"Created with an appropriation of just under $10 million in FY2005, Centennial Challenges is currently returning highly leveraged and efficient research, development, and engineering benefits to NASA at extremely low costs and stands ready to accomplish even loftier goals if given additional funding. Unfortunately, although the House of Representatives voted to support the program in 2007, such funding was zeroed out in the 2007 Senate appropriations bill for NASA. If the program is to be restored to full funding, it must happen during Congressional conference deliberations in the final phase of the budget process."
Commercialization: November 2006 Archives
"Tyurin's golf shot was part of a demonstration for a commercially sponsored endeavor between a Canadian golf company and the Russian Federal Space Agency. The golf club and three balls were flown to the station on recent Russian Progress cargo ships. NASA's safety analysis showed that the balls will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and burn up in about three days. The balls weigh only about as much as three one-dollar bills."
"That drive went 1 billion miles (1.6 billion kilometers) or will by the time it eventually comes down in a couple years said Nataliya Hearn, the president of Element 21 Golf Company. The Toronto firm is paying the cash-starved Russian space agency an undisclosed amount for the golf stunt to promote its new golf club that includes a space-program-derived metal. That's a huge exaggeration, according to NASA's lead spacewalk flight director, Holly Ridings. She said NASA's calculations are that golf balls would only stay up two to three days, which would put the drive closer to a mere million miles (1.6 million kilometers)."
Editor's note: Either NASA's orbital mechanics math is (way) off or Element 21 Golf openly uses false information in its advertisements.
Fly Me to the Moon, Smart Money
"NASA has created Red Planet Capital, a venture-capital firm based in San Mateo, Calif., that'll support budding technologies that have applications for space exploration."
Va. Commercial Space Industry Poised for Takeoff, Washington Post
"If all goes as hoped, at about 7 a.m. Dec. 11, a new day in the local aerospace industry will begin when the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport launches a 69-foot, green and white Minotaur I rocket carrying satellites for the Air Force and NASA."
Bue Origin Blasts Off, MSNBC
"The hush-hush space effort funded by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, Blue Origin, executed a test launch from its West Texas spaceport today, air traffic controllers confirmed. Based on the Federal Aviation Administration documents governing the test, it was a relatively low-altitude blastoff - but itcomes at the beginning of a launch schedule thatcould lead to tourist rides to the edge of outer space by 2010."
Editor's note: Industry sources note that an announcement from Bigelow Aerospace and Lockheed Martin is forthcoming - perhaps very soon. The new announcement concerns the on-going work that Lockheed Martin and Bigelow have been doing regarding the launching of human-rated spacecraft aboard Atlas rockets. The initial announcement of this partnership was made at an AIAA meeting in San Jose in September. Stay tuned.
- Bigelow Aerospace and Lockheed Martin Agree to Study Human-qualified Atlas V Rocket for Entrepreneurial Space Development, September 2006 press release
"NASA makes history next week with the first live broadcasts from space in HDTV. NASA, in cooperation with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Discovery HD Theater and Japanese broadcast network NHK will produce the broadcasts on Nov. 15."
"Services will include daily operations and engineering support for the NASA Multi-Channel Digital Television Service and facility at NASA Headquarters and NASA Web Portal support. The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12."
"ClickStar and JPL have established a relationship to distribute space-related educational content about NASA missions managed by JPL-Caltech."