WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 30, 2016 (ULA PR) – United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced its new, innovative website today that enhances the way customers shop for launch services and sets a new standard for pricing transparency. It also provides insight into reliability, schedule assurance and performance, allowing users to make a true value comparison.
The National Space Society is convening the Space Settlement Summit to bring together the leading people, companies and organizations that are making space settlement a reality. Participation in this event will be by invitation only and is limited to a very select group of people who will set the cultural message of near term Space Settlement and those who will build and finance it.
The objective of the event is to show the synergistic in-space ecosystem that is emerging; to facilitate a convergence of interests and opportunities amongst the key players; and to identify critical issues along the path to Space Settlement.
This summit will bring together not only the companies and organizations that are charting this new frontier, but also the thought leaders who are constantly innovating new ways for Space Settlement to flourish in the immediate future.
Convergence. Synergistic. Ecosystem. Thought leaders. That odd use of the British English word amongst. Still not buzzy enough. How about this: Could this event be a game changing, paradigm shifting pivot that will lead to an exponential explosion in humanity’s conquest of space?
Invites have already been sent out, so if you haven’t received yours, consider yourself either out of luck or fortunate, depending upon how you view NSS and the summit.
ARLINGTON, Va. (AIA PR) — Aerospace Industries Association sent a letter today urging Congress to pass a completed FY2017 appropriation package rather than a full-year continuing resolution. We also ask that the ExIm Bank be enabled to process transactions more than $10 million. It was signed by more than 70 CEOs and senior industry representatives from AIA member companies.
The letter argues that the aerospace and defense industry is “arguably the most successful sector in our country,” contributing significantly to our nation’s economic growth, stability and national security despite “great uncertainty and instability in both the marketplace and with regard to annual government funding.” Our innovative industry supports our military, the dynamic aerospace sector and space exploration, and few things would offer a greater sense of stability going forward than completing the final FY2017 appropriations bills and restoring the ExIm Bank to full functionality.
Dear Speaker Ryan, Leader McConnell, Leader Pelosi, and Leader Reid:
With the 114th Congress coming to a close, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and the leaders of our member companies would like to express our strong support for efforts to pass appropriations legislation providing full year FY 17 funding for the federal government.
PT Scientists has announced it has secured a launch contract through Spaceflight Industries to place two rovers on the moon next year to visit the Apollo 17 landing site. The rovers and a landing vehicle will fly as a secondary payload on an unidentified booster.
The team is trying to win the $20 million first prize in the Google Lunar X Prize. It is one of 16 teams left in the competition, which expires on Dec. 31, 2017.
PT Scientists have been working with Audi to develop two lightweight rovers to explore the site in the Taurus–Littrow valley where Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt became the last men to walk on the moon in December 1972.
The team has submitted its launch contract to the Google Lunar X Prize for verification. Teams need to have verified agreements by the end of this year in order to continue in the competition. Three teams have verified contracts: Moon Express, SpaceIL and Synergy Moon.
BERN, Switzerland (RUAG Space PR) — RUAG Space will supply the structures for the OneWeb satellite constellation. A contract between OneWeb Satellites, the company responsible for constructing the OneWeb satellites, and RUAG Space has been signed that anticipates delivery of structures for 900 satellites by the end of 2020.
OneWeb is revolutionizing global connectivity and by far the largest satellite constellation ever. In just a few years’ time, about 900 satellites will be manufactured to be launched into low Earth orbit at an altitude of around 1,200 kilometres. These will offer broadband internet with up to 50 Mbps around the globe.
Statement from Space Florida President Frank DiBello Regarding President-Elect Donald Trump
“On behalf of Space Florida, I welcome President-Elect Trump’s incoming administration and look forward to continuing our positive relationship with NASA. I have been encouraged by what I have heard of President-Elect Donald Trump’s plans for our national space program. As the incoming administration develops policies and priorities for the upcoming term, Space Florida encourages President-Elect Trump’s incoming administration to sustain the balance of programs of record, including NASA’s Commercial Cargo and Crew programs, Space Launch System (SLS), Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion), and affiliated Ground Systems Development and Operations.
