Video: SXC Goes to Brazil

Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) was at the Grand Hyatt São Paulo recently promoting XCOR’s Lynx suborbital vehicle.

Canadian Aerospace Review’s Recommendations

The Aerospace Review report contains two volumes: Volume 1: Beyond the Horizon: Canada’s Interests and Future in Aerospace and Volume 2: Reaching Higher: Canada’s Interests and Future in Space.

The Space volume notes that Canada was a pioneer in space, and that Canada’s national interest demands that the country make effective use of space to unlock wealth, protect the environment and the population, and deliver services. This will be truer more than ever as the North opens and space technologies advance.


Support Rand Simberg “Safe is Not an Option” Kickstarter Campaign

From Rand Simberg:

In a Kickstarter project I got funding for last summer, I was funded to write what I called at the time a “paper” on the topic of our irrational approach to safety in human spaceflight, that is a significant contributor to its high cost and our slow progress. Well, the “paper” turned into at least a monograph, if not a book. It’s currently at 36,000 words (about sixty pages in standard Word format, but probably closer to a hundred after being reformatted into book form and adding illustrations), and essentially complete, except for illustrations, which are being worked. The title is currently, “SAFE IS NOT AN OPTION: How Our Futile Obsession with Getting Everyone Back Alive is Killing the Space Program.”

Rand needs about $1,200 to meet his $4,000 goal by Wednesday, Dec 5, at 8:20pm EST.

Report: Disorganized Canadian Aerospace Effort Unfocused, Underfunded

Ottawa, November 29, 2012—The aerospace and space sectors make critical contributions to Canada’s prosperity and security, but if those sectors are to remain vibrant and competitive over the next 20 to 30 years, relevant public policies and programs will need to keep pace with rapidly changing global conditions.

That is the central finding of the arm’s-length Aerospace Review, which was launched by the Government of Canada on February 27, 2012.


Private-Public Partnership Transforms Former Shuttle Processing Facility

This artist concept is what The Boeing Company’s CST-100 spacecraft processing is expected to look like in Space Florida’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida with work stations on a clean floor. (Credit: Boeing)

By Rebecca Regan
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

A facility full of platforms that once fit NASA’s space shuttles like a glove is transitioning to make room for a new fleet of low-Earth orbit bound spacecraft.

Now called the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility (C3PF), the former Orbiter Processing Facilty-3 (OPF-3) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is not only going through major renovations to support the manufacturing of The Boeing Company’s CST-100 spacecraft. It’s also receiving international recognition as an innovative approach for converting excess government buildings into next-generation commercial facilities.


Congressmen Seek to Rename NASA Dryden After Neil Armstrong

Neil Armstrong with the X-15 on the dry lake bed at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

November 29, 2012 – Washington D.C. (Press Release) – Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon and Congressman Kevin McCarthy today announced legislation to redesignate the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Dryden Flight Research Center as the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center and the Western Aeronautical Test Range as the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range. Joining Congressman McCarthy in introducing this legislation are Congressman Buck McKeon, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Congressman Ken Calvert, Congressman Lamar Smith, Congressman Steven Palazzo, and Congressman Adam Schiff.


KSLV-1 Launch Scrubbed

KSLV-1 first stage booster. (Credit: Khrunichev)

South Korea once again aborted the planned launch of the KSLV-1 rocket due to a problem with the domestically-built upper stage, according to media reports. This will likely delay the launch into next year.

The Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) said that it will determine the next launch date after a thorough inspection of the KSLV-1, but it is unlikely that the liftoff will take place this year as the current launch deadline is scheduled to end on Dec. 5. Engineers say it will take at least four to five days to figure out what went wrong and fix it.


Space Florida Announces ISS Research Competition Winners

Astronaut Shannon Walker activates an experiment aboard the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL., NOVEMBER 29, 2012 (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida, the state’s aerospace development organization and spaceport authority, and NanoRacks, LLC, today announced the winners of the International Space Station (ISS) Research Competition at The American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR) Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A team of 15 independent judges evaluated the proposals based on defined value in the commercial marketplace, potential for future benefits in space travel, and professional qualifications of the applicants. Four (4) winning proposals originated from the commercial field and four (4) in the area of education and research.


