Page 2 of 1391

Air Force Doubts New ULA Engine Can Be Ready by 2019

14 Comments
Atlas V launch of WorldView-3 satellite (Credit: ULA)

Atlas V launch of WorldView-3 satellite (Credit: ULA)

U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee Jones told a Senate committee this week that it would be difficult to develop a new rocket motor to replace the Atlas V’s Russian-produced RD-180 by the the 2019 deadline established by Congress.

“Because this,” James said, “is rocket science.”

James said the technical experts she’s spoken with estimate that it would take six to eight years to build a new engine and another year or two to integrate it into the launch vehicle. If those estimates are right, it would push the first use of a new engine well into the 2020s.

The Air Force has not decided what engine to fund to replace the RD-180, which powers the Atlas V’s first stage. United Launch Alliance, which builds the launch vehicle, has announced a partnership with Blue Origin to develop the BE4 engine.

The Atlas V is used almost exclusively to launch defense payloads. Replacing the RD-180 has become a priority given deteriorating ties between the United States and Russia.

In series of Tweets, ULA President and CEO Tory Bruno said he expects the first flight of the BE4 engine to occur in 2019. The new engine and rocket would be certified in 2022-23 for launching national security payloads.

“Developing an American engine by 2019, cert in 2022-23, is an aggressive schedule,” Bruno wrote. “The existing law leaves us no flexibility.”

“No, we cannot realistically accelerate certification to 2019. 2022-23 already has risk,” he said in another Tweet.

Ardusat Secures $1 Million in Seed Funding

Comments
Arusat deployed from the International Space Station.

Arusat deployed from the International Space Station.

  • Seed round will finance expansion of Ardusat platform, enabling K-12 and higher ed students to conduct science and technology experiments in space and on earth
  • Edtech startup also announces launch of an open data repository, where students can post experiment results for public academic use

SALT LAKE CITY (Ardusat PR) — Ardusat, an education company focused on enhancing student engagement through hands-on experimentation, today announced it has secured a total of $1 million in seed funding from Space Florida, Fresco Capital, Spire and other investors. The capital will finance the expansion of Ardusat’s Experiment Platform, which enables K-12 and higher education students to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields through custom experiments conducted in space or on earth.

Continue reading ‘Ardusat Secures $1 Million in Seed Funding’

Video New Report on Spaceport America

Comment

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Video Report on XCOR’s Exit From Mojave

10 Comments

KGET takes a look at XCOR’s move from Mojave to Midland.

Pete Worden to Retire From NASA

Comment
pete_worden_portrait

Pete Worden

NASA Ames Center Director Pete Worden has announced he is leaving the space agency at the end of March to pursue opportunities in the private sector. He was appointed Ames center director in May 2006 after retiring from a 29-year career in the U.S. Air Force.

Worden has been seen as a maverick within a relatively conservative space agency, pursuing innovative initiatives such as phonesats and synthetic biology while forging close ties with Silicon Valley companies such as Google. NASA Ames hosted an International Space University summer session; its research park is home to the Singularity University and Made in Space.
Continue reading ‘Pete Worden to Retire From NASA’

Florida Legislative Space Priorities Come Into View as Session Nears

Comments

space_florida_logoFebruary 23, 2015 (FSDC PR) – Florida’s 2015 Legislative Session will begin on March 3 and end on May 1 in Tallahassee. The biggest task for elected officials will be to approve a $77 billion spending plan, including millions of dollars for space-related programs. Governor Rick Scott in January revealed his proposed budget, which includes $12.5 million for Space Florida programs.

The Florida Space Development Council (FSDC) has tracked the progress of annual space-focused funding and policy issues in Tallahassee. FSDC is gearing up for the 2015 Session with an updated chart of space-related issues, a chart that is sure to evolve several times over the next two months.

