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  • Honeywell Teams With Saudi Oger And GDC Technics

    Aviation Week - Aerospace Defense, Business & Commercial News
    1 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Honeywell Aerospace scored two firsts for the region at the recent Middle East Business Aviation show in Dubai when it signed up construction and management giant Saudi Oger as the launch customer in the region for its Boeing Business Jet avionics maintenance plan, and an unnamed launch customer for its BBJ 131-9B auxiliary power unit maintenance plan. It also appointed Arab-owned, U.S.-based GDC Technics to retrofit its JetWave satellite communications system in Airbus and Boeing VIP aircraft. read more
  • N. Korea slams UN vote, vows to bolster nuclear capacity

    Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
    20 Dec 2014 | 12:11 pm
    Seoul (AFP) Dec 20, 2014 North Korea on Saturday vowed to bolster its nuclear capacity, slamming a UN resolution calling for it to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over its human rights record. The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution by a strong majority that asks the Security Council to refer North Korea to the ICC and to consider targeted sanctions against the Pyongyang leader
  • Typhoon Shoved Car-Size Boulders Onto Philippine Beaches

    Discovery News
    22 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    Boulders the size of stretch limousines were moved by storm waves during Super Typhoon Haiyan.
  • The JAS-39 Gripen: Sweden’s 4+ Generation Wild Card

    DID: Department of Defense News, Procurement, Acquisition & Contracting, National Security Policy
    Joe Katzman
    16 Dec 2014 | 1:23 pm
    South African JAS-39D(click to view full) As a neutral country with a long history of providing for its own defense against all comers, Sweden also has a long tradition of building excellent high-performance fighters with a distinctive look. From the long-serving Saab-35 Draken (“Dragon,” 1955-2005) to the Mach 2, canard-winged Saab-37 Viggen (“Thunderbolt,” 1971-2005), Swedish fighters have stressed short-field launch from dispersed/improvised air fields, world-class performance, and leading-edge design. This record of consistent project success is nothing short of…
  • Kepler Spacecraft Finds New ‘Super-Earth’ 180 Light-Years Away

    NYT > Space & Cosmos
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:01 pm
    The planet, about two and a half times the size of Earth, is in a category of planets called super-Earths that do not exist in our solar system.
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    Aviation Week - Aerospace Defense, Business & Commercial News

  • Honeywell Teams With Saudi Oger And GDC Technics

    1 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Honeywell Aerospace scored two firsts for the region at the recent Middle East Business Aviation show in Dubai when it signed up construction and management giant Saudi Oger as the launch customer in the region for its Boeing Business Jet avionics maintenance plan, and an unnamed launch customer for its BBJ 131-9B auxiliary power unit maintenance plan. It also appointed Arab-owned, U.S.-based GDC Technics to retrofit its JetWave satellite communications system in Airbus and Boeing VIP aircraft. read more
  • RUAG Completes Europe’s First Falcon 2000 Pro Line 21 Upgrade

    1 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    RUAG Aviation recently completed the first upgrade in Europe of a Falcon 2000 with Rockwell Collins Pro Line 21 avionics replacing the aircraft’s Pro Line 4 cockpit. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and FAA-approved upgrade is also available for the Falcon 2000EX. RUAG carried out the upgrade at its Lugano, Switzerland, facility during a 3C inspection, which was itself the first performed at that location.  read more
  • Jet-A and Avgas Fuel Prices Table

    1 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) will invest more than $1 billion in research and development over the next 4 1/2 years to develop the next generation of high-performance aircraft engines, the company announced in early December. The investment includes a $300 million repayable contribution from the government of Canada under the Strategic Aerospace and Defense Initiative program. read more
  • Turbomeca Marks Two Major Milestones

    1 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Two major milestones coincided within days of each other at Turbomeca, the French manufacturer of helicopter engines: the 40th anniversary of the first flight of its Arriel engine, and the entry into service of its latest engine, the Arrius 2B2 Plus. The Arrius B2B Plus entered service this month on an Airbus Helicopter EC135 T3 with Italian mountain rescue operator Aiut Alpin Dolomites.  read more
  • Vincent Tchengang to Head ACJC

    1 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Vincent Tchengang, formerly Airbus regional sales director covering airlines in Africa and the Indian Ocean, has joined the Airbus Corporate Jet Center (ACJC) as its new head of services sales. He will manage a team of sales directors dedicated to VIP services marketing worldwide.
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    Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense

  • N. Korea slams UN vote, vows to bolster nuclear capacity

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:11 pm
    Seoul (AFP) Dec 20, 2014 North Korea on Saturday vowed to bolster its nuclear capacity, slamming a UN resolution calling for it to be referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over its human rights record. The UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution by a strong majority that asks the Security Council to refer North Korea to the ICC and to consider targeted sanctions against the Pyongyang leader
  • 3 countries eye pooled acquisition, operation of airlifters

