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July 2011 Top Stories


»» Families of Challenger and Chairman of the Board of Challenger Center for Space Science Education Regarding the Future of Human Spaceflight

Families of Challenger and Chairman of the Board of Challenger Center for Space Science Education Regarding the Future of Human Spaceflight [Friday, July 1, 2011] Human spaceflight is one of the greatest enterprises America has ever undertaken--making discoveries, creating inventions, producing role models and educational motivations for our youth, and serving as a strong example of US world leadership.



»» NASA 2011 Small Business Innovation Research Program Solicitation

NASA 2011 Small Business Innovation Research Program Solicitation [Saturday, July 2, 2011] NASA/NSSC plans to issue a solicitation - Request for Proposal (RFP)] under the NASA Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program.



»» NASA 2011 Small Business Technology Transfer Program

NASA 2011 Small Business Technology Transfer Program [Saturday, July 2, 2011] NASA/NSSC plans to issue a solicitation/Request for Proposal (RFP) under the Small Business Technology Transfer Program.



»» SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Returns to Florida

SpaceX Dragon Spacecraft Returns to Florida [Sunday, July 3, 2011] On December 8, 2010, SpaceX became the first commercial company in history to launch, fly, land and recover a spacecraft from low Earth orbit. That spacecraft will make its first public appearance in Florida since its historic inaugural flight.



»» Expert's reentry flap endures hot baptism

Expert's reentry flap endures hot baptism [Tuesday, July 5, 2011] A spacecraft control flap designed for the super-heated hypersonic fall through Earth's atmosphere has come through testing in the world's largest plasma wind tunnel to be ready for its first flight next year.



»» Report to Congress on the Solid Rocket Motor Industrial Base Sustainment and Implementation Plan Redacted Version (Excerpt)

Report to Congress on the Solid Rocket Motor Industrial Base Sustainment and Implementation Plan Redacted Version (Excerpt) [Tuesday, July 5, 2011] The Department must preserve the scientific, engineering and design skills and production capabilities necessary to support both large- and small-SRMs.



»» NASA Signs Commercial Space Agreement With Sierra Nevada

NASA Signs Commercial Space Agreement With Sierra Nevada [Thursday, July 7, 2011] NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is entering into an agreement with Sierra Nevada Space Systems (SNSS) of Sparks, Nev., to offer technical capabilities from the center's uniquely skilled work force.



»» Coalition for Space Exploration celebrates space shuttle program

Coalition for Space Exploration celebrates space shuttle program [Thursday, July 7, 2011] With the countdown to the final space shuttle launch under way, we salute the accomplishments of the entire shuttle team and celebrate their invaluable contributions to our nation's global leadership in space.



»» The Path Ahead for NASA: Lewis & Clark and the Settlers

The Path Ahead for NASA: Lewis & Clark and the Settlers [Sunday, July 10, 2011] "Can NASA continue to justify operations that use a marching army when the private sector can do it with a sprinting platoon?"



»» High Altitude Balloon Photo: Watching Space Shuttle Atlantis Punch a Hole in the Sky

High Altitude Balloon Photo: Watching Space Shuttle Atlantis Punch a Hole in the Sky [Sunday, July 10, 2011] This photo shows Space Shuttle Atlantis punching a hole in the sky on its way to orbit. The image was taken on 8 July 2011 from a high altitude balloon flown by students and volunteers at Quest For Stars.



»» Planetary Science Institute Selects XCOR to Fly Atsa Suborbital Observatory

Planetary Science Institute Selects XCOR to Fly Atsa Suborbital Observatory [Monday, July 11, 2011] The Planetary Science Institute (PSI) and XCOR Aerospace have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that lays the groundwork for flying the human-operated Atsa Suborbital Observatory aboard XCOR's Lynx spacecraft.



»» SpaceX Groundbreaking at Vandenberg Air Force Base Wednesday

SpaceX Groundbreaking at Vandenberg Air Force Base Wednesday [Monday, July 11, 2011] In April 2011, SpaceX announced its plans to design, build and launch the Falcon Heavy - the world's largest launch vehicle since the Saturn V moon rocket. The Falcon Heavy should arrive at Vandenberg by the end of 2012 and launch soon thereafter.



»» The X PRIZE Foundation Appoints Alexandra Hall to Senior Director of the $30 Million Google Lunar X PRIZE

The X PRIZE Foundation Appoints Alexandra Hall to Senior Director of the $30 Million Google Lunar X PRIZE [Monday, July 11, 2011] The X PRIZE Foundation announced today that Alexandra Hall has joined the Foundation as the Senior Director of the $30 m Google Lunar X PRIZE, a private race to the moon designed to enable commercial exploration of space while engaging the global public.



