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December 2005 Top Stories


»» First Brazilian rocket launched from Esrange

First Brazilian rocket launched from Esrange [Thursday, December 1, 2005] Today, the Texus-EML sounding rocket which is jointly funded by ESA and DLR was successfully launched from Esrange. The Brazilian rocket motor VSB-30, was used for the very first time at Esrange.



»» Discovery and competitiveness: the keywords in Europe's policies and programmes for space

Discovery and competitiveness: the keywords in Europe's policies and programmes for space [Thursday, December 1, 2005] On 5 and 6 December, the Ministers in charge of space activities within the 17 ESA Member States and Canada will meet in Berlin to deliberate on a plan for discovery and competitiveness for Europe in space, and to decide on the relevant future programs.



»» First Galileo satellite travels to launch site

First Galileo satellite travels to launch site [Thursday, December 1, 2005] GIOVE A, the first Galileo satellite, departed from ESA’s test facility at the European Space Research and Technology Centre in The Netherlands on the morning of 29 November, bound for the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.



»» NASA Announces Telerobotic Construction Competition

NASA Announces Telerobotic Construction Competition [Friday, December 2, 2005] NASA's Centennial Challenges program office, in collaboration with the Spaceward Foundation, announced the new Telerobotic Construction Challenge.



»» NASA Announces Planetary Science Vehicle Competition

NASA Announces Planetary Science Vehicle Competition [Friday, December 2, 2005] NASA's Centennial Challenges program office, in collaboration with the California Space Education and Workforce Institute, Santa Maria, Calif., announced the Planetary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Challenge.



»» Defense Science Board Task Force on The Future of the Global Positioning System

Defense Science Board Task Force on The Future of the Global Positioning System [Friday, December 2, 2005] In 2004, the acting USD and the ASD jointly requested that the Defense Science Board undertake a Task Force on the future of the Global Positioning System. The request focused on the implications for GPS from a civil-commercial Galileo.



»» Alcatel Alenia Space wins new communication and broadcast satellite contract Chinasat 6B from ChinaSatcom, bolstering cooperation with China

Alcatel Alenia Space wins new communication and broadcast satellite contract Chinasat 6B from ChinaSatcom, bolstering cooperation with China [Monday, December 5, 2005] Alcatel Alenia Space announced today that it has signed a contract with ChinaSatcom (China Satellite Communication Corporation) to design and manufacture the new-generation Chinasat 6B communication and broadcast satellite.



»» Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Demonstrations

Commercial Orbital Transportation Services Demonstrations [Tuesday, December 6, 2005] The announcement and subsequent agreements with industry partners in this project are referred to as Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Demonstrations.



»» NASA MSFC Solicitation: Lunar Navigation and Communication Infrastructure (LNCI)

NASA MSFC Solicitation: Lunar Navigation and Communication Infrastructure (LNCI) [Tuesday, December 6, 2005] NASA/MSFC has a requirement for the development of a prototype Lunar Navigation and Communication Infrastructure system capable of near continuous telecommunications and precision navigation capability on and around the lunar surface.



»» NASA MSFC Solicitation: Robotic Lunar Exploration Program 2

NASA MSFC Solicitation: Robotic Lunar Exploration Program 2 [Tuesday, December 6, 2005] NASA/MSFC has a requirement for a project partner to implement the second Robotic Lunar Exploration Mission (RLEP 2.) The RLEP 2 mission entails lunar science research, lunar science payload, and the development of a common Lunar Lander System.



»» NASA Selects ATK to be Prime Contractor for First Stage of Next Generation Crew Launch Vehicle

NASA Selects ATK to be Prime Contractor for First Stage of Next Generation Crew Launch Vehicle [Wednesday, December 7, 2005] NASA announced that Alliant Techsystems will become the prime contractor to design, develop, test, and evaluate the First Stage propulsion system for its next-generation Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV).



»» ESO Signs Largest-Ever European Industrial Contract For Ground-Based Astronomy Project ALMA

ESO Signs Largest-Ever European Industrial Contract For Ground-Based Astronomy Project ALMA [Wednesday, December 7, 2005] ESO announced today that it has signed a contract with the consortium led by Alcatel Alenia Space and composed also of European Industrial Engineering (Italy) and MT Aerospace, to supply 25 antennas for the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) project



»» Sea Launch Awarded SPACEWAY 3 Contract by Hughes Network Systems

Sea Launch Awarded SPACEWAY 3 Contract by Hughes Network Systems [Thursday, December 8, 2005] Sea Launch has received a firm contract award from Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HNS) for the launch of the SPACEWAY(TM) 3 communications satellite, projected for early 2007.



