Marc Boucher: July 2012 Archives

SpaceRef and the Secure World Foundation Enter Agreement on Multimedia Content Distribution, SpaceRef

"SpaceRef Interactive Inc. and the Secure World Foundation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the purpose of disseminating original multimedia content from Secure World Foundation events. The first event to be distributed through SpaceRef's network is the Secure World Foundation release of the 2012 Space Security Index Executive Summary."

Marc's note: As of yesterday SpaceRef is now using a new provider, MailChimp, for our mailing lists. With the change we'll better able to respond to the needs of our readers. The upgrade includes a switch from our text based newsletter to an HTML based newsletter although you can opt to receive text only. We'll use a basic design for now, but will upgrade and enhance the newsletter as we go forward. We currently send out a weekday newsletter and breaking news as it happens. Out list is never shared or sold to anyone. You can opt-out at any time. If you're not on our mailing list why not join now?

- Join the SpaceRef network mailing list which includes NASA Watch updates.

- Join the SpaceRef Canada mailing list.

Solar Science as Art

It's Science and Art, the Solar Data Van Gogh Effect (With video), SpaceRef

"According to NASA it's pure science and not art. But when Nicholeen Viall, a solar scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center created a new data visualization technique, the resulting solar images were reminiscent of a Van Gogh painting."

Marc's note: The announcement of who will get selected for the next round of CCiCap could be as early as later this week, though more likely next week. The question is who will get funded. We know that NASA can select up to three companies to fund, two fully, one half funded. NASA does not need to select three companies. But based on previous NASA statements you could argue they will select three companies. One important factor is the funding level available to them. What do you think? Who will get funded? Vote in our poll.

Misleading KSC Video

RESOLVE rover short for Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatiles ExtractionResolve Rover Begins Testing, NASA KSC

Marc's note: With the Shuttle retirement the Kennedy Space Center has been active in promoting itself and what it can offer. That's good and as it should be. However its latest video promoting a rover "NASA is developing" at KSC is misleading in that it does not mention once its partner in the project, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). The video makes it sound like it's an all NASA project being worked on at KSC. Most of the video was shot during a media opportunity last month at KSC which included CSA personel, one of which appears in the video. Currently the RESOLVE mission is in Hawaii conducting tests on Mauna Kea through July 20. What is the CSA contributing? Well here's the list:

- The Artemis Junior terrestrial rover will serve as the semi-autonomous mobile platform for payloads, including NASA instruments designed to prospect for water ice and other lunar resources; Destin, a versatile onboard drill and sample transfer system; and Q6 Stack, an avionics suite consisting of a powerful, low-mass and low- power hybrid processors and interface modules, which will control the RESOLVE system.

Whoever wrote the script at KSC PAO has some explaining to do.

Earlier press releases:

- Rover's Exploration May Lead to Deep Space, NASA
- The Canadian Space Agency and NASA Test Lunar Technologies, Canadian Space Agency

XCOR Aerospace and Midland Development Corporation announce establishment of XCOR's new commercial spaceflight R&D center headquarters

"The Midland Development Corporation (MDC) and XCOR Aerospace jointly announced today the establishment of XCOR's new Commercial Space Research and Development Center Headquarters that will be created over the next eighteen (18) months. XCOR manufactures reusable rocket engines for major aerospace prime contractors and is the designer, manufacturer and operator of the Lynx, a winged fully reusable, high performance suborbital space vehicle that is designed to safely carry two persons or scientific experiments to the edge of space and back up to four times per day."

Keith's update: There will be a media telecon at 3:00 pm EDT today. Live tweeting at @NASAWatch

Raytheon Marks 90 Years of Customer Focus, Technology and Innovation Leadership, Raytheon

"This month, Raytheon Company celebrates its 90th anniversary as a technology and innovation leader. Founded July 7, 1922, as the American Appliance Company in Cambridge, Mass., Raytheon through the generations has developed solutions for some of the most challenging requirements by tapping into a spirit of perpetual innovation and dedication to core values and customer success."

"A Raytheon-MIT guidance computer enabled Apollo 11 in its journey, and its on-board microwave tube transmitted radio and TV signals to Earth, enabling millions to witness history live when astronauts Neil Armstrong and Colonel Edwin Aldrin stepped onto the moon."

Marc's note: There is a rumour circulating that SpaceX had pulled itself out of the running for CCiCap funding. I have confirmed with SpaceX that this rumour is false.

U.S. Experts on China's Space Program Agree There Is No Race, Space Policy Online

"China's successful Shenzhou-9 mission seems to have stirred interest in what impact, if any, China's space program should have on the U.S. space program. Several experts on Chinese space activities have spoken at public meetings or published op-ed pieces in the past two weeks weighing in on the topic. One issue on which they all agree is that there is no U.S.-China space race."

NASA and Excalibur Almaz Inc. Complete Space Act Agreement, NASA

"During this unfunded Space Act Agreement with EAI, NASA learned valuable information about how the company plans to upgrade the existing capsule with modern flight capabilities," CCP Manager Ed Mango said. "We commend the EAI team for completing all of their established milestones during this partnership."

Marc's note: What happens now that Excalibur Almaz has completed its unfunded CCDev2 contract? Based on previous selections in the commercial crew program, and knowing only 2 1/2 proposals will be selected in the next round, it seems unlikely Excalibur Almaz will get funded. So it would seem Art Dula and co. will have to continue self-funding the project.

Marc's note: Last Friday SpaceRef upgraded its site search engine which is now available on NASA Watch, SpaceRef, Commercial Space Watch and SpaceRef Canada.

The new site search includes content from these SpaceRef web sites: NASA Watch, SpaceRef, SpaceRef Canada, Commercial Space Watch, OnOrbit, The Astrobiology Web and NASA Hack Space. I think you'll find the search very responsive and accurate and is updated continually.

Federal Government Operating Status Washington, DC, Area, OPM

"Federal agencies in the Washington, DC, area are OPEN and employees have the OPTION for UNSCHEDULED LEAVE OR UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK."

Marc's update: NASA Goddard is now under Code Blue.

Expedition 31 Lands

ISS Expedition 31 Crew Lands Safely, NASA (With landing video.)

"Three members of the Expedition 31 crew undocked from the International Space Station and returned safely to Earth Sunday, July 1, wrapping up a mission that lasted six-and-a-half months."

"Russian Commander Oleg Kononenko, NASA Flight Engineer Don Pettit and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers landed their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft in Kazakhstan at 3:14 a.m. CDT (2:14 p.m. local time) after undocking from the space station's Rassvet module at 11:47 p.m. June 30. The trio, which arrived at the station Dec. 23, 2011, spent a total of 193 days in space, 191 of which were aboard the station."



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