Commercialization: August 2009 Archives

New Space Vs Old Space

Start-Ups Are Poised For Latest Space Race, Wall Street Journal

"In America's latest space race, a new breed of scrappy entrepreneurs could be facing off against some of the government's largest, long-established aerospace contractors. The Obama administration is leaning toward outsourcing major components of its space program, such as ferrying cargo and astronauts to the International Space Station. The scale and nature of sending this type of work to private contractors, unheard of in the history of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, could help the administration cope with an increasingly dire budget situation and fill crucial gaps in its program."

NASA Solicitation: Corporate Executive Board - Real Estate Executive Board

"NASA/HQ plans to issue a purchase order for a 1-year membership to participate on the Real Estate Executive Board (REEB), a program of the Corporate Executive Board. The membership in Corporate Executive Board provides full access rights to a wide range of government and senior business leaders to understand the business drivers relating to real property portfolio management. The unique cross-functional perspective allows members to lend a strategic perspective to real estate research that reflects enterprise-wide concerns. The REEB research methodology focuses on the case study approach, providing insights into proven practices from real estate leaders and highlighting actual results, key economic rationales, and business imperatives. Members obtain the latest insights to pressing issues and business challenges across the industry. Membership provides access to the REEB databases, which is a collection of industry metrics relating to real property portfolio management."

Keith's note: Is NASA thinking of running its field centers like commercial real estate properties? Fascinating.

First Meeting of Suborbital Researchers Group Focuses on Innovative Research & Education Missions

"This week, the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG), an advisory committee of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, met at the Boulder, Colorado campus of the Southwest Research Institute to discuss the research and education potential of the new generation of commercial suborbital vehicles. The multi-disciplinary committee discussed a variety of possible missions, ranging from fluid-mechanics experiments and atmospheric sampling to life sciences research and low-cost student-built payloads. SARG chair Dr. S. Alan Stern, who has previously held the top science position at NASA Headquarters, stated, "SARG recognizes as a committee of researchers across many scientific and engineering fields that the frequent, fast, and low cost access to space that the next-gen piloted suborbital capabilities offer, make these vehicles a true scientific game changer. Their potential for research, training, education, and public outreach from space is simply stunning."

Ares Needs a Death Panel, Space Frontier Foundation

"For over a decade, we've said that continuing to try and develop new government rockets costs too much and delays human exploration beyond Earth orbit," added co-Founder Rick Tumlinson. "Pouring more money into Ares now is the equivalent of giving a taxpayer-funded I.V. to a corpse. Instead, let's use those funds to give birth to a new and vibrant space transport industry that might actually make money and open the space frontier to everyone."

Excalibur Almaz Debuts

Excalibur Almaz to Pioneer Private Orbital Manned Space Flight In cooperation with NPOM of Russia

"Excalibur Almaz Limited (EA), an international space exploration company, today announced plans to open up a new era of private orbital space flight for commercial customers, using updated elements of the "Almaz" space system originally developed by JSC MIC NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia. Realization of EA's project with technical assistance from NPOM will allow regular access to and from space. This project joins Russian space technology expertise with an international private enterprise to create a commercial offering of orbital spaceflight services for global customers. EA plans to offer week-long orbital space flights beginning as early as 2013 - taking a big leap beyond the sub-orbital flight market targeted by most other private space companies. In addition to NPOM, other leading aerospace firms in the U.S., Europe and Japan will provide technical support for EA's space flight operations."

Beating swords into plough shares with Soviet Almaz, SpaceflightNow

"The previously top secret reusable reentry vehicle for the Soviet "Almaz" manned military space station will form the backbone of a major new U.S./Russian commercial venture to carry paying research crews on one week missions into Earth orbit by 2013. The reusable reentry vehicle (RRV) venture is being announced today at MAKS, the annual Moscow Air Show at Ramenskoye air base."

ITAR Review Announced

U.S. business welcomes Obama export control review, Reuters

"U.S. high-technology exporters on Friday welcomed President Barack Obama's decision to undertake a comprehensive review of U.S. export controls rooted in Cold War fears of the former Soviet Union.
"The economic and security challenges our country faces continue to grow more complex, and we must have a modern export control system that protects U.S. technology while allowing us to cooperate and trade with our close allies and partners," Marion Blakey, president of the Aerospace Industries Association, said in statement."

