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April 2005 Top Stories


»» Industry Panel Urges Space Shuttle Fly-Out Plan, Space Station Integration

Industry Panel Urges Space Shuttle Fly-Out Plan, Space Station Integration [Friday, April 1, 2005] NASA must nail down a detailed fly-out plan in order to keep skilled technicians with the space shuttle program as it heads toward its 2010 conclusion, an AIA-led Industry Panel concluded.



»» NASA Sources Sought Notice: Exploration Systems Mission Directorate - Innovative Partnerships Program

NASA Sources Sought Notice: Exploration Systems Mission Directorate - Innovative Partnerships Program [Friday, April 1, 2005] NASA is hereby soliciting capability statements from interested small business (all types) sources for the Technology Transfer Transformation project in support of the Vision for Space Exploration. This does not preclude a large business from responding.



»» SpaceX Completes Falcon I Structural Qualification for Flight

SpaceX Completes Falcon I Structural Qualification for Flight [Friday, April 1, 2005] Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) today announced the completion of qualification and acceptance testing of all primary structures for the Falcon I launch vehicle.



»» Incubating European industry

Incubating European industry [Saturday, April 2, 2005] Entrepeneurs with innovative ideas of how to use space technology and systems in non-space sectors can be helped by ESA's European Space Incubator. Started in 2003, it has already helped to create 25 new start-up companies.



»» Italy towards the Space Station in the next two missions

Italy towards the Space Station in the next two missions [Saturday, April 2, 2005] The next few months will be an important step forward in the completion of the International Space Station. Two significant missions involving this country and Alenia Spazio are now ready.



»» New Book Reveals That Private Lunar Mission Succeeded Despite NASA Roadblocks

New Book Reveals That Private Lunar Mission Succeeded Despite NASA Roadblocks [Saturday, April 2, 2005] "... like the Lunar Prospector Mission itself, this book was written to expose to the American taxpayer the basic flaws of an ever increasingly incompetent NASA and its major aerospace contractors."



»» NASA Sources Sought Notice: Exploration System of Systems Engineering and Integration Services

NASA Sources Sought Notice: Exploration System of Systems Engineering and Integration Services [Sunday, April 3, 2005] "Spiral 1 encompasses human space in low Earth orbit (LEO), Spiral 2, short human expeditions to the Moon, and Spiral 3, extended human lunar missions to test concepts for human missions to Mars. "



»» ISS Panel Report, Integrated Space Operations Summit

ISS Panel Report, Integrated Space Operations Summit [Monday, April 4, 2005] "... Based on current requirements, the cargo vehicle flight rate after Shuttle retirement does not meet the projected re-supply and return needs of ISS; additional transportation capabilities will be required..."



»» NASA Awards Task Order for High-End Supercomputing Research

NASA Awards Task Order for High-End Supercomputing Research [Monday, April 4, 2005] NASA ARC has awarded a cost-plus-award-fee and performance-based task order valued at approximately $49.4 million to Advanced Management Technology Inc. to provide technical support for supercomputing research and development.



»» Lockheed Martin Delivers Atlas V to Cape Canaveral for NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission

Lockheed Martin Delivers Atlas V to Cape Canaveral for NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission [Monday, April 4, 2005] NASA, JPL, and Lockheed Martin mark another significant milestone in the Mars space exploration program as .Lockheed Martin delivered the vehicle that will launch the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission to Mars. 



»» Russian Federal Space Agency Press Release on Launch Pricing

Russian Federal Space Agency Press Release on Launch Pricing [Tuesday, April 5, 2005] Developing world market of launch services using Russian launch vehicles makes it possible to attract additional funds for design and improvement of space launch systems and development of production plants.



»» Northrop Grumman, Boeing Announce Companies Supporting Crew Exploration Vehicle Team

Northrop Grumman, Boeing Announce Companies Supporting Crew Exploration Vehicle Team [Tuesday, April 5, 2005] Northrop Grumman and Boeing, who are teaming to design and build NASA's Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), today unveiled the major companies that will support their efforts to fulfill the nation's Vision for Space Exploration.



»» NSF renews Cornell's contract for management of Arecibo Observatory

NSF renews Cornell's contract for management of Arecibo Observatory [Tuesday, April 5, 2005] The National Science Foundation has renewed Cornell University's management contract for the operation of Arecibo Observatory, the world's largest and most-sensitive single-dish radio/radar telescope.



