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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Video: Stu Witt’s TEDxKiruna Talk


Stu Witt is general manager and CEO of the Mojave Air and Space Port. Mr. Witt is a graduate of the Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN), Naval Aviation Schools Command, and the University of Maryland’s Center for Creative Leadership. During his military career he was a carrier-based F-14 Tomcat pilot with VF-14, and an FA-18 project pilot at the Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, California.

Boston Student Wins Trip into Space Aboard XCOR’s Lynx


Race for Space winner Justin Dowd's reaction to his winning a trip to space! (Photo: Business Wire)

BOSTON, Apr 25, 2012 (Metro PR) – Metro, Boston’s #1 daily newspaper, is proud to announce that local reader Justin Dowd from Worcester, MA, has won Metro’s Race for Space, a global competition to select one Metro reader to travel into space.

 Justin, 22, beat hundreds of thousands of candidates across the world to win a the coveted once-in-a-lifetime ticket on board XCOR Lynx, the first generation rocket-powered aircraft currently being built by leading spaceflight company SXC (Space Expedition Curacao).

Metro, the leading free daily in the US, became the first newspaper to offer a reader the chance to visit space when it launched its ‘Race for Space’ competition in March.

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Mojave Becomes the Global Expert in Spaceports


By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

The Mojave Air and Space Port has developed a profitable consulting business: advising other groups about how to build and operate their spaceports.

Officials from the California spaceport have provided advice to spaceport operators in New Mexico, Oklahoma, Sweden and the Caribbean island of Curacao, said Mojave CEO Stuart Witt.

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SpaceX to Webcast Falcon 9 Static Fire on Monday


Hawthorne, CA (SPACEX PR) –- On Monday, April 30, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) will webcast a static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket’s nine powerful Merlin engines in preparation for the company’s upcoming launch.

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Radio Appearance on Saturday Morning


Hey everyone.

I’m scheduled to be on the radio on Saturday morning. I’ll be talking about the latest NewSpace news on the “Digital Village” program on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles. The show runs from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. I should appear between 10:40 a.m. and 11 a.m. PDT. The radio station also broadcasts on the frequencies below and streams live at

93.7 FM North San Diego
98.7 FM Santa Barbara
99.5 FM Ridgecrest

I’ll see you all on the radio.