Commercialization: September 2010 Archives

Awards: NASA Launch Services II

"The NLS II contracts are multiple award, IDIQ contracts with an ordering period through June 2020. These contracts will provide a broad range of launch services for NASA planetary, earth-observing, exploration and scientific satellites. The NLS II contract procures domestic launch services with a minimum capability of delivering NASA satellites weighing 250 kilograms or more at an altitude of 200-kilometer circular orbit and a launch inclination of 28.5 degrees."

- Orbital Sciences Corporation
- Space Exploration Technologies
- Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company
- United Launch Services

Garver, Bolden Urge Passage of NASA Authorization, Space News

"Despite prescriptive language in the Senate bill that directs NASA to begin building a space shuttle-derived heavy-lift launch vehicle next year, Garver said the agency would work with stakeholders in Congress to determine an appropriate transportation architecture for exploration beyond low Earth orbit."

NASA's future looks bleak amid policy shift, Orlando Sentinel via LA Times

"Engineers at Kennedy Space Center in Florida are looking to build a rocket for a test flight in 2014, using the space shuttle's giant orange fuel tank, main engines and solid rocket boosters as mandated by the pending law. But program managers at NASA headquarters are looking at flying the Orion crew capsule aboard a commercial Delta IV heavy rocket, the kind used successfully by the military to put secret spy satellites into orbit, as early as 2013."

ULA: Light amid clouds, Decatur Daily

"The most lucrative project for ULA would be involvement in the heavy-lift rocket. As envisioned in the Constellation program, the heavy-lift was to have a 150-ton payload capacity, about five times the payload capacity of the Delta IV and four times the capacity of the Atlas V. A budget bill that passed the Senate recently prescribes a less ambitious heavy-lift rocket with at least a 75-ton capacity."

NASA Gets New Orders That Bypass the Moon, NY Times

"The next skirmish is likely to be over the design of that rocket. The new bill clearly envisions a rocket built of components used in the space shuttles and Constellation's soon-to-be-canceled Ares I rocket. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which wrote the bill, said in an accompanying report that it expected the rocket to include solid-fuel boosters like those of the shuttle or Ares I. Some NASA and administration officials have considered switching to the Delta IV and Atlas V rockets currently used to launch satellites for the Air Force. They believe those could be more efficient and less costly because they would avoid infrastructure used only for NASA launchings. Ms. Garver said that NASA would study all options, including the Delta IV and Atlas V. The legislation calls for NASA to report to Congress in 90 days with a plan for the heavy-lift rocket."

Delta IV Heavy is Cheaper Than Ares 1. Wow. Who Knew, earlier post

Orbital Technologies and RSC Energia to Launch World's First Commercial Space Station

"Orbital Technologies and Rocket and Space Corporation Energia (RSC Energria) announced today their intentions to build, launch, and operate the world's first Commercial Space Station (CSS). The station will be utilized by private citizens, professional crews as well as corporate researchers interested in conducting their scientific programs onboard the world's first commercially available human spaceflight platform."

An Inside Look at Dragon

SpaceX targets Nov. 8 launch for Falcon 9 and Dragon, Ken Kremer (with photos)

"SpaceX Corporation is retargeting the liftoff of the firm's next Falcon 9 rocket to early November. The launch includes the debut test flight of the first operational Dragon spacecraft built by SpaceX. Blast off would now take place about a week after the final scheduled flight of Space Shuttle Discovery - currently slated for Nov.1 - instead of a few days ahead that launch."

CSF Supports S.3729

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Strongly Supports Senate NASA Authorization Bill and Encourages Prompt Resolution Before New Fiscal Year Begins

"The Commercial Spaceflight Federation strongly supports Senate bill S.3729, the NASA Authorization Act of 2010, which has been approved unanimously by the Senate. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation urges that the House vote to pass the Senate bill immediately, before the new fiscal year begins on October 1."

A Tricorder For Future Sickbays

More Efficient Health Care on Earth and Beyond

"Engineers funded by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) are developing a system that will provide an accurate patient history, assist in treatment, and help astronauts be more efficient when providing medical care. Even though the integrated system is being developed for use in space, it can be used in many different locations, such as the emergency room, on the battlefield or at an accident scene."

SpaceX In The News

SpaceX CEO Musk comes to Washington to lobby for Obama's NASA strategy, Washington Post

"Our influence is a tiny fraction of any one of the giant contractors," he said. "We have one guy and an intern doing our lobbying in D.C. - they have whole buildings full of lobbyists." Musk is exaggerating, but only a bit. SpaceX has 15 lobbyists registered on its behalf, according to disclosure forms. By comparison, space giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin together employ more than 220 lobbyists and spent a combined $16 million on lobbying in the first six months of this year, the data show."

