Monthly Archive for April, 2012

NASA Selects 10 Small Business Technology Transfer Projects


WASHINGTON — NASA has selected ten proposals from small business and research institution teams to continue work on innovative technologies that could advance future missions. The Phase II winners in the agency’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program now can enter negotiations for possible contract awards, with a total for all projects of approximately $7.49 million.

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Funniest. 30 Rock. Ever.


Before you go saying this is off topic, the show does have space program related activities. (I won’t ruin it for anyone who hasn’t seen it.) I found this to be one of the funniest episodes of any TV show. A tour de force by a very talented cast. And the cameos were brilliant.


SpaceX Successfully Static Fires Falcon 9


SpaceX is reporting a successful 2-second static fire of Falcon 9’s engines on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral. The test took place more than an hour later because of an aborted test firing. Engineers recycled the rocket and made a second successful attempt. They are now reviewing the test data to ensure that everything went well.

The static fire is a key milestone toward a planned May 7 launch of the rocket, which will send the Dragon freighter on a course for a rendezvous and berthing at the International Space Station.

Space Florida Given Leadership Award for Boeing Use of KSC Facility


Boeing plans to use an Orbiter Processing Facility for its CST-100 spacecraft. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL (Space Florida PR) – Today, Space Florida was awarded the Economic Development Leadership Award from CoreNet Global, the world’s leading association for corporate real estate and workplace professionals, service providers and economic developers. The award submission by Space Florida detailed the utilization of Kennedy Space Center (KSC) facilities by The Boeing Company for manufacture and test of its Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) spacecraft.

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Schweickart, Davidian Drop By the Space Show


This week on The Space Show….

1. Monday, April 30, 2011 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome the return of Bob Zimmerman to the program to discuss space news and space current events.

2. Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 9:30-10:30 AM PDT (12:30-1:30 PM EDT, 11:30AM-12:30 PM CDT): Gen. Bob Dickman of AIAA and the IAF Executive Director, Dr. Christian Feichtinger joins us to discuss the upcoming Global Space Exploration Conference, May 22-24 in Washington, D.C.

3. Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 7-8:30 PM PDT (10:0-11:30 PM EDT, 9-7:30 PM CDT): We welcome back former NASA astronaut Rusty Schweickart to discuss planetary defense and specifically 2011 AG, the highest probability impact we have in the ‘system.

4. Friday, May 4, 2012, 9:30-11 AM PDT (12:30-2 PM EDT, 11:30AM-1PM CDT): We welcome back Ken Davidian, Director of Research at Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Commercial Space Transportation & the Chair of the Entrepreneurship & Investment Committee at International Astronautical Federation.

5. Sunday, May 6, 2012., 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT) CLASSROOM: This is a Space Show Classroom Program & will be archived on The Space Show Classroom blog as well as the traditional Space Show archive sites. This program focuses in on the NASA microgravity/bisphosphonate study. Our guests include the study researchers Dr. Tom Lang and Dr. Adrian LeBlanc. I am joined by technical advisor and co-host Dr. John Jurist.

Need a Job? Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company are Hiring


MOJAVE, Calif. (VG/TSC PR) ―
Officials with Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company today announced both companies are seeking to fill a combined 18 key positions with qualified engineers, systems designers and more.

Virgin Galactic is currently accepting applications for the following six positions: operations engineer, seat mechanism designer, design engineer, IT manager, regulatory compliance manager and embedded systems software developer. In addition, the company’s space systems development division seeks a mechanical designer, mechanical lead, guidance/navigation/control (GNC) lead and chief engineer.

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Spaceflight Inc. Signs USAF Contract for Commercial Launches


Seattle, WA – April 30, 2012 — Spaceflight Inc. (Spaceflight) announced today that it has signed a contract with the USAF Space Development and Test Directorate to fly up to two government spacecraft on commercial launch vehicles.

The United States Air Force’s Space Development and Test Directorate has contracted with Spaceflight to evaluate commercial launch options for, and potentially conduct commercial launch and orbit insertion operations of, the STP Satellite-3 (STPSat-3) and Kestrel Eye Tactical Imaging Spacecraft (Kestrel Eye) spacecraft.

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Dispute Over Funding for Spaceport America Welcome Centers Leads to Board Resignation


By Douglas Messier

Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

A public disagreement over a change of plans in how to construct and operate two Spaceport America welcome and visitor centers has led to the departure of a member of the New Mexico Spaceport Authority’s (NMSA) Board of Directors.

Scott Krahling resigned from the board earlier this month after he had publicly criticized a decision to cut back funding for Spaceport America welcome centers to be built in Hatch and Truth or Consequences in an opinion piece in the Las Cruces Sun-News. The centers are staging locations for visitors to take buses to the spaceport.

The money was diverted to pay for a $7 million runway extension at Spaceport America to satisfy concerns by anchor tenant Virgin Galactic that it was not long enough to allow for safe year-round operations of the company’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle.

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ORBITEC, SNC Begin Tests of Dream Chaser Life Support, Thermal Systems


Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser shuttle in orbit. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Madison, WI (ORBITEC PR) – Orbital Technologies Corporation (ORBITEC) is the prime contractor for Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) and Thermal Control System (TCS) for the Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser® Space System.  ORBITEC has, along with its partner Hamilton Sundstrand, successfully completed two major tests for SNC under NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Program. The tests include the first integrated system testing and first integrated human testing of ECLSS and TCS components developed for the Dream Chaser®, SNC’s reusable orbital crew vehicle, intended to carry astronauts to and from low Earth orbit.

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Dragon to Set Sail for Space Station


By Steven Siceloff
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

The upcoming launch of a SpaceX spacecraft and rocket on a demonstration flight to the International Space Station is expected to cross a key milestone on the path to operational, commercial missions.

“It’s almost like the lead-up to Apollo, in my mind,” said Mike Horkachuck, NASA’s project executive for SpaceX. “You had Mercury then you had Gemini and eventually you had Apollo. This would be similar in the sense that, we’re not going to the moon or anything as spectacular as that, but we are in the beginnings of commercializing space. This may be the Mercury equivalent to eventually flying crew and then eventually leading to, in the long run, passenger travel in space.”
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