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March 2011 Top Stories


»» Atlas V X-37B OTV-2 Cape launch set for March 4

Atlas V X-37B OTV-2 Cape launch set for March 4 [Tuesday, March 1, 2011] The 45th Space Wing is set to launch an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle from Space Launch Complex 41 on March 4, 2011.



»» NASA Continues Implementation Of 2010 Authorization Act Program Offices, New Technology Solicitations Announced

NASA Continues Implementation Of 2010 Authorization Act Program Offices, New Technology Solicitations Announced [Tuesday, March 1, 2011] NASA has announced program office assignments at three NASA field centers to align the president's fiscal year 2012 budget request and the NASA Authorization Act of 2010.



»» Letter from Space Leaders to Congress Urging Support of NASA's Use of Commercial Crew Services to the ISS

Letter from Space Leaders to Congress Urging Support of NASA's Use of Commercial Crew Services to the ISS [Tuesday, March 1, 2011] We are writing to urge you to fully fund NASA's plan to use commercial companies to carry crew to the Space Station because it is critical to the health of the Nation's human spaceflight efforts.



»» Commercial Spaceflight Federation Statement on the Passing of Mike Lounge

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Statement on the Passing of Mike Lounge [Wednesday, March 2, 2011] We are deeply saddened to report that this morning John "Mike" Lounge, a great friend and supporter of the commercial spaceflight industry, passed away from liver cancer.



»» Educational Balloon Provides Space Shuttle Launch Images and Video From Over 110,000 feet

Educational Balloon Provides Space Shuttle Launch Images and Video From Over 110,000 feet [Wednesday, March 2, 2011] Last week a balloon with a student-oriented payload shot high resolution photos and video from an altitude of over 110,000 feet of Space Shuttle Discovery as it climbed into space.



»» Opening Statement By Rep. Hall, Hearing on NASA FY 2012 Budget Request

Opening Statement By Rep. Hall, Hearing on NASA FY 2012 Budget Request [Wednesday, March 2, 2011] I am concerned that the future of our space program is in serious jeopardy. With the retirement of the Space Shuttle, NASA faces a critical period and needs to focus its limited resources to sustain our leadership in space.



»» Opening Statement By Charles Bolden, Hearing on NASA FY 2012 Budget Request

Opening Statement By Charles Bolden, Hearing on NASA FY 2012 Budget Request [Wednesday, March 2, 2011] Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, today it is my privilege to discuss the President's FY 2012 budget request of $18.7 billion for NASA.



»» NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Phase I Solicitation

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Phase I Solicitation [Wednesday, March 2, 2011] The NIAC Program seeks to inspire and nurture revolutionary concepts that could transform future aerospace endeavors.



»» NASA Office of Chief Technologist Technology Demonstration Missions BAA

NASA Office of Chief Technologist Technology Demonstration Missions BAA [Wednesday, March 2, 2011] This announcement solicits proposals for the demonstration of space technologies that provide new system-level technological capabilities.



»» NASA OIG: Audit of NASA's Facilities Maintenance

NASA OIG: Audit of NASA's Facilities Maintenance [Thursday, March 3, 2011] The Office of Inspector General (OIG) examined NASA's facilities maintenance program to evaluate the Agency's efforts to prioritize and fund maintenance activities.



»» 2011 Next-Gen Suborbital Researchers Conference a Hit, 2012 Follow-up Conference Planned

2011 Next-Gen Suborbital Researchers Conference a Hit, 2012 Follow-up Conference Planned [Thursday, March 3, 2011] The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) held in Orlando, Florida, this week set records for the number of presentations, sponsors and attendees.



»» GAO Report: NASA: Assessment of Selected Large-Scale Projects

GAO Report: NASA: Assessment of Selected Large-Scale Projects [Thursday, March 3, 2011] GAO assessed 21 NASA projects with a combined life-cycle cost that exceeds $68 billion. Of those 21 projects, 16 had entered the implementation phase where cost and schedule baselines were established.



