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December 2011 Top Stories


»» NASA Exercises Contract Option For TDRS-M Satellite Decision Will Retain Hundreds Of Jobs

NASA Exercises Contract Option For TDRS-M Satellite Decision Will Retain Hundreds Of Jobs [Thursday, December 1, 2011] NASA has elected to exercise the first of two available contract options for procurement of an additional Tracking Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) from Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc. of El Segundo, Calif.



»» NASA Space Launch System Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction

NASA Space Launch System Advanced Booster Engineering Demonstration and/or Risk Reduction [Thursday, December 1, 2011] The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) intends to issue a Draft NASA Research Announcement (NRA) on or about in the December 12, 2011.



»» December 2011 Issue of Space Quarterly Magazine Available

December 2011 Issue of Space Quarterly Magazine Available [Monday, December 5, 2011] The latest edition of Space Quarterly magazine is available. The U.S. edition focuses primarily on space policy and the Space Launch System with a few budget and commercial pieces in between.



»» NASA Faces Significant Challenges in Transitioning to a Continuous Monitoring Approach for Its Information Technology Systems

NASA Faces Significant Challenges in Transitioning to a Continuous Monitoring Approach for Its Information Technology Systems [Monday, December 5, 2011] The OIG review concluded that failure to make improvements in each of these areas will limit NASA's ability to accurately assess the security of its IT systems under this new continuous monitoring approach.



»» Armadillo Aerospace Launches Successfully from Spaceport America

Armadillo Aerospace Launches Successfully from Spaceport America [Wednesday, December 7, 2011] New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced today a successful launch over the weekend of an advanced sounding rocket designed and built by Armadillo Aerospace.



»» Northrop Grumman Makes Significant Spacecraft Progress for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope

Northrop Grumman Makes Significant Spacecraft Progress for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope [Wednesday, December 7, 2011] Northrop Grumman Corporation delivered to NASA the flight software that will enable the James Webb Space Telescope to communicate with its ground station nearly a million miles away after it passed formal verification testing.



»» NASA to Hold Industry Day to Discuss Advanced Booster

NASA to Hold Industry Day to Discuss Advanced Booster [Wednesday, December 7, 2011] NASA will host an industry day at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. to share information on an upcoming NASA Research Announcement for the Space Launch System's (SLS) advanced booster.



»» First Annual International Space Station R&D Conference

First Annual International Space Station R&D Conference [Wednesday, December 7, 2011] The 1st Annual International Space Station (ISS) Research and Development and Conference will be held June 26-28, 2012, at The Denver Marriott City Center.



»» Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems Completes Milestones Five & Six for NASA's Commercial Crew Program on Time and Within Budget

Sierra Nevada Corporation's Space Systems Completes Milestones Five & Six for NASA's Commercial Crew Program on Time and Within Budget [Wednesday, December 7, 2011] Sierra Nevada Corporation's (SNC) Space Systems announces the completion of two Dream Chaser Space System Milestones under NASA's Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) Program.



»» Ball Aerospace Delivers Orion Phased Array Antenna EDUs

Ball Aerospace Delivers Orion Phased Array Antenna EDUs [Thursday, December 8, 2011] Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has delivered two Phased Array Antenna (PAA) Engineering Development Units (EDUs) for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle to prime contractor Lockheed Martin.



»» Boeing Receives US Air Force Reusable Booster System Contract

Boeing Receives US Air Force Reusable Booster System Contract [Thursday, December 8, 2011] The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has received a $2 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to define requirements and design concepts for the Reusable Booster System (RBS) Flight and Ground Experiments program.



»» Proceedings of the IEEE Presents Comprehensive 21st Century Review of Aerospace Communications

Proceedings of the IEEE Presents Comprehensive 21st Century Review of Aerospace Communications [Thursday, December 8, 2011] When disasters strike, aerospace communication will be the "go-to technology" to facilitate long-range connectivity, enable rapid response to emergency needs and let survivors communicate with the external world.



»» NASA Deputy Administrator Garver Tours Blue Origin - Announces April Engine Testing At NASA Stennis

NASA Deputy Administrator Garver Tours Blue Origin - Announces April Engine Testing At NASA Stennis [Thursday, December 8, 2011] Blue Origin is one of NASA's commercial partners opening a new chapter in human exploration by developing innovative systems to reach low Earth orbit as part of the Commercial Crew Development Program.



»» 2012 Aerospace & Defense Industry Perspective

2012 Aerospace & Defense Industry Perspective [Friday, December 9, 2011] In defense, large segments of the industrial base may disappear as spending shifts from investment in research, development, and production of new capabilities toward services and support for older platforms and systems.



»» Total Lunar Eclipse brings SkySafari to Android

Total Lunar Eclipse brings SkySafari to Android [Friday, December 9, 2011] During the early hours of Saturday, December 10th, 2011, the last total lunar eclipse until more than two years from now will take place.



»» NASA Announces Launch Date and Milestones for Spacex Flight

NASA Announces Launch Date and Milestones for Spacex Flight [Friday, December 9, 2011] NASA has announced the launch target for Space Exploration Technologies' (SpaceX) second Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) demonstration flight will be Feb. 7, 2012.



