Monthly Archive for November, 2010Page 3 of 12

Lockheed Martin Funding Hypersonic Research at Hampton University



Hampton University’s School of Engineering and Technology was awarded a research contract from Lockheed Martin for $93,000. Dr. Morris H. Morgan, III, professor in the Department of Engineering and principal investigator of the contract, and Vitali Khaikine, a researcher in the Department of Engineering, will work in the HU Aeropropulsion Center ( HU-APC ), at the HU Olin engineering building, researching designs to allow aircraft to fly at super and hypersonic speeds.

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Space Review Looks at HSF, ET Mining, SETI and Killer Asteroids


Asteroid Ida

This week in The Space Review

Human spaceflight worth the cost
As we complete the International Space Station and debate future plans for human space exploration, a key question remains: how can we maintain support for this endeavor? In the first in a new series, Lou Friedman examines the issue and the consequences for not answering that question.

Where first for space resources?

Much of the debate over the last year regarding human spaceflight has been where humans should go next: the Moon, near Earth objects, or some place else. Jeff Foust reports on a recent panel session that looked at the question of where to go first from the point of view of accessing space resources.

Italian doomsday: killer asteroids in 1958

Asteroid impact threats have become a staple of both major motion pictures and made-for-TV sci-fi movies in recent years. Dwayne Day discovers that the theme also was the subject of an obscure Italian movie from the late 1950s.

Review: Confessions of an Alien Hunter
For fifty years astronomers have been searching for signals from alien civilizations, without success; is it time to give up? Andre Bormanis reviews a book by a leading SETI researcher that could convince the skeptical that the search is worth the effort.

India to Build New Hypersonic Wind Tunnel


DRDO to invest in Rs1,000-crore defence avionics facility

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) plans to invest around Rs1,000 crore [$220 million] in Hyderabad over the next five years to boost missile production and build a world-class hypersonic wind tunnel facility to serve the growing demands of strategic systems.

While a sum of Rs600 crore [$132 million] would be invested on expansion of missile production which is being taken up in collaboration with Bharat Dynamics Limited, another Rs350 crore [$77 million] would be made available towards the setting up of the wind tunnel.

The wind tunnel would be used to test systems for missiles, aircraft and re-entry vehicles flying at hypersonic speed – (above Mach 5) as against the present facilities to test vehicles of speed up to Mach 5.

Read the full story.

Energia Wants to Spend $1.9 Billion on Orbital Pod to Clean Up Space Debris


Some interesting news via the Chinese Xinhua news agency that RSC Energia plans to build a nuclear-power “orbital pod” to clean up space debris. The details include:

  • cost: 600 billion rubles ($1.9 billion USD)
  • cleanup 600 satellites by dropping them in the ocean over 10 years
  • begin operations by 2023
  • 15 year lifespan.

The report also indicates that Energia has been developing plans for a “space interceptor designed to destroy dangerous space objects heading toward the Earth.” These presumably would be near Earth objects.

As with many Russian projects, it’s not clear if there is money available or this is a proposal looking for funding.

Video: Stanford University Students Design Canopy for CubeSats


Stanford researchers have completed the first successful tests in zero gravity of a canopy for CubeSats — the tiny satellites that hitch rides on rockets sending larger satellites into orbit. The goal is to gather data on what happens when micrometeoroids slam into a satellite. Such impacts often knock out electronic equipment on satellites. The encounters are poorly understood, but the canopies could be a first step in eventually building “black boxes” for satellites similar to airplane flight recorders.

NASA Moves to Save Iconic Hangar One


A P3 Navy aircraft with Hangar One at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. (Copyright 2008: Douglas Messier)

NASA commits $20 million to save Hangar One
Santa Cruz Sentinel

Hangar One’s future is finally looking bright — provided Congress cooperates.

NASA has committed to spending $20 million to restore the South Bay landmark at Moffett Field, NASA Ames Director of Center Operations Deb Feng announced Thursday at a Moffett Field Restoration Advisory Board meeting.

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Canada Prepares for Possible Conflicts in Space


Space may be first frontier for the next major conflict: Canadian official
Toronto Star

It won’t look like a scene from Star Wars, but the man in charge of space development for the defence department predicts the initial steps of the next major conflict are more than likely to start in orbit and Canada should be prepared.

“The first line in the sand for the next major conflict may very well be in space or cyberspace, but probably not on the ground or in the air or in the seas,” Dupuis said in an interview while attending the annual conference of the Canadian Space Society.

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Russian Engineers Complete Angara Bench Tests, Eye Revival of Energia Engines


Angara rocket engine test


NITS RKP, Peresvet, completed firing tests of Universal Rocket Module URM-2 for Angara launcher.

Cold testing of URM-2 with kerosene filling, as well as totally-filled system tests, had been conducted successfully. The firing test, aimed at confirming URM proper operation as a part of Angara’s third stage, took place on Nov. 18 at test bench 102 (TB-102), the largest test bench in Europe.