AIA: Balanced Solution Needed to Fiscal Cliff

Statement by Marion C. Blakey, President and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Association, in support of the on-going negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Arlington, Va. – “On behalf of the aerospace and defense industry, which employs more than one million workers across all 50 states, we are encouraged that there are serious negotiations occurring between the White House and Congressional leadership to avoid our nation’s imminent fiscal cliff.  It is imperative that we set aside the looming disaster that sequestration would bring, both to our national security and our economy, and at the same time provide our country with a path to fundamental fiscal reform that provides stability and addresses the drivers of our deficit and our debt.”

“Last year, significant reductions were made to discretionary spending as part of the Budget Control Act.  We urge negotiators to focus on a balanced approach that considers all reasonable solutions and ultimately produces a plan that also includes adequate revenue and entitlement reform.  Our country’s long-term national security and financial health depend on it.”

Florida Space Coast Getting $124 Million Boost

Florida Gov. Rick Scott

The Florida Space Coast, hard hit by the economic meltdown and the end of the space shuttle program, got a couple of big shots in the arm on Wednesday as officials broke ground on two technology centers.

Gov. Rick Scott was on hand for groundbreaking ceremonies for the new $24 million Embraer Engineering and Technology Center USA at Melbourne International Airport. The governor also attended the groundbreaking on $100 million Harris Technology Center in nearby Palm Bay. Both projects represent expansions of existing operations in those locations backed by the financial support of state and local governments.


Move Over, Jet Engines! Here Comes SABRE!

The Biggest Breakthrough in Propulsion Since the Jet Engine
Reaction Engines Press Release
November 28, 2012

Reaction Engines Ltd. can announce today the biggest breakthrough in aerospace propulsion technology since the invention of the jet engine. Critical tests have been successfully completed on the key technology for SABRE, an engine which will enable aircraft to reach the opposite side of the world in under 4 hours, or to fly directly into orbit and return in a single stage, taking off and landing on a runway.


Smith to Lead House Science Commitee

Rep. Lamar Smith

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, will take over as chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology when the new Congress convenes in January. He will replace Rep. Ralph Hall, R-Texas, who was term limited under House rules.

Smith, who had seniority on the committee, beat out Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, and Dana Rohrabacher, R-California.

Smith has been a vocal critic of the Obama Administration’s space policy, which has focused heavily on commercializing access to low Earth orbit. He also is a skeptic about global warming, positions he share with Sensenbrenner and Rohrabacher.

Rohrabacher is arguably the leading proponent of commercializing space activities in Congress.

Reaction Engines Says Tech for Sabre Engine in Place

Reaction Engines announced today that tests have verified that the technology is in place to build its Sabre engine, which lies at the heart of its reusable, single-stage-to-orbit Skylon spacecraft.

The news brings the promise of not only routine, affordable access to space but also point-to-point travel at Mach 5 and major improvements in fuel efficiency for existing airliners. The announcement featured a major endorsement of the technology by ESA, has has worked with the British company to evaluate the results of the tests, Reuters reports.

“ESA are satisfied that the tests demonstrate the technology required for the Sabre engine development,” the agency’s head of propulsion engineering Mark Ford told a news conference.

“One of the major obstacles to a re-usable vehicle has been removed,” he said. “The gateway is now open to move beyond the jet age.”


DOE, NASA Test Fission Reactor Prototype

John Bounds of Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Advanced Nuclear Technology Division makes final adjustments on the DUFF experiment, a demonstration of a simple, robust fission reactor prototype that could be used as a power system for space travel. DUFF is the first demonstration of a space nuclear reactor system to produce electricity in the United States since 1965.

LOS ALAMOS, N.M., Nov. 26, 2012—A team of researchers, including engineers from Los Alamos National Laboratory, has demonstrated a new concept for a reliable nuclear reactor that could be used on space flights.