»» Spacehab Pens Agreement with European Firm

Spacehab Pens Agreement with European Firm [Thursday, December 8, 2005] SPACEHAB, Incorporated announced today that it has signed an agreement with Netherlands-based HE Space Operations to market SPACEHAB's commercial space services throughout Europe.



»» Airanespace expresses thanks to ESA member states

Airanespace expresses thanks to ESA member states [Thursday, December 8, 2005] Following the ministerial-level meeting of the European Space Agency (ESA) Council in Berlin on December 5 and 6, Arianespace thanked the agency's member-states and expressed its satisfaction with the decisions made at the meeting.



»» Falcon 1 Maiden Flight Update

Falcon 1 Maiden Flight Update [Thursday, December 8, 2005] "The new launch date is approximately December 20, depending on when the Missile Defense Agency testing is complete. As soon as we have a firm time, it will be posted."



»» Meteosat Second Generation-2: watch the launch live

Meteosat Second Generation-2: watch the launch live [Wednesday, December 14, 2005] The second satellite in the Meteosat Second Generation family is due to be launched on 21 December at 23:33 CET onboard an Ariane 5 (generic version) from Europe’s spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana. The launch window will last 28 minutes.



»» NASA KSC Presolicitation: NASA Launch Services Revision B

NASA KSC Presolicitation: NASA Launch Services Revision B [Wednesday, December 14, 2005] The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) intends to issue Revision B to the NASA Launch Services (NLS) Request for Proposal (RFP) 10-99-0021 on or about December 19, 2005.



»» SES GLOBAL to Acquire New Skies Satellites

SES GLOBAL to Acquire New Skies Satellites [Wednesday, December 14, 2005] SES GLOBAL S.A. and New Skies Satellites Holdings Ltd. announced today that they have entered into a binding agreement pursuant to which SES GLOBAL will acquire 100% of New Skies by way of a merger under Bermudian law (an amalgamation).



»» NASA Solicitation: Conceptual Design of an Air Bag Landing Attenuation System for the Crew Exploration Vehicle

NASA Solicitation: Conceptual Design of an Air Bag Landing Attenuation System for the Crew Exploration Vehicle [Wednesday, December 14, 2005] NASA/LaRC plans to issue a RFP for conceptual design of an air bag landing attenuation system for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV). NASA intends to procure the CEV air bag conceptual design as a non-commercial item using FAR Part 15.



»» Northrop Grumman Expands Houston Operations, Looks to Local Businesses to Join Space Exploration Team

Northrop Grumman Expands Houston Operations, Looks to Local Businesses to Join Space Exploration Team [Wednesday, December 14, 2005] Northrop Grumman Corporation is expanding its Houston operation to support the growing role of NASA's Johnson Space Center in developing the nation's next generation of human space exploration systems.



»» First member of Galileo satellite family to be launched on 26 December - Follow the launch live

First member of Galileo satellite family to be launched on 26 December - Follow the launch live [Wednesday, December 14, 2005] Galileo, Europe's global navigation satellite system, will start becoming concrete reality the day after Christmas with the launch of Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element GIOVE-A on top of a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.



»» Historic SpaceX Launch Set for December 19: The World's Lowest Cost Rocket to Orbit

Historic SpaceX Launch Set for December 19: The World's Lowest Cost Rocket to Orbit [Thursday, December 15, 2005] On Monday, December 19 at 11 a.m. PST (7 p.m. GMT), the Falcon 1 rocket will begin its journey to orbit, accelerating to 17,000 mph (25 times the speed of sound) in less than ten minutes.   



»» NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Demonstrations - Draft Announcement Briefing Charts 5 Dec 2005

NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Demonstrations - Draft Announcement Briefing Charts 5 Dec 2005 [Friday, December 16, 2005] "The purpose of today’s briefing is to present the information provided in the COTS-01-05 Draft Announcement released on December 5, 2005."



»» Falcon 1 Launch Scrubbed

Falcon 1 Launch Scrubbed [Monday, December 19, 2005] At 2:25 pm EST SpaceX announced that a structural issue in the first stage fuel tank of the Falcon 1 launch vehicle had arisen and that the launch is off until at least next month.



»» ILS Atlas V Gets Go-Ahead to Launch Defense Weather Satellite

ILS Atlas V Gets Go-Ahead to Launch Defense Weather Satellite [Tuesday, December 20, 2005] International Launch Services (ILS), a Lockheed Martin joint venture, has received authorization from the U.S. Air Force to proceed with the launch of a military weather satellite on an Atlas V vehicle from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.



