraft carrier Hornet recovered the three Apollo 11 astronauts after their command module splashed down in the Pacific returning from their historic mission to the moon. Three months later, the ship recovered the crew of Apollo 12, whose three astronauts had completed the second successful lunar mission. The Hornet is now a museum docked at the former Alameda Naval Air Station, where veterans of the two recovery missions will celebrate those events at Splashdown 2009. (7/23)

XCOR Tests Lynx Design in USAF Wind Tunnel (Source: XCOR)
XCOR Aerospace, Inc., announced today that it has finished a series of subsonic wind tunnel tests of the aerodynamic design of its Lynx suborbital launch vehicle. The tests took place at the U.S. Air Force test facility located at Wright-Patterson Air Base using an all-metal 1/16th scale model of the Lynx. (7/24)

WhiteKnightTwo Lands At AirVenture 2009 (Source: AP)
Hundreds of earthlings turned their faces to the sky Monday to see an airplane built to launch a ship into space, watching the gleaming white craft soar overhead.The twin-fuselage craft named WhiteKnightTwo, looking like two planes connected at the wing tips, circled the runway several times before touching down at the Experimental Aircraft Association's Air Venture annual gathering.


How to Glue Together a Lighter Spacecraft (Source: New Scientist)
Rocket-driven spacecraft normally use strong, heavy-metal mountings to hold their fuel tanks in place within the fuselage. But there may be a better way. Burt Rutan, the aerospace pioneer whose firm Scaled Composites is designing civilian suborbital spacecraft for Virgin Galactic, is using an alternative technique to secure the fuel tanks in order to keep the weight of the space plane down.

Rutan says the use of heavy mountings can be avoided completely by careful design of the tank and fuselage. His idea, described in a
US patent granted last month, is to glue the fuel tanks to the inside of the craft. His tanks have a cylindrical composite-coated midsection that fits snugly inside the spacecraft and is bonded to the inner surface of the fuselage with a superstrong industrial adhesive. A secure fit is crucial as the tanks are connected to the combustion chamber where fuel is burned, and any movement could risk a dangerous leak. (7/25)

Cal Poly Pomona Helps Pique An Early Interest In Engineering With Project Lead The Way (Source: CSA)
Brian Engstrom wants to build a better mousetrap, but he’s not out to get more rodents. Rather, the young teacher at
Don Lugo High School in Chino hopes to capture his students’ interest in engineering by showing them the discipline’s real-world applications...

Boeing Ends Protest Over $1.1 Billion Satellite Job (Source: Wall Street Journal)
Boeing, ending a months-long battle over a government weather-satellite contract, on Tuesday withdrew its protest and cleared the way for rival Lockheed Martin Corp. to sign a contract potentially worth $1.1 billion. The latest move ends efforts by the General Accountability Office to look into what Boeing alleged were "serious flaws and lack of transparency" in NASA's decision to choose Lockheed for the work. The job calls for building as many as four GOES-R civilian weather satellites, designed to improve the accuracy and timeliness of federal weather forecasting.

In a statement, Boeing said it decided to withdraw its protest "after gaining additional insight into the re-evaluation" of how Lockheed emerged as the winner. Boeing had protested the decision and the GAO opened a review. But that GAO effort was never completed because NASA agreed to re-evaluate the bids. After NASA officials upheld their original award, Boeing formally asked the GAO a second time to re-examine the way the acquisition was handled. That protest was filed under seal, and it isn't clear why Boeing decided to withdraw it. Boeing, which won the previous GOES satellite contract, had been hoping that another award would help keep a steady flow of work through its
Southern California satellite-making complex. (7/22)

NASA Student Airborne Research Program Takes Flight in California (Source: NASA)
Twenty-nine undergraduate and graduate students are participating in a six-week NASA Airborne Science field experience designed to immerse them in NASA's Earth Science research. The students represent 26 colleges and universities across the
U.S. and nine foreign countries.

NASA's Student Airborne Research program runs from July 6 to Aug. 14 in
California. The program began with lectures from university faculty members, research institutions and NASA scientists at the University of California, Irvine. One of the speakers is Sherwood Rowland of the University of California, Irvine, a Nobel Laureate in chemistry, who is a long-time user of NASA's DC-8 airborne capabilities for his research on atmospheric chemistry. (7/23)

U.S. Air Force Accepts Second Lockheed Martin SIBRS HEO System for Operations
The Lockheed Martin [NYSE:
LMT]-led team developing the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) announced today that the second Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO-2) payload and ground system modifications have been accepted for operations by the U.S Air Force, paving the way for U.S. Strategic Command’s formal certification of the HEO-2 system next month…




National & International Items


New NASA Boss: Astronauts on Mars in his Lifetime (Source: AP)
NASA's new boss says he will be "incredibly disappointed" if people aren't on Mars -- or even beyond it -- in his lifetime. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr., who's 62, told The Associated Press that his ultimate goal isn't just Mars -- it's anywhere far from Earth. "I did grow up watching Buck Rogers and Buck Rogers didn't stop at Mars," Bolden said in one of his first interviews since taking office last Friday. "In my lifetime, I will be incredibly disappointed if we have not at least reached Mars." That appears to be a shift from the space policy set in motion by President George W. Bush, who proposed first returning to the moon by 2020 and then eventually going to Mars a decade or two later. Bolden didn't rule out using the moon as a stepping stone to Mars and beyond, but he talked more about Mars than the moon. (7/21)

"Feelings are Back" at NASA Under Bolden, Garver (Source: Florida Today)
New NASA administrator Charles Bolden introduced himself to employees today with an informal speech filled with humor and emotion, presenting a strikingly different leadership style to that of his predecessor, Mike Griffin. Bolden, a four-time shuttle flyer and retired Marine Corps Maj. General, said he likes to give hugs and cries a lot, and as advertised became choked up several times during an hour-long "all-hands" address from NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C.

He was joined by his deputy administrator, Lori Garver. The U.S. Senate confirmed both last Thursday and they were sworn in Friday. The talk included little discussion about policy or looming challenges like retirement of the space shuttle and a White House panel's ongoing review of NASA's human spaceflight program. Bolden said the panel chaired by Lockheed Martin Corp.
CEO Norman Augustine was "not something to fear," and that he would have requested it had he been confirmed earlier. "It kind of took me off the hook," he said. (7/21)

Editorial: Missing the Mark (Source: Space Policy Online)
It is easy to become swept up in the enthusiasm of the new leadership team at NASA. Blogs and newspapers have been full of opinions about the past, present, and future of NASA, especially whether Charlie Bolden and Lori Garver have what it takes to turn the agency around. But these commentaries all seem to miss the mark. They are commentaries on NASA. What can NASA do? What should NASA do? Why can’t NASA be better than it is? How will Charlie and Lori fix NASA?

NASA is the wrong target. The question of whether NASA is achieving the goals that
America wants should be aimed at the President of the United States and the indecisive (according to polls) American public that he represents. NASA has spent the last 40 years doing what it was told to do – build and operate the space shuttle and (albeit much more slowly and at much greater cost than expected) build a space station – while waiting for the signal to advance beyond low Earth orbit once more. The starting gun has fired twice, in 1989 and in 2004 but the occupants of the Oval Office in each of those cases did not follow through with requisite funding and political muscle to ensure those efforts bore fruit. (7/23)

Space Program Struggles for Direction (Source: Wall Street Journal)
Forty years after astronauts set foot on the moon, America's space program is struggling to find decisive leadership, clear-cut goals and consistent public support. Despite a flurry of celebrations commemorating the July 1969 lunar landing of Apollo 11 and a pledge from President Barack Obama, a self-described space geek, to reinvigorate the agency,
U.S. manned space efforts remain in limbo. Federal budget constraints threaten to scuttle NASA's current plans to spend more than $70 billion to build a new generation of rockets and space capsules to return to the moon after 2020. While alternate proposals promise lower costs and fewer technical risks, they continue to spark disputes with industry and government officials intent on protecting incumbent contractors.

