Monthly Archive for May, 2009Page 3 of 27

Decision to End Shuttle Flights Nearly “Irreversible”


 Space Shuttle Atlantis launch, May 11, 2009


Extending the life of the space shuttle is all but impossible now because of an inability to manufacture additional external tanks, former space shuttle astronaut Jon McBride said on Wednesday.


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Space Investment Summit 6: Financial Issues


Financial Issues in the Synergy of Space & Hospitality/Tourism/Entertainment


Amaresh Kollipara: co-founder and managing partner, Earth2Orbit LLC

Michael Leventhal: attorney and founder, MC Squared

Barry Bloom: founding principal, Abacus Lodging Investors LLC


Space is not a destination, it is an enabler for businesses to expand their existing verticals. Panelists believe that the interest from the hospitality industry will be huge once space tourism gets going.


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AIAA Celebrates Outstanding STEM Educators



Corporate members of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) recently joined together to celebrate the recipients of the 2009 AIAA Foundation Educator Achievement Awards, and to show that the aerospace community is appreciative of their outstanding efforts in the classroom to inspire the next generation of the aerospace community.

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i2i Conference Set for June 8-9 in New York



The X PRIZE Foundation, with its partners BT Global Services, John Templeton Foundation and the United Nations Office for Partnerships, will host a groundbreaking incentive2innovate conference (i2i) for senior-level executives, June 8-9 at the United Nations in New York.

i2i will provide an intimate forum for attendees to collaborate with extraordinary business leaders on initiatives to make an immediate impact on innovation, operations and revenue generation within their respective organizations.

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Updates on Reaction Engines and British Space Development



Rob Coppinger over at Hyperbola blog has a couple of interesting interviews with leading figures in the UK’s high tech area.

One video features Reaction Engines’ managing director Alan Bond, who discusses the company’s work on the Skylon single-stage-to-orbit vehicle.

Coppinger also interviews Lord Paul Drayson, the UK minister of state for science and innovation. Drayson discusses the Skylon project and other developments within the British space sector.

Next Shuttle Commander to Answer Questions on YouTube, Twitter


Endeavour commander Mark Polansky is using Twitter (Astro_127) and YouTube to answer questions.

Lessons Learned From Failed Mir Effort Fueling New Commercial Ventures



Alan Boyle has reviewed Michael Potter’s film, “Orphans of Apollo,” for his Comic Log website. He reviews the lessons that the failed effort to commercialize the Mir space station taught people:

The biggest lesson is that you want to have the government as your customer, not your enemy. “I think the slightly more commercial and realistic and politically savvy entrepreneurs who are now investing in private space understood where Walt went wrong,” David Chambers, who was MirCorp’s vice president of strategic planning, says in the movie. “And they’re prepared to play nice with the various governments that they need to play nice with.”

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Opinion: One-Way Trip Best Way to Go to Mars


Credit: University of Arizona/JPL/NASA

A One-way Ticket to Mars
Paul Davies

Astrobiology Magazine

What I’d like to talk about today is how to cut the cost of going to Mars. And there’s one very obvious way, which is a one-way mission.

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As Shuttle Era Ends, Private Commercial Spaceflight Begins


Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo with Burt Rutan and Richard Branson

Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo with Burt Rutan and Richard Branson

All will get taste of oasis for space: Desert launches will benefit KSC
Florida Today

Florida’s Space Coast will lament the end of the shuttle program and the loss of thousands of great jobs. But 2010 could mark the start of one of the most exciting periods in the history of human spaceflight. Gigantic leaps forward in our ability to fly people in space are coming, and they’re coming fast.

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The Space Review: Bolden, GPS, Apollo and Detroit



In The Space Review this week:

Bolden’s burdens. Jeff Foust reports on the reaction to the selection of Charles Bolden and what is in store for the former astronaut as he prepares to take over the space agency.

The GAO, the media, and GPS.
According to some news reports last week, the GPS system is on the verge of failure because of delays in launching new satellites. Taylor Dinerman discusses why there’s less to be worried about than what those hyperbolic reports claimed.

Making lemons into lemonade.
What would have happened if an Apollo mission had been unable to leave Earth orbit? Dwayne Day describes one contingency mission that had been proposed in such circumstances, and its national security implications.

Cars versus rockets. What does NASA have in common with the nation’s troubled automakers? Michael Potter argues that both suffer from some fundamental organizational issues, and that NASA would benefit from better leveraging the capabilities and potential of the private sector.

Review: One Giant Leap. The 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 is approaching, and with it comes a new wave of books revisiting that historic mission. Jeff Foust reviews one book that examines some of the overlooked photography of the mission.