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December 2010 Top Stories


»» NASA Awards Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor Contract Modification

NASA Awards Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor Contract Modification [Wednesday, December 1, 2010] NASA has signed a $42.1 million contract modification to space shuttle reusable solid rocket motor manufacturer ATK Launch Systems Inc. of Brigham City, Utah, to provide continued prelaunch through postlaunch support from Oct. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 20



»» NASA Sets Coverage For Cots 1 Launch Targeted For Dec. 7

NASA Sets Coverage For Cots 1 Launch Targeted For Dec. 7 [Wednesday, December 1, 2010] The first SpaceX Falcon 9 demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program is targeted for liftoff on Tuesday, Dec. 7. Liftoff will occur from Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.



»» NASA Seeks Nonprofit To Manage Space Station National Lab Research

NASA Seeks Nonprofit To Manage Space Station National Lab Research [Thursday, December 2, 2010] As the International Space Station transitions from its assembly phase to full utilization as a unique scientific outpost, NASA is investing in the station's future use by ensuring a wide pool of organizations outside the agency have access to the orbitin



»» SpaceX to Webcast Static Fire on Friday

SpaceX to Webcast Static Fire on Friday [Friday, December 3, 2010] On Friday, December 3rd, SpaceX will webcast its static fire test of the Falcon 9 rocket engines at www.spacex.com.



»» Photos of X-37B After Landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base

Photos of X-37B After Landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base [Friday, December 3, 2010] The X-37B sits on the Vandenberg Air Force base runway during post-landing operations Dec. 3. Personnel in SCAPE (Self-contained atmospheric protective ensemble) suits conduct initial checks on the vehicle and ensuring the area is safe.



»» SwRI researchers continue Starfighters suborbital space flight training aboard F-104 aircraft

SwRI researchers continue Starfighters suborbital space flight training aboard F-104 aircraft [Friday, December 3, 2010] As part of their suborbital spaceflight training, Southwest Research Institute researchers and suborbital payload specialists Dr. Alan Stern and Dr. Dan Durda have continued their spaceflight training with a new series of jet fighter flights in F-104 airc



»» NASA Launches Innovative Approach to Solve Old Challenges

NASA Launches Innovative Approach to Solve Old Challenges [Saturday, December 4, 2010] The goal of NASA@Work is to leverage the breadth and depth of NASA technical expertise by offering solutions to challenges that exist in currently funded NASA projects.



»» X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle lands at Vandenberg AFB (with video)

X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle lands at Vandenberg AFB (with video) [Saturday, December 4, 2010] The X-37B, named Orbital Test Vehicle 1 (OTV-1), conducted on-orbit experiments for more than 220 days during its maiden voyage. It fired its orbital maneuver engine in low-earth orbit to perform an autonomous reentry before landing.



»» SpaceX Schedule for COTS Demo 1 Launch Day Activities

SpaceX Schedule for COTS Demo 1 Launch Day Activities [Sunday, December 5, 2010] Today SpaceX released the following information on launch day activities for the first SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.



»» FAA Waiver of Acceptable Mission Risk Restriction for Reentry and a Reentry Vehicle (SpaceX Dragon)

FAA Waiver of Acceptable Mission Risk Restriction for Reentry and a Reentry Vehicle (SpaceX Dragon) [Sunday, December 5, 2010] This notice of waiver concerns two petitions for waiver submitted to the FAA by Space Exploration Technologies Corp.: A petition to waive the requirement that a waiver petition be submitted at least sixty days before the proposed effective date ...



»» NASA Draft Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) for the ISS National Lab Management Entity

NASA Draft Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) for the ISS National Lab Management Entity [Monday, December 6, 2010] NASA is soliciting proposals for competitive evaluation and award of a Cooperative Agreement to a non-profit entity to develop the capability to implement research and development projects utilizing the International Space Station National Laboratory.



»» Buy This Satellite

Buy This Satellite [Monday, December 6, 2010] We believe that Internet access is a tool that allows people to help themselves - a tool so vital that it should be considered a universal human right. Imagine your digital life disconnected.



»» Coalition for Space Exploration Appoints New Leadership for 2011

Coalition for Space Exploration Appoints New Leadership for 2011 [Tuesday, December 7, 2010] The Coalition for Space Exploration today announced veteran aerospace communicators Glenn Mahone of Aerojet and Lon Rains of Northrop Grumman will lead the Coalition's Public Affairs Team in 2011.



