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September 2006 Top Stories


»» NASA Requests Proposals for Exploration Park Developer

NASA Requests Proposals for Exploration Park Developer [Friday, September 1, 2006] NASA today issued a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) for the selection of a master developer for a 320-acre technology and commerce park at Kennedy Space Center.



»» Boeing Satellite Fleet Demonstrates Industry-leading Longevity

Boeing Satellite Fleet Demonstrates Industry-leading Longevity [Wednesday, September 6, 2006] Boeing's fleet of 95 satellites has been providing services for a combined 887 years - 156 years beyond their initial contract life. This longevity is a testament to the quality and value Boeing provides to customers in 19 countries on 6 continents.



»» FAA/DOT: Finding of No Significant Impact: Blue Origin, LLC

FAA/DOT: Finding of No Significant Impact: Blue Origin, LLC [Wednesday, September 6, 2006] The FAA prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the proposal from Blue Origin, LLC (Blue Origin) to construct and operate a commercial space launch site to be located on privately-owned property in Culberson County, Texas.



»» GSLV-F02 Failure Analysis Committee Report

GSLV-F02 Failure Analysis Committee Report [Thursday, September 7, 2006] The Failure Analysis Committee (FAC), constituted for investigating the failure of ISRO's Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, GSLV-F02 mission from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC SHAR) Sriharikota, on July 10, 2006 has submitted its report.



»» Lockheed Martin Announces Sale of Its Interests in International Launch Services and LKEI

Lockheed Martin Announces Sale of Its Interests in International Launch Services and LKEI [Thursday, September 7, 2006] Lockheed Martin announced today the proposed sale of its ownership interests in Lockheed Khrunichev Energia International, Inc. (LKEI) and ILS International Launch Services, Inc. (ILS) to Space Transport Inc. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.



»» Leading-Edge Technology Programme Announcement of Opportunities

Leading-Edge Technology Programme Announcement of Opportunities [Friday, September 8, 2006] ESA has issued an Announcement of Opportunities calling for proposals for innovative technology developments. This is part of the Agency’s Leading-Edge Technology Programme targeted at SMEs.



»» Space Shuttle Atlantis Launches Beginning an 11 Day Mission

Space Shuttle Atlantis Launches Beginning an 11 Day Mission [Saturday, September 9, 2006] The space shuttle finally launched today on it's 11 day mission to the space station. During the mission the crew will continue building the space station adding the P3/P4 integrated truss and a second set of solar arrays on the space station.



»» ATK, Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Form Team to Compete for Ares I Upper Stage

ATK, Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Form Team to Compete for Ares I Upper Stage [Wednesday, September 13, 2006] Alliant Techsystems, Lockheed Martin, and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, a business unit of United Technologies, announced today that they have teamed together in preparation for NASA's Ares I Upper Stage procurement, planned for early 2007.



»» Raytheon Successfully Completes NPOESS Segment Acceptance Testing Two Months Ahead of Schedule

Raytheon Successfully Completes NPOESS Segment Acceptance Testing Two Months Ahead of Schedule [Wednesday, September 13, 2006] The National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Preparatory Project (NPP) command, control and communications segment acceptance testing has been completed two months early.



»» SSC gets Galileo RF License until 2037

SSC gets Galileo RF License until 2037 [Thursday, September 14, 2006] SSC is the first space company in the world to receive a long-term Radio Frequency S-band license for Galileo. The license was applied on behalf of ESA and granted by the Swedish National Post and Telecom Agency and will last until 2037.



»» NASA JSC Solicitation: Procurement of Hardware and Services from RSC Energia

NASA JSC Solicitation: Procurement of Hardware and Services from RSC Energia [Thursday, September 14, 2006] RSC Energia is the sole integrator of the systems and operations of the Russian Segment and is uniquely qualified to provide the analyses and physical integration required for US science payloads to safely and effectively operate in the Russian Segment.



»» Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee--Open Meeting

Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee--Open Meeting [Friday, September 15, 2006] Pursuant to Section 10(a)(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC). The meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 25, 2006



»» New Mars Rover Robotic Arm Contract Awarded to Alliance Spacesystems

New Mars Rover Robotic Arm Contract Awarded to  Alliance Spacesystems [Sunday, September 17, 2006] Alliance Spacesystems, LLC, which has already built three robotic arms for Mars spacecraft, has been awarded the engineering contract for NASA's next major Mars rover mission, the Mars Science Laboratory, targeted for a 2009 launch.



»» NASA Awards Thermal Protection Contract for Orion Spacecraft

NASA Awards Thermal Protection Contract for Orion Spacecraft [Sunday, September 17, 2006] NASA has selected The Boeing Company, Huntington Beach, Calif., to support the design and development of a lunar direct return-capable heat shield for the Orion crew exploration vehicle.



»» Spacecraft Carrying Space Tourist Anousheh Ansari and ISS Expedition 14 Crew Leaves Earth

Spacecraft Carrying Space Tourist Anousheh Ansari and ISS Expedition 14 Crew Leaves Earth [Sunday, September 17, 2006] The International Space Station's next crew began the journey to its new home early Monday. The Soyuz rocket that carried Expedition 14 into space lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:09 a.m. EDT.



»» NASA Sponsors Video Contest: Become NASA's Greatest Fan

NASA Sponsors Video Contest: Become NASA's Greatest Fan [Tuesday, September 19, 2006] NASA is holding a video contest, and one deserving winner and guest will receive a free trip to Kennedy Space Center. Video entries should show why their creators deserve the title of "NASA's Greatest Fan."



»» NASA Forms Partnership With Red Planet Capital, Inc.

NASA Forms Partnership With Red Planet Capital, Inc. [Wednesday, September 20, 2006] NASA has joined with Red Planet Capital, Inc., San Mateo, Calif., in a partnership to help the agency gain access to new and innovative technologies through the venture capital community.



»» Keynote Speech by Dr. S. Pete Worden at AIAA Space 2006

Keynote Speech by Dr. S. Pete Worden at AIAA Space 2006 [Wednesday, September 20, 2006] Next month we will observe the 49th anniversary of the first Earth-orbiting satellite. But as much as we can take pride in the accomplishments of the past five decades, the dawn of the true space age lies ahead of us.



»» Modernized GPS Satellite Built by Lockheed Martin Ready for Launch From Cape Canaveral

Modernized GPS Satellite Built by Lockheed Martin Ready for Launch From Cape Canaveral [Thursday, September 21, 2006] The second modernized Global Positioning System (GPS) Block IIR satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force is set for launch aboard a Delta II rocket on Sept. 25, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.



»» Keep ISS Alive

Keep ISS Alive [Thursday, September 21, 2006] Instead of elaborate and expensive toys and forts made to be thrown away, we must design technologies and facilities that are useful and useable, robust and reliable. Instead of built in obsolescence, we must build for real permanence.



»» Bigelow Aerospace and Lockheed Martin Agree to Study Human-qualified Atlas V Rocket for Entrepreneurial Space Development

Bigelow Aerospace and Lockheed Martin Agree to Study Human-qualified Atlas V Rocket for Entrepreneurial Space Development [Saturday, September 23, 2006] Lockheed Martin has entered into an agreement with Bigelow Aerospace to pursue the potential of launching passengers on human-qualified Atlas V rockets.



»» NASA Learns How To Handle Space Tourists - and Novel Situations

NASA Learns How To Handle Space Tourists - and Novel Situations [Monday, September 25, 2006] "I wouldn't argue that back with Tito - who was the first tourist - that was kind of a unique thought process for the U.S. - for NASA as an agency - and it was a challenging time."



»» Anousheh Ansari, a Woman of Mass Instruction

Anousheh Ansari, a Woman of Mass Instruction [Tuesday, September 26, 2006] As a long time space advocate I have seen many fads, hopes, and dreams come and go in our quest to open the space frontier for everyone. This week something special has happened that has to be commented on.