»» NASA Awards Task Order for Supercomputing Research

NASA Awards Task Order for Supercomputing Research [Tuesday, April 5, 2005] NASA Ames Research Center has awarded a cost-plus-award-fee and performance-based task order valued at approximately $49.4 million to Advanced Management Technology Inc., to provide technical support for supercomputing research and development.



»» NASA Presolicitation Notice: Sponsorship Opportunity for Bandwidth Support to Return to Flight Missions (STS-114, STS-121)

NASA Presolicitation Notice: Sponsorship Opportunity for Bandwidth Support to Return to Flight Missions  (STS-114, STS-121) [Tuesday, April 5, 2005] In exchange for this sponsorship NASA will consider offers to display the logo of the sponsor(s) and give credit to the sponsor(s) on the NASA Web Portal for the contribution of bandwidth costs.



»» Rep. Ken Calvert Calls for New Rules and Tools for the Second Space Age

Rep. Ken Calvert Calls for New Rules and Tools for the Second Space Age [Wednesday, April 6, 2005] Congressman Ken Calvert yesterday called for a new set of rules and tools to move the United States Space Program forward in the second space age.  Calvert was the featured speaker at the 21st annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, CO.



»» Web Sponsorship for Upcoming NASA Space Shuttle Missions

Web Sponsorship for Upcoming NASA Space Shuttle Missions [Wednesday, April 6, 2005] NASA has a sponsorship opportunity for companies to place their corporate identity on NASA's popular Web site for two of its highest-profile missions this year. In return, this partnership would provide NASA increased Internet capabilities.



»» NASA Special Notice: International Space Station Commercial Cargo Services

NASA Special Notice: International Space Station Commercial Cargo Services [Thursday, April 7, 2005] This one day conference will focus on ISS cargo transportation and visiting vehicle integration requirements and is targeted to contractors and other government agencies interested in potential future ISS Commercial Cargo Service requirements.



»» Los Alamos National Laboratory Signs CRADA and License Agreement with Carbon Designs, Inc.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Signs CRADA and License Agreement with Carbon Designs, Inc. [Friday, April 8, 2005] Los Alamos National Laboratory and Carbon Designs, Inc. today signed a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to collaborate on the development of ultra-strong fibers made of carbon nanotubes (CNTs).



»» Corrective Action Defined for Delta IV Heavy Demo Early Cut-off Anomaly

Corrective Action Defined for Delta IV Heavy Demo Early Cut-off Anomaly [Friday, April 8, 2005] Boeing and the USAF, supported by The Aerospace Corporation, have formally closed the investigation into the root cause of the premature Main Engine Cut-Off on the Delta IV Heavy Lift Vehicle Demonstration mission that was launched December 21, 2004.



»» Boeing Team Competing for GOES-R Satellite System

Boeing Team Competing for GOES-R Satellite System [Friday, April 8, 2005] Boeing has assembled a best of industry team to bid on the next-generation geostationary weather and environmental system for NOAA. The team includes Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. and Harris Corp.



»» Another Ariane 5 takes shape at the Spaceport

Another Ariane 5 takes shape at the Spaceport [Friday, April 8, 2005] Arianespace is moving ahead with plans for a busy period of Ariane 5 mission activity in 2005 as another launcher begins to take shape at the Spaceport in French Guiana.



»» Arianespace and Roscosmos sign Soyuz CSG infrastructure contract

Arianespace and Roscosmos sign Soyuz CSG infrastructure contract [Monday, April 11, 2005] This contract marks the first step in application of the inter-governmental agreements between France, the Russian Federation and the European Space Agency, to allow Soyuz launches from French Guiana.



»» NASA DART Spacecraft to Launch on Pegasus XL Rocket April 15

NASA DART Spacecraft to Launch on Pegasus XL Rocket April 15 [Monday, April 11, 2005] DART will demonstrate key technologies required for spacecraft to rendezvous with other craft, such as satellites, without human intervention.



»» Space Systems/Loral Begins Construction of TerreStar Satellite System

Space Systems/Loral Begins Construction of TerreStar Satellite System [Monday, April 11, 2005] Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) today announced that it has completed design reviews of TerreStar Networks, Inc.'s geostationary satellite, TerreStar-1, and entered into the construction phase of the Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) program.



