Commercialization: May 2005 Archives

SpaceX Test Fires Falcon 1 Engine (includes movie)

"SpaceX conducted a successfull test firing of its Falcon 1 rocket on Friday at Vandenberg Air Force Base. While the engines were running for only 5 seconds - this milestone represented a big step for the new rocket maker none the less. The next big step is the launch of the rocket. SpaceX is constrained by DoD customers awaiting launch at VAFB. At a recent Washington appearance at the ISDC, Musk said he expected the launch to be in late July or early August."

Orbital Announces Investigation

Orbital says subject of federal probe, Reuters

Orbital Sciences offices searched by federal agent, Washington Bussines Journal

Orbital's Contracting Procedure, Washington Post

"Rocket maker Orbital Sciences Corp. said today that federal agents executed search warrants yesterday at its Dulles headquarters and its Arizona manufacturing facility near Phoenix."

Joyous Noise at ISDC

Conflict at Space Confab, Wired

"Perhaps space entrepreneur Bob Richards summed up the tenor of the new spaceflight industry best during the ISDC's closing presentation. He likened the squabbling of its participants to the cacophony of an orchestra warming up; once in tune, the noise will turn to music, and space will never be the same."

NASA Solicitation: Parabolic Flight Services (Zero Gravity Corporation)

"Zero Gravity Corporation is a unique organization that has a FAA certified aircraft to supply 2 reduced Gravity Flights for approximately 2.0 - 3.0 hours per flight. There is no other organization in the Parabolic Flight Services industry that can provide such a unique requirement of reduced Gravity Parabolic Flights."

Editor's note: It is good that NASA is (finally) going to the private sector for such services. However, have a look at the services offered by Atlas Aerospace. Perhaps the procurement notice should have read "no other domestic organization..."

Editor's note: Saturday's planned Hotfire of SpaceX's Falcon 1 has been postponed - pending range availability. A ground facility valve that supplied start helium to the turbopump was closed when it should have been open. As a result, SpaceX had to empty the LOX tank. Unfortunately, the LOX supplier failed to show up that day to refill the LOX supply tanks, causing SpaceX to scrub the day's attempt.

tSpace Model at ISDC

Editor's note: tSpace has an impressive full scale mock up of its 6 person CEV concept at the ongoing International Space Development Conference.

Compare these images with this large image collection of Russia's proposed Klipper Soyuz replacement.

Northrop Grumman Expands Washington Space Systems Operations - Appoints Alan Ladwig

"Alan Ladwig has been appointed Manager of Washington Operations, Space Systems Business Development to lead and manage this new office for the company's Integrated Systems sector. He brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in senior management positions with NASA, commercial space companies, media companies and non-profit organizations."

IV&V Winners

NASA Selects Firms for Software Verification and Validation

"NASA has selected Northrop Grumman Information Technology, Falls Church, Va., and Titan Corporation, Reston, Va. for the Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) of Software Services."

NSSC Goes to Stennis

NASA Selects Provider for Shared Services Center

"NASA announced selection today of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) of Falls Church, Va., as the prime contractor to support the NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC). CSC selected the Stennis Space Center, Miss., as the location for the NSSC. The total value of the contract, including all options, is approximately $230 million over the 10-year performance period."

- Special Notice: NASA Shared Services Center, NASA HQ

- NASA picks Stennis for project, Huntsville Times
- Stennis scores NASA project, The Advocate
- Ohio loses out to Mississippi for new NASA center, AP
- Brook Park's NASA Glenn Research Center has been passed over, Ahron Beacon Journal
- Stennis selected as site for NASA service center, AP
- CSC To Support New NASA Center, News Factor
- Stennis lands NASA shared services center, Sun Herald
- Shared Services Center Goes Elsewhere, WAFF

More on BoLockMart

Boeing, Lockheed hoping review done by year's end, Huntsville Times

"Keith Cowing, a former NASA employee and editor of the space agency watchdog Web site,, said he doesn't see how continuing to build two rocket lines will save the government any money or be more efficient. "How many billions did the government put in to develop these launch vehicles to begin with?" Cowing asked. "And how will it save money, if they eliminate the whole spark of competition? It defies logic. "If there was true competition one of these companies would go out of business."

Presolicitation Notice: NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Analysis of Impact of NASA Technology Innovations

"NASA has been issued over 6,300 patents; nearly one in a thousand of all patents ever issued by the U.S. Patent Office (since 1790). NASA's programs have also resulted in at least 1400 commercial products, which have benefited the nation's economy.Thousands of lives have been saved through NASA's programs, e.g. search and rescue, or the quality of life of individuals has been significantly improved (e.g. cool suits)."

Editor's note: I'll bet that this true NASA spinoff and commercial application was unknown to the people who released the ESMD solicitation ...

Studies of adult stem cells expanded with NASA-created techniques indicate the cells do not turn cancerous

"Regenetech Inc., a Houston-based, adult-stem-cell company, said today recent scientific studies of adult stem cells expanded with its NASA-created techniques indicate the cells do not turn cancerous."

Editor's note: I'll bet they did not know about this either: NASA NANO 2005 Conference.

Earlier post: Stale Spinoffs: Tang and Teflon Anyone?

SpaceX Awarded $100 Million Contract From U.S. Air Force for Falcon I

"Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) has been awarded a $100 million IDIQ contract by the U.S. Air Force/Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC Detachment 12) for Responsive Small Spacelift (RSS) launch services."

Boeing, Lockheed Martin to Form Launch Services Joint Venture

"Both of our companies have developed versions of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) in collaboration with the Air Force and have flown them successfully," said Boeing President, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer James A. Bell. "By joining together we are convinced that we can provide the customer with assured access to space at the lowest possible cost while ensuring enhanced reliability by eliminating duplicate infrastructure and bringing experts from both companies to focus on mission assurance."

Editor's note:Wasn't at least part of whole idea in having TWO companies providing EELVs to foster some competition - and therefore cost savings for the prime customer (U.S. government) who also paid a hefty portion of what it cost to develop both companies' rockets?

Lockheed Martin Employee Memo: Formation of New Joint Venture

"The new enterprise, to be called United Launch Alliance (ULA), brings together Lockheed Martin's Atlas and Boeing's Delta programs, combining all of the production, engineering, test and launch operations associated with these systems. This agreement, upon closing, is also structured to bring an end to the pending civil litigation between the two companies."

Editor's note:Certainly sounds like a monopoly in the making to me.



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This page is an archive of entries in the Commercialization category from May 2005.

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