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March 2006 Top Stories


»» Lockheed Martin-Built GPS Satellites Mark 50 Years on Orbit

Lockheed Martin-Built GPS Satellites Mark 50 Years on Orbit [Wednesday, March 1, 2006] The fleet of Global Positioning System (GPS) Block IIR satellites designed and built by Lockheed Martin to significantly enhance the overall performance of the GPS constellation has now accumulated 50 years of successful in-orbit operations.



»» House Science Committee Hearing Charter: NASA's Science Mission Directorate: Impacts of the Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Proposal

House Science Committee Hearing Charter: NASA's Science Mission Directorate: Impacts of the Fiscal Year 2007 Budget Proposal [Wednesday, March 1, 2006] "The proposed budget is a controversial aspect of NASA's FY07 budget request because it would result in the cancellation or delay of a number of missions and provides little funding for any missions beyond those already in the queue."



»» The SpaceX Dragon: America's First Privately Financed Manned Orbital Spacecraft?

The SpaceX Dragon: America's First Privately Financed Manned Orbital Spacecraft? [Sunday, March 5, 2006] Space Exploration Technologies Inc. - Better known as SpaceX - is developing its own manned spacecraft. Indeed, they've been at this for several years. Its name is "Dragon."



»» Spacehab Submits Proposal for NASA Space Station Logistics

Spacehab Submits Proposal for NASA Space Station Logistics [Tuesday, March 7, 2006] Spacehab announced today that the it has submitted its proposal to NASA to demonstrate its capability to provide commercial cargo transportation services to and from the ISS while providing space access to various customers worldwide.



»» GIOVE A transmits loud and clear

GIOVE A transmits loud and clear [Thursday, March 9, 2006] After a successful launch on 28 December 2005, GIOVE A began transmitting navigation signals on 12 January 2006. Work is currently being performed to check the quality of these signals.



»» A Summary of Remarks made by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison at a Space Transportation Association Breakfast 8 March 2006

A Summary of Remarks made by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison at a Space Transportation Association Breakfast 8 March 2006 [Friday, March 10, 2006] "We have directed NASA to ensure that at least 15% of its space station research budget be allocated to research that is not directly supportive of the VSE-the kinds of research they are terminating as they re-prioritize their space station use."



»» ESA receives award for Technology Transfer

ESA receives award for Technology Transfer [Saturday, March 11, 2006] ESA has received an award for achievement in the public sector, for its Technology Transfer activities, announced at the first annual International Marketplace and Conference for Technology Transfer Professionals (IPTEC) in Cannes last month.



»» First launch of 2006: 22nd successful Ariane 5 launch, 12th in a row

First launch of 2006: 22nd successful Ariane 5 launch, 12th in a row [Sunday, March 12, 2006] Today’s successful Ariane 5 launch, the 12th in a row and 22nd overall, shows that Arianespace launch services are more than ever the best fit with the needs of operators around the world.



»» Swedish plans to colonise space

Swedish plans to colonise space [Tuesday, March 14, 2006] Building a self-reliant moon colony is no longer science fiction, or a gimmick to promote the new James Bond film. It is indeed near-term reality.



»» Space Aquisitions: DOD Needs a Departmentwide Strategy for Pursuing Low-Cost, Responsive Tactical Space Capabilities

Space Aquisitions: DOD Needs a Departmentwide Strategy  for Pursuing Low-Cost, Responsive  Tactical Space Capabilities [Wednesday, March 15, 2006] For more than two decades, the Department of Defense (DOD) has invested heavily in space assets to provide the warfighter with mission-critical information. Despite these investments, DOD commanders have reported shortfalls in space capabilities.



»» Agreement between ESA and CNES for Alphabus

Agreement between ESA and CNES for Alphabus [Friday, March 17, 2006] On Thursday 15 March, at the headquarters of the European Space Agency, a co-operation agreement was signed between ESA and the Centre National d'Études Spatiales for the development of Alphabus, Europe's next generation of telecommunication satellites.



»» Alcatel Alenia Space wins a major contract in North America for Ciel-2 satellite with Ciel Satellite, part of SES family

Alcatel Alenia Space wins a major contract in North America for Ciel-2 satellite with Ciel Satellite, part of SES family [Friday, March 17, 2006] Alcatel Alenia Space today announced that it will deliver the high-powered Ciel-2 telecommunication satellite to Ciel Satellite of Canada. The new spacecraft will be the largest Spacebus class satellite ever built by Alcatel Alenia Space.



»» SpaceX Falcon 1 Maiden Flight Update 15 March 2006

SpaceX Falcon 1 Maiden Flight Update 15 March 2006 [Friday, March 17, 2006] Falcon 1 has been removed from its hangar and erected on the launch pad. All systems are currently go for a static fire on March 17 or 18, followed by a launch between March 20 and 25.