»» NASA Light Technology Successfully Reduces Cancer Patients' Painful Side Effects from Radiation and Chemotherapy

NASA Light Technology Successfully Reduces Cancer Patients' Painful Side Effects from Radiation and Chemotherapy [Friday, March 4, 2011] A NASA technology originally developed for plant growth experiments on space shuttle missions has successfully reduced the painful side effects resulting from chemotherapy and radiation treatment in bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients.



»» Astrobotic Technology Inc. Announces Payload Users Guide

Astrobotic Technology Inc. Announces Payload Users Guide [Friday, March 4, 2011] Astrobotic Technology Inc. today released a new guide for researchers on preparation of their instruments for the company's robotic expedition to the surface of the Moon.



»» Astronaut Garrett Reisman Joins SpaceX

Astronaut Garrett Reisman Joins SpaceX [Friday, March 4, 2011] Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is proud to announce that NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman is joining the company as a senior engineer working on astronaut safety and mission assurance.



»» NASA Announces Winners of OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest

NASA Announces Winners of OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Video Contest [Friday, March 4, 2011] NASA has announced the winners of the 2010 NASA OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Award. The contest encouraged students to produce short, creative videos about their favorite technology from NASA's Spinoff 2009 Publication.



»» United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Second OTV Mission

United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Second OTV Mission [Sunday, March 6, 2011] A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket successfully launched the second Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV-2) for the Air Force's Rapid Capabilities Office (AFRCO) at 5:46 p.m. EST today from Space Launch Complex- 41.



»» Evaluating NASA Technology Road Maps - Public Workshop Series

Evaluating NASA Technology Road Maps - Public Workshop Series [Monday, March 7, 2011] A NRC steering committee and panels advising NASA on innovative technologies for future missions is holding a series of public workshops to review draft NASA technology "road maps" and solicit input from the public, aerospace community, and policymakers.



»» NRC: Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 - Executive Summary

NRC: Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 - Executive Summary [Monday, March 7, 2011] This report was requested by NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to review the status of planetary science in the United States and to develop a comprehensive strategy that will continue these advances in the coming decade.



»» Juno Spacecraft Currently Undergoing Environmental Testing at Lockheed Martin

Juno Spacecraft Currently Undergoing Environmental Testing at Lockheed Martin [Tuesday, March 8, 2011] NASA's Juno spacecraft is currently undergoing environmental testing at Lockheed Martin's test facility near Denver, Colo.



»» Ad Astra and NASA Sign Support Agreement on VASIMR Technology

Ad Astra and NASA Sign Support Agreement on VASIMR Technology [Tuesday, March 8, 2011] Ad Astra Rocket Company and NASA JSC have signed a Support Agreement to collaborate on research, analysis and development tasks on space-based cryogenic magnet operations and electric propulsion systems currently under development by Ad Astra.



»» China's Military Space Surge

China's Military Space Surge [Wednesday, March 9, 2011] China's surging military space program is poised to challenge U.S. aircraft carrier operations in the Pacific, as Chinese military spacecraft already gather significant new radar, electrooptical imaging, and signal intelligence data globally.



»» Former Astronaut Seeks To Build Tricorders

Former Astronaut Seeks To Build Tricorders [Wednesday, March 9, 2011] What does a five-time shuttle astronaut and M.D. after he leaves NASA? He builds tricorders, of course.



»» NASA IPP Solicitation: Opportunity Notice for Potential Centennial Challenges Sponsors

NASA IPP Solicitation: Opportunity Notice for Potential Centennial Challenges Sponsors [Wednesday, March 9, 2011] Through this Opportunity Notice (NOTICE), NASA seeks to identify potential Sponsoring Organizations who may be interested in partnering with Allied Organizations to support prize competitions conducted under Centennial Challenges program.



