Griffin Award Rotary National Award for Space Achievement

Former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin has won the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement (RNASA). The Rotary gives the award annually for the last 23 years to an individual who excelled in furthering national goals in the field of space.

Griffin was selected for the National Space Trophy for:


Teledyne Brown Rolls Out Ares Thrusters

Rolling out Ares thrusters
The Huntsville Times

Teledyne Brown Engineering on Friday rolled out the first piece of Huntsville-made hardware – a set of roll stability thrusters – for NASA’s Ares I-X test rocket.

Managed by Marshall Space Flight Center, the $24 million Ares I-X Roll Control System Module was released to NASA for shipment to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The thruster unit will keep the Ares I-X test rocket stable and set it on the proper path during launch.


SpaceX Gets Environmental OK for Falcon Launches

The Federal Aviation Administration has given its OK for SpaceX to launch Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launches. In a report, the agency said the launches will pose “no significant short-term or long-term effects to the environment or surrounding populations.”


ATK Successfully Conducts NASA Ares I-X Separation Test


Alliant Techsystems successfully conducted a full-scale separation of NASA’s Ares I-X Forward Skirt Extension at its Promontory facility today. The test is a milestone in preparation for this summer’s flight test of Ares I-X.

The test simulated a separation event that will take place following the first stage flight of Ares I-X. The booster will be separated at the frustum – a cone-shaped piece that attaches the first stage to the larger diameter upper stage. Following separation, the booster will return to earth for recovery and reuse.


Mid-Atlantic Spaceport Overhauled for OSC’s New Taurus Rocket

Spaceport to Get a Facelift
The Daily Times

Infrastructure improvements are under way at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in preparation for Orbital Sciences Corp.’s planned demonstration flight in late 2010 of a new rocket system designed to supply cargo to the International Space Station.

“We’re beginning the process of developing the infrastructure at the launch site,” Orbital Sciences Vice President of Public Relations Barron Beneski said recently. Beneski said the project is still in its early stages, but with a launch set for late 2010, it is anticipated all improvements should be in place by early fall that year.


Carbon Nanotube Breakthrough to Enable Space Elevators, Skyhooks

Via RLV and Space Transport News:

Industrial Scale Production of Cambridge Carbon Nanotube Tethers Will Enable Hypersonic Skyhooks and Better Moon and Mars Space Elevators
Next Big Future

There was a NASA study of hypersonic skyhooks that determined the best designs and the strength of materials needed. No show-stoppers were uncovered. However, the elements of the concept require further development and refinement and then actual implementation programs. They have to build and test hardware to make the engineering work reliably.


Report: Space Florida Effort Directionless, Ineffective

Florida’s Aerospace Agency Flounders
Orlando Sentinel

Gov. Charlie Crist, military brass and political elites went to Cape Canaveral in October to dedicate the signature achievement of the state’s fledgling aerospace-development agency — a multimillion-dollar future launchpad they hoped would grow into an international hub of private space flight.


Raytheon Reports Solid Q4 Numbers

Raytheon Press Release

Raytheon Company announced fourth quarter 2008 adjusted income from continuing operations of $466 million or $1.13 per diluted share, compared to $420 million or $0.96 per diluted share in the fourth quarter 2007(1).


ATK Reports Good Q4 Numbers

ATK reported what the company termed “solid” fourth quarter numbers today. However, the stock price fell about 6 percent in trading today because the company missed analyst expectations on revenues and projected weak growth for 2009.