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:11 pm
    Brussels (UPI) Dec 19, 2014 Three member countries of the European Defense Agency are preparing to negotiate with Airbus Defense and Space for pooled acquisition of transport aircraft. The Netherlands, Poland and Norway are looking at 2019 for attaining initial operating capability of the A330 MRTT transport and air-to-air refueling aircraft they wish to procure. "This initiative, facilitated by the Europea
  • Few options for US in response to North Korea hack

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:11 pm
    Washington (AFP) Dec 19, 2014 President Barack Obama vowed Friday to punish North Korea for hacking a Hollywood studio, but Washington's options are limited and Pyongyang's economic weakness is a surprising strength. No one expects the United States to launch a military strike against a nuclear-armed provocateur, but sanctions against its tiny economy or cyber attacks on its ramshackle Internet would achieve little.
  • China protests US frigate sale to Taiwan

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:11 pm
    Beijing (AFP) Dec 19, 2014 China on Friday said it had lodged a formal complaint with the United States over its approval of frigate sales to Taiwan and called for an end to arms sales to the island Beijing claims as a renegade territory. The US Congress passed a bill authorising President Barack Obama to transfer up to four Perry-class guided missile frigates to Taipei. China's Central News Agency reported from W
  • Army orders hundreds of Oshkosh trucks, trailers

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:11 pm
    Oshkosh, Wis. (UPI) Dec 19, 2014 The U.S. Army has ordered hundreds of trucks and trailers from Oshkosh Defense, with deliveries to begin next year through 2016. The 256 trucks and trailers ordered by the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command are from the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles, or FMTV, which is composed of 17 models and 23 configurations ranging from 2.5-ton to 10-ton payloads. The different FMTVs h
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    DID: Department of Defense News, Procurement, Acquisition & Contracting, National Security Policy

  • The JAS-39 Gripen: Sweden’s 4+ Generation Wild Card

    Joe Katzman
    16 Dec 2014 | 1:23 pm
    South African JAS-39D(click to view full) As a neutral country with a long history of providing for its own defense against all comers, Sweden also has a long tradition of building excellent high-performance fighters with a distinctive look. From the long-serving Saab-35 Draken (“Dragon,” 1955-2005) to the Mach 2, canard-winged Saab-37 Viggen (“Thunderbolt,” 1971-2005), Swedish fighters have stressed short-field launch from dispersed/improvised air fields, world-class performance, and leading-edge design. This record of consistent project success is nothing short of…
  • AMRAAM: Deploying & Developing America’s Medium-Range Air-Air Missile

    Joe Katzman
    16 Dec 2014 | 9:33 am
    AIM-120C from F-22A(click for test missile zoom) Raytheon’s AIM-120 Advanced, Medium-Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) has become the world market leader for medium range air-to-air missiles, and is also beginning to make inroads within land-based defense systems. It was designed with the lessons of Vietnam in mind, and of local air combat exercises like ACEVAL and Red Flag. This DID FOCUS article covers successive generations of AMRAAM missiles, international contracts and key events from 2006 onward, and even some of its emerging competitors. One of the key lessons learned from…
  • Hydra-70 Rockets: From Cutbacks to the Future of Warfare

    Joe Katzman
    16 Dec 2014 | 8:23 am
    (click to view larger) Hydra-70 is a family of unguided rockets offering a variety of warhead configurations, from smoke and illumination rounds, to flechettes (hundreds of anti-personnel darts), submunition carriers, and unitary warheads up to 317 pounds. These versatile and relatively inexpensive rockets can be fired from a variety of aircraft, from attack helicopters to jet fighters to light helicopters. Hydra-70s have seen use in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they are arguably the world’s most widely used helicopter-launched weapon system. While 70mm Hydra rockets are low cost weapons,…
  • Sikorsky’s $8.5-11.7B “Multi-Year 8″ H-60 Helicopter Contract

    Joe Katzman
    16 Dec 2014 | 7:40 am
    US Army HH-60Ms(click to view full) In July 2012, the US military signed another huge contract with Sikorsky. With production of the Army’s HH/UH-60M, and the Navy’s MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters, all in full swing, there’s no question about the need for future orders. In that environment, multi-year contracts allow efficiencies in purchasing, and security of staffing, throughout Sikorsky’s supply chain. These new helicopter types are also available to Foreign Military Sales class customers, under the American contract’s advantageous pricing and terms. The…
  • CBO Sees Through US Navy’s Backloaded Shipbuilding Budgeting