»» Science, Space, and Technology Committee Criticizes Administration for Space Launch System Delays

Science, Space, and Technology Committee Criticizes Administration for Space Launch System Delays [Tuesday, July 12, 2011] Today the Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing initially intended to examine NASA's selection of a heavy-lift space launch system (SLS) that will be used to launch future crew and cargo flights beyond low Earth orbit.



»» GAO: NASA Needs to Better Assess Contract Termination Liability Risks and Ensure Consistency in Its Practices

GAO: NASA Needs to Better Assess Contract Termination Liability Risks and Ensure Consistency in Its Practices [Wednesday, July 13, 2011] We found that NASA's acquisition professionals generally do not monitor or track the potential termination liability costs of its contractors nor does the FAR require them to do so.



»» ULA Delta IV GPS IIF-2 Launch Postponed

ULA Delta IV GPS IIF-2 Launch Postponed [Wednesday, July 13, 2011] The launch of a Delta IV rocket carrying the GPS IIF-2 payload for the Air Force is being postponed 24 hours to allow the GPS spacecraft team time to complete assessment and coordination of satellite readiness to launch.



»» NASA Selects Nonprofit to Manage Space Station National Lab Research

NASA Selects Nonprofit to Manage Space Station National Lab Research [Wednesday, July 13, 2011] NASA has selected the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space Inc. (CASIS) to develop and manage the U.S. portion of the International Space Station that will be operated as a national laboratory.



»» Senator Hutchison Calls for Immediate Action on Space Launch System

Senator Hutchison Calls for Immediate Action on Space Launch System [Wednesday, July 13, 2011] Last year, Congress passed, and the President signed, the 2010 NASA Authorization Act, which directed NASA to develop a new heavy lift launch capability to take astronauts out beyond Earth's orbit in a new multi-purpose crew vehicle.



»» India's PSLV C-17 Rocket Successfully Launches GSAT-12 Telecommunications Satellite

India's PSLV C-17 Rocket Successfully Launches GSAT-12 Telecommunications Satellite [Friday, July 15, 2011] It was a giant leap for India's nearly 50-year-old space programme on Friday evening with the successful launch of the advanced version of the four-stage Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) carrying a 1410 kg communication satellite, GSAT-12.



»» President Obama: Playing Capture The Flag In Outer Space

President Obama: Playing Capture The Flag In Outer Space [Friday, July 15, 2011] During his call to the orbiting Atlantis and International Space Station crews today, President Obama mentioned that a special American Flag had been carried to orbit on board Atlantis - a flag that had been carried aboard Columbia during STS-1.



»» NASA Commercial Crew Program Forum

NASA Commercial Crew Program Forum [Friday, July 15, 2011] The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will present a status of the Commercial Crew Program strategy on Wednesday, July 20, 2011.



»» NASA, United Launch Alliance Announce New Commercial Crew Agreement

NASA, United Launch Alliance Announce New Commercial Crew Agreement [Saturday, July 16, 2011] NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) managers will hold a news conference on Monday, July 18, at ULA headquarters in Centennial, Colo., to announce a new Commercial Crew Development agreement.



»» Space Angels Network And Silicon Valley Space Business Roundtable Announce Partnership

Space Angels Network And Silicon Valley Space Business Roundtable Announce Partnership [Sunday, July 17, 2011] Initially, the partnership will see both organizations share resources and conduct joint planning sessions through which collaborative events will be planned.



»» NASA Begins Commercial Partnership With United Launch Alliance

NASA Begins Commercial Partnership With United Launch Alliance [Monday, July 18, 2011] Through a new agreement, United Launch Alliance (ULA) will provide technical information to NASA about using the Atlas V rocket to launch astronauts into space.



»» American Astronautical Society Statement on Space Program Cutbacks

American Astronautical Society Statement on Space Program Cutbacks [Wednesday, July 20, 2011] For the past 54 years, investments in America's space program have yielded tremendous benefits* for American taxpayers, but looming cutbacks to science and technology (S&T) investments -especially in the space program - seriously threaten future benefits.



»» NASA Deputy Administrator Is Keynote Speaker At NewSpace 2011

NASA Deputy Administrator Is Keynote Speaker At NewSpace 2011 [Wednesday, July 20, 2011] NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver will provide opening keynote remarks at the Space Frontier Foundation's annual NewSpace Conference at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 28.