Obama Review Panel Endorses Commercial Human Space Flight Options, Next Step in Space Coalition

"During what may be the last public meeting, the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, commissioned by President Obama to study current U.S. human space flight plans, there was a strong consensus for funding a robust commercial human space flight program to provide human space transportation to low Earth orbit (LEO). Included in virtually every option presented was providing $2.5 billion over four years starting in FY2011 to support development of commercial human space transport capabilities. The panel also discussed options that included commercially-provided heavy lift capabilities for space exploration beyond LEO."

White House Review Committee Expresses Strong Support for Commercial Spaceflight, Commercial Spaceflight Federation

"During this week's hearing of the White House Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, members of the Committee expressed broad support for expanding the role of commercial spaceflight for delivery of cargo and crew to the International Space Station. MIT professor Ed Crawley, a member of the Committee, stated during the August 12th public hearing that there is a strong consensus among the Committee that the government should support a vigorous program of developing commercial crew transportation, in addition to the existing COTS program for commercial cargo to the Space Station."

Southwest Research Institute organizes first NASTAR Suborbital Space Scientist Training course for future research astronauts

"Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), working with The National AeroSpace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center, is leading a program that will provide spaceflight physiology training for prospective scientist-astronauts wishing to fly on upcoming suborbital space missions. The SwRI-NASTAR Suborbital Space Scientist course, which is similar to training courses used by the space tourism industry, will be taught to a select set of a dozen scientists, graduate students and educators from U.S. research and educational institutions and is designed to acquaint and qualify individuals with the physiological rigors of suborbital human spaceflight. Before organizing the course, SwRI's Dr. Alan Stern and Dr. Daniel Durda visited The NASTAR Center in June 2009 to survey its facilities; Stern then invited various leaders in the new field of human suborbital Research and Education Missions (REM) to participate."

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Creates Scientific Advisory Panel - Focused on Suborbital Research Applications

"The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce the creation of the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG), composed of experienced scientists, researchers, and educators dedicated to furthering the research and education potential of suborbital reusable launch vehicles under development by the commercial spaceflight sector. The panel is chaired by Dr. S. Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute, a space scientist who previously served as head of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. The members of the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG) are aiming to increase awareness of commercial suborbital vehicles in the science and R&D communities, to work with policymakers to ensure that payloads can have easy access to these vehicles, and to further develop ideas for the uses of these vehicles for science, engineering, and education missions."

NASA JSC Solicitation: Recovery Act - Commercial Crew Development

"NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program is applying Recovery Act funds to stimulate efforts within the private sector to develop and demonstrate human spaceflight capabilities. These efforts are intended to foster entrepreneurial activity leading to job growth in engineering, analysis, design, and research, and to economic growth as capabilities for new markets are created. By developing commercial crew service providers, NASA may be able to reduce the gap in U.S. human spaceflight capability. All ARRA funded activities must comply with its provisions and will conclude no later than September 30, 2010. The program intends to solicit proposals from all interested U.S. industry participants to mature the design and development of commercial crew spaceflight concepts and associated enabling technologies and capabilities. NASA plans to use its Space Act authority to invest up to $50 million dollars in multiple competitively awarded, funded agreements. This activity is referred to as Commercial Crew Development, or CCDev."

New Members Join Next Step in Space Coalition

"The Next Step in Space Coalition, a group of businesses, organizations, and people working to ensure the future of US human spaceflight, announced today that its membership has grown to include a diverse set of businesses and organizations, including Google, Inc., Analytic Graphics Inc., the Space Coast Economic Development Commission and the National Space Society. With its new members, the Next Step in Space Coalition now includes large aerospace companies like Sierra Nevada Inc., Analytic Graphics and SpaceX, as well as smaller companies such as Odyssey Moon and Space Adventures. Also pledging their support are space related organizations including Space Florida and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation."

Final Memorandum on Review of Wheeling Jesuit University Cost Proposals

"We found that NASA inappropriately approved, obligated, and partially expended more than $4 million of facility and administrative (F&A) costs because NASA grant officers in charge of the WJU agreements did not adequately review WJU's cost proposals. Specifically, the grant officers failed to note that WJU had included F&A costs as direct costs in its cost proposals to NASA. During our interviews with NASA grant officers assigned to review the WJU agreements, they stated that they were not sufficiently familiar with the definitions and allocation of direct and F&A costs to adequately exercise due diligence to ensure proposal costs were allowable, allocable, and reasonable under the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21, "Cost Principles for Educational Institutions" (Revised August 8, 2000) (Circular A-21)."


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This page is an archive of entries in the Commercialization category from August 2009.

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