NASA has been drifting and no longer "is the inspiration of a nation," said Sen. Jay Rockefeller of
West Virginia, the Democratic chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that oversees NASA. As part of the drive to make the agency's mission more relevant, the White House is widely expected to focus greater efforts on environmental issues. Meanwhile, China, Russia, Japan, India and various European countries are scrambling to take the lead. "We're going to have to get used to seeing strangers in the sky," futurist Alvin Toffler told a space symposium earlier this year. (7/20)

Poll Shows Mixed Public Support for Space (Source:
A new Fox/Rasmussen poll surveyed people’s feelings about space exploration: 44% believe the U.S. should cut back on space exploration, given the state of the economy; 45% think the U.S. space investment since Apollo 11 has been worth the expense; 51% think the U.S. should not be planning to send humans to Mars; 58% would not want to be part of a mission to space; 55% think it is very likely or somewhat likely that life exists on other planets. (7/20)

Editorial: Time to Rethink Spending on NASA and Space Exploration (Source: Kalamazoo Gazette)
This year, NASA is costing each American household about $150. If that was put on a ballot, I wonder, would it pass? Maybe I'm missing something. Maybe the agency that helped invent Tang and Teflon really is more critical or more popular than I imagine. Or maybe it's time to regroup and rethink. Lots of people are wringing their hands these days about wasteful government spending. Should we be turning that attention to NASA? (7/22)


With Big Multi-State DOD Programs Like F-22 Cut, Could NASA be Next? (Source: NASA Watch)
"The real question isn't so much the programs - its the Centers; does NASA REALLY need '10 healthy centers'? For that matter, at current funding levels, can it afford them? The sad reality behind the fallacy of funding exploration by terminating shuttle (& eventually ISS) is that probably 25-30% of their costs is covering the overhead costs to sustain JSC, MSFC, Michoud, etc.

NASA badly needs to consolidate - after an objective BRAC-like process - and dump at least 2 facilities; it will come at a political cost but dragging around an institutional overhead sized for Apollo while operating a space program on Mercury era budgets, as a % of
GDP, makes no sense. F-22 may show its possible to kill big multi-state programs but can we muster the political will to trim excess facilities in only one or two locations?" (7/26)

Mars: Astronauts Remain Stuck in 1969 (Source: What's New)
Charles Bolden said he wants to go to Mars. How incredibly old-fashioned! We are on Mars now. This is the 21st century. We have discovered robotics. More than that, we have telerobots. Spirit and
Opportunity are merely robust extensions of our fragile human bodies. They don't break for lunch, or complain about the cold nights, and they live on sunshine. We have been on Mars for more than five years, looking for evidence of water and life. A human on Mars would be locked in a spacesuit with only the sense of sight. Our rovers have better eyes than any human, and we don't have to take their word it; everyone can see what they see. How wonderfully democratic! Moreover, they have the IQ of their PhD operators back on Earth. (7/19)

Tom Wolfe: Giant Leap to Nowhere (Source: New York Times)
After Apollo, all NASA and von Braun needed was the president’s and Congress’s blessings and the great adventure would continue. Why would they so much as blink before saying the word? Three months after the landing, however, in October 1969, I began to wonder ... I was in
Florida, at Cape Kennedy, the space program’s launching facility, aboard a NASA tour bus. The bus’s Spielmeister was a tall-fair-and-handsome man in his late 30s ... and a real piece of lumber when it came to telling tourists on a tour bus what they were looking at. He was so bad, I couldn’t resist striking up a conversation at the end of the tour.

Sure enough, it turned out he had not been put on Earth for this job. He was an engineer who until recently had been a NASA heat-shield specialist. A baffling wave of layoffs had begun, and his job was eliminated. It was so bad he was lucky to have gotten this stand-up Spielmeister gig on a tour bus.

Neil Armstrong and his two crew mates, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins, were still on their triumphal world tour ... while back home, NASA’s irreplaceable team of highly motivated space scientists — irreplaceable! — there were no others! ...anywhere! ... You couldn’t just run an ad saying, “Help Wanted: Experienced heat-shield expert” ... the irreplaceable team was breaking up, scattering in nobody knows how many hopeless directions.

NASA Trashed its Own Brand (Source: LA Times)
The famous science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke said, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." When NASA did the seemingly impossible and pulled off the Apollo moon landings, astronauts became our brave heroes and NASA was viewed almost as an academy for wizards and alchemy.

Through the extraordinary results of key missions, NASA earned the solar-system equivalent of unparalleled "street credibility." This success fueled the emergence of the NASA "brand," one of the most recognizable and powerful franchises on the planet. When the public thought of NASA, it often thought of science, integrity, discovery, credibility, high technology and the future of humanity. NASA made being a techie nerd cool.

But although NASA has assembled perhaps the largest group of world-class talent on science and technology, but rather than inspiring its bright minds to excel, it has instead smothered them with bureaucracy. All brands have life cycles. Importantly, an organization cannot manage its brands entirely by public relations and spin. Brand values have to be primarily driven by strategy and earned by results. (7/24)

Miles O'Brien: The Message is Part of the
Mission (Source: NASA Watch)
In testimony to Congress last week, former CNN reporter Miles O'Brien said: "[NASA], dispersed geographically as well by centers of expertise and excellence - does not speak with one voice as it should. Public Affairs herein
Washington needs more authority to direct the far flung PR operations - and frankly they need a budget - which currently is 0. You do get what you pay for. There is no doubt the mission is the message - and NASA needs to be taking us places where we have not been before to capture the fancy of a jaded public. But the message is also part of the mission - it should never be an afterthought." (7/20)

Bill Nye: Time for NASA to Innovate, Inspire (Source: LA Times)
Scientist Bill Nye says it may be time for NASA to reexamine its mission and cede appropriate tasks to private companies in order to better focus on a Mars mission and other 21st-century endeavors. "It's up to our new NASA administrator to calm the Cold Warriors and focus the agency on what it does best: inspiring us as we explore stars and worlds from space." (7/24)

Alan Stern: Apollo's Greatest Achievement (Source: Space Review)
With the perspective now of 40 years, what was the biggest effect Apollo had? Alan Stern says it's the inspiration it provided to a generation of Americans, some of whom are now turning their attention to the commercial development of space. Visit
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1423/1 to view the article. (7/20)

Apollo Astronauts Offer Obama Their Views on NASA's Future (Source:
President Barack Obama welcomed a group of former Apollo astronauts to the White House on Monday to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong's "great leap" onto the lunar surface. But despite the president's vow to maintain NASA's "inspirational" role in space exploration, the Apollo vets had little positive to say about the current state of the space agency. Walter Cunningham said NASA's funding levels are "idiotic," while Jim Lovell called the International Space Station "almost a white elephant." Buzz Aldrin said a mission to Mars was needed to rivet the nation's attention, and Lovell seemed to agree. "The only way to have people glued to their TV sets is to have an accident ... or do something that is really different," he said. (7/21)

What NASA's Return to the Moon May Look Like (Source: New Scientist)
The Apollo era may have ended as funding fizzled, and the program's astronauts may be bigger fans of Mars, but the hope of returning to the moon never really went away. NASA is still sorting out what this lunar presence might look like. The agency's lunar surface systems office has examined more than a dozen different mission scenarios for astronaut habitats in preparation for a review in mid-2010.

The front-runner is a "greatest hits" scenario that combines the best parts of other mission concepts, Leonard told New Scientist. In this approach, lunar landers would deliver habitats, rovers, and robots that could crawl across the lunar surface, propelled by solar power. Click
here to see a gallery of proposed designs for NASA's future return to the moon. (7/23)

Moon Rush - Goldmine of the Future (Source: Daily Beast)
It may look like a lifeless chunk of rock, but scientists say the moon may become a valuable piece of real estate one day. According to Agence France-Presse, manned missions to the moon may uncover scarce resources that ultimately prove profitable. One potentially useful find is helium-3, which could be used as fuel if nuclear-fusion technology ever becomes widespread. "It's not the only solution to the accelerating demand for energy that we are going to see on Earth, but it's certainly one of the major potential solutions to that demand," geologist and former astronaut Harrison Schmitt told the
AFP. Click here to view a collection of articles on whether we should return to the moon and venture on to Mars. (7/20)

Final Frontier Attracts Few Investors, Analysts Say (Source: AIA)
The space industry has grown by only 25% in the last three decades or so, with two-thirds of spending coming from government sources, according to experts. "Rockets are no better today than what they were with Sputnik," says an analyst with GlobalSecurity.org, who adds: "We thought we'd be going to the moon on PanAm by now." Lower government spending is partly to blame, along with the absence of a clear business model for private companies. "Nobody's been able to figure out what can you do in space that will allow you to make a lot of money," says a Teal Group analyst. "In the aircraft and railroad business, it became obvious that transporting cargo made you money, but in the case of space it is just not that easy." (7/21)

