Commercialization: October 2004 Archives

Zoom Me Up Scotty

22 October 2004: Shatner aims for real 'Star Trek', CNN

"William Shatner wants to boldly go where he's only pretended to go so far. The "Star Trek" star is among more than 7,000 people who have told Richard Branson they would gladly pay him $210,000 (115,000) for a trip aboard his planned spacecraft, the entrepreneur said Friday."

20 October 2004: The First Revelations Of Genesis, Daily Planet, Discovery.ca

"NASA's Genesis space probe came to a crashing halt in the Utah desert. Join us to find out how such a small mistake could lead to such a huge crash. Hey, no one's perfect."

Interview with Keith Cowing, editor of NASA Watch.com Video (Windows Media)

Heads Up !

17 October 2004: Satellite hits building in China, UPI

"The capsule was part of a satellite that spent 18 days in orbit, the newspaper said. The rest of the satellite will continue orbiting, the Xinhua News Agency said."

15 October 2004: Genesis crash linked to upside-down design, New Scientist

"Sensors to detect deceleration on NASA's Genesis space capsule were installed correctly but had been designed upside down, resulting in the failure to deploy the capsule's parachutes. The design flaw is the prime suspect for why the capsule, carrying precious solar wind ions, crashed in Utah on 8 September, according to a NASA investigation board."

Editor's note: let's see - Lockheed Martin doesn't do an English/metric unit conversion and Mars Climate Orbiter hits the planet. Weeks later, Lockheed Martin does not do a full check of all systems and the shock of deploying its landing legs causes the engines to shut down and Mars Polar Lander crashes into Mars. More recently, Lockheed drops NOAA-N-Prime because someone forgot to bolt it down. Now this stupid mistake (which happened a number of years ago). Given the amount of business NASA gives LockMart, you'd think they have started to pay a little more attention to quality control after all these goof-ups.

X Prize Fever Continues

11 October 2004: X Prize group plans new series of contests, C|Net

"The X Prize Foundation , creator of the Ansari X Prize for space tourism, announced the new series of innovation contests this week after awarding its first prize to Paul Allen's Mojave Aerospace Ventures for piercing Earth's atmosphere twice in one week with its privately financed SpaceShipOne craft."

12 October 2004: Space Tourism Seeking Public Investors, AP

"[Walt Anderson, chief executive of the aerospace technology company Orbital Recovery Corp. and founder of the venture capital company Gold & Appel] asserted that those restrictions mean that the best and brightest are no longer coming to the United States to pursue careers in the space industry. "We have to keep in mind that the United States, while we've brought a lot of technology into the world, may no longer be the center of the universe for space forever," he said."

29 September 2004: First X prize flight completed, Nature

"Other experts remain dubious that today's flight will open space to the paying public quite so fast. "It's not gonna happen next week," says John Logsdon, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University in Washington DC."

Editor's note: John Logsdon is also an official space policy advisor to John Kerry's presidential campaign.

Can't We All Just Get Along?

11 October 2004: When good legislation goes bad, The Space Review

8 October 2004: House Passes Bill Extending Protection for Satellite Launches

"The indemnification provisions in H.R. 5245 were originally part of a larger bill, H.R. 3752, to make additional changes to the Commercial Space Launch Act. H.R. 3752 would have set up a new regulatory regime for private human space flight. The House and Senate are continuing to negotiate a compromise version of that bill."

7 October 2004: Suborbital legislation suddenly sinks, MSNBC

"Just days after SpaceShipOne's prize-winning flight opened the world's eyes to the prospect for private spaceflight, legislation that might have opened the way for paying passengers to get on board has sunk into a congressional black hole - at the urging of space entrepreneurs who were once its biggest supporters."

HR 3752

6 October 2004: [Staff Working Draft] H.R. 3752, 108TH Congress, 2D Session Purpose: To amend chapter 701 of title 49, United States Code, with respect to suborbital commercial space flight.

