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.

Voting Begins for Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation Awards


Pete Conrad


Online voting for the Spirit of Innovation Awards begins today, Monday, March 29, and ends Friday, April 9, on The Spirit of Innovation Awards, challenges high school students to create innovative products using science, technology and entrepreneurship. Teams are now vying for the public’s votes to be selected as the 2010 Pete Conrad Scholars, win grants to help commercialize their products and receive two seats on a Zero Gravity flight.

The 24 finalists from across the country are designing our future. “It’s not science fiction; it’s where education meets innovation and entrepreneurship. It’s where real science gets real. Teams have created innovative products to solve 21st-century challenges. From rural water collection devices, to robotic astronaut assistants; from Satellite altitude-control systems, to Navajo Solar Frybread Ovens, these students will rock your world!” said Nancy Conrad, founder of the Conrad Foundation.

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Virginia Officials Push for Additional Money for Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport


Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia

Virginia Del. Lynwood Lewis is pushing for an increase in state funding for the Virginia Commercial Spaceflight Authority. In a blog post, he criticized the $838,000 that has been allocated for each of the next two years as being insufficient for the authority to oversee its growing operations on Wallops Island:

Another area of concern for me was the lack of full funding for the budget request, which had been supported by the Governor’s office for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. While the spaceport did receive a significant increase in funding, it is not enough to do what must be done in light of the terrific projects evolving at the spaceport.

The Governor’s office has indicated that they are willing to mount an effort between now and the reconvened session on April 21, to amend the budget to provide for full funding of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport budget request. This $1.2 million request had been supported by both candidates for governor in the fall election, and continues to be supported by Gov. Bob. McDonnell.

Lewis represents Virginia’s Eastern Shore, which includes Wallops Island. The original budget request was for $1.37 million. Updates on this story as they become available.

Canadians Eye Cape Breton, Fort Churchill as Launch Ranges


Cape Breton, Fort Churchill eyed for satellite launches
The Canadian Press

Cape Breton may become a Canadian version of Florida’s historic Cape Canaveral where astronauts and rockets have been launched into outer space for decades.

The Canadian Space Agency is looking at the Nova Scotia island as one of two possible sites to blast small satellites into orbit using an indigenous rocket launch system. The other possible micro-satellite launch site is Fort Churchill in Manitoba, near Hudson Bay, where hundreds of small research rockets have been launched in the past….

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Russia to Help India Orbit Astronauts by 2015


Mockup of India's human spacecraft (Credit: ISRO)


According to Vladimir Putin, Russia and India will realize Indian cosmonaut space flight joint programme in 2015. This statement was made March 12th after the negotiations with Indian Prime-Minister at New Delhi.

Russian Prime-Minister notes, that Russian-Indian space cooperation is developing quite well and both sides plan the manned spaceflight for Indian cosmonaut for 2015.

Vice-premier Sergey Ivanov imposed the responsibility for this project to ROSCOSMOS. He said that Russian side must provide spaceship and descent module. He also stressed that this project isn’t related to ISS programme.

India isn’t ISS programme member state. ISS programme is cooperation between Russia, USA, Europe, Japan and Canada.

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The Space Show: Zimmerman, Breed, Golberg and Radcliff


The Space Show schedule for this week:

Monday, March 29, 2010, 2-3:30 PM PDT: We welcome back Robert Zimmerman for space news updates, policy updates, and more.

CLASSROOM AND SPECIAL TIME: : Tuesday, March 30, 2010, 8- 9:30 PM PDT: The Space Show Classroom subject is New Space, what it is, its capabilities, its possibilities. Our guest panelist is Paul Breed of Unreasonable Rockets. This program is co-hosted with Dr. John Jurist, Dr. Jim Logan, and myself.

Friday, April 2, 2010, 9:30-11:30 AM PDT: We welcome Dr. David Goldbert, co-author of “A User’s Guide to the Universe: Surviving the Perils of Black Holes, Time Paradoxes, and Quantum Uncertainty.” Dr. Goldberg is a physics professor at Drexel University.

Sunday, April 4, 12-1:30 PM PDT. We welcome Chris Radcliff of SpaceUP Space Exploration. Check them out at