»» Speech by OSTP Director John Marburger to the 44th Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium

Speech by OSTP Director John Marburger to the 44th Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium [Monday, March 20, 2006] "The Moon has unique significance for all space applications for a reason that to my amazement is hardly ever discussed in popular accounts of space policy. The Moon is the closest source of material that lies far up Earth's gravity well."



»» NASA MSFC Solicitation: Request for Information for the Crew Launch Vehicle Upper Stage

NASA MSFC Solicitation: Request for Information for the Crew Launch Vehicle Upper Stage [Tuesday, March 21, 2006] NASA invites Industry to submit a response to this Request for Information (RFI) to assist NASA in the planning for the Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) Upper Stage Element acquisition development.



»» Orbital to Launch NASA's Space Technology 5 Spacecraft on March 22 aboard Pegasus Rocket

Orbital to Launch NASA's Space Technology 5 Spacecraft on March 22 aboard Pegasus Rocket [Tuesday, March 21, 2006] Orbital Sciences Corporation today announced that it is prepared to launch the Space Technology 5 (ST5) scientific spacecraft for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) aboard the company's Pegasus rocket.



»» SpaceX Moves Closer to Inaugural Launch of Falcon I

SpaceX Moves Closer to Inaugural Launch of Falcon I [Wednesday, March 22, 2006] "Unless we discover something negative after a detailed data analysis, launch will happen on Thursday at 1 p.m. California time. - Elon Musk"



»» Orbital's Pegasus Rocket Successfully Launches NASA's Space Technology 5 Spacecraft

Orbital's Pegasus Rocket Successfully Launches NASA's Space Technology 5 Spacecraft [Wednesday, March 22, 2006] Orbital Sciences Corporation announced today that its Pegasus space launch vehicle successfully launched three small scientific spacecraft for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Space Technology 5 program (ST5).



»» NASA's Exploration Systems Progress Report

NASA's Exploration Systems Progress Report [Wednesday, March 22, 2006] NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate has issued a Request for Information. It asks the aerospace industry for input regarding the strategy of a key element of a new spacecraft intended to lift American explorers toward the moon and Mars.



»» Remarks by NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale at a Space Transportation Association Breakfast

Remarks by NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale at a Space Transportation Association Breakfast [Thursday, March 23, 2006] "An important aspect of our exploration strategy is to open up the door for opportunities in commercial space. Among commercial opportunities that come to mind are such activities as in-space fuel delivery, lunar resource prospecting etc."



»» Historic SpaceX Launch Set for Today March 24: The World's Lowest Cost Rocket to Orbit

Historic SpaceX Launch Set for Today March 24: The World's Lowest Cost Rocket to Orbit [Friday, March 24, 2006] On Friday, March 24 at 1 p.m. California time (9 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.



»» Falcon I Launch Fails

Falcon I Launch Fails [Friday, March 24, 2006] The Falcon I rocket was launched today at 5:30 pm EST from Omelek Island and climbed upward for around a minute. Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's Vice President for Business Development, has confirmed that the rocket has been lost.



»» Preliminary SpaceX Internal Analysis: Falcon I Flight

Preliminary SpaceX Internal Analysis: Falcon I Flight [Saturday, March 25, 2006] "I am very encouraged and grateful that our launch customers took the time to call and express their support of SpaceX. SpaceX is in this for the long haul and, come hell or high water, we are going to make this work."



»» NASA Extends Crew Exploration Vehicle Contracts

NASA Extends Crew Exploration Vehicle Contracts [Monday, March 27, 2006] NASA has authorized contract extensions for development of the agency's new Crew Exploration Vehicle. The companies, Lockheed Martin, and a team of Northrop Grumman and Boeing were selected as CEV Phase 1 contractors in June 2005.



»» SpaceDev Awarded Contract by the Air Force Research Laboratory for a Sophisticated Nanosatellite

SpaceDev Awarded Contract by the Air Force Research Laboratory for a Sophisticated Nanosatellite [Wednesday, March 29, 2006] SpaceDev has been awarded a $1.25 million contract for the preliminary design of a nanosatellite capable of independently providing localized Space Situational Awareness of the local space environment of a host satellite.



»» NASA & HDNet Announce High Definition TV Broadcast Partnership

NASA & HDNet Announce High Definition TV Broadcast Partnership [Wednesday, March 29, 2006] NASA and HDNet have joined together to provide high definition TV coverage of space shuttle launches through 2010. The agreement ensures the remaining shuttle lift-offs and landings will be broadcast in the highest quality television format available.



»» GAO Report: Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites - Cost Increases Trigger Review and Place Program's Direction on Hold

GAO Report: Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites - Cost Increases Trigger Review and Place Program's Direction on Hold [Thursday, March 30, 2006] "The future direction of the NPOESS program - what will be delivered, at what cost, and by when - is currently on hold pending a decision on how to proceed."




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