SpaceX Targets November for Dragon Demo Flight, SpaceNews

"Hawthorne, Calif.-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has shifted a planned Oct. 23 launch of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon cargo vessel to November."

NASA Solicitation: Human Rating Support for the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office - Recovery.gov

"JSC intends to reduce task order scope along with associated funding and value in the amount of $29,988 because one of the originally planned tasks cannot be accomplished. Task Order 2.1.9 is for contract NAS9-02078 for the Space Life Sciences Directorate's contributions to NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO). The services for this task order provide updates to an initial set of Commercial Human Systems Integration Requirements, to deliver a Commercial Medical Operations Requirements Document for use in commercial crew transportation services, and to deliver a set of design processes to provide guidance for commercial spacecraft designers. The work removed for this task order is the coordination with C3PO on private industry response to the draft Commercial Human System Integration Requirements (CHSIR). This work cannot be done because NASA has not yet chosen to issue the draft document to industry."

NASA Solicitation: Assessment for Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office - Recovery.gov

"NASA/JSC intends to issue a modification under the existing BPA NNJ08JF65Z; Call NNJ10JC56T for Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO)-led effort to assess the performance of C3PO's Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Commercial Partners (CP). This action shall add funding and extend the scope of the current task. ... Under this modification, the scope shall be extended to include assessments associated with 12 additional milestones for the same three CPs. These milestones are scheduled for completion in October through December 2010."

Job Opening: Florida Space Institute Director University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

"The Florida Space Institute, a multi-disciplinary center devoted to facilitating and conducting leading-edge applied and basic research and education programs in space-related fields, seeks applications and nominations for Director. FSI's goals include the development of university-wide cohesiveness in research programs and education for space science and engineering programs. UCF is committed to becoming a premier institution in space science, engineering, and education and is seeking a dynamic individual to implement that vision. The Director will work with faculty from the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Optics and Photonics, the College of Science and others with interests in space-related research."

IV&V Procurement News

NASA Solicitation: NASA Independent Verification and Validation Services

"NASA plans to issue a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Services in support of NASA's IV&V Facility in Fairmont, WV. NASA anticipates issuing an RFP for a full and open competition which will result in a single, Cost Plus Award Fee (CPAF) contract. The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12. The NAICS Code and Size Standard are 541330 and $27M, respectively."

NASA OIG Review of NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System

"The Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that the development of Tracking and Data Relay Satellites K and L is proceeding within planned cost, schedule, and performance requirements and that NASA project managers have implemented risk and earned value management processes to monitor and mitigate programmatic risks. However, the OIG found that NASA has not revised the reimbursable rates it charges government and non-government users of the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System or TDRSS since 2006 and that current program officials did not know what factors were used to formulate these rates. Therefore, NASA does not know, and the OIG could not determine, whether the rates NASA was charging its customers at the time of our audit were appropriate or reasonable."

NASA Solicitation: Horizontal Launch Study

"The Horizontal Launch Study (HLS) study will provide an assessment of horizontal launch architectures for several payload classes to access/service LEO for both military and civilian applications. HLS will open the trade space to several payload classes from micro to medium sized payloads and different staging scenarios from subsonic to supersonic separations speeds for each payload classes. HLS will identify architectures that support near term LEO mission capabilities along with identifying mid-term technology investment areas that will enable larger payloads and future capabilities."

Friday, September 17, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24) will host a meeting of local community leaders to discuss efforts to ensure that small businesses and start-up companies have accesses to federal economic development funding for the Space Coast provided through the Presidential Task Force on Space Industry Workforce and Economic Development. Kosmas will be joined by officials from Space Florida, the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast, and community bankers.

WTO critical of NASA payments to Boeing: report, MarketWatch

"A ruling by the World Trade Organization over whether Boeing received unfair government support centers on payments made to the company by the Department of Defense and NASA. The WTO has ruled that the payments are subsidies and that they've led to an unfair competitive advantage for Boeing,... .The European Union is claiming Boeing received some $24 billion in tax breaks, research help and expert rebates from the federal and state level in the U.S., giving it an advantage over European aerospace rival Airbus, whose parent company is EADS"

Keith's note: I think it is rather funny that the EU would complain about such things given their own overt practices when it comes to government subsidies, preferences, etc.

Boeing Plans Capsule to Fly Space Tourists, CBS

"Space Adventures, the company that brokered eight private flights to the International Space Station aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft, will work with Boeing Corp. to launch wealthy space tourists and other non-NASA fliers aboard a capsule under development by the U.S. aerospace giant, officials announced Wednesday. The Boeing CST-100 capsule, being designed to launch atop Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 rockets, Boeing's Delta 4 or the SpaceX Falcon 9, is intended to carry NASA and European Space Agency astronauts to and from the International Space Station under a NASA initiative to encourage development of private-sector spacecraft."


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