CSA Moves Forward on New Space Center

CSA has selected Specialty Construction of San Luis Obispo as the apparent successful offeror to complete the first phase of the California Space Center. The first phase will include preparations of the 71-acre site, including the removal of existing concrete pads and the installation of basic utilities.  Contract negotiations are scheduled to begin on January 28.  Specialty Construction was one of six companies that submitted formal proposals for the first phase.  Work under the contract is scheduled to begin the first quarter of 2011.

The Center is to be built on a 71-acre site in northern Santa Barbara County that is part of Vandenberg Air Force Base, but accessible to the public on California Highway 1. Upon completion, the Center will include a rocket garden, educational facilities, an outdoor amphitheater, a large format indoor theater, a cultural heritage center, and a business park.

California Space Authority is a nonprofit organization supporting California’s commercial, civil and national security space stakeholders. Governed by a statewide board of directors, CSA works closely with the State of California, industry, other government, education, workforce entities and academia to support space enterprise development and expansion statewide.

Chart: California’s Space Industry’s Large Impact on State, Nation and World

The California Space Authority has released a fact sheet on the impact of the state’s space sector, which accounts for $37.7 billion in direct revenue and more than over 450,000 jobs overall. Key excerpts below:

Economic Impact of California Space Enterprise

  • Totals $93 Billion  (1)
  • Supports 450,000 Jobs
  • Provides $23 Billion in Wages
  • Represents 46% of the $81.9 Billion U.S. Space Market
  • Constitutes a Direct Impact of $38 Billion Representing 22% of the $174 Billion Global Space Market

(1) California Space Enterprise represents $93B of total economic activity, including induced demand.

(2) Satellite services includes direct-to-home television, mobile satellite phone, mobile satellite data, VSAT, direct internet, direct satellite radio, remote sensing (raw imagery and first order processing only), and transponder agreements.

(3) Ground equipment includes gateways, control stations, mobile terminals, VSATs, DBS dishes, handheld satellite phones, and satellite radio equipment.

Economic analysis provided by A.T. Kearney, based on 2009 data

Sierra Nevada, Orbital Reps Join California Space Authority Board


Nine key space leaders have been elected to the Board of Directors of the California Space Authority, a statewide non-profit organization.  Of that total, four are new Board members while five are returning to the Board of Directors.  A three-year term of office will begin for the elected Board members starting January 2011.

The new Board members are Mark Pieczynski of Orbital Sciences Corp., Julie Van Kleeck of Aerojet, Ron Ramos of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, and Lisa Matthews of Sierra Nevada Corp.  Returning Board members are Julie Sattler of Lockheed Martin, Al Hoffman of Boeing, Randall Garber of AT Kearney, Alan Jones of ATK and Tim Bennett of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.


California Space Center Advances, Secures SpaceX and OSC as Tenants


Two aerospace companies have reserved space at the Mission Support Center of the California Space Center (CSC). The CSC will be built on a 71-acre site at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County. The companies – SpaceX and Orbital Sciences — have requested a total of more than 25,000 square feet for offices and a command and control center. The first phase of the Mission Support Center will include about 100,000 square feet of Class-A office space a mile from the front gate of VAFB on Highway 1.


California Space Authority Seeks 6 New Board Members

TO: California Space Authority (CSA) Members
Andrea Seastrand, Executive Director
Janice Dunn, General Counsel
Request for Nomination of Candidates for Election to CSA Board of Directors

It is time once again to solicit candidates for nomination for the election of the CSA 2011 Board of Directors.  We are asking members to recruit candidates for election to the Board, keeping in mind that the person is elected as an individual, not as a representative of a specific organization, or business sector.


California Space Authority Promotes Closer Educational Ties With French Aerospace Valley


As a life-sized Arianne 5 Rocket loomed overhead, and space enthusiasts explored replicas of the Mir Space Station and Soyuz, the Toulouse Space Show ramped up the inspiration level with an evening gala at the nearby Cite de l’Espace. Motivated by the scientific energy of the venue, Andrea Seastrand, Executive Director of the California Space Authority (CSA), delivered a rousing address which tied the educational experiences offered through the Cite de l”Espace to the vision that is the California Space Center (CSC).