»» Orbital Selects "Antares" as Permanent Name for New Rocket Created by the Taurus II R&D Program

Orbital Selects [Monday, December 12, 2011] Orbital Sciences Corporation today announced that Antares will be the permanent operational name for the medium-class launch vehicle created by its research and development program formerly known as Taurus II.



»» NASA Extends Mission Operations Support Contract

NASA Extends Mission Operations Support Contract [Tuesday, December 13, 2011] NASA has awarded a $165 million contract extension to Lockheed Martin Corp. of Gaithersburg, Md., to provide continued support as part of the Facilities Development and Operations Contract, or FDOC.



»» Coalition for Space Exploration contest winner's innovative video answers the question

Coalition for Space Exploration contest winner's innovative video answers the question [Tuesday, December 13, 2011] The Coalition for Space Exploration (Coalition) is pleased to announce that Caleb Ekeroth is the grand prize winner of its "What's Next?" in space exploration contest. Ekeroth's video titled, "Visit Mars Today.



»» NASA Announcement: Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development

NASA Announcement: Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development [Tuesday, December 13, 2011] This publication announces NASA, Office of Chief Technologist's Game Changing Development (GCD) Program's plans to release the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 NASA Research Announcement "Game Changing Opportunities in Technology Development"



»» ESA signs contract for Space Station support

ESA signs contract for Space Station support [Tuesday, December 13, 2011] ESA signed a two-year contract with Astrium on 13 December to provide Industrial Operations Team support to the Agency's human spaceflight activities.



»» Leading space technologists converge at ESA's Technology Innovation Days

Leading space technologists converge at ESA's Technology Innovation Days [Tuesday, December 13, 2011] More than 260 European technologists, engineers and industrial representatives gathered at ESTEC, ESA's main technical centre at Noordwijk, the Netherlands, for the second annual Technology- Innovation Days on 22 - 23 November.



»» Paul Allen Announces Revolution in Space Transportation Stratolaunch System

Paul Allen Announces Revolution in Space Transportation Stratolaunch System [Tuesday, December 13, 2011] Entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul G. Allen announced today that he and aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan have reunited to develop the next generation of space travel.



»» Virgin Galactic welcomes announcement of new air-launched space system

Virgin Galactic welcomes announcement of new air-launched space system [Tuesday, December 13, 2011] Virgin Galactic welcomes announcement of new air-launched space system as foundation for commercial orbital operation



»» Johnson Space Center and Houston Technology Center Partner for Entrepreneurs

Johnson Space Center and Houston Technology Center Partner for Entrepreneurs [Wednesday, December 14, 2011] NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) and the Houston Technology Center (HTC) have formed a strategic partnership to further expand HTC's mission of accelerating the growth of emerging technology companies in the Houston region.



»» Sequestration Trigger Clouds Aerospace Picture

Sequestration Trigger Clouds Aerospace Picture [Wednesday, December 14, 2011] Failure of the deficit reduction supercommittee and the specter of sequestration cuts cast a shadow on a relatively strong year for the aerospace industry.



»» NASA Center Signs Commercial Agreement With Sierra Nevada

NASA Center Signs Commercial Agreement With Sierra Nevada [Wednesday, December 14, 2011] NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is entering into a space act agreement with Sierra Nevada Corp. Space Systems to provide key wind tunnel testing of a new spacecraft designed to transport crew and cargo to and from the International Space Station.



»» NASA to Discuss Plans for Commercial Crew Development

NASA to Discuss Plans for Commercial Crew Development [Thursday, December 15, 2011] NASA will host a media teleconference today, Thursday, Dec. 15, at 11:30 a.m. EST, to discuss a modified competitive procurement strategy for the Commercial Crew Program.



»» NASA Takes Next Step in Developing Commercial Crew Program

NASA Takes Next Step in Developing Commercial Crew Program [Thursday, December 15, 2011] NASA announced today a modified competitive procurement strategy to keep on track the agency's plan to have U.S. companies transport American astronauts into space instead of outsourcing this work to foreign governments.



»» GAO: NASA Acquisition Approach for Commercial Crew Transportation Includes Good Practices, but Faces Significant Challenges

GAO: NASA Acquisition Approach for Commercial Crew Transportation Includes Good Practices, but Faces Significant Challenges [Thursday, December 15, 2011] NASA's planned approach for acquiring U.S. commercial crew transportation faces significant challenges that could impact its success, although it includes some good acquisition practices.



»» NASA Unaffected by Potential Government Shutdown

NASA Unaffected by Potential Government Shutdown [Thursday, December 15, 2011] NASA will not shut down because our fiscal year 2012 appropriations bill has been approved. Your work schedule and pay will generally continue as usual.



»» Commercial Spaceflight Federation Lauds NASA for Decision on Commercial Crew Program

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Lauds NASA for Decision on Commercial Crew Program [Thursday, December 15, 2011] The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates NASA on the space agency's important decision, announced today, to continue to use Space Act Agreements for the Commercial Crew Development Program.