»» NASA KSC Solicitation: Commercial Crew Program Integrated Design

NASA KSC Solicitation: Commercial Crew Program Integrated Design [Wednesday, July 20, 2011] NASA is seeking capability statements from all interested parties for the purposes of determining the appropriate level of competition and/or small business subcontracting goals for potential Commercial Crew Program Integrated Design Contracts.



»» Moon Express Announces Dr. Alan Stern as Chief Scientist

Moon Express Announces Dr. Alan Stern as Chief Scientist [Thursday, July 21, 2011] Moon Express, a Google Lunar X PRIZE contender, revealed today that internationally recognized planetary scientist Dr. Alan Stern will be the Chief Scientist and Mission Architect for the company.



»» Northrop Grumman Honored by IEEE for Development of Lunar Module

Northrop Grumman Honored by IEEE for Development of Lunar Module [Thursday, July 21, 2011] The Apollo lunar module, America's first vehicle to enable astronauts to land on the moon and return safely to earth, was designed, developed and built by Grumman Corporation on Long Island.



»» FAA Launch Safety: Lightning Criteria for Expendable Launch Vehicles

FAA Launch Safety: Lightning Criteria for Expendable Launch Vehicles [Friday, July 22, 2011] This action amends flight criteria for mitigating against naturally occurring lightning and lightning triggered by the flight of an expendable launch vehicle through or near an electrified environment in or near a cloud.



»» Space and Missile Defense Acquisitions: Periodic Assessment Needed to Correct Parts Quality Problems in Major Programs

Space and Missile Defense Acquisitions: Periodic Assessment Needed to Correct Parts Quality Problems in Major Programs [Friday, July 22, 2011] For space and missile defense acquisitions, GAO was asked to examine quality problems related to parts and manufacturing processes and materials across DOD and NASA.



»» NASA IT Summit Reaches For "Stellar" Results

NASA IT Summit Reaches For [Friday, July 22, 2011] NASA is gearing up for a conference in San Francisco that aims to improve the quality of Information Technology (IT) at the agency, while drawing on the expertise and innovative spirit of California's Silicon Valley.



»» NASA Selects Four Universities For 2012 X-Hab Innovation Challenge

NASA Selects Four Universities For 2012 X-Hab Innovation Challenge [Friday, July 22, 2011] NASA has selected four universities to design habitat and science concepts that could be used by future deep space explorers. The teams will participate in the second X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge.



»» Moon Express Launches Public Education and Outreach Campaign "The Moon is Me"

Moon Express Launches Public Education and Outreach Campaign [Sunday, July 24, 2011] Moon Express announced today that it has launched a public education and outreach campaign called "The Moon is Me", designed to foster public awareness and support of lunar exploration as vital to life on Earth and a positive future for humanity.



»» Notice of Availability/RFI: Potential Industry Interest: Use of NASA JSC Facility for Purpose of Establishing a JSC Acceleration Center

Notice of Availability/RFI: Potential Industry Interest: Use of NASA JSC Facility for Purpose of Establishing a JSC Acceleration Center [Monday, July 25, 2011] This announcement describes a NASA asset that is currently underutilized as a result of the transition from the Space Shuttle Program (SSP) to the future mission activities authorized by Congress in the NASA Authorization Act of 2010.



»» SwRI suborbital astronaut payload specialists move to flight planning phase, release mission patch

SwRI suborbital astronaut payload specialists move to flight planning phase, release mission patch [Monday, July 25, 2011] Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) announced in February that it had contracted multiple suborbital flights for its own astronaut payload specialists as part of a larger effort to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight.



»» NASTAR Center Completes First ATSA Suborbital Scientist Observatory Training

NASTAR Center Completes First ATSA Suborbital Scientist Observatory Training [Monday, July 25, 2011] The NASTAR Center, the premier commercial aerospace training and research center in the world, completed the first dedicated NASTAR Suborbital Scientist Training Program for the Atsa Suborbital Observatory project.



»» Senate Issues Subpoena to NASA for SLS Materials (Update)

Senate Issues Subpoena to NASA for SLS Materials (Update) [Thursday, July 28, 2011] Sources are reporting that the Senate Commerce Committee has finally made good on its threat and has issued a subpoena to NASA regarding materials related to the SLS decision



»» IBOPE Zogby Poll: 6 in 10 Disagree With Ending Space Shuttle & Fear Others Will Surpass U.S. in Exploration

IBOPE Zogby Poll: 6 in 10 Disagree With Ending Space Shuttle & Fear Others Will Surpass U.S. in Exploration [Friday, July 29, 2011] Majorities of voters disagree with the decision to end shuttle missions and fear other nations might surpass the US in space exploration. Future space exploration through both NASA and private companies is seen as preferable to either going it alone.




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