The Space Show Features California Space Authority

On The Space Show this week:

Monday, May 17, 2010, 2-3:30 PM PDT: We welcome back Janice Dunn of the California Space Authority. Janice will be talking to us about the CSA Space Center and other important projects.

CLASSROOM: Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 7- 8:30 PM PDT: THE SPACE SHOW CLASSROOM presents Human Factors Part 2 with co-hosts Dr. Jim Logan of NASA JSC and Dr. John Jurist. For more information, see the Classroom blog at http://spaceshowclassroom.wordpress.com/.

Friday, May 21, 2010, 9:30-11:00 AM PDT: We welcome Megan Prelinger, author of “Another Science Fiction.” This book will soon be available on www.onegiantleapfoundation.org/books.

Sunday, May 23, 12-1:30 PM PDT. Open Lines. During this program we may receive a surprise call with information on a surprise survey that we will informally carry out on the program. All ideas and calls are welcome but please keep your calls short to allow time for others to participate.

California Space Authority Adds New Voices from Labor, Business

California Space Authority


As the California Space Authority (CSA) enters the New Year, it is pleased to welcome new members to its Board of Directors, including a voice from labor and additional voices from business. Also being seated will be a new Liaison from the US Navy.

“Our board members are excellent representatives of the space enterprise community,” stated Andrea Seastrand, Executive Director of CSA. “We have a well balanced complement of all space enterprise perspectives from throughout the state.”


CSA: SpaceShipTwo Shows Power of California Innovation

The WhiteKnightTwo rolls out with SpaceShipTwo. (Photo Credit: Sam Coniglio)
The WhiteKnightTwo rolls out with SpaceShipTwo. (Photo Credit: Sam Coniglio)


Dramatic skies, sensational lighting and stirring music formed the back drop this evening from which designer Burt Rutan and entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson revealed SpaceShipTwo in a theatrical extravaganza befitting the suspense that has surrounded this completely commercial space-faring system.

Cradled under the wing of its mother airship, the WhiteKnightTwo, SpaceShipTwo stood proudly on the tarmac and shone as a testament to California’s innovation and manufacturing prowess.


Regolith Excavation Challenge Ends With $750,000 in Prizes Awarded



MOUNTAIN VIEW – Nineteen teams pushed their robotic competitors to the limit and three teams claimed a total of $750,000 in NASA prizes for their hard work and innovation at this year’s Regolith Excavation Challenge held at NASA’s Ames Research Center on Moffett Field.

After two days of intense competitive drama, organizers conferred Paul’s Robotics of Worcester, MA, with the first place title, second went to Terra Engineering of Gardena, CA, and Team Braundo of Rancho Palos Verde, CA, took home third.


Terra Engineering Vaults Into Second Place in Regolith Challenge

Terra Engineering’s rover dumps a load of regolith into the collection box.

Terra Engineering has lept into second place in the Lunar Excavation Challenge, guaranteeing that this year’s $750,000 prize purse will be full claimed.

The team’s rover collected an unofficial total 270.6 kilograms of simulated lunar soil. This lept the Gardena, California-based team ahead of Braundo Rancho, whose rover collected 263.75 kilograms earlier on Sunday. Paul’s Robotics of Worcester, Massachusetts continues to lead with 439 kilograms.

The first place finisher will claim $500,000 with the second and third place teams claiming $150,000 and $100,000, respectively. To qualify for prizes, teams had to excavate at least 150 kilograms of regolith.

One team – Moon Diggers B of San Francisco, California – remains to compete.

Video: E-Rex Lunar Excavator Collects Regolith

The E-Rex rover collects simulated lunar soil during the Regolith Excavation Challenge. The vehicle dumped 75 kilograms into the container, half of what was required to qualify for a prize. It collected more soil before it got stuck and the 30-minute collection period ran out. The team will return to Little Rock, Arkansas without any prize money.

Regolith Excavation Challenge – Another Team Qualifies


A second team, Paul’s Robotics of Worcester, Mass., has qualified for prize money in the Regolith Excavation Challenge. The team from Worchester Polytechnic Institute excavated 439 kilograms of simulated soil, which puts it in the lead for a $500,000 cash prize from NASA. The second place team will received $150,000, with $100,000 going to the third place team.

There was some controversy over whether the robot had excavated soil outside the assigned area; however, the judges looked at the markings in the test bed and confirmed that there was no problem with the effort.