They're Ba-ack

Dan Tam Appointed as Kistler Aerospace Chief Financial Officer

"[Tam] was Deputy Program Manager of the International Space Station Program, where he was responsible for all business requirements and performance. He also served as Assistant to the NASA Administrator, leading the Agency effort to increase and accelerate the commercial uses and applications of high-leveraged and high-priced national assets."

Editor's note: Let us not forget Dan Tam's other notable achievements while at NASA: Dreamtime and multi-billion dollar ISS cost overruns. Meanwhile, word has it that Dan Goldin has also been advising Kistler (and JAXA as well along with Sam Veneri, Dan Mulville, and Jeff Lawrence). This must be a hobby for Mr. Goldin. He certainly doesn't need the money -after Boston University paid him &1.7 million not to show up for work.

(Very Rich) Geeks in Space

6 October 2004: Geeks in space C|Net.com

"Whether you blame the Apollo moon landings, Isaac Asimov, "Star Trek" or the sheer giddiness of all that instant money, it's clear that wealthy tech celebrities have the space bug. The list of IT veterans turned space junkies includes Allen, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, PayPal founder Elon Musk and Id Software's John Carmack, to name a few."

6 October 2004: SpaceX Transfers Falcon Rocket to Vandenberg Launch Complex

"SpaceX is developing a family of launch vehicles intended to increase the reliability and reduce the cost of access to space by a factor of ten. Located in El Segundo, California, the company was founded by Elon Musk in June 2002"

7 October 2004: House Passes Rohrabacher Resolution Honoring X Prize Recipients, House Science Committee

"By a voice vote, the House of Representatives last night approved a resolution introduced by Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) congratulating Mojave Aerospace Ventures for winning the X Prize and commending the X Prize Foundation for spurring this achievement."

6 October 2004: Spacehab Receives Response from NASA Regarding Claim for Losses on Space Shuttle Mission

"NASA's determination states that its liability is limited to the contractually-stipulated $8.0 million contract provision. The Company is pursuing receipt of the $8.0 million plus interest from NASA in this fiscal quarter." ... "SPACEHAB is evaluating whether it will pursue an appeal. In addition to an appeal, SPACEHAB has other legal recourse it can pursue. Once an assessment of its options is complete, SPACEHAB will make a formal announcement of its decision."

SpaceShipOne Wins X-Prize

Earlier today SpaceShipOne made its second flight in less than two weeks. The vehicle passed 100 km and, at a maximum altitude of 368,000 feet, passed an altitude record set by NASA's X-15 forty years ago. Today's flight was flown by pilot Brian Binnie. Even Google made note of the event (R)

4 October 2004: NASA Congratulates SpaceShipOne's X Prize Win

"NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today congratulated the SpaceShipOne team on the third successful flight of a private human spacecraft. The team also wins the $10 million X Prize competition."

3 October 2004: 2nd SpaceShipOne Launch is GO for October 4th

"The X PRIZE has just received official notice from Burt Rutan that SpaceShipOne's second flight (X2) will take place Monday morning, October 4th."

3 October 2004: Can Do Private Space Companies Set Tone for Future Spaceflight, SpaceRef

"In a time where America finds itself rebuilding its public manned space program after the Columbia tragedy and trying to build on the presidents new vision for space exploration, can do private space companies are helping to set the tone for future spaceflight."

3 October 2004: Burt provides some preliminary information about the rolling motions seen on the First X-Prize Flight

3 October 2004: Canadian Ansari X PRIZE Team Receives Government Approval to launch into Space

"The Golden Palace.com Space Program Powered by the da Vinci Project announced today that it has received full authorization approval from the Canadian government to launch its manned flights to space." "This is a major step toward our upcoming flights. Our team and Canada is on the forefront of putting the 2nd private manned spacecraft in the world into space", said Brian Feeney. The manned launch approval is for planned flights to space that will be conducted from Kindersley, Saskatchewan."


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