Advertising on the Moon (Source: Parabolic Arc)
New Shadow Shaping technology creates images on the moon that can be seen from Earth. Robots are used to create several small ridges in the lunar dust over large areas that capture shadows and shape them to form logos, domains names or memorials. For more information on this technology, click
here. (7/21)

Google Flies You to the Moon (Source:
Google Earth can now take you to the moon. Timed with the 40th anniversary of the first moon walk, the Internet giant on Monday released an addition to its Google Earth mapping software to provide images of moon landscapes and traces of human exploration there. Called the Moon in Google Earth and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, the software allows you to see topographical features on our closest celestial neighbor with the lunar equivalent of Google Street View. People can also see a gallery of the Apollo space missions and get information on every robotic spacecraft that has visited the moon. (7/20)

How TV News Would Cover the Moon Landing if it Happened Today (Source: Slate)
here to view a video depicting how the Apollo 11 Moon landing would have been covered by today's television news media. (7/21)

NASA Goes Private for Space Transportation (Source: Tampa Tribune)
NASA is turning to private space companies to plug a worrisome five-year gap in its ability to boost astronauts into orbit and return them safely to Earth. The gap runs from the end of next year, when the three remaining space shuttles are supposed to be retired, until 2015, the earliest that NASA's replacement system will be ready to do the job.

To shorten the spaceflight gap, two private companies are being asked to demonstrate the ability to deliver food, water, equipment and supplies to the space station starting in 2011. Commercial launches of human crews, a much riskier operation, would come no sooner than 2012, if at all. There will be "a significant gap" in the ability to get cargo and people into orbit, Michael Suffredini, space station program manager, told the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee last week. (7/25)

Attention Sen. Shelby: NASA Doesn't Have Monopoly on Ingenuity (Source: Waco Tribune)
While Americans are ruminating, perchance even dreaming of man’s quest for the moon and beyond, some are reflecting on the sobering fact we no longer have the right stuff to put a man on the moon. As leaders debate what NASA’s mission should be, fights rage over the imminent retirement of the aging space shuttle and the NASA Constellation program some see as replacing it, despite problems that have dogged and delayed it.

Some insist NASA should be concentrating on the conquest of space and new rocket technologies, leaving the nuts and bolts of building more conventional rockets for NASA to spunky outfits such as SpaceX. The debate has created rifts. U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, a Republican conservative who has made a career of attacking government-run programs, ironically is all for those in his home state, including the beleaguered Constellation program.

Most recently, he sought to divert more money originally targeted for private rocketry firms such as SpaceX into the government-run Constellation program. Some political observers fear he’ll succeed, too, unless
U.S. Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn weigh in. His efforts seem contrary to cherished Republican principles, going against the very grain of private enterprise and the ingenuity that often sprouts in such endeavors. (7/24)

Alabama Senator Shelby Recast as Scrooge in NASA 'Christmas Carol' (Source: DailyKos)
Imagine, if you will, that Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has been adapted into an allegory about NASA. Follow Senator Ebenezer Scrooge (R - Alabama) as he is taken on a magical journey through time and space, witnessing events as they occurred, are occurring, and will occur if the status quo continues. Click
here to read the story. (7/21)

Constellation Gets $310M In NASA Stimulus Funding (Source: Space News)
NASA's Constellation program stands to get $310 million in stimulus funding following Congress' signing off in mid-July on the agency's plan to spend the $1 billion it received under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act enacted in February. Another $90 million will be spent on NASA commercial crew and cargo programs.

NASA waited months for lawmakers to approve the spending plan, which was submitted to lawmakers in April. Congressional and industry sources said the funds were held up by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who wanted all $400 million the recovery act included for exploration to be spent on Constellation. Although the initial spending plan included $400 million for space exploration, NASA proposed to spend only $250 million on Constellation, with the remaining $150 million going toward commercial crew and cargo systems. (7/24)

ATK Unveils Ares-1 First Stage Demo Motor (Source: Hyperbola)
Alliant Techsystems released on 20 July an image of the first five segment demonstration motor for NASA's Ares I crew launch vehicle first stage. Called Demonstration Motor One or DM-1, it is set for ignition on 25 August. The test had been set for 2 April and then 13 August. Between now and the new date of 25 August
ATK will install the instrumentation for the test. (7/21)

Ares V Minus Ares 1 = Ares IV (Source: NASA Watch)
Sources report that Steve King and his team are now focusing on a so-called Ares IV architecture - a smaller, less powerful version of the Ares V - one that would keep the current Ares-1 upperstage. Boeing seems to be in favor of this option rather than one that would use EELVs. The Ares IV would be used to launch crew or cargo missions. Editor's Note: This is a departure from the post-Columbia policy to fly crew and cargo aboard two separate vehicles. It also seems very similar to the Jupiter vehicle approach that Marshall Ares-1 managers spent a lot of time discrediting. (7/24)

Interview with Ross Tierney of Direct Launch (Source: Next Big Future)
Here is an interview with Ross Tierney. Mr. Tierney is a representative of the of the Direct Launcher organization, which has a proposal to get to the moon using NASA shuttle components and other existing technology. This Jupiter rocket system could also be used to go to near-earth objects and possibly even Phobos and Mars. The Direct Launch system is based on the Jupiter rocket, which can provide all of the capabilities of the NASA Ares system in less time and at a fraction of the cost. Click
here to view the interview. (7/23)

NASA Delays Producing an Updated Workforce Report (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
Without saying as much, NASA threw up its hands today and admitted that it doesn’t know what is going to happen with its human space flight program or how many people are likely to remain employed by it. The agency released its workforce report, four months late, but didn’t update its long-term job forecasts from its last report in October 2008. Instead, updated numbers will await findings of a presidentially appointed panel reviewing NASA’s current moon rocket plans that's due to report next month.

The findings of the panel, which is headed by former Lockheed Marin
CEO Norm Augustine, could completely change NASA's direction and wipe out its current employment plans. Today's forecast, the latest in a series that NASA must submit to Congress, provides estimates only through the 2010 fiscal year -- while the space shuttle will still be flying.

The October 2008 report predicted at least 3,500 workers at KSC would lose their jobs. But that figure is now seen as widely optimistic. Work on NASA’s proposed Altair lunar lander, once promised to go to KSC, may now be up for grabs. The "gap" between the last shuttle launch and the launch of a new rocket to lift humans even to the international space station may stretch past 2015. A local
Brevard County study found that between 6,000 and 7,000 employees from KSC were likely to lose their jobs, twice the NASA forecast. (7/22)

Florida Losing More Space Jobs Than Other States (Source: Orlando Sentinel)
With an outdated forecast reaching only to the end of FY-2010, the latest NASA workforce report ignores the announcement by United Space Alliance that it would begin laying off 240 workers at KSC in October. The NASA report says there will be no changes in the KSC workforce in FY-2009, which ends on Sept. 30 -- one day before USA is due to hand out its pink slips.

The report also said that other centers, like Marshall Space Flight Center in
Huntsville, Ala., and Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston, actually added employees in the past year. Workers at KSC, who have become increasingly concerned about their futures, are not likely to be fooled by the flat job-loss numbers.

“I honestly think the workforce is savvier than then we give them credit for,” said UCF's Dale Ketcham. “While it’s true we won’t know anything until the Augustine Committee options are decided upon, workers here know that regardless of what decisions are made, a painful transition has been KSC’s fate for years now. The details are to be determined.”