»» NASA IPP Opportunity Notice to Participate in its Centennial Challenges Program as an Allied Organization

NASA IPP Opportunity Notice to Participate in its Centennial Challenges Program as an Allied Organization [Wednesday, March 9, 2011] Through this Opportunity Notice NASA seeks to select an Allied Organization for the Nano-Satellite Launcher prize competition to be conducted under the Centennial Challenges Program of NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.



»» SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations

SpaceX Expanding Texas Operations [Wednesday, March 9, 2011] Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and the City of McGregor today signed a lease agreement allowing SpaceX to expand the size of its rocket development facility in McGregor.



»» Three solicitations from the NASA Office of Chief Technologist

Three solicitations from the NASA Office of Chief Technologist [Thursday, March 10, 2011] NASA released three solicitations on March 1, 2011, in support of programs in the NASA Office of Chief Technologist (OCT).



»» Northrop Grumman Foundation Announces 2011 Weightless Flights of Discovery Program at National Science Teachers' Association Conference

Northrop Grumman Foundation Announces 2011 Weightless Flights of Discovery Program at National Science Teachers' Association Conference [Thursday, March 10, 2011] The Northrop Grumman Foundation announced today that the Foundation is accepting teacher applications for the 2011 Weightless Flights of Discovery program.



»» Work Begins on Exploration Park at NASA KSC

Work Begins on Exploration Park at NASA KSC [Thursday, March 10, 2011] Site work has begun on Exploration Park, the high-tech research and office park being developed by The Pizzuti Companies in partnership with Space Florida.



»» NASA Unveiling New Rocket Integration Facility At Wallops

NASA Unveiling New Rocket Integration Facility At Wallops [Thursday, March 10, 2011] NASA will unveil its new rocket integration facility at the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia during a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. EDT on March 22.



»» Florida Space Industry to Host the March 16, 2011 Florida Space Day in Tallahassee

Florida Space Industry to Host the March 16, 2011 Florida Space Day in Tallahassee [Friday, March 11, 2011] Florida's space industry will visit Tallahassee to participate in Florida Space Day and share the challenges the industry faces in ensuring Florida remains at the forefront of the nation's space program.



»» NASA To Host Open Source Summit March 29-30 In California

NASA To Host Open Source Summit March 29-30 In California [Friday, March 11, 2011] NASA will host a summit about open source software development on March 29-30 at the agency's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on both days.



»» United Launch Alliance Successfully launches Fourth NRO Mission in Six Months (with video)

United Launch Alliance Successfully launches Fourth NRO Mission in Six Months (with video) [Saturday, March 12, 2011] A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office was launched at 6:38 p.m. EST from pad 37B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.



»» SpaceX and SES Announce Satellite Launch Agreement

SpaceX and SES Announce Satellite Launch Agreement [Monday, March 14, 2011] As the Satellite 2011 conference kicked off in Washington, D.C., Space Exploration Technologies and SES today announced an agreement to launch an SES satellite using the Falcon 9 rocket.



»» NASA Extends Crew Flight Contract With Russian Space Agency

NASA Extends Crew Flight Contract With Russian Space Agency [Monday, March 14, 2011] NASA has signed a $753 million modification to the current International Space Station contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency for crew transportation, rescue and related services from 2014 through June 2016.



»» NASA's Chief Technology Officer for IT Chris Kemp Is Leaving The Agency

NASA's Chief Technology Officer for IT Chris Kemp Is Leaving The Agency [Tuesday, March 15, 2011] It is with mixed emotions that today I am announcing my resignation as NASA's Chief Technology Officer for IT.



»» NASA OIG: Review of NASA's Controls over Public Sales of Space Shuttle Property

NASA OIG: Review of NASA's Controls over Public Sales of Space Shuttle Property [Tuesday, March 15, 2011] We found that NASA had not fully integrated its export control and property disposition processes to reduce the risk that public sales of Space Shuttle property could result in the prohibited release of export-controlled items and technology.