FSDC 2015 FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE SPACE ISSUES
ISSUE/BILL HOUSE STATUS SENATE STATUS COMMENTS*
Space Florida Ops Budget ($10M) Included in Gov. Scott’s budget request, with $4M of recurring funding and $6M non-recurring.
Space Florida Financing/
Investment Fund

Provided in 2014 but not included in Gov. Scott’s 2015 request. May be a legislative priority.
Space Transportation
Infrastructure Funding
“TIP” program funded at $15M in 2014 within FDOT budget allocation. Status unclear for 2015.
Shuttle Landing Facility Transition ($2.5M) Proviso earmark of $2.5M in 2014, and intended for two years by sponsoring legislators. Status unclear for 2015.
Space Industry Tourism Funding ($1.5M) Included in Gov. Scott’s budget request. Continued funding for coordination with VISIT Florida to support tourism attractions and space tourism flight business.
Florida/Israel Joint Aerospace Development ($1M) Included in Gov. Scott’s budget request. Continued funding of joint aerospace projects with Space Florida and Israel.
Qualified Defense/Space
Contractor Tax Refund
Incentive program requires statutory change to renew application window for companies to qualify for refunds.
Quick Response Training
(QRT) Incentive

Supported in 2014 by Gov. Scott. Status unclear for 2015.
Embry-Riddle high school aerospace academies Signed by Governor in 2014 as a recurring budget item to
support/expand network of high school aerospace academies.

* Note: Most budget items are subject to the Governor’s line-item veto authority.

Aerojet Rocketdyne to Develop Environmentally Friendly Propellants

Comments

aerojet_rocketdyne
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 24, 2015 (Aerojet Rocketdyne PR) – Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, was awarded a contract to research and develop environmentally sustainable monopropellants and gas generators for rocket and missile propulsion and Divert Attitude Control Systems. The company is working with the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center; the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Edwards Air Force Base; and the U.S. Army Medical Command to develop a new family of high-performing liquid propellants. The effort is funded through the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program, an office of the Department of Defense.

Continue reading ‘Aerojet Rocketdyne to Develop Environmentally Friendly Propellants’

Blakey Departs AIA for Rolls Royce

Comments
Marion Blakey

Marion Blakey

ARLINGTON, Va. (AIA PR) —The Aerospace Industries Association announces today that after her successful seven-year tenure as President and Chief Executive Officer, Marion C. Blakey will be leaving to take the position of President and CEO of Rolls Royce North America.

“AIA has been very fortunate to have Marion’s leadership over the last seven years,” said AIA Chairman and President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Aviation, David L. Joyce. “Under Marion’s guidance, AIA has elevated its role advocating in the best interests of the nation and the aerospace and defense industry.”

Beginning in November of 2007, Blakey’s tenure saw the achievement of numerous milestones for the industry. AIA’s advocacy played a key role in changing the classification of commercial satellites in 2014, enabling American manufacturers to better compete in the global market. AIA’s work in support of the Next Generation Air Transportation System has been widely recognized by industry and government.

Continue reading ‘Blakey Departs AIA for Rolls Royce’

Midland to Build Engine Test Stand for XCOR

Comments
The XCOR XR-5H25 engine was hot fired for the first time at the XCOR test site located on the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California. (Credit: XCOR)

The XCOR XR-5H25 engine was hot fired for the first time at the XCOR test site located on the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California. (Credit: XCOR)

NewsWest9.com reports the Midland City Council has approved the expenditure of up to $200,000 to build a rocket engine test stand for XCOR at the Midland International Air and Space Port. The money will come from the Midland Development Corporation.

XCOR has a lease to move its R&D facility to the west Texas city, which has put up incentives worth $10 million for the company. The move is planned for after XCOR begins flight tests of its Lynx suborbital spacecraft in Mojave, Calif.

Russia Looks to Extend ISS Operations to 2024 Before Splitting Off

145 Comments
The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth's atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

The International Space Station, backdropped by the blackness of space and the thin line of Earth’s atmosphere. (Credit: NASA)

The Russian space agency Roscosmos is looking to continue operations of the International Space Station (ISS) until 2024, giving a boost to NASA’s effort to extend the life of the facility from the current 2020 deadline.

However, Roscosmos’ Scientific and Technical Council (STC) said the space agency plans to remove the Russian elements of ISS in 2024 in order to form the basis of a separate space station. That decision would end NASA’s hope of extending station operations to 2028.

Continue reading ‘Russia Looks to Extend ISS Operations to 2024 Before Splitting Off’