ULA Announces Plan for New Round of Job Cuts (Source: Space News)
U.S. government launch services provider United Launch Alliance (ULA) of Denver has informed employees it will eliminate 224 positions across the company in October, following a first round of 89 layoffs in February. ULA, a Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture, said the reductions are necessary to meet competitive challenges and future pricing assumptions. They are also related to the closing out of ULA's Delta 2 rocket business, the completion of the company's work on NASA's Ares 1-X test flight program and discontinued government funding to accelerate the Atlas 5 launch manifest. (7/24)

ATK Layoffs to Trim up to 450 in October (Source: Standard-Examiner)
Employees at
ATK Space Systems were notified Thursday that the company will eliminate as many as 450 positions in October, with the majority of the cuts happening in Utah. The layoffs are necessary because of cuts in federal defense and space spending, and the upcoming conclusion of a missile program the company does work for in Utah. "We regret having to do this in this economic state we're in, but aerospace is getting hit across the board right now," Patterson said. Most of the cuts will come from ATK's Utah facilities, although a handful will come from facilities in Alabama and Florida. (7/24)

Space Florida Submits White Papers to Augustine Committee (Source: Space Florida)
Space Florida partnered with local space and economic development organizations to craft and submit three white papers to special committees within the Augustine Commission, reviewing the future of U.S. space programs. These papers serve as a precursor to a visit next week by The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, which will hold a public meeting in
Cocoa Beach on Aug. 30. Click here to view the white papers. (7/25)

Florida Hosts Spaceport Executive Summit (Source: Space Florida)
Florida hosted a group of spaceport leaders from around the globe to attend the Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s Spaceport Executive Summit, the first such event of its kind. The Spaceports Executive Summit provided a venue for global spaceport leaders to come together in one setting to discuss best practices and challenges they face in further developing their spaceports.

“The focus was dialog about common challenges and opportunities between industry leaders, and we look forward to continuing long-term and robust collaborative efforts,” said Space
Florida's Frank DiBello. "At the conclusion of the summit, the nine spaceport leaders all resolved to continue working together and strengthen their efforts for cooperation and collaboration," said Stuart Witt of the Mojave Spaceport. (7/24)

Contest Supports Cecil Field Spaceport, Offers NASTAR Training (Source: eSpaceTickets.com)
eSpaceTickets.com was founded to give everyday ordinary people the opportunity to journey to space. They're initiating a national grass-roots support campaign for Cecil Field Spaceport with a prize competition. Their goal is for Cecil Field Spaceport to be a world-class spaceport for the everyday person. Their prize is a space flight preparation, training and genuine space experiences available at the
NASTAR Center. This space tourism prize is valued at $3,000 plus airfare. Visit www.espacetickets.com for information. (7/24)

Wallops a 'Hidden Jewel' (Source: DelMarVaNow.com)
Forty years after astronaut Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, two busloads of Delmarva's movers and shakers this week got a peek at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, which supporters hope will be the next space venture to capture the public's imagination. The tour was organized by the Greater Salisbury Committee. Also touring the spaceport were elected officials, along with economic development and tourism representatives, all of whom were allowed to walk around the control room and a launch pad and view NASA and Navy facilities on
Wallops Island. (7/25)

NASA Langley 'Builds' For The Future (Source: Space Daily)
Building on nearly a century of exploration, aeronautics research and scientific discovery, NASA's Langley Research Center has broken ground for the first building in its "New Town" program, a $200 million facility improvement project designed to enhance mission performance capabilities and renew current facilities. In partnership with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), NASA developed a master plan for modernizing the
Langley infrastructure, while simultaneously reducing operations and maintenance costs. (7/20)

Hawaii Wins World's Largest Telescope With Pricetag of $1.2 Billion (Source: Refreshing News)
A consortium of
U.S. and Canadian universities has decided to build the world's largest telescope in Hawaii. Thirty Meter Telescope Observatory Corp. picked Mauna Kea volcano instead of Chile's Cerro Armazones mountain, the other finalist candidate site. The $1.2 billion telescope should allow scientists to see some 13 billion light years away — a distance so great and so far back in time that researchers should be able to watch the first stars and galaxies forming.

The telescope will be built by the
University of California, the California Institute of Technology and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy. Its mirror will stretch 30 meters, or almost 100 feet, in diameter. That's about three times the diameter of the current world's largest telescopes, which are located atop Mauna Kea. (7/21)

James Webb Telescope To Receive Stimulus Funding (Source: Space News)
NASA plans to spend $65 million of its $1 billion in economic stimulus money to help pay for an existing contract with Northrop Grumman Corp. to complete some design and integration work on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman is NASA's prime contractor for the $4.5 billion JWST program. The infrared telescope is planned for launch in 2014 aboard an Ariane 5 rocket provided by the European Space Agency. (7/24)

Huge Telescope Opens in Spain's Canary Islands (Source: AP)
One of the world's most powerful telescopes opened its shutters for the first time Friday to begin exploring faint light from distant parts of the universe. The Gran Telescopio Canarias, a $185 million telescope featuring a 34-foot (10.4-meter) reflecting mirror, sits atop an extinct volcano. Its location above cloud cover takes advantage of the pristine skies in the
Atlantic Ocean. Planning for the telescope began in 1987 and has involved more than 1,000 people from 100 companies. It was inaugurated Friday by King Juan Carlos. The observatory is located at 2,400 meters (7,870 feet) above sea-level where prevailing winds keep the atmosphere stable and transparent, the Canary Islands Astrophysics Institute said. The institute, which runs the telescope, said it will capture the birth of stars, study characteristics of black holes and decipher some of the chemical components of the Big Bang. (7/24)

China's First Space Telescope Anticipated to be Launched in 2012 (Source: Xinhua)
The predicted launch time of China's first space telescope is in 2012, and will be used to observe space black holes, said the chief scientist of the program Thursday. The Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT) comprises three to four single telescopes equipped with hard X-ray detectors, instead of optical lenses, said Li Tipei, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (
CAS). (7/23)


China To Build Stronger Telescope Network In South Pole (Source: Space Daily)
Chinese astronomers will set up a stronger telescope network on Dome A, the top of the south pole, after the initial success in January, 2008. Gong Xuefei, an astronomer involved in the telescope project, said at a cross-Straits forum on astronomical instruments that the new telescopes are being tested and the first of them is expected to be installed in the south pole in summers of 2010 and 2011. The new network Antarctic Schmidt Telescopes 3 (AST3) is made up of three Schmidt telescopes with an aperture of 50 cm. (7/23)

Is it Time to Invite
China to the Space Party? (Source: Discovery Channel)
Adding China to the station program could expand the international cultural melding blossoming in orbit, give Obama a Kennedy-esque platform from which to flex his space muscles and maybe inspire common ground for solving a whole bunch of other troubling issues that divide the U.S. and China, such as human rights, free speech, copyright infringement, etc., etc. (7/26)

Telespazio and Turkish MoD Sign Contract To Build Gokturk Satellite System (Source: Space Daily)
Telespazio and Undersecretariat For Defence Industries (SSM - Turkish Defence Ministry), in the presence of the Italian Undersecretary of State for Defence hon. Giuseppe Cossiga, have signed a contract in Ankara worth over EUR 250 million for the construction of the Gokturk satellite system. (7/20)

Turkey Expecting Satellite Deal to Spark Homegrown Space Industry (Source: Space News)
The Turkish government's contract with Telespazio to provide a high-resolution optical Earth observation satellite, plus training and ground facilities to develop Turkey's space industry, includes a feature that Turkish authorities say will result in the equivalent of $455 million in contracts being awarded to Turkish industry. In addition, Turkish industry is expected to be given contracts equivalent to 20 percent of the face value of the $353 million Gokturk satellite project. (7/24)

Launch of UAE Satellite Postponed (Source: Taragana.com)
The launch of the
United Arab Emirates’ first remote sensing satellite DubaiSat-1, scheduled Saturday, has been postponed to July 29, WAM news agency reported. The Emirates Institution for Advanced Science and Technology (EIAST) announced that the launch was postponed by the launching company — International Space Company (Cosmotras) — to undertake some safety and security tests. DubaiSat-1 is the first remote sensing satellite owned by the UAE and is designed to provide up-to-date spatial and earth monitoring data. (7/26)

UK Eyes NASA-Style Agency (Source: Space News)
The British government, which for years has invited other European nations to view its way of funding space programs as the way of the future, is now considering whether to abandon its current approach in favor of a classic NASA-style space agency. Lord Drayson, Britain's science and innovation minister, said his office has given itself 12 weeks to consult with the public, industry, academia and other government departments to determine whether the British National Space Center (BNSC) should have its own budget, as is the case in France, Germany, Italy and at the European Space Agency (
ESA), where three-quarters of Britain's space budget is spent. (7/24)

UK Should Ditch Trident to go to Mars (Source: Telegraph)
The biggest obstacle to a British-led mission to Mars is money. But in 2002 the Russians announced their plans to lead a manned mission to the red planet. And guess how much they estimated it would cost? 20 billion dollars – expensive, but worth it.
Britain could afford its own mission. All we have to do is see common sense and ditch plans to replace our worthless Trident nuclear missiles. (7/20)