»» NASA's 21st Century Explorer Podcast Competition

NASA's 21st Century Explorer Podcast Competition [Wednesday, September 27, 2006] The first NASA 21st Century Explorer Podcast Competition challenges students to create unique audio and video podcasts. The topic: How will space exploration benefit your life in the future?



»» Solar flares cause GPS failures, possibly devastating for jets and distress calls, Cornell researchers warn

Solar flares cause GPS failures, possibly devastating for jets and  distress calls, Cornell researchers warn [Wednesday, September 27, 2006] Strong solar flares cause Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to fail, Cornell researchers have discovered. Because solar flares are generally unpredictable, such failures could be devastating for "safety-of-life" GPS operations.



»» House Science Committee to Review NASA's Plan to Develop Orion, the Crew Exploration Vehicle - and GAO Concerns

House Science Committee to Review NASA's Plan to Develop Orion, the Crew Exploration Vehicle - and GAO Concerns [Wednesday, September 27, 2006] Thursday at 2pm the House Committee on Science will hold a hearing to review NASA's efforts to develop the Crew Exploration Vehicle, now dubbed "Orion."



»» GAO Report: NASA: Sound Management and Oversight Key to Addressing Crew Exploration Vehicle Project Risks

GAO Report: NASA: Sound Management and Oversight Key to Addressing Crew Exploration Vehicle Project Risks [Thursday, September 28, 2006] "Although GAO is not making recommendations in this testimony, we previously recommended that NASA modify the CEV acquisition strategy to ensure that a long-term commitment is not made prior to attaining of key knowledge."



»» Space Adventures' Client, Anousheh Ansari, Returns to Earth After Visiting the International Space Station

Space Adventures' Client, Anousheh Ansari, Returns to Earth After Visiting the International Space Station [Thursday, September 28, 2006] Anousheh Ansari successfully landed in the Kazakhstan steppes after an eight-day visit to the ISS. Mrs. Ansari returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TMA-8 with members of the Expedition 13 crew.



»» Rocketplane Kistler Announces Strategic Relationship

Rocketplane Kistler Announces Strategic Relationship [Thursday, September 28, 2006] Rocketplane Kistler and Andrews Space announced today that they have entered into a strategic relationship to support the NASA Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program and other applications of RpK's innovative space transportation system.



»» Major Weather Satellite Acquisition to be Examined by House Science Committee

Major Weather Satellite Acquisition to be Examined by House Science Committee [Thursday, September 28, 2006] NOAA and the GAO will testify before the House Science Committee on NOAA's acquisition of a major, multi-billion dollar weather satellite system and a new GAO report on the acquisition program that will be released at the hearing.



»» SpaceDev Founder Jim Benson Launches Civilian Spaceflight Venture, Benson Space Company

SpaceDev Founder Jim Benson Launches Civilian Spaceflight Venture, Benson Space Company [Thursday, September 28, 2006] Jim Benson has stepped down as chairman and chief technology officer of the company he founded nearly a decade ago, SpaceDev in order to launch an ambitious new venture focused on commercial space tourism, Benson Space Company (BSC).



»» NASA KSC RFI: Supporting an Environmental Assessment of Commercial and Other Uses of the Shuttle Landing Facility

NASA KSC RFI: Supporting an Environmental Assessment of Commercial and Other Uses of the Shuttle Landing Facility [Friday, September 29, 2006] NASA is seeking information from prospective commercial and other non-NASA users of the Shuttle Landing Facility at KSC to support an ongoing Environmental Assessment of commercial suborbital and orbital spaceflight and other compatible uses.



»» NASA MSFC Solicitation: Lunar Precursor and Robotic Program Industry Day

NASA MSFC Solicitation: Lunar Precursor and Robotic Program Industry Day [Friday, September 29, 2006] The purpose of this event is to help industry better understand LPRP and to allow the LPRP management to get feedback on the capabilities of industry and academia to meet the LPRP objectives.




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