EVENT: Export Control Reform Panel Discussion- Brian Nilsson, National Security Council Professional Staff Member, will provide a briefing on the Administration’s current export control reform plans and strategy. Also participating in the panel will be Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) an important voice on Capitol Hill on the topic of export control reform, and Remy Nathan, Vice President for International Affairs at the Aerospace Industries Association, who will provide the business perspective.
The panel discussion will begin promptly at 8:30 am on Thursday, Oct. 13th, at the National Housing Center, located at 1201 15th Street, NW, Washington, DC (near the intersection of Massachusetts Ave. and 15th Street).
This panel discussion should provide attendees with invaluable insight into the latest in the ongoing export control reform effort and the likely Congressional reaction to the Obama Administration’s most recent plans. The event is free and open to the public. For more information please contact Mike Gold at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (240) 235-6016. The panel discussion will not be streamed or webcast.
(OSC PR – Dulles, VA – 31 August 2011) — Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced that it received a Commercial Space Transportation Launch License from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program demonstration mission in early 2012. An expanded license covering the test flight of the company’s Taurus® II rocket in late 2011 is expected to be granted in the near future.
To secure the license, Orbital was required to submit extensive technical and program management data to the FAA about its Taurus II rocket and Cygnus™ spacecraft to ensure that all necessary operational requirements and safety precautions are met. Among the many items reviewed by the FAA were the rocket’s planned trajectory, ground tracking procedures, onboard safety and flight termination systems, and the experience and training of the launch operations team.
LAS CRUCES, NM – NMSA PR – For the second consecutive year, Spaceport America has received a federal grant award to help fund new spaceport infrastructure. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant is worth $249,378 toward the cost of a roll-back vehicle integration building at Spaceport America.
The FAA has awarded grants totaling nearly $500,000 to improve spaceports in Virginia, California and New Mexico:
$249,378 to the New Mexico Space Port Authority’s Spaceport America to construct a mobile structure to prepare larger rockets before launch;
$125,000 to the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority’s Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport to improve security and remote monitoring;
$125,000 to the East Kern Airport District’s Mojave Air and Space Port in California for a Supplemental Environmental Assessment.
The Las Cruces Sun-Newsreports that the “funding will help pay for a roll-back vehicle integration building to prepare space vehicles for launch. The facility will accommodate the larger vehicles that are under development and also be on a rail system that can be rolled back from the vehicle to help maintain dimensional stability.”
The grants were made under an FAA program that funds infrastructure improvements at the nation’s licensed spaceports.
An FAA-sponsored payload (an ADS-B transmitter, loaned to NASA by MITRE Corporation), will fly on NASA-funded CRuSR missions. This payload will be hosted on both the Masten Space Systems Xaero reusable launch vehicle (RLV). This vehicle will operate in Vertical Takeoff/Vertical Landing (VTVL) mode with minimal lateral translation during flight. A NASA payload that will monitor vibration and other environmental parameters during flight will also fly on this mission. This is the first experimental payload NASA has selected to fly on a commercial RLV as part of their CRuSR Program.
The Masten Space Systems Xaero vehicle will operate from Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, CA. It will fly twice to an altitude of up to 17,900 feet above MSL. The Masten Space Systems Xaero CRuSR mission will occur NET mid-July 2011.
The NASA Inspector General’s Office issued a report today titled, “NASA’s Challenges Certifying and Acquiring Commercial Crew Transportation Services,” looking at what obstacles lie ahead as NASA pursues its CCDev program. The challenges include:
modifying NASA’s existing safety and human-rating requirements for commercially developed systems
selecting an acquisition strategy for commercial crew transportation services
establishing the appropriate insight/oversight model for commercial partner vehicle development.
relying on an emerging industry and uncertain market conditions to achieve cost savings
managing the relationship among commercial partners, the FAA, and NASA.
I’ve reproduced the audit’s results and management action sections below. You can download the full report here. (more…)
Representatives of more than 20 aerospace firms both large and small met with officials of NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center Jan. 25 during an Industry Day meeting for potential providers of sub-orbital reusable launch vehicle and payload integration services.
Discussions focused on NASA’s interest in acquiring commercial flight and payload integration services for NASA-provided technology payloads on sub-orbital reusable space launch vehicles, as reflected in a recent NASA Request For Information submitted to potential commercial providers.
During the morning sessions, Steve Meier, director of the Cross-Cutting Demonstrations Division of NASA’s Office of Chief Technologist, stressed the partnership approach that NASA is seeking with commercial launch vehicle firms, while Michelle Murray of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation outlined the FAA’s licensing and commercial launch approval process.
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will co-sponsor the 14th annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference, to be held February 9â€“10 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Place NW, Washington, D.C.
The conference will feature high-level speakers and panels examining the state of technology and capabilities in the commercial space transportation sector, including new space technologies, government customers for commercial space, and commercial space transportation regulatory issues.
The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel that offers guidance to NASA has released its annual report for 2010. A key finding, unsurprisingly, is that the long uncertainty over the space agency’s future is causing a great deal of confusion and lowering morale at NASA centers, possibly jeopardizing safety operations.
The ASAP report also includes a lengthy section concerning NASA’s plans to procure human spaceflight on a commercial basis, with considerable emphasis on the need for the space agency to develop a clear acquisition strategy.
Urgent Need to Promulgate Acquisition Strategy
An acquisition strategy is fundamental to the development of standards and requirements for commercial crew transportation. The Panel has emphasized the necessity of developing and promulgating a good acquisition strategy as quickly as possible.
Key excerpts of the report that deal with clarity of purpose and commercial space are reproduced after the break.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety inspectors at the North Pole certified Santa One, the reindeer-powered sleigh piloted by Santa Claus, for its Christmas Eve round-the-world delivery mission.
Santa One, led by Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, is outfitted with new satellite-based NextGen technology, which will allow Santa to deliver more toys to more children with improved safety and efficiency.
â€œChildren around the world will get their gifts on time, regardless of the weather, thanks to NextGen,â€ said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. â€œWeâ€™re proud to say NextGen is bringing Santa Claus to town.â€
Aviation Weekreports that SpaceX is rescheduling its late November launch of the first Dragon capsule to Dec. 7 to allow for more testing. The robotic freighter, designed to resupply the International Space Station, will be sent into space on a test mission aboard the second Falcon 9 rocket. The precise date will be impacted by the launch of the space shuttle Discovery, which was postponed last week until Nov. 30 due to technical problems. The Falcon 9/Dragon launch was originally scheduled for early November. SpaceX is also awaiting a landing permit from the FAA to return Dragon to Earth.
SpaceX Awaiting FAA Approval of Dragon Re-entry License Space News
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is awaiting U.S. regulatory approval to launch its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo vessel as soon as Nov. 20 after more than a year spent tying up loose ends associated with the recoverable space capsuleâ€™s re-entry license application, which the company submitted in final form to federal regulators Oct. 29, according to government and industry sources.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a new grant program designed to fund projects that develop and expand commercial space transportation infrastructure.Â The Space Transportation Infrastructure Matching Grants will be awarded to four separate projects located in Alaska, California, Florida, and New Mexico.