»» Preparing for the Space Shuttle Program's Retirement: A Review of NASA's Disposition of Information Technology Equipment

Preparing for the Space Shuttle Program's Retirement: A Review of NASA's Disposition of Information Technology Equipment [Tuesday, December 7, 2010] NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin today released a report that found significant weaknesses in the sanitization and disposal of NASA computers and hard drives used in the Space Shuttle Program



»» The new - suborbital - frontier

The new - suborbital - frontier [Tuesday, December 7, 2010] ESA is looking for new ways to conduct interesting research in space, on Earth - and in between. A number of commercial suborbital vehicles are being considered in Europe, and ESA is looking at the possibilities they might offer for microgravity research.



»» SpaceX Update on COTS Demo 1 Launch Activities

SpaceX Update on COTS Demo 1 Launch Activities [Tuesday, December 7, 2010] A decision on whether or not to attempt launch on Wednesday will be provided this evening [Tuesday].



»» Demonstration Flight Of Falcon 9 Rocket Set For Wednesday

Demonstration Flight Of Falcon 9 Rocket Set For Wednesday [Tuesday, December 7, 2010] The first demonstration flight of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program has been scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 8



»» TODAY: SpaceX to Make First Launch Attempt for COTS Demo 1

TODAY: SpaceX to Make First Launch Attempt for COTS Demo 1 [Wednesday, December 8, 2010] Today SpaceX released the following information on today's launch day activities for the first SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program.



»» SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 and Dragon Into Orbit

SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 and Dragon Into Orbit [Wednesday, December 8, 2010] SpaceX made its first SpaceX Falcon 9/Dragon demonstration launch for NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program this morning. Launch occurred at 10:43 am EST. The Dragon spacecraft is in orbit and will return to Earth later today.



»» NASA Research Park to Host World's Largest, Greenest Airship

NASA Research Park to Host World's Largest, Greenest Airship [Wednesday, December 8, 2010] NASA has entered into a lease with E Green Technologies, Inc. (EGT) Kellyton, Ala., to bring the world's largest airship to NASA Research Park at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.



»» Success! SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Re-enters Successfully

Success!  SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Re-enters Successfully [Wednesday, December 8, 2010] Today, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to re-enter a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit.



»» Success! SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Re-enters Successfully

Success!  SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft Re-enters Successfully [Wednesday, December 8, 2010] Today, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to re-enter a spacecraft from low-Earth orbit.



»» NASA Selects Small Business Research And Tech Projects

NASA Selects Small Business Research And Tech Projects [Thursday, December 9, 2010] NASA is negotiating contracts with 350 small businesses that had the best proposals to address critical research and technology needs for agency programs and projects.



»» SpaceX Reveal's Dragon's "Secret" Payload (Photos)

SpaceX Reveal's Dragon's [Thursday, December 9, 2010] Before the successful launch, voyage, and recovery of SpaceX's Dragon Spacecraft, the first time in history a commercial company has recovered a spacecraft from orbit, reporters were buzzing with news of a "secret" payload, stowed on board.



»» Release of NASA Draft Cooperative Agreement Notice - ISS National Laboratory Management Entity

Release of NASA Draft Cooperative Agreement Notice - ISS National Laboratory Management Entity [Friday, December 10, 2010] The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Operations Mission Directorate is releasing a draft version of the future Cooperative Agreement Notice for the ISS National Laboratory Management Entity.



»» Summary of the ISS National Laboratory CAN (not so) "Public Day"

Summary of the ISS National Laboratory CAN (not so) [Friday, December 10, 2010] NASA held a "public day" for the recently-released (CAN) for the ISS National Lab Management Entity at NASA Headquarters today. Didn't now about it? You're not alone.



»» How NASA Plans to Drag Its Feet in Implementing the ISS National Laboratory

How NASA Plans to Drag Its Feet in Implementing the ISS National Laboratory [Saturday, December 11, 2010] Clearly NASA is nowhere near being able to carry out the provisions stated in Public Law 111-26 in terms of the required date - nor does it intend to, if Mark Uhran's statements are to be accepted as being indicative of NASA's intent.



»» NASA Awards Space Station Cargo Mission Services Contract

NASA Awards Space Station Cargo Mission Services Contract [Saturday, December 11, 2010] NASA has awarded a contract with a potential value of $171 million to Lockheed Martin Corp. of Gaithersburg, Md., for support of International Space Station cargo mission services.