Italy Skeptical of U.S. European Mars Collaboration (Source: Space News)
The Italian Space Agency (
ASI), which up to now has taken the lead role in Europe's ExoMars lander and rover mission, is deeply skeptical of a planned U.S.-European collaboration on Mars exploration expected to lead to the de facto dismantling of ExoMars as originally planned, ASI President Enrico Saggese said. Saggese said ExoMars appears to have been sacrificed on behalf of a long-term collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). (7/24)

Europe's Mars Rover Slips to 2018 (Source: BBC)
Europe's flagship robotic rover mission to Mars now looks certain to leave Earth in 2018, two years later than recently proposed, the BBC understands. The ExoMars vehicle is intended to search the Red Planet for signs of past or present life. The delay is the third for the mission originally planned to launch in 2011. While the switch will disappoint many people, officials say the change will open up a greatly expanded program of exploration at the Red Planet. (7/26)

Accord Permits India to Launch U.S. Hardware (Source: Space News)
India and the United States have signed a Technology Safeguards Agreement that permits India to launch civil or other non-commercial satellites containing U.S. components. (7/24)

Political Science: Why the
USSR Lost the Space Race (Source: What's New)
Launched on
4 Oct 1957, Sputnik carried no instruments. It just beeped as it passed overhead to taunt Americans. But a month later, Sputnik 2 carried a Geiger tube and a radio transmitter to relay the Geiger output back to Earth. It also carried a tape recorder to store data when the satellite is over the horizon, but it wasn't working on launch day. Soviet scientists placed a call directly to Premier Nikita Khrushchev requesting permission to delay the launch for a day, but Khrushchev refused; he wanted to announce another successful launch at a meeting of heads-of-state the next day


At the very dawn of the space age, politics was already getting in the way of scientific discovery. Thus it was that the Soviet Union failed discover the Van Allen Belts. On 31 Jan 1958, only four months after Sputnik, the US launched Explorer 1 carrying an experiment designed by James Van Allen, Physics Chair at the University of Iowa. It was just a Geiger tube, a radio transmitter, and a recorder -- but the recorder worked. (7/24)

Russian Sexual Discrimination in Space (Source: Russia Today)
Twenty-five years ago Russian cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the second woman to travel into orbit, the first also Russian, but she was the first woman to walk in space. Svetlana was 36 when she was thrust into the Cold War space race. While in orbit she undertook hours of experiments and, in doing so, broke new ground for women to join the front line of space exploration.

It is true the standing of the whole country was at stake, but Svetlana says her mission was tough for other reasons, as she also was the first to fight against sex discrimination. “Even among our space-colleagues there were men wondering why we needed to weld and said that we might burn each other’s space suits or the spaceship’s exterior. It is a great responsibility,” Savitskaya said. “If I listen to their concerns, then people could have said that surely it was not something women should do. But after my spaceflight, everyone had to shut up.” (7/25)

Russian Missile Designer Quits After Test Failures (Source:
The head of the institute developing a sea-based version of
Russia's newest strategic missile has quit following repeated failures of the weapon in testing. Yury Solomonov, head of the Moscow Institute of Thermal Technology, was the most senior official to date to take responsibility for the string of failures of the Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile, currently in development. His resignation would most likely be accepted as the Russian space agency Roskosmos believed that the institute that has spearheaded development of the Bulava required changes in its management structure. (7/22)

Russia Launches Two Satellites (Source: SpaceToday.net)
A Kosmos rocket launched two satellites into orbit early Tuesday. The Kosmos-3M rocket lifted off from the Plesetsk spaceport in northern
Russia and placed two small satellites into low Earth orbit. One satellite is a military satellite, most likely a Parus-series navigation satellite. The other satellite, Sterkh 1, is designed to be part of the international COSPAS-SARSAT search-and-rescue satellite system. (7/22)

Russian Cargo Spaceship Launches to ISS with Supplies, Mail (Source: Xinhua)
A Russian space freighter carrying supplies, gifts and mail for the International Space Station blasted off on Friday, Mission Control officials said. The
Mission Control Center outside Moscow said a Soyuz-U rocket lifted off with the Progress M-67 space freighter from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan. The space freighter will deliver 2.5 tons of supplies, including food, water, fuel, and equipment, and letters and gifts from relatives of the crew. (7/24)

Astronauts Finish ISS Battery Changeout (Source: Aviation Week)
Spacewalkers Chris Cassidy and Tom Marshburn were able to finish replacing the oldest set of batteries on the International Space Station July 24, catching up on a task that was halted abruptly on July 22 when the carbon dioxide level in Cassidy's spacesuit started rising during the third extravehicular activity (EVA) of the
STS-127 mission.

As a result, planners rewrote the timeline for the fourth EVA to accommodate the work left undone. Originally Cassidy and astronaut Dave Wolf were to have replaced four of the six batteries in the P6 truss element on July 22, leaving only two more for the July 24 spacewalk. (7/25)

Space Station Astronauts Fix Broken Toilet (Source: Space Daily)
NASA avoided a rather messy situation in space Monday after giving astronauts aboard the International Space Station the green light to use a toilet after crew members worked for a day to repair it. "The US Destiny lab toilet has been repaired and checked out. The crew has been given a "go" to use it. All three toilets are working," (7/20)

Wait a Bit Longer for Your Galactic Vacation (Source: WIRED)
It’s been five years since SpaceShipOne promised to open space to the masses. So where’s your ride on a rocket? Still under development. Five years ago, there was a lot of buzz about the average person flying to the edge of space and enjoying a little weightlessness. But in the years since, a shortage of funding has dashed the dreams of future astronauts. Several companies that promised to take us beyond atmosphere have quit the space race and others have gone quiet. Like everything else, the fledgling space tourism biz has been hit hard by the economic downturn. Building space ships isn’t cheap, and when the flow of capital slowed, so too did the development. But George French,
CEO of Rocketplane, says things are starting to look better. (7/22)

Embry-Riddle Launches Its Ph.D. Programs to Meet New Challenges in Aviation/Aerospace (Source: ERAU)
The daily challenges of aviation and aerospace are too complex to be solved by specialists alone. In an uncertain economy, airlines struggle to hedge fuel purchases and adjust routes. Space agencies work to stabilize orbiting spacecraft, study the atmosphere and space weather, and design rovers to explore planets.

To serve the need for more broadly educated experts,
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is launching its first two Ph.D. degree programs – in Aviation and Engineering Physics. The new degrees take the university’s unique approach to education – a blend of theory and applied research – to the highest level.

The Ph.D. in Engineering Physics builds on the university’s solid program of space research, which is funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation, U.S. Air Force, and other agencies. Faculty researchers probe Earth’s upper atmosphere for clues about global warming, as well as space weather events like solar storms that can compromise satellite systems and disrupt power grids and pipelines. Others conduct studies of spacecraft dynamics and control, space robotics, cosmology and star formation, quantum optics, and the physiology of space travel. (7/23)

Embry-Riddle Space Physicist Wins Prestigious NSF CAREER Award (Source: ERAU)
Embry-Riddle scientist Dr. Katariina Nykyri has received the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious award for junior faculty members, the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) grant, to support her continuing research into space plasma that may improve our understanding of plasma heating and transport through magnetic boundaries. Dr. Nykyri, an assistant professor in the Physical Sciences Dept. at Embry-Riddle’s
Daytona Beach campus, will receive $483,699 over the next five years from the NSF award program that encourages the activities of teacher-scholars who are judged likely to become leaders in academic research and education. (7/23)

Seven Astronaut Teacher Candidates Announced for Suborbital Flights (Source: Parabolic Arc)
At the NewSpace 2009 conference in Mountain View, Calif., Teachers in Space introduced the next generation of space explorers: seven astronaut teachers who will boldly go where no astronaut has gone before — back into the classroom. “Fifty years after the Mercury 7, on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo Moon landing, we’re rebooting the American space program,” said Teachers in Space project manager Edward Wright said. “The Pathfinder 7 are now training to fly on suborbital spacecraft under development by private companies. They will be the first astronaut teachers to fly in space and return to the classroom, paving the way for hundreds to follow.” (7/21)

You're Not the Center Of the Universe, You Know (Source: Washington Post)
Walk into an open field on a clear, moonless night. Overhead, sparkling stars sprinkle the sky. All of them seem equidistant from you -- and no one else -- and you are lulled into imagining yourself at the center of the universe. For nearly 500 years, astronomers have struggled to break that illusion. Our petty standing in the cosmos is a scientific fact, if not a visceral experience. Earth zips at nearly 67,000 miles an hour around the sun, which in turn completes one lap around the Milky Way every 220 million years, meaning that the last time we were in this neck of the galaxy, dinosaurs were getting ready to rule the planet. Still, as you look skyward in that pitch-black field, Earth seems to be at the heart of all creation.