»» IKONOS Satellite Photo Advisory: Satellite Image of Space Shuttle Discovery

IKONOS Satellite Photo Advisory: Satellite Image of Space Shuttle Discovery [Tuesday, April 12, 2005] Space Imaging has released an IKONOS satellite image showing the Shuttle "stack" - the orbiter, external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters - situated at Launch Pad 39B at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.



»» Vulcan Productions Wins First Peabody Award

Vulcan Productions Wins First Peabody Award [Wednesday, April 13, 2005] Vulcan Productions, the independent film production company founded by Paul G. Allen, and Discovery Channel today announced its co-production BLACK SKY: THE RACE FOR SPACE was honored with a 2004 Peabody Award as the best in electronic media.



»» NASA Award Notice: Inflatable Thin Film Ballute for Return from the Moon

NASA Award Notice: Inflatable Thin Film Ballute for Return from the Moon [Wednesday, April 13, 2005] Contract Award Amount: $9,704,729
Contractor: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corporation



»» NASA Presolicitation Notice: Mars Exploration Supersonic Parachute System Concept Study

NASA Presolicitation Notice: Mars Exploration Supersonic Parachute System Concept Study [Wednesday, April 13, 2005] NASA/LaRC plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a requirement to study system concepts for developing an advanced supersonic parachute system for future Mars landers.



»» Successful launch of Alcatel Apstar VI communications satellite from China

Successful launch of Alcatel Apstar VI communications satellite from China [Wednesday, April 13, 2005] The Apstar VI communications satellite, built by prime contractor Alcatel Space, a subsidiary of Alcatel, was successfully boosted into orbit today by a Long March 3B launcher from Xichang satellite launch center in China.



»» Successful Design Review Validates the Technical Feasibility of Orbital Recovery Ltd.'s CX-OLEV Space Tug

Successful Design Review Validates the Technical Feasibility of Orbital Recovery Ltd.'s CX-OLEV Space Tug [Wednesday, April 13, 2005] The ConeXpress Orbital Life Extension Vehicle (CX-OLEVTM) has successfully passed its Baseline Design Review milestone, clearing the way for this innovative space tug's formal offer to customers on operational servicing missions beginning in 2008.



»» NASA Sources Sought Notice: Robotic Lunar Exploration Program Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Request for Information

NASA Sources Sought Notice: Robotic Lunar Exploration Program Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Request for Information [Thursday, April 14, 2005] The Robotic Lunar Exploration Program (RLEP) is a sequence of missions intended to perform measurements, technology demonstrations and infrastructure deployments to enable a successful human return to the Moon in the 2015-2020 timeframe. 



»» First Ecliptic RocketCam on a Spacecraft to Launch April 15

First Ecliptic RocketCam on a Spacecraft to Launch April 15 [Thursday, April 14, 2005] The first Ecliptic RocketCam™ video system to be used onboard a spacecraft is scheduled for launch on April 15 aboard NASA's Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) vehicle.



»» NASA Presolicitation Notice: Notice of Intent to Release a Solicitation for a Mars Telecommunication Orbiter Science Investigation

NASA Presolicitation Notice: Notice of Intent to Release a Solicitation for a Mars Telecommunication Orbiter Science Investigation [Thursday, April 14, 2005] NASA)intends to release an Announcement of Opportunity (AO) no earlier than May 1, 2005, for a MTO Science Investigation.  



»» NASA Presolicitation Notice: Announcement of Opportunity for the Discovery Program: Discovery Program 2005 and Missions of Opportunity

NASA Presolicitation Notice: Announcement of Opportunity for the Discovery Program: Discovery Program 2005 and Missions of Opportunity [Thursday, April 14, 2005] NASA's Science Mission Directorate is releasing a NASA Announcement of Opportunity for the Discovery Program 2005 and Missions of Opportunity.   NASA intends to select a Discovery mission to launch by December 31, 2012.