»» Railgun Reaches World Record of 33 megajoules - Off-World Applications? (with Video)

Railgun Reaches World Record of 33 megajoules - Off-World Applications? (with Video) [Sunday, December 12, 2010] Railguns have also been proposed as a means whereby small satellites could be launched into Earth orbit. They have also been suggested as a means whereby fuel and resources could be launched off of the lunar surface.



»» NASA Partners With Colorado In Technology Acceleration Initiative

NASA Partners With Colorado In Technology Acceleration Initiative [Monday, December 13, 2010] NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver and Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Jr., participated Monday in a Space Act Agreement signing ceremony in Denver to promote the commercialization of technology developed for the space program.



»» Message from the Administrator: NASA Strategic Plan

Message from the Administrator: NASA Strategic Plan [Tuesday, December 14, 2010] Every year, the President submits his budget request for the federal government to Congress. This year, along with the President's budget request for NASA, we will be submitting our new NASA Strategic Plan, which guides the work we will perform.



»» Ralph Steckler Space Grant Space Colonization Research and Technology Development Opportunity Phase II

Ralph Steckler Space Grant Space Colonization Research and Technology Development Opportunity Phase II [Tuesday, December 14, 2010] The NASA Office of Education invites proposals for the NASA Ralph Steckler/Space Grant Space Colonization Research and Technology Development Opportunity.



»» Satellites Pinpoint Drivers of Urban Heat Islands in the Northeast

Satellites Pinpoint Drivers of Urban Heat Islands in the Northeast [Tuesday, December 14, 2010] The size, background ecology, and development patterns of major northeastern cities combine to make them unusually warm, according to NASA scientists.



»» Boeing Submits Proposal for 2nd Round of NASA Commercial Crew Development Program

Boeing Submits Proposal for 2nd Round of NASA Commercial Crew Development Program [Tuesday, December 14, 2010] Boeing today submitted its proposal for the second round of NASA's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program.



»» Orbital Submits Proposal for NASA's Commercial Crew Development Program

Orbital Submits Proposal for NASA's Commercial Crew Development Program [Tuesday, December 14, 2010] Orbital Sciences Corporation today announced that it has submitted a proposal to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in response to the Commercial Crew Development-2 contract solicitation.



»» NASA: It's Our Space Station - Not Yours

NASA: It's Our Space Station - Not Yours [Wednesday, December 15, 2010] It is quite clear that while NASA is going through the motions of trying to expand the user base for its portion of the ISS, that it is still falling back on bad habits.



»» Commercial Spaceflight Federation Elects Eric C. Anderson as Next Chairman

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Elects Eric C. Anderson as Next Chairman [Wednesday, December 15, 2010] The Commercial Spaceflight Federation, representing 37 companies employing thousands of Americans nationwide, has selected its next Chairman of the Board, Eric C. Anderson who holds the position of chairman of Space Adventures, Ltd.



»» Aerospace Industries Association: Solid 2010 Results for Aerospace

Aerospace Industries Association: Solid 2010 Results for Aerospace [Wednesday, December 15, 2010] With another solid financial performance in 2010, the aerospace industry has again demonstrated its vital importance to the U.S. economy.



»» NASA's Mars Odyssey Orbiter Passes Longevity Record

NASA's Mars Odyssey Orbiter Passes Longevity Record [Thursday, December 16, 2010] A Lockheed Martin-built spacecraft, NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter has worked longer at Mars than any other spacecraft in history.



»» Ralph Hall Will Chair House Science and Technology Committee

Ralph Hall Will Chair House Science and Technology Committee [Thursday, December 16, 2010] The House Science and Technology Committee will be chaired by Ralph Hall (R-TX). Hall has represented a northeast Texas district since 1980.



»» Aerojet Set to Expand in Huntsville

Aerojet Set to Expand in Huntsville [Thursday, December 16, 2010] Aerojet, a GenCorp company, announced today that over the next few months it will expand its presence in the Huntsville community by hiring 25 local engineers.



»» SpaceX Dragon Mission Summary

SpaceX Dragon Mission Summary [Thursday, December 16, 2010] On December 8, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to re-enter a spacecraft from Earth orbit.



»» Why Does NASA Not Provide New Space Station Researchers With The References They Need?

