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June 2011 Top Stories


»» Starfighters Ready to Launch Research, Satellites

Starfighters Ready to Launch Research, Satellites [Wednesday, June 1, 2011] F-104 jet fighters will become a more regular part of the skyscape as a private company expands its fleet of jets with plans to conduct more research flights, launch very small satellites into space and even take paying passengers into the stratosphere.



»» NASA OIG: NASA's Management of the NPOESS Preparatory Project

NASA OIG: NASA's Management of the NPOESS Preparatory Project [Thursday, June 2, 2011] OIG today released a report that found NASA has incurred approximately $304 m in additional costs for an important meteorological satellite due to failures by NOAA and USAF to deliver instruments and other critical components to NASA in a timely manner.



»» NASA X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge 2011: Inflatable Loft Competition

NASA X-Hab Academic Innovation Challenge 2011: Inflatable Loft Competition [Thursday, June 2, 2011] The three competing universities are (1) Oklahoma State University; (2) University of Maryland; and (3) University of Wisconsin. All three have been in a year-long design, build, and test curriculum that produced this product.



»» NASA: Reducing Regulatory Burden; Retrospective Review Under E.O. 13563

NASA: Reducing Regulatory Burden; Retrospective Review Under E.O. 13563 [Thursday, June 2, 2011] NASA is seeking comments on the Agency's preliminary plan to conduct an analysis of its existing regulations. The purpose of this analysis is to make NASA's regulatory program more effective and less burdensome in achieving its regulatory objectives.



»» Letter to Charles Bolden from Senators Feinstein and Boxer Re: Sole Source for the Space Launch System

Letter to Charles Bolden from Senators Feinstein and Boxer Re: Sole Source for the Space Launch System [Thursday, June 2, 2011] We write to ask that NASA quickly open a competitive bidding process or the propulsion component of the new Space Launch System (SLS). A competitive process will allow NASA to procure better technology at lower initial and lifecycle costs.



»» Teledyne Brown Engineering and Aerojet to Form Strategic Alliance to Build Rocket Engines

Teledyne Brown Engineering and Aerojet to Form Strategic Alliance to Build Rocket Engines [Friday, June 3, 2011] The agreement states that Teledyne Brown and Aerojet will cooperatively develop, manufacture and market liquid propellant rocket engines for customers such as NASA and other aerospace companies.



»» NASA Announcement of Partnership Opportunity for Notification Tool for International Space Station Sightings

NASA Announcement of Partnership Opportunity for Notification Tool for International Space Station Sightings [Saturday, June 4, 2011] NASA seeks to increase public awareness of the ISS, its visibility, and mission by making ISS sighting information, including personalized notifications, readily available to the general public in an easily accessible and understandable way.



»» USRA Part of Team Selected by the National Science Foundation to Manage Arecibo Observatory

USRA Part of Team Selected by the National Science Foundation to Manage Arecibo Observatory [Saturday, June 4, 2011] USRA is part of a multi-organization team led by SRI International that has been awarded a five-year cooperative agreement by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to manage, operate and maintain the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.



»» Global Community Experts and Volunteers Tackle Development Problems Through Random Hacks of Kindness

Global Community Experts and Volunteers Tackle Development Problems Through Random Hacks of Kindness [Sunday, June 5, 2011] "RHoK is embracing the concept of 'open innovation', the idea of bringing together thousands of people from around the world to crowd source some of our toughest challenges," said Deborah Diaz, Deputy Chief Information Officer at NASA.



»» Excalibur Almaz to showcase space stations, spaceship on Isle of Man

Excalibur Almaz to showcase space stations, spaceship on Isle of Man [Monday, June 6, 2011] For the first time since arriving on the Isle of Man, Excalibur Almaz Limited will showcase its two space stations and Reusable Return Vehicle (RRV) to the general public June 18.



»» NASA Opportunities for Payloads Requiring an Near-Zero or Reduced Gravity Environment

NASA Opportunities for Payloads Requiring an Near-Zero or Reduced Gravity Environment [Tuesday, June 7, 2011] The program intends to mature to flight readiness status crosscutting technologies that advance multiple future space missions.