»» Sea Launch Sets Sail for DIRECTV's Spaceway Mission

Sea Launch Sets Sail for DIRECTV's Spaceway Mission [Monday, April 18, 2005] The Odyssey Launch Platform and the Sea Launch Commander departed Sea Launch Home Port last week for Sea Launch's second mission of the year. The Sea Launch team is preparing to launch the Spaceway F1 broadcast satellite for DIRECTV, Inc., on April 26,



»» Orbital Issues DART Mission Recap

Orbital Issues DART Mission Recap [Tuesday, April 19, 2005] Following its deployment, DART embarked on a 24-hour mission to locate, rendezvous with and conduct close-proximity maneuvers around another satellite, all without the benefit of human pilots or ground controllers directing the mission operations.



»» SES AMERICOM Set to Deliver Historic Space Shuttle Launch Broadcasts to Audiences Across North America

SES AMERICOM Set to Deliver Historic Space Shuttle Launch Broadcasts to Audiences Across North America [Tuesday, April 19, 2005] SES AMERICOM, an SES GLOBAL company today announced its occasional use satellite services are now poised to deliver network and affiliate television coverage of the historic space shuttle launch later this spring to viewers across North America.



»» Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Hearing Charter: Future Markets for Commercial Space

Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Hearing Charter: Future Markets for Commercial Space [Tuesday, April 19, 2005] On Wednesday, April 20, at 9:30 a.m., the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics will hold a hearing to examine the future of the commercial space market and the government's role in that future.



»» Experts: Commercial Space Industry has Potential

Experts: Commercial Space Industry has Potential [Wednesday, April 20, 2005] Burt Rutan joined the President of Virgin Galactic and other leaders in the commercial space industry in testifying before the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics today on the future of the commercial space market.



»» Chip-scale refrigerators cool bulk objects

Chip-scale refrigerators cool bulk objects [Thursday, April 21, 2005] Chip-scale refrigerators capable of reaching temperatures as low as 100 milliKelvin have been used to cool bulk objects for the first time, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) report.



»» Another NAVSTAR PAM-D Recovered after Reentry

Another NAVSTAR PAM-D Recovered after Reentry [Thursday, April 21, 2005] For the third time in four years, a PAMD (Payload Assist Module - Delta) solid rocket motor casing has been recovered after an uncontrolled atmospheric reentry.



»» NASA Awards $11 Million Quantum Wire (Carbon Nanotube) Contract To Rice University

NASA Awards $11 Million Quantum Wire (Carbon Nanotube) Contract To Rice University [Friday, April 22, 2005] NASA has awarded Rice University's Carbon Nanotechnology Laboratory a four-year, $11 million contract to produce a prototype power cable made entirely of carbon nanotubes.



»» NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Pre-solicitation Meeting on the Technology Transfer Transformation Procurement

NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Pre-solicitation Meeting on the Technology Transfer Transformation Procurement [Friday, April 22, 2005] ESMD's Innovative Partnerships Program will provide industry and academia with details about the Technology Transfer Transformation procurement.



»» Fairchild Imaging CCD on Cassini Captures Images of Titan in Close Flyby

Fairchild Imaging CCD on Cassini Captures Images of Titan in Close Flyby [Friday, April 22, 2005] Fairchild Imaging CCD sensors capture digital images of Saturn's moon Titan. These ultra sensitive Charge Coupled Device (CCD) image sensors are the "eyes" of several instruments on the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini Huygens mission to study Saturn and its moons.



»» NASA Announces DART Mishap Investigation Board Members

NASA Announces DART Mishap Investigation Board Members [Friday, April 22, 2005] NASA selected the mishap investigation board to determine why the Demonstration of Autonomous Rendezvous Technology (DART) spacecraft did not complete its mission on April 15.



»» Sea Launch Prepares for Liftoff of Spaceway Satellite on April 26

Sea Launch Prepares for Liftoff of Spaceway Satellite on April 26 [Monday, April 25, 2005] The Sea Launch team has arrived at its equatorial launch site in preparation for the launch of DIRECTV's Spaceway satellite on Tuesday, April 26, at 12:31:30 am PDT (07:31:30 GMT), at the opening of a half-hour launch window.



»» LiftPort Group, the Space Elevator Companies, to Open Its First Carbon Nanotube Manufacturing Facility

LiftPort Group, the Space Elevator Companies, to Open Its First Carbon Nanotube Manufacturing Facility [Monday, April 25, 2005] LiftPort Group, the space elevator companies, today announced plans for a carbon nanotube manufacturing plant, the company's first formal facility for production of the material on a commercial scale.