Why Does NASA Not Provide New Space Station Researchers With The References They Need? [Friday, December 17, 2010] At one point Mark Uhran bragged that he had "written 5 papers" on discoveries that had been made on the ISS, but he said that he was not going to tell anyone where to find them - thus challenging the attendees to go dig these papers up themselves.



»» NASA Moves Forward In Commercial Rocket Engine Testing: Aerojet AJ26 Engine Tested

NASA Moves Forward In Commercial Rocket Engine Testing: Aerojet AJ26 Engine Tested [Saturday, December 18, 2010] Orbital's Taurus II uses a pair AJ26 rocket engines built by Aerojet to provide first stage propulsion. Friday's test on the Stennis' E-1 test stand involved a team of Orbital, Aerojet, and Stennis engineers, with Stennis employees serving as test conduct



»» Dream Chaser Model Drops in at NASA Dryden

Dream Chaser Model Drops in at NASA Dryden [Saturday, December 18, 2010] NASA Dryden supported helicopter air-drop flight tests of a 5-foot-long, 15-percent scale model of the Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Dream Chaser spacecraft design under a Space Act Agreement between the two organizations.



»» Earth images help you dream on Lufthansa flights

Earth images help you dream on Lufthansa flights [Sunday, December 19, 2010] Passengers can now select between informative and relaxing ESA channels on Lufthansa flights. ESA's new relaxation channel features Our Colourful Planet, a collage of spectacular Earth images set to meditative music.



»» Despite NASA Claims, The Primary Purpose (Today) of the Space Station is Operations - Not Science

Despite NASA Claims, The Primary Purpose (Today) of the Space Station is Operations - Not Science [Monday, December 20, 2010] The six-person ISS crew takes one day off a week. If you assume 6 work days for 6 crew at 8 hours a day you get 288 work hours from the crew every week. 30 hours represents 10.4% of the overall crew work time devoted to "science".



»» NASA Selects Companies for Further Lunar Demonstrations Data

NASA Selects Companies for Further Lunar Demonstrations Data [Monday, December 20, 2010] NASA has issued delivery orders to three companies as part of its Innovative Lunar Demonstrations Data project. Each order is worth $500,000 and will help develop vehicle capabilities and demonstrate end-to-end robotic lunar landing missions.



»» NASA Advisory Council Technology and Innovation Committee Meeting 12 January 2011

NASA Advisory Council Technology and Innovation Committee Meeting 12 January 2011 [Monday, December 20, 2010] The meeting will be held for the purpose of reviewing the Space Technology Program planning and review innovation activities at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC).



»» NASA Seeks Proposals For Technology Flight Demonstrations And Information About Suborbital Flight Services

NASA Seeks Proposals For Technology Flight Demonstrations And Information About Suborbital Flight Services [Wednesday, December 22, 2010] NASA is seeking proposals from researchers interested in testing new technologies during suborbital flights. The agency also is requesting information from commercial suborbital reusable launch vehicle providers and commercial payload integrators.



»» Galileo's navigation control hub opens in Fucino

Galileo's navigation control hub opens in Fucino [Wednesday, December 22, 2010] Galileo's terrestrial nerve centre formally entered service today. With the first Galileo satellites due to be launched next August, Fucino in central Italy will oversee the running of all navigation services provided by Europe's global satellite system.



»» NASA Spinoff Reveals Benefits of Space Technology in Our Daily Lives

NASA Spinoff Reveals Benefits of Space Technology in Our Daily Lives [Wednesday, December 22, 2010] The 2010 edition of NASA's annual Spinoff publication is now available online, highlighting new innovations and notable examples of NASA technology improving everyday life on our home planet.



»» NASA Solicitations: Opportunities for Payloads Requiring a Near-Zero or Reduced Gravity Environment

NASA Solicitations: Opportunities for Payloads Requiring a Near-Zero or Reduced Gravity Environment [Thursday, December 23, 2010] Payloads selected under this announcement will fly on aircraft that provide parabolic flight trajectories and on suborbital reusable launch vehicles capable of flying to altitudes above 100 km.