...More startling, our universe may not be the only one. As physicists attempt to construct a theory that unifies all the forces of nature, one theme repeatedly arises: that additional cosmic realms may be lurking in other dimensions. We could be part of the multiverse; the Big Bang might have occurred when universes outside our dimensional borders bumped into one another. Click
here to view the article. (7/20)

Construction in the Final Frontier (Source: ThomasNet)
Constructing buildings today is no easy task. But building structures in space presents a new set of unique challenges. Here we look at the particulars of non-terrestrial building projects. In the long history of construction, building beyond our planet's boundaries is a relatively new innovation, which explains why we're still hammering out some of the kinks. Delivering materials and assembling parts in an airless, gravity-free vacuum can be a painstaking endeavor further complicated by limits in the number of workers available at a given time.

Despite these challenges, aerospace agencies from around the globe have achieved impressive feats of space construction, most remarkably the International Space Station (ISS). The space shuttle Endeavour's much-delayed mission
STS-127 finally launched last Wednesday. It will be a 16-day long project to complete construction on Japan's Kibo laboratory in the ISS, and will be tied for the longest flight in the station's history. (7/21)

The New Politics of Planetary Defense (Source: Space Review)
A change in administrations had led to a change in how national security risks are assessed. Taylor Dinerman argues that planetary defense -- protecting the Earth from potentially hazardous asteroids and comets -- should play a role in those revised assessments. Visit
http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1418/1 to view the article. (7/20)

Race is On for Space-Junk Alarm System (Source: New Scientist)
A worldwide network of radar stations could tackle the ever-growing problem of space debris - the remains of old rockets and satellites that pose an increasing threat to spacecraft. The
US government is launching a competition, which will run until the end of 2010, to find the best way of tracking pieces of junk down to the size of a pool ball. Three aerospace companies - Northrop Grumman, Lockheed-Martin and Raytheon - have each been awarded $30 million by US Air Force Space Command to design a "space fence" that will constantly report the motion of all objects 5 centimeters wide and larger in medium and low-Earth orbits. (7/26)

U.S. Air Force Secretary Appeals for More ORS Satellite Funding (Source: Space News)
U.S. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley is urging Congress to boost funding in 2009 and 2010 for an Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Office reconnaissance satellite that otherwise will fall behind schedule. (7/24)

House Appropriators Shift DOD Space Funding (Source: Space Policy Online)
The House Appropriations Committee has approved a $636 billion DOD budget for FY-2010, including the following space-related program increases and reductions: $1.3 billion for three EELV missions ($55.7 million above the president's request); $122 million for the Space Based Space Surveillance System ($55 million below the request); $389.4 million for
GPS III ($97.4 million below the request), $39 million for the Third Generation Infrared Satellite ($104 million below the request); $1.8 billion for a fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite (matching the request); and $626.7 million for the Wideband Global Satellite System ($425 million above the request). (7/22)

Intelligence Bill Calls for Space Coordination Office (Source: Space News)
A Senate panel recommended July 22 the creation of a new office within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to coordinate and provide policy direction for the management of space-related intelligence assets. (7/24)

U.S. Space Policy Review Under Way (Source: Aviation Week)
National Security Adviser James Jones is conducting a government-wide review of
U.S. space policy at the request of President Barack Obama. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said Jones - like Bolden a retired Marine Corps general officer - was directed to "review our present policy and decide whether it is in keeping with our vision of the 21st century and where we want to go, and try to come up with a coherent space policy into which NASA and our plans fit.

"He has already started getting together representatives from all the space communities in the country - that's DOD, NASA, commercial space, Department of Transportation and anybody else that has space assets, and science people," Bolden said. Bolden and Lori Garver, NASA's deputy administrator, were to meet with White House Science Adviser John Holdren on July 21 to establish their agency's role in the White House review. (7/22)

Hylas Satellite Moves from SpaceX to Arianespace for Launch (Source: Hyperbola)
Avanti Communications has chosen Arianespace to launch the HYLAS telecommunications satellite. The launch of the HYLAS satellite is planned for the first semester of 2010, using an Ariane 5 or Soyuz launcher from the
Guiana Space Center, Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. The satellite will weigh about 2,750 kg at launch, and has a design life exceeding 15 years. The satellite had previously been scheduled for launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket. (7/22)

GoreSat is Back (Source: NASA Watch)
According to the Senate Armed Services Committee report on the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2010 Triana (aka "DSCOVR" or "GoreSat") is back: "The Air Force is very interested in the space weather information and is part of an interagency team looking at the possibility of refurbishing DSCOVR and launching it to an orbit referred to as L1, about one million miles from Earth on a line with the Sun. If the team determines that the satellite can be refurbished and launched, they will make a recommendation to the President. Notionally, NOAA and NASA would pay for refurbishing the satellite, the Air Force would pay for the launch, and all agencies would receive the data." (7/23)

MDA Wins Polar Satellite Contract (Source: CBC)
The Canadian Space Agency has asked space robotics firm MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates to come up with a plan to put two satellites in space over the North to improve communications and weather observation in the region.
MDA announced Thursday it was awarded a $4.3-million contract to develop the concept for the Polar Communications and Weather (PCW) mission. The mission is to launch two satellites in an elliptical orbit around Northern regions to assist in Canadians operations in the north, including those dealing with protecting Canadian sovereignty. (7/24)

Spot 2 Satellite Retired After 19 Years (Source: Space News)
The French Spot 2 Earth observation satellite, launched in 1990 for what was intended to be three years of service, is being retired after 19 years of uninterrupted operations and will be guided into a graveyard orbit by July 30, the French space agency, CNES, announced July 23. (7/24)

Reprogramming Satellites During Flight (Source: MIT Technology Review)
Researchers in
Germany have developed satellites that can be radically reconfigured in orbit. The approach could ultimately lead to multitasking satellites capable of switching, for example, from detecting pollution to searching for earthlike planets. The researchers, led by Toshinori Kuwahara of the Institute of Space Systems at the University of Stuttgart, plan to launch a test satellite called Flying Laptop in 2012. The spacecraft's onboard computer will be able to reconfigure its own electronic hardware. (7/23)

Boeing Profit Climbs in 2Q on Strong Defense Sales (Source: AP)
Boeing's second-quarter earnings rose 17 percent from a year earlier, when a charge weighed down results. Higher defense sales and lower costs in its commercial aircraft division boosted the company's profit in the latest period. Boeing earned $998 million for the three months ended June 30, compared with $852 million during the same period last year, which included a charge of 22 cents per share for late delivery of military aircraft. Revenue edged up 1 percent to $17.15 billion from $16.96 billion in the year-earlier period. (7/22)

Raytheon Boosts 2009 Profit Outlook Following Strong Quarter (Source:
Strong sales of air-defense systems helped Raytheon to a 15% jump in second-quarter profit, beating analysts' expectations. Missile tests by
North Korea led to increased orders from South Korea and Japan, and "Raytheon stands out as the international sales leader among the primes," according to JPMorgan Chase analyst Joseph Nadol. (7/23)

Northrop 2nd Quarter Profit Drops 20 Percent (Source: AP)
Northrop Grumman Corp.'s second quarter profit dropped by 20 percent as the No. 2 defense contractor said it was hurt by higher pension costs and higher estimates of costs to complete several ships being built in its Gulf Coast yards. Northrop earned $394 million in the three months ended June 30, down from $495 million a year ago. Revenue rose 4 percent to $8.96 billion from $8.63 billion a year ago. (7/23)

L-3 Beats Q2 Estimates with $225M Profit (Source:
L-3 Communications Holdings said a surprising 6% gain in net sales contributed to a second-quarter profit of $225 million -- down from last year's $275 million, but still above analysts' expectations. "We expect to continue to have opportunities to grow our businesses in the second half of 2009, maintain our strong program performance, deliver value for our customers and execute our plan for the year," said
CEO Michael Strianese. (7/23)

