Thursday, November 30, 2006
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
In further response to Allen's inquiry, Chase noted that "WFF believes that they are competitive with other commercial spaceports available in the states of Texas, Oklahoma, California, and New Mexico."
The 2007 Virginia legislature convenes in January with recommendations being made to state legislators to pursue a study of the "business considerations" that "may" be impeding the nascent commercial suborbital launch providers from use of the Wallops Flight Facility/Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport.
Monday, November 27, 2006
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Saturday, November 25, 2006
When the Democratic-controlled Senate convenes Maryland US Senator Barbara Mikulski will become chairwoman of the appropriations subcommittee that oversees NASA's budget thanks to Senator-elect Jim Webb of Virgnia. Perhaps Wallops will have the political support it has need to gain the 'right stuff.'
Friday, November 24, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
The space agency has a short-term need to demonstrate capability to operate a human-rated mission outside of cislunar operations to a Lagrangian point, specifically, L2 to prove the flight hardware, software, and other technologies to enable humans to service the proposed location of the James Webb Space Telescope, and perhaps, the European Space Agency's Herschel Observatory and Gaia probe. The expensive space telescopes will need service capability similar to that of the low earth orbit Hubble Space Telescope. L2 is the near-perfect location to provide lunar Far Side communication satellite to Earth.
Translunar flight demonstration would demonstrate the flight worthiness of the Constellation systems specifically Orion. Flights to a translunar Lagrangian point and asteroids in Near Earth Orbit will give the space agency both experience in deeper space operations and enable development of technologies that may be used in both lunar and Martian ground operations.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Club maker Element 21 Golf Co. of Toronto is paying the Russians an undisclosed amount for Tyurin's time, which included plenty of practice swings aboard the space station. Tyurin's drive is expected to be one for the record books, though not everyone agrees on how long the ball will fly. NASA figures it will fall into Earth's atmosphere and be incinerated within three days. Element 21 Golf is betting on three years 2.1 billion miles, and several orbits of Earth.
The last golf shot in space was on the Moon by the late Apollo 14 Commander Alan B. Shapard, Jr. in 1971 going "miles and miles and miles" above the lunar surface (video).
Friday, November 17, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Tuesday the lower two stages of the Orbital Sciences built vehicle were placed on the launch pad. The top two stages are set for placement in two weeks. The Minotaur rocket will be on a rapid-response mission for the Air Force, carrying a tactical satellite known as TacSat 2.
While not the first orbital launch from Wallops Island, it is the first orbital launch from the commercial FAA-licensed spaceport MARS. Dr. Billie Reed, Executive Director of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority, announced ready for human suborbital launches in the future as per The Washington Post Tuesday.
One option is to add side-mounted boosters to "The Stick" while other NASA insiders are urging a totally new design. NASA Administrator Michael Griffin has yet to publicly speak on the matter. The vehicle is slated for its first human orbital flight in 2014.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
To Bea or not to Bea?
The 18-year-old daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York (Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson) and fifth in line to the United Kingdom throne, has reportedly accepted the invitation of David Clark, 24, son of wealthy New Yorker Michael Clark and a favorite young protege of Virgin billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.
Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York may be the first British Royal in space and help bring about greater social acceptance of space.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Republican and Democratic congressional aides say that they do not expect NASA’s support in the U.S Congress to change dramatically regardless of the 2006 election result.
Former Vice-President Al Gore has noted, however, that there will probably be a "complete reexamination and re-imagining of what space policy should be" after the 2008 election.
Meanwhile, Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin was campaigning in Texas for Democratic Congressional candidate Nick Lampson noting that he would "will be valuable in promoting NASA and the jobs surrounding the Johnson Space Center."
Space policy advocacy is becoming more important as critical federal decisions approach on space commercialization and return to the Moon. A new organization has formed called SpaceAdvocate.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
In the event of a launch abort at the pad, astronauts would ride the roll coaster rail car system from the vehicle to the ground in 18-seconds. While it was the more expensive option, it was the fastest means for astronauts to exit the vehicle to the ground in a launch abort mode.
It is known as the Emergency Egress Systems (EES) in NASA lingo.
NASA is asking vendors to submit design proposals for the coaster escape system. It’s expected to start this year with plans to start making the parts for the system in two years for installation sometime after 2008.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Friday, November 03, 2006
Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn, on the company website, says: "(Australia) will be our second location. With plenty of open space and proximity to the Asian market."