»» Aerojet Propulsion Remains Operational as Voyager 1 Approaches Interstellar Space

Aerojet Propulsion Remains Operational as Voyager 1 Approaches Interstellar Space [Friday, December 24, 2010] Voyager 1 and 2 were launched in 1977, and are the oldest operational spacecraft. At launch, each spacecraft carried two propulsion systems, a Delta-V system, including four 100 lbf and four 5 lbf monopropellant hydrazine thrusters made by Aerojet



»» NASA Spinoff: Inflatable Antennas Support Emergency Communication

NASA Spinoff: Inflatable Antennas Support Emergency Communication [Friday, December 24, 2010] This complete satellite communication system takes about 45 minutes to set up and 15 minutes to take down. When deflated, the flexible antenna rolls up like a sleeping bag and fits in a case with the antenna bag, blower, hoses, and plates



»» New Molecule Can Lead to More Efficient Rocket Fuel

New Molecule Can Lead to More Efficient Rocket Fuel [Friday, December 24, 2010] Trinitramid - that's the name of the new molecule that may be a component in future rocket fuel. This fuel could be 20-30 percent more efficient in comparison with the best rocket fuels we have today.



»» A Russian Proton Rocket Successfully Launched the European KA-SAT Satellite Today

A Russian Proton Rocket Successfully Launched the European KA-SAT Satellite Today [Sunday, December 26, 2010] A Russian Proton rocket successfully launched the European KA-SAT satellite today. The KA-SAT is a communications satellite and will deliver consumer broadband service targeted at users across Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. (With video)



»» ILS Proton Successfully Launches the KA-SAT Satellite for Eutelsat

ILS Proton Successfully Launches the KA-SAT Satellite for Eutelsat [Monday, December 27, 2010] International Launch Services (ILS), a world leader in providing launch services to the commercial space industry, successfully carried the KA-SAT satellite to orbit for Eutelsat Communications of France on an ILS Proton.



»» NASA Supplemental Information: Competitive Acquisition of Cooperative Agreement for ISS National Laboratory Management Entity

NASA Supplemental Information: Competitive Acquisition of Cooperative Agreement for ISS National Laboratory Management Entity [Monday, December 27, 2010] The information provided below supplements prior postings at the official procurement web site in specific areas of high interest to potential bidders.



»» Galaxy 15 Status Update: Power, Communications, and Control Restored

Galaxy 15 Status Update: Power, Communications, and Control Restored [Tuesday, December 28, 2010] We have placed Galaxy 15 in safe mode, and at this time, we are pleased to report it no longer poses any threat of satellite interference to either neighboring satellites or customer services.



»» Galileo pathfinder GIOVE-A achieves five years in orbit

Galileo pathfinder GIOVE-A achieves five years in orbit [Tuesday, December 28, 2010] ESA's GIOVE-A satellite - the first prototype of Europe's Galileo satellite navigation system - is still working well after five years in space.



»» An Ariane 5 Successfully Launches the Hispasat 1E and KOREASAT 6 Satellites

An Ariane 5 Successfully Launches the Hispasat 1E and KOREASAT 6 Satellites [Wednesday, December 29, 2010] This afternoon at 4:27 p.m. EST (21:27 GMT) Arianespace successfully launched the Hispasat 1E and KOREASAT 6 telecommunication satellites aboard an Ariane 5 ECA rocket from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana. (With video)



»» Arianespace 6 for 6 in 2010: Last mission of the year orbits Hispasat 1E and Koreasat 6

Arianespace 6 for 6 in 2010: Last mission of the year orbits Hispasat 1E and Koreasat 6 [Thursday, December 30, 2010] On Wednesday, December 29, Arianespace orbited two communications satellites: Hispasat 1E for the Spanish operator Hispasat, and Koreasat 6 for the KT Corporation.



»» Commercial Crew Transportation System Certification Requirements for NASA Low Earth Orbit Missions

Commercial Crew Transportation System Certification Requirements for NASA Low Earth Orbit Missions [Thursday, December 30, 2010] NASA plans to purchase commercial crew space transportation services to LEO and the International Space Station (ISS) as part of NASA's exploration plans and policies.



»» ISRO: GSLV F06 Failure: Preliminary Findings and Further Steps (With Video)

ISRO: GSLV F06 Failure: Preliminary Findings and Further Steps (With Video) [Friday, December 31, 2010] The performance of the GSLV-F06 flight of December 25, 2010 (with GSAT-5P Satellite onboard) was normal up to 47.5 seconds from lift-off. The events leading to the failure got initiated at 47.8 seconds after lift-off.




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