»» Europe's new way to experiment in partial gravity

Europe's new way to experiment in partial gravity [Tuesday, June 7, 2011] A new way to fly experiments takes off tomorrow with the first campaign dedicated to research in 'partial' gravity. Scientists on Europe's 'Zero-G' Airbus will experiment with gravity conditions like those on the Moon and Mars.



»» Fly Your Thesis! 2011 campaign

Fly Your Thesis! 2011 campaign [Tuesday, June 7, 2011] The second series of flights in ESA's 'Fly Your Thesis!' programme concluded recently. After many months of preparation, the 10-day campaign culminated with four student experiments making three parabolic flights aboard the Airbus A300 Zero-G aircraft.



»» IT Reform at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration

IT Reform at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration [Tuesday, June 7, 2011] I appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the goals of President Obama's administration as it relates to improving how IT is managed in the Federal Government.



»» MEASAT orders latest satellite from Astrium

MEASAT orders latest satellite from Astrium [Tuesday, June 7, 2011] MEASAT Global Berhad ("MEASAT") has selected Astrium to build MEASAT-3b, a new satellite to augment its core Ku-band business in Malaysia, India and Indonesia.



»» NASA Internal Memo: Federal Plain Language Guidelines - IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUIRED

NASA Internal Memo: Federal Plain Language Guidelines - IMMEDIATE ATTENTION REQUIRED [Tuesday, June 7, 2011] The subject guidelines endorses doing away with the term "shall" to mandate requirements and using the term "must" instead. These guidelines were reviewed by the Office of the General Counsel.



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

DOT: Launch Safety: Lightning Criteria for Expendable Launch Vehicles [Wednesday, June 8, 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.



»» NASA Internal Memo: Transformation of Agency Information Technology (IT) Services

NASA Internal Memo: Transformation of Agency Information Technology (IT) Services [Wednesday, June 8, 2011] The Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) is integrating and consolidating many IT services throughout the Agency. This new effort is called the IT Infrastructure Integration Program, or I3P.



»» An Open Letter to Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, and James Lovell

An Open Letter to Neil Armstrong, Gene Cernan, and James Lovell [Wednesday, June 8, 2011] While it may be that the current administration's plans are not perfect - and a new national debate on space appropriate - these plans stand head and shoulders over the plan that was the latter implementation of the Constellation program.



»» NASA Offers Grants For 2012 University Competitions

NASA Offers Grants For 2012 University Competitions [Wednesday, June 8, 2011] The NASA Minority Innovation Challenges Institute (MICI) is offering opportunities for minority serving institutions to apply for a $5,000 grant to enter the 2012 University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) or Lunabotics Mining Competition.



»» NASA Spending Shift to Benefit Centers Focused on Science & Technology

NASA Spending Shift to Benefit Centers Focused on Science & Technology [Wednesday, June 8, 2011] Euroconsult, along with the consulting firm Omnis, today announced the findings of a study today foreseeing a significant shift in NASA spending toward Earth science and R&D programs and away from legacy spaceflight activities.



»» Image: Heat Shield Work on Orion

Image: Heat Shield Work on Orion [Thursday, June 9, 2011] Work on the heat shield and thermal protection backshell of the Multi Purpose Crew Vehicle ground test article, or GTA, was completed in preparation for environmental testing.



»» Sample Return Robot Challenge: NASA Centennial Challenge for an autonomous exploration robot

Sample Return Robot Challenge: NASA Centennial Challenge for an autonomous exploration robot [Thursday, June 9, 2011] To demonstrate a robot that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from a wide and varied terrain without human control. The prize purse is $1.5 million



»» Night Rover Challenge: NASA Centennial Challenge for energy storage technology

Night Rover Challenge: NASA Centennial Challenge for energy storage technology [Thursday, June 9, 2011] To demonstrate a solar-powered exploration vehicle that can operate in darkness using its own stored energy. The prize purse is $1.5 million.



»» NASTAR Center Completes First FAA Safety Approval Audit - Space Training Simulator Centrifuge

NASTAR Center Completes First FAA Safety Approval Audit - Space Training Simulator Centrifuge [Thursday, June 9, 2011] The NASTAR Center, the premier commercial aerospace training and research center, completed its first annual FAA Safety Approval audit and inspection for the continued use of the Space Training Simulator centrifuge for its Space Training Programs.