Lockheed Martin 2Q Profit down 17 Percent (Source: AP)
Lockheed Martin Corp. said its second-quarter earnings fell nearly 17 percent, as large pension expenses dug into the defense contractor's bottom line and the company's government-services unit posted disappointing results. The results come as Lockheed and the rest of the defense industry continue to digest the effects of a broad shift in spending priorities at the Pentagon, their biggest customer. The company earned $734 million, compared to $882 million last year. Revenue rose about 2 percent to $11.24 billion. (7/21)

California Aerospace Events Calendar


45th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit Planned Aug. 2-5

Insertion of Innovative Technology into New and Evolving Systems - The objective of JPC 2009 is to identify and highlight how innovative aerospace propulsion technologies get inserted into both new and evolving systems. Special panel sessions to be announced will focus on advanced system applications that can be used to showcase the propulsion systems, components and technologies that enable them. To be held at the Colorado Convention Center. Register at www.aiaa.org


Invitation to Attend Convergence Cafe at NASA Ames, Aug 4

You are warmly invited to attend an evening of lively conversation exploring the role of space science and the future of humanity. This summer, NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View is the locus for a convergence of brilliant thinking: NASA hosts International Space University's 2009 Space Studies Program, Singularity University launches its inaugural session at Ames, and humanity celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing. These events will draw in a remarkable collection of people from around the world, and this summer provides a moment in time for collective reflection and inquiry into what matters. You are invited to be a part of this moment.


The Education Collaborative (http://www.educationcollaborative.org) presents an opportunity for dialog within this exceptional gathering, in a series of three Convergence Cafe evenings.  Each Convergence Cafe, about two hours long, engages in a cycle of small, intimate conversations among the 100 participants, with every discussion linked to others throughout the room. Join this unique opportunity to converse with some of the finest minds of our time as we explore questions about the role of space science and humanity's future.  The impact of your participation could ripple outward to affect the future of industry and science, and of humanity's next stage of growth.  There is no cost to participate, but space limits our availability to one Convergence Café evening per person. Visit http://www.collaborativeconversations.com/Convergence_Cafe.html for more details, then register at http://tr.im/ConvergenceCafe to select your preferred evening.


Join us at the Space-Enabled Global Communications and Electronic Systems Industry Update, Aug. 6
Co-Hosted by CSA and Cisco in
Irvine. Tour included. "Space" has served as a utility for the communications industry for years and 21st century emerging technologies will increase performance, reliance on space, innovative technology requirements and opportunities for communications products providers and electronics suppliers. Other corporate supporters include Loral. Visit http://www.californiaspaceauthority.org/images/events/events_090806_Cisco.pdf for information and registration.


Export/Import Controls Training Planned in San Jose on Aug. 12-14
U.S. export/import controls training and education “one-stop-shop” program called “Partnering for Compliance™” West Coast will take place at the Hilton San Jose Hotel on August 12-14, 2009. Kindly consider assisting us to get the details out to businesses, particularly small-to-medium businesses, which would benefit from participation. Confirmed government participants include: Commerce (BIS – licensing & enforcement, Anti-Boycott & Commercial Service); State (DDTC – licensing & enforcement); Defense (DTSA); Homeland Security (CBP & ICE); Treasury (OFAC); U.S. Census Bureau AND NASA; Baker & McKenzie (D.C. & Chicago); Braumiller Schulz LLP (Texas), and U.S. Trade. Visit http://www.partneringforcompliance.org/pfcwc09.pdf


Satellite Educators Association Conference in Los Angeles on Aug. 13-15

NASA is supporting the Satellite Educators Association Conference XXII. Join the Satellite Educators Association for an education conference being held Aug. 13-15, 2009, in Los Angeles, Calif. The annual conference is for educators interested in discovering ways to use satellites and related technologies in the classroom. Participants learn ways to help students appreciate and understand the complex interrelationships among science, technology, individuals, societies and the environment. Conference attendees also learn to develop and apply inquiry and technology skills to study authentic questions and problems. The conference is sponsored by California State University Los Angeles, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing, Lockheed-Martin and Northrop Grumman. For more information, visit http://www.sated.org/index.html.


California Business Ascent Entrepreneurship Competition/Tech Brew Mega Mixer in Santa Barbara, Aug 17
California Business Ascent Entrepreneurship Competition/Investors presentations of new enterprises/innovations will present their projects to venture capitalists at Fess Parker's Doubletree Resort.  
TECH BREW Mega Mixer,  a premier networking/mixer event will follow the presentations.  Endorsed by California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. Visit http://www.smallbizentrepcntr.org, http://www.goldencapital.net and green2gold.org for additional information.


Hands-on Astronomy and Earth-science Teacher Workshops for Grades 4-12 on Sep. 12-13

A weekend of hands-on workshops and informative science talks will be offered as part of the 120th anniversary meeting of the nonprofit Astronomical Society of the Pacific. These workshops will take place Sep. 12-13 at the Westin Hotel near the San Francisco Airport in Millbrae, Calif. The program will include space science and earth science workshops for educators of grades 4 through 12, as well as sessions for educators who work in informal settings (such as museums, nature centers, amateur astronomy clubs, and community organizations.)

A limited number of travel-support scholarships (of up to $300 per person) will be made available for educators. Visit http://www.astrosociety.org/events/2009mtg/workshops.html


AIAA Space 2009 Conference & Exposition Planned in Pasadena on Sep. 14-17

The U.S. government’s massive space modernization program has reached its apex; a new era of human space exploration is beginning as we transition from the Space Shuttle to Constellation; the effects of a complex and dynamic globalized economy are helping shape the market; and the new U.S. presidential administration and Congress mean potential changes in priorities and emphases. The AIAA SPACE 2009 Conference & Exposition will examine these issues and more and will be attended by leaders from all corners of the space community, including key government and industry decision-makers. Register at www.aiaa.org


APSCC 2009 Satellite Conference & Exhibition Planned in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sep. 29 – Oct. 1

The Asia-Pacific Satellite Communications Council (ASPSCC) is holding the 2009 Satellite Conference and Exhibition on Sep. 29 - Oct. 1 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Visit http://www.apscc.or.kr/ for information.


CSA Annual Supplier Innovations Forum Planned in El Segundo on Oct 7

CSA is pleased to announce that Boeing Satellite Systems is graciously co-hosting the CSA Annual Supplier Innovations Forum, inclusive of all agencies, primes and suppliers on 10/7/09 at BSS in El Segundo.  CSA greatly appreciates Boeing’s support, as well as Raytheon’s co-host support of the 2007 Forum, NGC’s co-host support of the 2008 Forum, and The Aerospace Corporation’s support of the inaugural Keynote in 2007 by Dr. Wanda Austin. Save the date!


California SpotBeam Awards Dinner - Nov. 18

Join us at California Space Authority's Signature Event, the 2009 California Space Enterprise  SpotBeam Awards Reception and Dinner, to be held on November 18, 2009 at the Proud Bird Restaurant in Los Angeles. For sponsorship opportunities contact Elizabeth.Burkhead@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or visit http://www.prestoregister.com/cgi-bin/order.pl?ref=csa-event&fm=1 to register.


Last Week’s DOD Contract Awards in California


Integrated Marine Services, Inc., Chula Vista, Calif., is being awarded a $36,400,000 ceiling indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide ventilation cleaning services to the Southwest Regional Maintenance Center’s commercial industrial services code in support of  Navy ships and other government vessels within a 50-mile radius of San Diego, Calif.   Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed by July 2014.  Contract funds in the amount of $3,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured as a HUBZone set-aside via the Federal Business Opportunities website, with five offers received.  The Southwest Regional Maintenance Center, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.


Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $7,085,710 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, contract to provide continued development of a container security device (CSD), a small, low-power sensor mounted on or within a shipping container to detect and warn of the opening or removal of container doors.  The contract includes a three-year ordering period without options.  Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., and is expected to be completed July 23, 2012. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was not competitively procured; this is a sole source, follow-on, contract under the authority of 10 U.S.C. 2304(c)(1), as implemented by FAR 6.302-1: only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements.  Development of the CSD was initiated by SAIC under contract N66001-05-D-6013 which was competitively awarded.  SAIC is the only source qualified and capable of performing the work at a reasonable price to the Government; the use of any other contractor would involve a substantial duplication of costs not expected to be recovered through competition. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific is the contracting activity.