»» MSG-2 in position for tonight's launch

MSG-2 in position for tonight's launch [Wednesday, December 21, 2005] Europe's latest weather satellite has been successfully rolled-out to its launch zone atop its Ariane 5. The latest Meteosat Second Generation satellite, MSG-2, is due to launch from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana at 11:33 CET tonight.



»» Surrey Satellite Technology Limited: British Built Navigation Satellite is First for Europe

Surrey Satellite Technology Limited: British Built Navigation Satellite is First for Europe [Wednesday, December 21, 2005] It will be business as usual over Christmas for the dedicated engineering team at Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) as they celebrate the launch of their 26th satellite on 28th December.



»» NASA JSC Solicitation: Venture Capitalist Consulting Services

NASA JSC Solicitation: Venture Capitalist Consulting Services [Wednesday, December 21, 2005] This notice is being issued as Request for Proposal (RFP) for Venture Capitalist Consulting Services. The contractor shall provide consulting as a Venture Capitalist for the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Demonstrations Team.



»» Ariane 5 completes another successful year of launches with an on-target dual-satellite mission

Ariane 5 completes another successful year of launches with an on-target dual-satellite mission [Wednesday, December 21, 2005] Arianespace wrapped up its 2005 commercial launch activity with a successful dual-satellite mission tonight for India and Europe, once again underscoring the Ariane 5's reliability, performance and flexibility.



»» NASA LaRC Solicitation: Data for Propulsive Landing Systems for Earth Entry Capsules

NASA LaRC Solicitation: Data for Propulsive Landing Systems for Earth Entry Capsules [Wednesday, December 21, 2005] NASA/LaRC has a requirement for component data, performance data, and consulting services associated with propulsive landing systems for the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV).



»» ILS to Launch ASTRA 1KR in 2006 - First Atlas V Launch for SES ASTRA

ILS to Launch ASTRA 1KR in 2006 - First Atlas V Launch for SES ASTRA [Wednesday, December 21, 2005] International Launch Services, a Lockheed Martin joint venture, has scheduled the launch of the ASTRA 1KR satellite on an Atlas V vehicle for April 2006 from Cape Canaveral, Fla.



»» Successful first test for Vega's Zefiro 9 engine

Successful first test for Vega's Zefiro 9 engine [Wednesday, December 21, 2005] Flames, smoke and a deafening noise accompanied the first firing test of Vega's Zefiro 9 third-stage solid rocket motor. A first examination of the data indicates that everything went well at the test carried out yesterday.



»» NASA ESAS Final Report (DRAFT): TEXT OF FULL REPORT

NASA ESAS Final Report (DRAFT): TEXT OF FULL REPORT [Tuesday, December 27, 2005] In January 2004, President George W. Bush announced a new Vision for Space Exploration for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that would return humans to the Moon by 2020 in preparation for human exploration of Mars.



»» First Galileo satellite on orbit to demonstrate key technologies

First Galileo satellite on orbit to demonstrate key technologies [Wednesday, December 28, 2005] The first Galileo demonstrator is in orbit, marking the very first step to full operability of Europe's new global navigation satellite system, under a partnership between ESA and the European Commission (EC).



»» Proton Launches AMC-23 Satellite

Proton Launches AMC-23 Satellite [Thursday, December 29, 2005] International Launch Services (ILS) wrapped up a successful year today with the launch of its Proton Breeze M vehicle carrying the AMC-23 communications satellite.



»» GALILEO:  From concept to reality

GALILEO:  From concept to reality [Thursday, December 29, 2005] The successful launch of the forerunner 'GIOVE -A' satellite from the Baikonur Cosmodrome moves Europe's GALILEO programme of civil satellites for navigation, positioning and timing, towards realisation, with the first satellite hardware now in orbit.



»» Human Space Flight Requirements for Crew and Space Flight Participants; Proposed Rule

Human Space Flight Requirements for Crew and Space Flight Participants; Proposed Rule [Thursday, December 29, 2005] The FAA proposes requirements for human space flight of crew and space flight participants as required by the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004.



»» NASA ESAS Final Report: TEXT OF FULL REPORT

NASA ESAS Final Report: TEXT OF FULL REPORT [Friday, December 30, 2005] Note: Recently we posted a final draft of this report. We have now have the final version. In order to present the most accurate version of this report, we have removed the draft version and replaced it with the final version.




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