»» Raytheon Instruments Continue Search for Water on Mars

Raytheon Instruments Continue Search for Water on Mars [Monday, April 25, 2005] Two five-pound electronic instruments built by Raytheon Company's Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) remain thirsty on Mars.



»» KB Home Initiates National Promotion to Support Launch of NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery

KB Home Initiates National Promotion to Support Launch of NASA's Space Shuttle Discovery [Monday, April 25, 2005] KB Home, one of the nation's premier homebuilders, announced today that, as NASA prepares to return to flight this May with the space shuttle Discovery, the company has launched a national promotion in support of America's space shuttle program.



»» McDonald's Honors NASA Astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao for Mission Accomplished

McDonald's Honors NASA Astronaut Dr. Leroy Chiao for Mission Accomplished [Monday, April 25, 2005] Upon his return to Earth, McDonald's will present Dr. Chiao the flagship Big Mac sandwich and French fries in Star City, Russia. The McDonald's meal will be one of the first meals on Earth Dr. Chiao will enjoy in nearly 200 days.



»» NASA Develops New Software to Detect Bugs in Java Computer Code

NASA Develops New Software to Detect Bugs in Java Computer Code [Tuesday, April 26, 2005] NASA scientists today announced they are releasing free software that will find 'bugs,' or defects, in Java computer code. The new software, Java Pathfinder, is classified as 'open source software.'



»» DIRECTV's Spaceway F1 Satellite Launches New Era in High-Definition Programming; Next Generation Satellite Will Initiate Historic Expansion of DIRECTV Programming

DIRECTV's Spaceway F1 Satellite Launches New Era in High-Definition Programming; Next Generation Satellite Will Initiate Historic Expansion of DIRECTV Programming [Tuesday, April 26, 2005] DIRECTV advanced toward its goal of offering local digital and high-definition channels to every household in America with the successful launch this morning of Spaceway F1 capable of delivering hundreds of HD signals to DIRECTV customers.



»» Sea Launch Successfully Delivers Spaceway to Orbit - Heaviest Commercial Satellite Launched to Date

Sea Launch Successfully Delivers Spaceway to Orbit  - Heaviest Commercial Satellite Launched to Date [Tuesday, April 26, 2005] Sea Launch Company today successfully delivered DIRECTV's Spaceway F1 satellite to orbit, completing the launch of the heaviest commercial satellite to date. Early data indicate the spacecraft is in excellent condition.



»» Space Adventures Offers Ecliptic's RocketCam for Private Spaceflights

Space Adventures Offers Ecliptic's RocketCam for Private Spaceflights [Tuesday, April 26, 2005] RocketCam's unique features will be able to return live video from both the launch vehicle interior and exterior while rocketing through the Earth's atmosphere and into orbit.



»» Spacehab Providing Cargo Services on July Space Station Mission

Spacehab Providing Cargo Services on July Space Station Mission [Tuesday, April 26, 2005] Several crew members of the STS-121 mission will be conducting EVAs to transfer the hardware from Atlantis' payload bay to the ISS. These astronauts visited Spacehab Headquarters today for a training session on the flight hardware components.



»» A380 Successfully Completes Its First Flight

A380 Successfully Completes Its First Flight [Wednesday, April 27, 2005] The first A380 to take to the air landed at Blagnac international airport in Toulouse, France at 14.23 local time (12.23h GMT) after successfully completing a first flight that lasted three hours and 54 minutes.



»» NASA Special Notice: Policy Statement Concerning the ESMD Systems Engineering and Integrated Services Procurement

NASA Special Notice: Policy Statement Concerning the ESMD Systems Engineering and Integrated Services Procurement [Wednesday, April 27, 2005] Exploration Systems Mission Directorate will not be releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for an Industry systems engineering and integration contractor.



»» Lockheed Martin's Last Titan IV From Cape Canaveral Successfully Delivers National Security Payload to Space

Lockheed Martin's Last Titan IV From Cape Canaveral Successfully Delivers National Security Payload to Space [Saturday, April 30, 2005] The Air Force and Lockheed Martin wrote the final chapter in a five-decade history at Cape Canaveral tonight with the final launch of a Titan IV B heavy-lift rocket carrying a critical national security payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.




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