Scientific Applications International Corp., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $200,000,000 fixed-price with economic price adjustment, prime vendor contract for management of consumable items to be use at repair facilities.  Other locations of performance are in North Carolina, Florida and California.  Using service is Navy.  There were originally twelve proposals solicited with four responses.  Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract modification is for the second two-year option period.  The date of performance completion is September 30, 2011.  The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa.


AMEC Earth & Environmental, Inc., Plymouth Meeting, Pa., (N62583-09-D-0128); Innovative Technical Solutions, Inc., Walnut Creek, Calif., (N62583-09-D-0129); Shaw Environmental & Infrastructure, Inc., Irving, Texas (N62583-09-D-0130); Weston Solutions, Inc., West Chester, Pa., (N62583-09-D-0131); and Willbros Government Services (U.S.), LLC, Tulsa, Okla., (N62583-09-D-0132), are each being awarded a firm-fixed price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract in support of the assessment, repair, and construction for petroleum, oils and lubricant (POL) fuel systems at various locations worldwide.  The work to be performed provides for support of the sustainment, restoration, and modernization requirements managed by the Engineering Service Center, Port Hueneme.  The work is to access and repair various POL facilities and systems at various locations, worldwide.  Projects may involve designing, building, engineering, inspection, testing and construction of POL fuel systems and its various components.  The dollar value for all four contracts combined is $70,000,000.  The contract also includes four unexercised options, which if exercised would increase the cumulative contract value to $350,000,000.  Work will be performed at various Department of Defense facilities worldwide.  The term of the contract is not to exceed 60 months, with an expected completion date of July 2014.  Contract funds in the amount of $125,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured via the Navy Electronic Commerce Online website, with eight proposals received.  The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Specialty Center Acquisitions, Port Hueneme, Calif., is the contracting activity.


Harper Construction Company, Inc., San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $6,832,800 modification under a previously awarded firm-fixed price contract (N62473-08-C-2201) to exercise option items 0001 and 0002, which provides for the furniture, fixtures, and equipment for the newly constructed Multi-Battalion Operations Centers at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif.  The total contract amount after exercise of the options will be $48,147,265.  Work will be performed in Twentynine Palms, Calif., and is expected to be completed by October 2010.  Contract funds will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest, San Diego, Calif., is the contracting activity.


BAE Systems Land & Armaments, LP, Santa Clara, Calif., is being awarded a $216,526,924 modification under previously awarded firm-fixed-priced, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (M67854-09-D-5026) for the purchase of Marine Corps Transparent Armor Gun Shield kits for multiple vehicular platforms to provide crew protection from blast, fragmentation, and small arms fire while in the turret.  Work will be performed in Santa Clara, Calif., and is expected to be completed by Dec. 16, 2011.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured.  The Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., is the contracting activity.


EDO Professional Services, Inc., Arlington, Va., is being awarded a $10,181,915 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for engineering support for the development and maintenance of mechanical and electrical hardware and computer software for the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program, and associated unmanned vehicles, systems and equipment.  This three-year contract includes two, one-year options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to an estimated $17,558,194.  Work will be performed in San Diego, Calif., (80 percent) and Kings Bay, Georgia, (20 percent), and base year work is expected to be completed July 21, 2012.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured via publication on the Federal Business Opportunities website, and posting to the SPAWAR e-Commerce Central website.  Nine proposals were solicited and one offer was received.  The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific is the contracting activity.


SRI International, Menlo Park, Calif., was awarded on July 17, 2009 a $ 5,488,594 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for the IPDM program.  It will develop systems that enable safe naturalization of unexploded munitions without their detonation of transportation.  Harnessing advances in electrochemistry and material processing, the systems will swiftly penetrate, eviscerate, and render explosives inert in unexploded ordnance that otherwise be used to make improvised explosive devices.  The portable prototype device will demonstrate safe demilitarization of 50 155mm M107 artillery rounds and be available for field evacuations by operational partners.  Work is to be performed in Menlo Park, Calif., with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2011.  Bids were solicited using a sole source with one bid received. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Arlington, Va., is the contracting activity.


J.E. McAmis, Inc., Chico, Calif., was awarded on July 16, 2009 a firm-fixed-price contract for the Columbia River Channel Improvement rock removal-2009, this project is funded by American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.  Work is to be performed in St. Helens, Ore., (70 percent), and Camas, Wash., (30 percent) with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2010.  Bids were solicited on the World Wide Web with two bids received.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, Portland Ore., is the contracting activity.


Raytheon Co., Integrated Defense Systems, Tewksbury, Mass., is being awarded a $60,000,000 cost-plus-incentive-fee modification to a previously awarded contract (N00024-05-C-5346) to exercise an option for Mission System Equipment (MSE) Class Services for the Zumwalt Class Destroyer Program.  Work will be performed in Raytheon facilities (85 percent) in San Diego, Calif.; Marlboro, Mass.; Sudbury, Mass.; Tewksbury, Mass.; Towson, Md.; Portsmouth, R.I.; Lockheed Martin facilities (12 percent) in Moorestown, N.J. and Akron, Ohio; and BAE facility in Minneapolis, Minn. (3 percent), and is expected to be completed by March 2013.  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., El Segundo, Calif., is being awarded a $41,756,500 modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price contract (N00019-06-C-0301) for the procurement of 14 full rate production lot six Swiss Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared (ATFLIR) Pods and associated spares for the Swiss F/A-18 Program under the Foreign Military Sales Program.  Work will be performed in McKinney, Texas (80 percent) and El Segundo, Calif. (20 percent), and is expected to be completed in February 2011.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.


Raytheon Co., Missile Systems, Tucson, Ariz., is being awarded a $16,788,971 modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-07-C-5444) for SeaRAM production requirements - two MK 15 Mod 31 Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) SeaRAM weapon systems, ancillary equipment and reliability spares including associated peculiar support equipment, common support equipment and initial outfitting spares.   Work will be performed in Munich, Germany (37 percent); Louisville, Ky. (33 percent);  Tucson, Ariz. (8 percent); Andover, Mass. (6 percent); Pittsburgh, Pa. (4 percent); Mechanicsville, Md. (3 percent); Fort Defiance, Ariz. (3 percent); Bloomington, Minn. (2 percent); Santa Clara, Calif. (2 percent); Athens, Greece (2 percent), and is expected to be completed by September 2011.  Contract funds in the amount of $9,216,124 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C. is the contracting activity.


Vision Systems International, LLC, San Jose, Calif., is being awarded a $17,285,580 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide Fast Characterization Tool (FACT) hardware, integration, and validation and software upgrades for the F/A-18 Joint Helmet Mounting Cueing System (JHMCS) for the U.S. Navy and the Governments of Australia, Canada, Finland, and Switzerland.  Work will be performed in San Jose, Calif., and is expected to be completed in October 2014.  Contract funds in the amount of $7,986,000 will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was not competitively procured.  This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy ($10,967,580; 58 percent) and the Governments of Australia ($2,808,000; 15 percent); Canada ($1,170,000; 9 percent); Finland ($1,170,000; 9 percent); and Switzerland ($1,170,000; 9 percent) under the Foreign Military Sales Program.  The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J., is the contracting activity.


Advanced Coherent Technologies, LLC, San Diego, Calif., is being awarded a $7,695,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project for Topic N07-019 entitled “Living Marine Resources Imaging Sensor.”  This contract provides for the continued development of a flight ready prototype sensor integrated to an aircraft, flight test, and sensor performance evaluation.  Work will be performed in Mobile, Ala. (60 percent) and San Diego, Calif. (20 percent) and is expected to be completed in July 2014.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract was competitively procured using SBIR Program Solicitation Topic N07-019, with 17 offers received.  The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, N.J. is the contracting activity.


Coast Produce Co., Los Angeles, Calif., is being awarded a maximum $6,905,308 fixed price with economic price adjustment, indefinite quantity, total set aside contract for fresh fruit and vegetables support.  There are no other locations of performance.  Using services are U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps and USDA School customers.  The proposal was originally DIBBS solicited with four responses.  Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.  This contract is exercising first option year period.  The date of performance completion is January 31, 2011.  The contracting activity is the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia (DSCP), Philadelphia, Pa.


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

Jamie Foster, COO, California Space Authority (CSA)
3201 Airpark Dr. #204, Santa Maria, CA 93455
(805) 349-2633 x122, FAX (805) 349-2635
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