Collectively, these programs sustain the Cape Canaveral Spaceport in Florida, this nation’s premier gateway to a great future in space.” (more…)
While SpaceX has received most of the attention for its plan to launch more than 4,000 broadband satellite network, the constellation makes up just over half the number of spacecraft that companies have proposed placing in non-geosynchronous satellite orbit (NGSO).
Companies have filed applications with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch 8,731 NGSO communications satellites. While most of the constellations would provide broadband and communications services, others would collect Earth observation data.
According to the International Telecommunications Union, NGSO spacecraft “occupy a range of orbital positions (LEO satellites are located between 700km-1,500km from the Earth, MEO satellites are located at 10,000km from the Earth), and do not maintain a stationary position, but instead move in relation to the Earth’s surface.”
SpaceX leads the pack with 4,425 spacecraft, followed by Boeing with 2,956 and WorldVu (aka, OneWeb) with 720. Boeing has a second application before the FCC for a constellation with 60 satellites.
The table below provides a summary of the applications filed with the FCC.
NGSO APPLICATIONS BEFORE FCC
NO. OF SATELLITES
Advanced communications, Internet-based services
Machine-to-machine communications (Internet of Things)
Wide band and narrow band communications services
Theia Holdings A, Inc.
Integrated Earth observation and communications network
San Francisco, CA
Maritime monitoring, meteorological monitoring, and earth imaging services
Pompano Beach, FL
Very high speed connectivity for end-user earth stations
Data relay constellation providing satellite operators with seamless access to NGSO satellites
WASHINGTON (House Science Committee PR) – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas) today sent a letter to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Charles Bolden regarding the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). NASA recently issued a press release that implies the ARM has gained acceptance by advisory bodies.
“As the incoming Administration evaluates ARM, it would benefit from clear guidance from both NASA and its advisory bodies. Similarly, it should be unencumbered by decisions made in the twilight of this Administration’s term. Contrary to the assertions made in the press release, numerous advisory bodies have questioned the merits of the President’s ARM mission. The NASA Advisory Council, the Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG), and the National Research Council have all raised concerns with the mission since its proposal by the Administration,” the letter states.
Today’s letter requests documents associated with the consideration, development, formulation, drafting, production, and dissemination of the press release and a recent SBAG Special Action Team report.
Editor’s Note: The House Science Committee is investigating a press release? Are you serious? Of course you’re serious. You guys went all cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs a long time ago.
Trump needs to be “unencumbered by decisions made in the twilight of this Administration’s term.” What decisions? To put out a press release? And when has Trump ever felt encumbered by anything? Decency. Precedent. Truth.
And a 10-page letter? You needed 10 pages for that?
Don’t you have anything better to do with their time? Like passing a budget so agencies like NASA can do their work properly? The fiscal year ended on Sept. 30. Now I hear you guys are going with a continuing resolution until March.
DULLES, Va., 29 November 2016 (Orbital ATK PR) – Orbital ATK (NYSE: OA), a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced that it has begun a public-private partnership with NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) to establish a Commercial Infrastructure for Robotic Assembly and Services (CIRAS) in space. The CIRAS program will advance key technologies for in-orbit manufacturing and assembly of large space structures that will help the agency meet its goals for robotic and human exploration of the solar system.
BREVARD COUNTY, Fla., November 29, 2016 (Florida Space Coast EDC PR) – Today, the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast (EDC) announced RUAG’s selection of Brevard County for its RUAG Space USA Inc. production facility in Titusville. RUAG Space USA Inc., a supplier of spacecraft structural and thermal equipment, will operate at the Port Canaveral Titusville Logistic Center.
“The aerospace industry is undergoing a disruptive transformation,” explains Peter Guggenbach, CEO of RUAG Space USA Inc. “In what’s known as the new space segment, innovative start-ups and private investors are developing new commercial business models for aerospace applications. We want to be a competitive player in this segment too. The current order from Airbus OneWeb Satellites proves that we’re on the right path,” he says.
