"A new Small Business Administration policy set to take effect on June 30th will allow NASA to continue to count contracts to Fortune 1000 firms towards their federally mandated 23 percent small business contracting goal. ... Under the new SBA policy, NASA can continue to include awards to firms such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin in their small business contracting statistics until the year 2012."
Commercialization: June 2007 Archives
"Through three new Space Act agreements, NASA is expanding cooperation with companies interested in commercializing access to space. The companies are developing capabilities to transport goods and people to low Earth orbit. NASA signed nonreimbursable Space Act agreements, which do not provide any government funding to the companies, with SpaceDev of Poway, Calif., SPACEHAB of Houston, and Constellation Services International (CSI) of Laguna Woods, Calif. The pacts establish milestones and objective criteria by which the companies can gauge their progress in developing orbital cargo transportation capabilities."
"The primary mission objectives for the Demo Flight 2 mission, both programmatic and technical, were met by this return to flight. The vehicle attained a peak altitude of 289 km, 5.1 km/s maximum velocity and remained in the center of the intended ground track throughout flight. An upper stage control anomaly, however, ultimately prevented it from reaching orbital velocity, an important, but secondary mission objective. .. Although eight anomalies have been identified (described in Section 3) by post-flight data analysis, the upper stage control anomaly was the only known issue that prevented this mission from achieving orbit."
NRO Spacecraft In Wrong Orbit, Aviation Week & Space Technology
"Two top secret National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) ocean surveillance spacecraft were fired into the wrong orbit June 15 when the 200-foot-tall Atlas V rocket they were riding on stopped firing too early in space following launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The top secret satellites separated safely from the malfunctioning booster, however, and have enough rocket propellant to continue their mission, an official said on background."
"United Space Alliance is disappointed that employees represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers have begun a strike action against the company. We believe our final contract offer was fair, competitive and responsive to union concerns, and we had hoped to reach an equitable agreement during our meeting with the IAM negotiating team on June 13. Unfortunately, the union's demands were well beyond what the company felt was reasonable or warranted. We continue to hope that the IAM members will reconsider their position."
"European aerospace company EADS on Wednesday unveiled a model of a jet designed to take tourists into space, rocketing paying passengers to weightlessness at more than 62 miles above the Earth. EADS Astrium said it hoped the space jet which looks much like a conventional aircraft although it is outfitted with rocket engines will be operational by next year, with the first flight scheduled for 2012. Tickets are expected to cost $199,000-$265,000, said the company, which displayed a full-scale model in Paris."
Commercial spaceflight, David Portree, EarthSky Blogs
"I think that the odds are against it mainly because piloted spaceflight is expensive and difficult. I think that its inevitable that, assuming any tourist spacecraft are built, one will fail early on and kill its wealthy passengers. When it does, the fledgling industry will die ... Newspace people like to use the early days of aviation as an analogy, but it doesnt make sense. Aviation worked because it provided a better way of accomplishing something people wanted done; that is, traveling quickly to and from cities and countries where they had business. Tourist spaceflight wont do anything similar any time soon."
Editor's note: People dismissed air travel (and train travel) in similarly disparaging terms when these new modes of transportation - to new destinations - were just emerging. This historian clearly hasn't read very much history. You can bury your head back in the sand now, David.
"On Saturday, June 2, the JP Aerospace team set up shop in the Nevada desert. Two platforms, Away 32 and Away 33, were carried aloft by balloon. These platforms were loaded. Each one was performing multiple tests and accomplished multiple mission objectives. Away 32 was the first in the air. It reached 94,000 feet with a fast climb rate of 1,300 feet per minute."