Monthly Archive for March, 2010

New Book Examines Responsible Use of Space



A new publication provides a fresh comprehensive evaluation on how to achieve the sustainable use of space by means of respecting fairness and responsibility.

The Fair and Responsible Use of Space – An International Perspective has been released as the fourth volume in the series “Studies in Space Policy” edited by the European Space Policy Institute (ESPI) and published by SpringerWienNewYork.

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India Seeks to Hike Launch Rate, Encourage Domestic Industry and Deepen International Partnerships


A few updates on the growing Indian space program, which is looking at a higher launch rate, deeper domestic risk taking, and additional international partnerships. The Deccan Herald reports:

“We are planning to launch 10 satellites per year, beginning fiscal 2010-11. We have a series of satellites and launch vehicles at various stages of preparation,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K. Radhakrishnan told reporters. Though this fiscal (2009-10), it could launch only three — Oceansat-2, Risat-2 (radar imaging satellite) in association with Israeli Aerospace Industries, and Anusat, a micro-satellite. Oceansat-2 also carried six nano-satellites of foreign countries as additional payloads.

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Account of the First Suborbital Winged Flight


The new edition of Air & Space has an account of Maj. Robert White’s suborbital flight in an X-15 in 1962. White, who recent passed away, flew to an altitude of 59.5 miles and was awarded astronaut wings by the United States Air Force. It was the first suborbital flight in a winged vehicle, and it helped to pave the way for the current generation of vehicles that will fly tourists into space:

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Buzz Aldrin 1, Shannen Doherty 0: America’s Favorite Grandpa Keeps on Truckin’


Results are in for week 2 of Dancing With the Stars, and it looks like octogenarian moon walker Buzz Aldrin will live to tango another day.

Despite rather harsh reviews from the judges, one of whom thought Buzz was dancing in his moon boots, the 80-year-old Aldrin and his dancing partner Ashly Costa are safe for another week. Results are determined in part through viewer voting, so the Apollo 11 astronaut may be a sentimental favorite. He’s so ubiquitous these days with the dancing, the rapping and everything else, he’s sort of become America’s favorite grandfather. And who wants to send Grandpa Moon Guy packing?

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Video: CubeSail Nano-sats Designed to Eliminate Orbital Debris


The Surrey Space Centre plans to launch a CubeSail nano-satellite next year. The 3 kilogram spacecraft will use a 25-square meter solar sail to de-orbit satellites and rocket upper stages at the end of their useful lives. CubeSail nano-satellites could be used in swarms to deorbit existing orbital debris.

SpaceShipTwo to Fly Over Spaceport America in October


WhiteKnightTwo and VSS Enterprise will perform a flyover of Spaceport America on October 22 as part of a ceremony to inaugurate the facility’s runway, New Mexico officials announced on Monday.

The event will cap off Space Week in New Mexico. It will follow the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight, which will be held on Oct. 20-21. The schedule for Space Week after the break.

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SwRI Officials Take to the Sky to Prep for Suborbital Flights


Dr. Dan Durda of the Southwest Research Institute aboard the Starfighters F-104 jet.


As part of the next phase in advancing suborbital research opportunities and their own flight preparations, Southwest Research Institute researchers and suborbital payload specialists Dr. Alan Stern and Dr. Dan Durda have begun a new element of spaceflight training with a series of jet fighter flights in F-104 aircraft operated by Starfighters Inc. at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The first SwRI Starfighters flights and the associated ground training, took place March 15-16.

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Some Local Residents Unhappy With Spaceport America Job Creation

Spaceport America's runway under construction

Spaceport America's runway under construction.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports that some local residents are not pleased with the number of jobs that Spaceport America is generating:

Arturo Uribe, community activist in Mesquite, said there’s frustration among some area truckers, who aren’t seeing the benefits of spaceport contracts. The companies carrying out the work, he noted, aren’t obligated to make use of local employees or subcontractors.

“You have a lot of folks looking at the job situation,” he said. “Why are we as Doña Ana County residents, who are paying the most of the two counties paying a tax, not getting a lot of jobs that are coming out?”

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ESA Investment Forum 2010 Aims to Generate New Business Opportunities



In recent years, the transfer of space technologies and the commercial application of space systems have generated countless business opportunities. ‘ESA Investment Forum’ in Stuttgart on 19 May offers investors and space tech companies a new opportunity to join forces.

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The Space Review: Crystal Ball Edition


It’s all about the future in this week’s edition of The Space Review:

  • Bob Mahoney reviews the prospects of President Barack Obama’s plan for NASA.
  • Edward Ellegood offers some suggestions on how the President can improve his proposal and make it more palatable to Florida.
  • Jeff Foust ponders the prospects for export control reform in the United States.
  • Andrew Weston forecasts the possibilities of greater U.S.-U.K. cooperation now that the latter has a space agency.
  • Ben Baseley-Walker proposes one way to mitigate dangers of incidents as more nations launch satellites into orbit.