ETC Names Former Astronaut to Board of Directors

ETC PRESS RELEASE

Environmental Tectonics Corporation today announced the appointment of Winston E. Scott to its Board of Directors. Mr. Scott brings the total of ETC Board members to six.

Mr. Scott, a retired U. S. Navy Captain and former NASA Astronaut, currently serves as Dean of the College of Aeronautics of the Florida Institute of Technology. His professional experience includes significant industry and academic positions as well as a 27 year stint in the U. S. Navy. During his enlistment, Mr. Scott accumulated more than 5,000 hours of flight time in 20 different military and civilian aircraft and more than 200 shipboard landings.

(more…)

House NASA Vote Likely Stalled Until September

International Space Station

Vote on NASA Bill Appears Unlikely Before September
Space News

A controversial House NASA authorization bill that appeared headed for a floor vote July 30 has stalled, and it appears unlikely the measure will be taken up before lawmakers leave town for a six-week summer break that begins Aug. 2.

(more…)

USA Begins Process of Mass Space Shuttle Layoffs

Some space shuttle workers get layoff notice
Reuters

NASA’s prime space shuttle contractor, United Space Alliance, sent layoff notices this week to more than 15 percent of its 8,100-member shuttle work force, officials said on Tuesday.

(more…)

In-Orbit Servicing: An Idea Whose Time Has Stalled?

Artist's impression of a servicer turning a satellite for a docking maneuver. Credit: Space Tech GmbH

During the recent NewSpace 2010 conference, there was a lot of talk about in-orbit servicing of satellites, including refueling, re-boosting them to higher orbits, and moving dead birds to other locations for eventual recycling.

Now comes word that one of the few companies working on a space tug system is ready to abandon the effort due to the lack of a market.

(more…)

NASA Drops $310 Million on Suborbital Sounding Rocket Program

For those of you wondering why NASA’s CRuSR program is having a hard time getting its smallish $15 million/year budget approved by Congress, here’s part of the answer: flying suborbital experiments on reusable spacecraft threatens the agency’s sounding rocket program. And NASA just dropped a bundle on the latter.

(more…)

Lockheed Praises Congress for Supporting Full Orion Program

NASA's Orion spacecraft

LOCKHEED MARTIN PRESS RELEASE

Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] today applauded the recent actions taken by House and Senate NASA oversight committees as Congress moves forward on a bi-partisan spending plan for NASA. This important legislation provides an achievable path forward for a robust human space flight program that continues the Orion crew exploration vehicle to help achieve that goal and includes funding for advancements in technology that will ensure U.S. leadership in space.

(more…)

Unions Duel Over NASA Funding Plan

Space shuttle Atlantis lands on runway 33 at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility concluding the STS-129 mission. Photo credit: NASA Jack Pfaller

Unions are split over whether the NASA funding bill in the House is what is best for their members and the U.S. space agency.

(more…)

Pushback in House as Group Attempts to Delay Vote on NASA Funding

Commercial Space Advocates Rally To Stall NASA Authorization Bill
Space.com

A flurry of behind-the-scenes maneuvering took place late July 28 as opponents of a NASA authorization bill fought back efforts by leaders of the U.S. House Science and Technology Committee to bring the measure to a floor vote before lawmakers break for the summer district work period that begins Aug. 2.

(more…)

English Press Worries About Asteroid Due in 172 Years

Asteroid Ida - which is not heading toward Earth any time soon.

Apparently momentarily bored with covering the always entertaining (and occasionally Hitler loving) Royal Family, the British press has picked up on the possibility that the Earth will get hit by a rather large asteroid in 2182.

Giant asteroid ‘heading for Earth in 2182 and Asteroid Could Raze London are just two of the headlines blaring in English newspapers this week. Apparently, the amusingly named asteroid 1999 RQ36 has about a 1-in-1000 chance of hitting Earth, odds  that The Sun mentions in the 12th paragraph of its story.

(more…)

Biggest Challenge to Low-Cost Suborbital Tourism: Actually Flying

Space.com reports on a panel discussion at NewSpace 2010 in which participants predicted that the price of suborbital space flights would drop significantly within four years as the volume of flights grew:

By 2014, a ticket for suborbital flight is likely to cost between $50,000 and $100,000 as the industry develops to offer hundreds or even thousands of flights annually, according to a panel of experts speaking Friday at the Space Frontier Foundation’s annual conference in Sunnyvale, Calif.

(more…)