President elect Donald Trump has appointed Christopher Shank to the NASA transition landing team. Shank was most recently the policy and coalitions director for the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and was formerly deputy chief of staff for Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). He also served as NASA’s director of strategic investments and chief of strategic communications under President George W. Bush.
Mark Albrecht, who had been reportedly involved in the NASA transition, was been added to the landing team for the Department of Defense.
Shank’s LinkedIn profile is below.
Christopher Shank LinkedIn Profile
Policy and Coalitions Director House Science, Space, and Technology Committee January 2013 – Present (3 years 11 months) Washington D.C. Metro Area
Directs the Committee’s legislative and hearing agenda for broad portfolio of issues ranging from energy and environment/climate change, space exploration, and various research and technology initiatives across five subcommittees, engaging 22 Science Committee Members of Congress, in coordination with House Leadership.
Deputy Chief of Staff Congressman Lamar Smith March 2011 – Present (5 years 9 months)
Senior Director, Space, Networks, and Communications Business Development Honeywell Aerospace November 2009 – March 2011 (1 year 5 months) Washington D.C. Metro Area
Assistant Group Supervisor Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory February 2009 – October 2009 (9 months)
Director of Strategic Investments and Chief of Strategic Communications NASA April 2005 – January 2009 (3 years 10 months)
Senior agency official responsible for directing strategic messaging across all NASA mission directorates, program offices, and field centers. Directed 120-person NASA HQ staff including 10 senior executives responsible for $150 million/year education portfolio, legislative and intergovernmental affairs, and NASA public relations/special events.
Key member of NASA’s Management Councils with other Headquarters Officials-in-Charge, Associate Administrators, and Center Directors
Responsible for formulating and defending NASA’s annual budget requests and operating plans of $18 billion to the White House and Congress. Led 30-person HQ office, with hundreds more people in matrix support across agency.
Professional Staff Member House Science Committee April 2001 – April 2005 (4 years 1 month)
Officer US Air Force May 1990 – March 2001 (10 years 11 months)
University of Colorado Boulder M.S., Aerospace Engineering 1995 – 1996
University of Notre Dame B.A., Mathematics 1986 – 1990
That’s what radiofrequency engineers call the mysterious forces guiding communications over the air. These forces involve complex physics and are difficult enough to master on Earth. They only get more baffling when you’re beaming signals into space.
Until now, the shape of choice for casting this “magic” has been the parabolic dish. The bigger the antenna dish, the better it is at “catching” or transmitting signals from far away.
But CubeSats are changing that. These spacecraft are meant to be light, cheap and extremely small: most aren’t much bigger than a cereal box. Suddenly, antenna designers have to pack their “black magic” into a device where there’s no room for a dish — let alone much else.
A Government Accountability Office (GAO) review has found that the nation’s spaceport operators are confused about the insurance they should have for launch accidents.
“Specifically, several spaceport operators GAO interviewed said that, based on their interpretation of the financial responsibility regulations, they were unsure whether their property would be covered under a launch company’s insurance policy or whether they would need to purchase their own insurance for their property to be covered,” the report states.
PARIS, 28 November 2016 (ESA PR) — On 10 September, about 2000 Europeans helped to shape the future of space by taking part in a world first: the Citizens’ Debate on Space for Europe.ESA organised the event to gather opinions and ideas to help develop and nurture the future strategy for space in Europe.
When Jan Woerner was elected as Director General of ESA by its Member States he expressed the wish to boost dialogue with all stakeholders and to open up space to a broader public. This Citizens’ Debate translated his intention into practice, by including people from all walks of life around Europe.
About 2000 people representing a broad diversity of citizens in 22 countries debated space issues during the day-long event.
This consultation exercise, on an unprecedented scale, was organised in all ESA Member States simultaneously, following the same approach. (more…)