Commercialization: January 2005 Archives

SpaceX On The Move

SpaceX starting small as it dreams of grand plans, Spaceflightnow.com

"SpaceX has been selling its small Falcon 1 rocket for $5.9 million and the beefed up Falcon 5 for $15.8 million, plus launch site Range fees, which is significantly cheaper than other American rockets available today with comparable lifting capacity."

X Prize Foundation Elects Three to Board of Trustees

"The X PRIZE Foundation today announced the election of three new members to its Board of Trustees: Larry Page, co-founder and president of Google, Inc.; Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) and co-founder and CEO of PayPal; and Jack Bader, CEO of NetEffects, Inc. and a St. Louis business leader."

Race for Next Space Prize Ignites, Wired

"With most of the other space entrepreneurs focused on suborbital flight, Musk is closest to the holy grail of manned commercial spaceflight: orbit. Although Falcon I, with its single Merlin engine, will be able to launch only small satellites, five Merlins will be mated to the first stage of the far more powerful Falcon V rocket, perhaps as early as this year. Falcon V, Musk told Wired News, will be able to carry at least five people into low Earth orbit."

Layoffs at Boeing Decatur

Boeing plans Decatur job cuts - Air Force penalty costs 100 positions in Delta program, Huntsville Times

"Boeing officials blamed the drop in production on the suspension of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program. In July 2003, the Air Force stripped Boeing of seven satellite launches worth $1 billion, giving them to Boeing's competitor, Lockheed Martin Corp., which makes the Atlas V rocket. The contract shift came after Boeing admitted two of its employees took documents from the Lockheed Martin Atlas V program."

Jeff Bezos' Rocket Ranch

Amazon founder unveils space center plans, MSNBC

"After years of work behind closed doors, Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos has gone public with a plan to build a suborbital space facility on a sprawling ranch under the wide open skies of West Texas."

Sloppy Procurement

NASA Presolicitation Notice: Electronic News Clipping Services

"Bulletin news, Inc. is unique in its ability to provide services fully customized to the exact needs of NASA, including coverage of NASA in general Aerospace, Aeronautics, Earth Science Spaace Sciences, Humannn Space Flight, Space Shuttle, and the International Space Stations."

Editor's note: Whoever wrote this sloppy solicitation (an official government document) surely did not spend a lot of time reading what they wrote. They also seem to think that there is more than one International Space Station.

7 January 2005: NASA Announces NSSC Sites Chosen by Offerors

"NASA released today the possible site locations for the NASA
Shared Services Center (NSSC) included in proposals received from
offerors."

8 January 2005: Newport News loses bid for NASA center, Daily Press

"Hampton Roads officials criticized the process, saying it was unfair to change the rules in midstream and was heavily influenced by the amount of state government subsidies. While Virginia contributed about $750,000, other states were reportedly prepared to spend millions."

8 January 2005: City is NASA center finalist, Huntsville Times

"Our quality of life and standard of education are, bar none, the best," she said. "We think we are in top position. We now just have to prove ourselves first-hand when they come to view" the city.

8 January 2005: Glenn Center is finalist to secure business hub, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"We know what a terrific location this area is, and we're glad that some others are recognizing it as well," said Julian Earls, director of the Glenn Center. "This is an important step forward and an indication of what we can accomplish as a community when we combine our talent, energy and resources."

8 January 2005: Orlando won't get NASA's new service center, Orlando Sentinel

"A spokesman for U.S. Rep. Ric Keller relayed the Orlando Republican's first response: "I can't believe the rocket scientists at NASA think a family would rather live in Cleveland than in Orlando."

Editor's note: This comment certainly represents clear ignorance (and arrogance) on Rep. Keller's part. NASA employees and their families have been living happily in Cleveland for half a century. Oh yes, then there's that little issue of a lack of regular, devastating hurricanes hitting Ohio.

6 January 2005: Modification to a Previous Presolicitation Notice: Study of the Small Satellite Market Given the Introduction of a Low Cost U.S. Small Launch Vehicle

"The synopsis is being cancelled because the requiring organization directed that the procurement action described in the original synopsis not be continued beyond the point of that synopsis."

Editor's note: I have asked the NASA MSFC procurement officer listed on this notice why it was cancelled.

29 December 2004: NASA Presolicitation Notice: Study of the Small Satellite Market Given the Introduction of a Low Cost U.S. Small Launch Vehicle, NASA MSFC

"NASA/MSFC has a requirement for a study of the small satellite market given the introduction of a low cost ($5M - $10M) U.S. small launch vehicle. NASA/MSFC intends to purchase the study from Commercial Space Technologies, Ltd. pursuant to FAR 13.106."

Editor's note: I am mystified as to why NASA MSFC is going offshore for this study by selecting Commercial Space Technologies, Ltd., a company located in the UK, when domestic companies such as the Teal Group and Futron have a long standing track record for such launch market studies. Oh yes, with regard to "a low cost ($5M - $10M) U.S. small launch vehicle", aren't we talking about SpaceX?

5 January 2005: Spacehab Appeals Decision for Losses on Space Shuttle Mission

"SPACEHAB announced that it filed an appeal last week with the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals regarding NASA's limited response to the Company's claim for the February 2003 loss of its Research Double Module (RDM) in the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy."


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