»» Intelsat Picks MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. for Satellite Servicing

Intelsat Picks MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. for Satellite Servicing [Tuesday, March 15, 2011] Intelsat S.A., announced today that it has entered into an agreement with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. for the servicing of Intelsat's on-orbit satellites via a space-based service vehicle to be provided by MDA.



»» Arianespace to launch Argentina's Arsat-2 satellite

Arianespace to launch Argentina's Arsat-2 satellite [Tuesday, March 15, 2011] ARSAT has once again selected Arianespace for its commercial launch services - this time to orbit the Argentinean satellite operator's second satellite, Arsat-2.



»» Key Quotes from Today's Hearing on Realizing NASA's Potential: Programmatic Challenges in the 21st Century

Key Quotes from Today's Hearing on Realizing NASA's Potential: Programmatic Challenges in the 21st Century [Wednesday, March 16, 2011] The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a full committee hearing today titled Realizing NASA's Potential: Programmatic Challenges in the 21st Century.



»» Europe's Largest Telecom Satellite

Europe's Largest Telecom Satellite [Thursday, March 17, 2011] Alphabus has met Alphasat. Europe's largest telecom satellite is taking shape with final assembly and testing ready to begin in Toulouse, France.



»» Academy Award Winner James Cameron Joins X PRIZE Foundation Board of Trustees

Academy Award Winner James Cameron Joins X PRIZE Foundation Board of Trustees [Thursday, March 17, 2011] In addition to his Board of Trustees appointment, Cameron serves on the X PRIZE Foundation's Exploration Advisory Committee.



»» GEOScan Workshop to Examine Opportunities for Scientific Hosted Payloads on Iridium Satellites

GEOScan Workshop to Examine Opportunities for Scientific Hosted Payloads on Iridium Satellites [Thursday, March 17, 2011] A GEOScan workshop will bring together representatives from the geosciences community to form plans for a potential global Earth-observation network in space, using hosted payloads on Iridium's next-generation satellite constellation, Iridium NEXT.



»» Notice of request for grant proposals for the Commercial Space Transportation Grant Program

Notice of request for grant proposals for the Commercial Space Transportation Grant Program [Friday, March 18, 2011] This notice solicits Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 grant proposals to continue the development of a Commercial Space Transportation infrastructure system, which supports the National Space Policy and Congressional intent.



»» NASA Holds Information Technology Summit In August

NASA Holds Information Technology Summit In August [Saturday, March 19, 2011] NASA's second Information Technology Summit will bring together government and industry leaders to provide the latest perspectives on the IT field. The summit will take place August 15-17 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in San Francisco.



»» NASA Technology Day on Capitol Hill

NASA Technology Day on Capitol Hill [Saturday, March 19, 2011] On the same day that Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space, emerged from his protective packaging onboard the International Space Station, its twin entertained a crowd back on Earth at the annual NASA Technology Day on Capitol Hill.



»» NASA And Etsy Announce Winners Of "Space Craft" Contest

NASA And Etsy Announce Winners Of [Monday, March 21, 2011] During a Friday ceremony in Brooklyn, N.Y., NASA and Etsy, an online marketplace for handmade arts and crafts, announced the winners of "Space Craft," a contest that received more than 600 entries.



»» Lockheed Martin Makes Strides in Human Space Exploration

Lockheed Martin Makes Strides in Human Space Exploration [Monday, March 21, 2011] Forging a new path forward to ensure safe, affordable and sustainable human exploration beyond low Earth orbit, Lockheed Martin today unveiled the first Orion spacecraft and a spacious state-of-the-art Space Operations Simulation Center (SOSC).



»» NASA Administrator Bolden, MSFC Director Lightfoot to Speak at Small Business Alliance Meeting

NASA Administrator Bolden, MSFC Director Lightfoot to Speak at Small Business Alliance Meeting [Monday, March 21, 2011] On March 24, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will host its semi-annual Small Business Alliance meeting at the Davidson Center for Exploration in Huntsville.