»» Human Space Exploration Global Exploration Roadmap Materials Online

Human Space Exploration Global Exploration Roadmap Materials Online [Friday, December 16, 2011] NASA conducted the Human Exploration Community Workshop on the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG) Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) in San Diego, CA from November 14-16, 2011.



»» Conrad Foundation 2011-2012 Spirit of Innovation Challenge Semi-Finalists Announced

Conrad Foundation 2011-2012 Spirit of Innovation Challenge Semi-Finalists Announced [Friday, December 16, 2011] This year, student teams exceeded our expectations in regards to innovation and creativity when applying STEM principles to their product concepts.



»» Fourth Status Report on Commercial Partners Progress Released

Fourth Status Report on Commercial Partners Progress Released [Friday, December 16, 2011] NASA released the fourth in a series of 60-day reports today showing that commercial spaceflight development programs are moving forward.



»» Media Accreditation Now Open For NASA/SPACEX Launch

Media Accreditation Now Open For NASA/SPACEX Launch [Friday, December 16, 2011] Media accreditation for NASA's second Commercial Orbital Transportation Services demonstration flight is open.



»» Vega to fly ESA experimental reentry vehicle

Vega to fly ESA experimental reentry vehicle [Friday, December 16, 2011] The launch of ESA's IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle on Europe's new Vega rocket is now in detailed planning, a major step towards the craft's flight in 2014.



»» Final Report NASA's Infrastructure and Facilities - An Assessment of the Agency's Real Property Master Planning

Final Report NASA's Infrastructure and Facilities - An Assessment of the Agency's Real Property Master Planning [Monday, December 19, 2011] NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin today released an audit examining NASA's real property master planning efforts.



»» NASA Solicitation: Status on Commercial Crew Program

NASA Solicitation: Status on Commercial Crew Program [Monday, December 19, 2011] The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will present an updated status of the Commercial Crew Program (CCP) strategy on Tuesday, December 20, 2011.



»» NASA Selects 85 Small Business Research And Technology Projects For Continued Development

NASA Selects 85 Small Business Research And Technology Projects For Continued Development [Tuesday, December 20, 2011] NASA has selected 85 small business proposals to enter into negotiations for Phase II contract awards through the agency's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.



»» NASA, Industry Leaders Discuss New Booster Development for Space Launch System

NASA, Industry Leaders Discuss New Booster Development for Space Launch System [Tuesday, December 20, 2011] On Dec. 15, more than 120 aerospace industry leaders from more than 70 companies attended the Space Launch System's Advanced Booster Industry Day held at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.



»» NASA Conducts Orion Parachute Testing For Orbital Test Flight

NASA Conducts Orion Parachute Testing For Orbital Test Flight [Wednesday, December 21, 2011] NASA successfully conducted a drop test of the Orion crew vehicle's parachutes high above the Arizona desert Tuesday in preparation for its orbital flight test in 2014.



»» Europe's first Galileo satellite appears in blooming health, transmitting test signals received by ESA's ground station in Redu, Belgium across the whole of its assigned radio spectrum.

Europe's first Galileo satellite appears in blooming health, transmitting test signals received by ESA's ground station in Redu, Belgium across the whole of its assigned radio spectrum. [Thursday, December 22, 2011] Europe's first Galileo satellite appears in blooming health, transmitting test signals received by ESA's ground station in Redu, Belgium across the whole of its assigned radio spectrum.



»» Europe's navigation pioneer GIOVE-A celebrates sixth birthday in space

Europe's navigation pioneer GIOVE-A celebrates sixth birthday in space [Wednesday, December 28, 2011] GIOVE-A, ESA's prototype navigation satellite, remains operational after six years in space. Its flight paved the way for Europe's Galileo satellites, the first two of which joined GIOVE-A in medium-Earth orbit on 21 October this year.



»» Lockheed Martin Wins Contract Worth up to $2 Billion to Support the U.S. Antarctic Program

Lockheed Martin Wins Contract Worth up to $2 Billion to Support the U.S. Antarctic Program [Wednesday, December 28, 2011] Lockheed Martin has been selected by the NSF to operate and maintain the support infrastructure for the United States Antarctic Program, which enables universities, research institutions and federal agencies to conduct scientific research in the region.



»» Another year of Arianespace launch accomplishments is completed with a Soyuz mission for Globalstar

Another year of Arianespace launch accomplishments is completed with a Soyuz mission for Globalstar [Wednesday, December 28, 2011] Today's mission, performed from Baikonur Cosmodrome by the Starsem affiliate of Arianespace, carried the latest cluster of second-generation satellites for Globalstar and utilized the medium-lift Soyuz.



»» NASA OIG: NASA's Real Property Master Planning Efforts

NASA OIG: NASA's Real Property Master Planning Efforts [Friday, December 30, 2011] "We found deficiencies within the individual Center master plans the Agency is using to develop the integrated Agency plan that may limit the Plan's usefulness for making strategic real property decisions."




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