»» SpaceLab for iOS

SpaceLab for iOS [Thursday, June 9, 2011] Odyssey Space Research, L.L.C., has announced a space-based, experimental app, dubbed SpaceLab for iOS, which will be used for space research aboard the International Space Station (ISS).



»» NBC Nightly News showcases "New Space Race"

NBC Nightly News showcases [Thursday, June 9, 2011] NBC Nightly News recently featured the commercial spaceflight industry in a piece examining the future of spaceflight following retirement of the Space Shuttle.



»» United Launch Alliance Successfully Delivers Aquarius Mission to Orbit for NASA and the Space Agency of Argentina

United Launch Alliance Successfully Delivers Aquarius Mission to Orbit for NASA and the Space Agency of Argentina [Friday, June 10, 2011] A United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket carrying the Aquarius/SAC-D observatory for NASA and the Space Agency of Argentina lifted off from Space Launch Complex-2W here at 7:20 a.m. PDT today.



»» ESA at the Paris Air Show relevant to the media

ESA at the Paris Air Show relevant to the media [Friday, June 10, 2011] The world's leading air and space event, the Paris Air Show, will open its doors for a week on 20 June. The salon will include a strong ESA presence, highlighting its activities for the benefit of space experts and the general public.



»» Sustainable Future of Outer Space Activities discussed at the Outer Space Committee

Sustainable Future of Outer Space Activities discussed at the Outer Space Committee [Friday, June 10, 2011] UNCOPUOS concluded its fifty-fourth session and its deliberations over ways and means to maintain outer space for peaceful purposes and to ensure that space technology and its applications continue to benefit many areas critical to all humanity.



»» International Space Station Research Forum for Researchers from Industry, Academia and other Organizations

International Space Station Research Forum for Researchers from Industry, Academia and other Organizations [Friday, June 10, 2011] The goal of the forum is to promote opportunities for research and technology development and feature accomplishments and opportunities for future research aboard the space station among commercial, academic, government and other institutions.



»» SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market

SpaceX Secures Launch Contract in Major Asian Market [Monday, June 13, 2011] Thai satellite company THAICOM Plc. has chosen Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) to launch the new Thaicom 6 telecommunications satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) from its Cape Canaveral launch site in the second quarter of 2013.



»» Remarks by Mark L. Uhran Assistant Associate Administrator, International Space Station at STA Luncheon

Remarks by Mark L. Uhran Assistant Associate Administrator, International Space Station at STA Luncheon [Thursday, June 16, 2011] Government is almost exclusively the buyer of civil space infrastructure, with the notable exception of telecommunications satellites, which are very good example of a successfully sustained space economy in geostationary Earth orbit.



»» NASA Issues Announcement For Solar Electric Propulsion Studies

NASA Issues Announcement For Solar Electric Propulsion Studies [Friday, June 17, 2011] NASA issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) seeking proposals for mission concept studies of a solar electric propulsion system demonstration to test and validate key capabilities and technologies for future exploration missions.



»» Signing of EDA-ESA Administrative Arrangement

Signing of EDA-ESA Administrative Arrangement [Monday, June 20, 2011] ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain met EDA Chief Executive Claude-France Arnould at the Paris Air & Space Show today to sign an Administrative Arrangement on cooperation between ESA and the European Defence Agency.



»» ESA reentry vehicle on track for flight in 2013

ESA reentry vehicle on track for flight in 2013 [Tuesday, June 21, 2011] ESA and Thales Alenia Space Italia announced an agreement today at the Paris Air & Space Show to begin building the IXV Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle for its mission into space in 2013.



»» Galileo's Soyuz launchers arrive at French Guiana

Galileo's Soyuz launchers arrive at French Guiana [Tuesday, June 21, 2011] The two Soyuz launchers that will fly the first four satellites of Europe's Galileo navigation system into orbit have arrived at Kourou harbour in French Guiana, completing a journey that took them halfway round the world.