URM-2 is to be used in the third stage of the rocket. The first and second sessions of the cold firing tests have been completed in June-July.

Angara’s URM-1 bench tests were completed in 2009.

Development of the Angara launcher is the high-priority national objective. Angara‘s customers are Russian Federal Space Agency and the Ministry of Defense. Khrunichev Space Center is the prime contractor in the project.

And in related news….

Russia’s advanced super heavy-lift launcher to use modified propulsion of Energia rocket developed under Energia-Buran project, KBKhA DG Vladimir Rachuk told Interfax-AVN.

He reminded that oxygen-hydrogen engine RD-0120 designed by KBKhA was used in Energia project. Development of the advanced super heavy-lift launcher is to begin in 2018.

SpaceX Receives FAA Re-entry License for First Dragon Flight


Artists conception of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft in orbit


Since the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation was created in 1984, it has issued licenses for more than 200 launches.

Today the FAA has made SpaceX the first-ever commercial company to receive a license to re-enter a spacecraft from orbit.

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Video: Space Manufacturing Conference Transportation Session


The Space Transportation session from the SSI Space Manufacturing Conference held last month at NASA Ames Conference Center.

Masten, Space Florida Sign Letter of Intent to Fly Vehicles From Florida


Masten's Xombie vehicle

Masten Space Systems and Space Florida announced today the signing of a Letter of Intent to explore performing demonstration launches of a Masten suborbital reusable launch vehicle from Launch Complex 36 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

“We have been looking at Florida as a launch option for some time now,” stated Masten Founder and CEO Dave Masten. “We are excited to begin the process of determining if Launch Complex 36 is a good location for our flight operations, and hope to attempt a demonstration launch sometime in 2011.”

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Chris McKay and Chris Stott on The Space Show


The Space Show schedule for Thanksgiving week…

Monday, November 22 , 2010, 2-3:30 PM PST. We welcome Dr. Steven Moore and Dr. Valentina Dilda to discuss their National Space Biomedical Research work in the area of using trickery on the brain to induce realistic spaceflight effects.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010, 7-8:30 PM PST: We welcome back Chris Stott to discuss ManSat, the Isle of Man, updates with space law and commercial space.

Friday, November 26, 2010, 9:30-11 AM PST: We welcome back Frank Stratford from Australia, Mars Drive, and his Oct. 4, 2010 Space Review article which I urge you to read before this program: “The Relevance of Mars”

Sunday, November 28 , 2010, 12-1:30 PM PST. We welcome back Dr.Chris McKay, a leading scientist at NASA Ames. We will be talking about Mars and more.

Video: Millionauts Drop Big Bucks on Space Tourism


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

A report on space tourism from MSNBC.

Country Report: Prospects for Ukraine’s Space Effort Looking Up


The first stage of Orbital Sciences Corporation's Taurus II vehicle is shipped out from Yuzhnoye design bureau in Ukraine. (Credt: Yuzhnoye)

After the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, newly independent Ukraine was left with some significant space assets from which to build  a national program. Ukrainian companies build the Zenit, Cyclone and Dnepr launch vehicles that are used for satellite delivery. The nation also recently shipped the first stage for Orbital Sciences Corporation’s new Taurus II rocket.  Ukrainian companies contribute to the construction of Russian Soyuz and Progress vehicles, which ferry crews and supplies to the International Space Station. Ukraine also has the capability of building satellites and defense systems and has ground receiving stations.

The National Space Agency of Ukraine under Dr. Yuriy Alekseyev oversees the country’s space efforts.  Although overshadowed by its larger Russian counterpart, Roscosmos,  the NSAU is building on its Soviet-era foundation in an effort to become a force in international space.  The agency has continued to move forward despite funding difficulties, a global recession, and the bankruptcy of the Sea Launch consortium that uses the Zenit rocket. The nation, whose commercial space industry totaled $254 million in 2009, remains heavily dependent upon the Russian market although it is making major efforts at increasing its international cooperation and standing.

Continue reading ‘Country Report: Prospects for Ukraine’s Space Effort Looking Up’

NASA Pulls X-34 Hypersonic Test Vehicles Out of Storage


Absent their vertical tails, the two X-34 aircraft were convoyed from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center to the north gate of Edwards Air Force Base via Rosamond Boulevard Tuesday morning, and then overnight on Highway 58 to the Mojave Air and Spaceport Wednesday. (Credit: NASA Dryden/Tony Landis)


The two X-34 hypersonic research aircraft developed by Orbital Sciences Corp. to serve as flight demonstrators for a NASA rocket engine technology development program in the mid-1990s were transported overland via truck from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base to the Mojave Air and Spaceport Nov. 16-17. The two technology demonstrators will be stored temporarily at a hangar operated by the National Test Pilot School while undergoing inspections by Orbital Sciences personnel to determine if they are viable for flight.

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