»» XCOR & ULA Demonstrate Revolutionary Rocket Engine Nozzle Technology - Sign Contract for Liquid Hydrogen Engine Development

XCOR & ULA Demonstrate Revolutionary Rocket Engine Nozzle Technology - Sign Contract for Liquid Hydrogen Engine Development [Tuesday, March 22, 2011] United Launch Alliance (ULA) and XCOR Aerospace announced today their successful hot-fire demonstrations of a lighter-weight, lower-cost approach to liquid-fueled rocket-engine vacuum nozzles.



»» NASA Ushers In New Space Exploration Era At Wallops Flight Facility

NASA Ushers In New Space Exploration Era At Wallops Flight Facility [Tuesday, March 22, 2011] NASA ushered in a new era of space exploration at its Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Tuesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony opening the new Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF).



»» NASA Ames Wins Agency Awards for Inventions

NASA Ames Wins Agency Awards for Inventions [Wednesday, March 23, 2011] NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., has won two agency awards: the 2010 Government Invention of the Year Award and the 2010 Commercial Invention of the Year Award.



»» Aerospace Industries Association Grows 44 Percent

Aerospace Industries Association Grows 44 Percent [Wednesday, March 23, 2011] he Aerospace Industries Association enrolled ten new full members along with eleven associate members in the first quarter of 2011 to reach its highest total membership in history.



»» International Launch Services Protests Unfair Subsidies to Arianespace

International Launch Services Protests Unfair Subsidies to Arianespace [Thursday, March 24, 2011] ILS International Launch Services, Inc. (ILS), citing the recurring subsidies provided to its primary competitor, Arianespace, is waging an aggressive protest and intends to pursue "all avenues of recourse to stop such inordinate and direct subsidization



»» First Lockheed Martin-built Milstar II Satellite Marks 10 Years in Service

First Lockheed Martin-built Milstar II Satellite Marks 10 Years in Service [Thursday, March 24, 2011] The first Milstar II military communications satellite, built by a Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) team for the U.S. Air Force, has surpassed its 10-year design life of on-orbit service, providing our nation's warfighters with secure and reliable communication



»» Hylas-1 ready for service

Hylas-1 ready for service [Thursday, March 24, 2011] It's all systems go for Hylas-1, the first satellite created specifically to deliver broadband access to European consumers. Since its launch in November, Hylas has performed well throughout its testing in orbit and is now ready for commercial service.



»» NASA Administrator Presents Award To Marshall Center For Agency's Most Effective Small Business Program

NASA Administrator Presents Award To Marshall Center For Agency's Most Effective Small Business Program [Thursday, March 24, 2011] NASA Administrator Charles Bolden participated in an event Thursday to highlight the contributions of small businesses to the agency's mission and the national economy at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.



»» First student-developed mission in which satellites orbit and communicate led by UT students

First student-developed mission in which satellites orbit and communicate led by UT students [Thursday, March 24, 2011] Two satellites designed and constructed by students at the Cockrell School of Engineering successfully separated in space March 22, completing the most crucial goal of the mission since its Nov. 19 launch.



»» NASA Invites Media To Open Source Summit March 29-30 In California

NASA Invites Media To Open Source Summit March 29-30 In California [Friday, March 25, 2011] Journalists are invited to attend NASA's first open source software development summit March 29-30 at the agency's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PDT on both days.



»» Heavy Lift Rocket Standoff on Capitol Hill

Heavy Lift Rocket Standoff on Capitol Hill [Saturday, March 26, 2011] There is a cottage industry these days - inside and outside of NASA - wherein people speculate what Heavy Launch Vehicle (HLV) design NASA is or is not pursuing.



»» NASA OIG: Inadequate Security Practices Expose Key NASA Network to Cyber Attack

NASA OIG: Inadequate Security Practices Expose Key NASA Network to Cyber Attack [Monday, March 28, 2011] NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin today released an audit report evaluating how well NASA is protecting its Agency-wide mission computer network from Internet-based attacks.




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