»» NASA OIG Final Report: NASA's Hangar One Re-Siding Project

NASA OIG Final Report: NASA's Hangar One Re-Siding Project [Wednesday, June 22, 2011] NASA Inspector General Paul Martin today released a report that examines the $32.8 million re-siding project for Hangar One - one of the world's largest freestanding structures - at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California.



»» Alphabus ready to offer new opportunities

Alphabus ready to offer new opportunities [Wednesday, June 22, 2011] Alphabus, the world's largest communication satellite platform, is ready to offer new opportunities for satellite operators worldwide.



»» ESAs high-thrust engine takes next step

ESAs high-thrust engine takes next step [Wednesday, June 22, 2011] The new main engine to power Europes successor to its Ariane 5 space launcher was brought a step closer today when ESA signed a 60 million contract with a propulsion consortium at the Paris Air & Space Show.



»» Image: Flames in Microgravity

Image: Flames in Microgravity [Thursday, June 23, 2011] Fire acts differently in space than on Earth. Sandra Olson, an aerospace engineer at NASA's Glenn Research Center, demonstrates just how differently in her art. This artwork is comprised of multiple overlays of three separate microgravity flame images.



»» TEA Party Space Platform

TEA Party Space Platform [Thursday, June 23, 2011] "Whether it's timidity from the White House or Congress' earmark-laden 'compromises', our space dreams will be stuck on this planet unless someone articulates a vision based on economic and technical reality, so that's what we've done."



»» NASA Commercial Spaceflight Status Briefing to the AIA Space Council June 16, 2011

NASA Commercial Spaceflight Status Briefing to the AIA Space Council June 16, 2011 [Thursday, June 23, 2011] "For the first time in history, we have a long



»» Study Shows Interference with GPS Poses Major Threat to U.S. Economy

Study Shows Interference with GPS Poses Major Threat to U.S. Economy [Thursday, June 23, 2011] More than 3.3 million U.S. jobs in agriculture and industries rely heavily on Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and the disruption of interference with GPS posed by LightSquared's planned deployment of 40,000 ground stations...



»» UrtheCast Announces New Space Venture

UrtheCast Announces New Space Venture [Friday, June 24, 2011] UrtheCast is building, launching, and operating the world's first and only high definition streaming video cameras being installed on the International Space Station (ISS).



»» What's Next for America after the Space Shuttle?

What's Next for America after the Space Shuttle? [Friday, June 24, 2011] Rear Admiral Craig E Steidle, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation will be at the Kennedy Space Center on July 7-8 to discuss the legacy of the Space Shuttle and to help answer the question "what's next for American human spaceflight?"



»» NASA Open Source Summit Proceedings Online

NASA Open Source Summit Proceedings Online [Monday, June 27, 2011] The event brought engineers and policy makers from across NASA together with well-respected members of the open source community together to discuss current challenges with NASA's open source policy framework.



»» Letter from NASA Administrator Bolden to Sen. Rockefeller Regarding Congressional Document Request

Letter from NASA Administrator Bolden to Sen. Rockefeller Regarding Congressional Document Request [Tuesday, June 28, 2011] This is in response to your letter regarding the Committee's request for various documents and records concerning NASA's implementation of the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 and asserting that NASA has refused to provide the documents



»» End of the Shuttle Program Final Flight of Atlantis: Canada's Contribution

End of the Shuttle Program Final Flight of Atlantis: Canada's Contribution [Wednesday, June 29, 2011] The final flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled for July 8, 2011, at 11:26 a.m. EDT. This will be the last mission of the Space Shuttle program.



»» Astrium and NanoRacks Announce Centrifuge Agreement

Astrium and NanoRacks Announce Centrifuge Agreement [Wednesday, June 29, 2011] The proposed centrifuge system, based on a standard experiment container system, was developed by Astrium for ESA more than 25 years ago and has been used for more than 120 experiments for various topics.



»» NASA'S Partners Meet Milestones For Developing Future Commercial Spacecraft

NASA'S Partners Meet Milestones For Developing Future Commercial Spacecraft [Wednesday, June 29, 2011] NASA's industry partners have met all their initial milestones in developing commercial crew transportation capabilities to reduce the gap in U.S. human spaceflight capability.




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