Commercialization: November 2012 Archives

NASA Headquarters Common Instrument Interface Guidelines for Hosted Payload Opportunities Working Meeting

"One day before the Common Instrument Interface working meeting, on December 12, 2012, the Hosted Payload Alliance (HPA) is hosting a Working Meeting from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the James E. Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters, 300 E Street, SW, Washington, DC, the same location as the CII meeting."

Keith's 15 Nov note: According to the HPA website this event is "for HPA members only". I find it rather odd that NASA uses its resources to put out a formal, official, government solicitation notice - one that includes an announcement for this meeting - one that uses public (government facilities) but that the public and media will not be allowed to attend. Moreover NASA doesn't even bother to tell anyone that this is a closed meeting or why it is closed.

Keith's 28 Nov update: The Hosted Payload Alliance contacted NASAWatch to note that "the note on the HPA website about the event being Members Only was an administrative error, and has been removed - this meeting is most definitely for the public, and has been planned as such from the beginning. Any and all individuals who would like to attend are more than encouraged.."

How the government can turbocharge private-sector innovation, Gigaom

"Traditionally, NASA attempts to commercialize and otherwise transfer the good work done in its research labs to the public by two means: directly auctioning its patents to the private sector, or maintaining the patents but actively choosing not to enforce them if doing so would impede innovation. NASA claims over 1,200 success stories in this regard, and there's plenty to show for it. But arguably no single NASA patent has had the same kind of market-disrupting effect that OpenStack has had merely by opening the doors to the community and letting the market drive development and adoption. That's food for thought."

Keith's note: Of course, NASA's response to the potential of OpenStack? NASA CIO Linda Cureton walked away from OpenStack - while industry has embraced it. And you wonder why NASA cannot figure out how to keep sensitive data off of laptops that are continually stolen? Clearly some management changes are needed in this regard. Check out her blog - its full superficial treatment of important IT issues and pop management babble. Clueless.

- NASA CIO Dumps NASA-Developed Open Stack, earlier post
- Previous IT posts

Asteroid miners hunt for platinum, leave all common sense in glovebox, Register

"But back to PGMs. We have something that we know the demand for, in the short term at least, is relatively insensitive to price. An increase in supply of as little as 250,000 ounces - seven metric tons - will drive the price down by a quarter. So instead of the $500m they were hoping for, our lads [at Planetary Resources] would only (yes, I know, "only") get $375m. Can we run a space programme on that? The more platinum they try to bring down from space the lower the price gets, and so even more has to be brought down to finance the whole shebang."

Summary of Rules and Requirements, Google Lunar X Prize

"The competition's grand prize is worth $20 million. To provide an extra incentive for teams to work quickly, the grand prize value will change to $15 million whenever a government-funded mission successfully explores the lunar surface, currently projected to occur in 2013."

China's Chang'e-3 to land on moon next year, China Daily

"Ma said the Chang'e-3 would probe and explore the lunar surface, and carry out various environmental and space technology related tests. It will spend 15 days on the moon to lay the foundations of what he called, further deep space exploration."

Chang'e 3, Wikipedia

Keith's note: None of the Google Lunar X Prize competitors will be capable of landing on the Moon during 2013, so it is a foregone conclusion that the prize will drop in value. Add in the lack of real (existing) flight hardware, firm and fully-funded launch contracts, and all other funding required to cover other mission aspects of launch and operations, and it is becoming increasingly unlikely that any of the teams will be able to meet the Prize's requirements by 31 December 2015. I would most certainly like to be proven wrong when someone lands on the Moon.

House Passes Bill to Extend the Commercial Space Transportation Liability Regime

"Today, H.R. 6586, a bill that provides a two-year extension to the existing commercial space launch indemnification regime, passed the House by voice vote under suspension of the rules. Under the Commercial Space Launch Act Amendments of 1988, a system was established that spreads the risk from a commercial space launch mishap or failure between the launch provider and the government for potential damages or losses concerning uninvolved public or property. It has been extended five times since its original enactment."

House Approves Bill to Extend Risk-Share Protection of Commercial Launch Companies

"Administration and industry witnesses provided compelling evidence that indemnification for third-party claims is needed to preserve a US commercial launch market," said Subcommittee Chairman Palazzo."

Keith's note: This action yesterday is rather important news for commercial space sector. Not a word from the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. What is it that they do again?

Citing SpaceX Threat, Lawmakers In France Urge Early Ariane 6 Start, SpaceNews (behind paywall)

"French Sen. Bruno Sido said to compare the SpaceX facility with the equivalent manufacturing operation of the Ariane 5 rocket, some of which is done in Les Mureaux, France, is to become fearful for the future of Europe's launch vehicle autonomy. "Visiting Les Mureaux is like entering an impressive laboratory," Sido said in a press briefing here. "Visiting SpaceX, which occupies an old factory that once belonged to Boeing, is like entering IKEA. This company has already won many contracts, is well-supported by NASA and is building low-cost launcher that constitutes a real and serious threat."


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