    Olivier Travers
    16 Dec 2014 | 5:50 am
    The latest review by the US Congressional Budget Office concludes like in past years that the US Navy’s shipbuilding plan is underfunded, especially in the out years. “CBO’s estimate of the cost of new-ship construction in the Navy’s 2015 shipbuilding plan is $66 billion, or 13 percent, higher over the next 30 years than the Navy’s estimate.” Loren Thompson from the Lexington Institute: Why The Navy’s Next ‘Boomer’ Is The Most Important Program In The Pentagon Budget. Use It Or Lose It Canada is looking to add [CTV] a 5th aircraft to its fleet of…
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    Space & NASA - Orlando Sentinel

  • SpaceX launch postponed until Dec. 19

    11 Dec 2014 | 12:47 pm
    The next launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station has been postponed three days to Dec. 19, NASA announced Thursday.
  • NASA declares Orion mission a success

    5 Dec 2014 | 1:24 pm
    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER — NASA's dream to eventually carry astronauts to Mars got off to a near-flawless start on Friday as the new Orion spacecraft blasted off from Cape Canaveral, flew 3,604 miles into space and splashed down on a "bull's-eye" in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Sea level rise threatening Kennedy Space Center

    5 Dec 2014 | 12:55 pm
    Rising seas and pounding waves driven by climate change are chipping away at the coast near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, threatening launch pads and future operations, scientists said on Friday.
  • Orion launch scrubbed, reset for Friday

    4 Dec 2014 | 3:07 pm
    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER — NASA plans to try again Friday to launch its next-generation space capsule Orion after a wayward ship, wind gusts and fuel valve problems scrubbed Thursday's launch.
  • After Orion launch, big steps lie ahead for Mars trip, NASA says

    2 Dec 2014 | 4:07 pm
    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER — If creating the new Orion space capsule or developing a new deep-space rocket are complex and critical breakthroughs, NASA's remaining challenges to send humans to Mars are no less daunting, officials said Tuesday.
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    Space News From SpaceDaily.Com

  • NASA's Spaceborne Carbon Counter Maps New Details

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:11 pm
    Pasadena CA (JPL) Dec 21, 2014 The first global maps of atmospheric carbon dioxide from NASA's new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission demonstrate its performance and promise, showing elevated carbon dioxide concentrations across the Southern Hemisphere from springtime biomass burning. At a media briefing today at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Kepler Proves It Can Still Find Planets

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:11 pm
    Boston MA (SPX) Dec 21, 2014 To paraphrase Mark Twain, the report of the Kepler spacecraft's death was greatly exaggerated. Despite a malfunction that ended its primary mission in May 2013, Kepler is still alive and working. The evidence comes from the discovery of a new super-Earth using data collected during Kepler's "second life." "Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Kepler has been reborn and is continuing to ma
  • NASA, Planetary Scientists Find Meteoritic Evidence of Mars Water Reservoir

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:11 pm
    Washington DC (SPX) Dec 19, 2014 NASA and an international team of planetary scientists have found evidence in meteorites on Earth that indicates Mars has a distinct and global reservoir of water or ice near its surface. Though controversy still surrounds the origin, abundance and history of water on Mars, this discovery helps resolve the question of where the "missing Martian water" may have gone. Scientists continue to
  • NASA releases video of Orion spacecraft re-entry from astronaut's perspective

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:11 pm
    Washington (UPI) Dec 20, 2014 NASA has released a new video of their Orion spacecraft's re-entry from 3,600 miles above Earth. The spacecraft is designed to carry as many as four astronauts, possibly for missions to Mars and nearby asteroids. The test flight in the video was unmanned, but it is the first time a spacecraft designed for astronauts has gone as far as Orion did in over 40 years. The video shows t
  • Germanium comes home to Purdue for semiconductor milestone

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:11 pm
    West Lafayette IN (SPX) Dec 11, 2014 A laboratory at Purdue University provided a critical part of the world's first transistor in 1947 - the purified germanium semiconductor - and now researchers here are on the forefront of a new germanium milestone. The team has created the first modern germanium circuit - a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) device - using germanium as the semiconductor instead of silicon. "Be
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    Science@NASA Headline News

  • Rosetta to Swoop Down on Comet in February

    19 Dec 2014 | 11:48 am
    The European Space Agency’s orbiting Rosetta spacecraft is expected to come within four miles of the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in February 2015. The low flyby will be an opportunity for Rosetta to obtain imagery with a resolution of a few inches per pixel.
  • First Global Maps from Orbiting … Carbon Observatory

    19 Dec 2014 | 8:50 am
    The first global maps of atmospheric carbon dioxide from NASA's new Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 mission show elevated carbon dioxide concentrations across the Southern Hemisphere from springtime biomass burning and hint at potential surprises to come.
  • New Evidence for a Mars Water Reservoir

    19 Dec 2014 | 8:00 am
    NASA and an international team of planetary scientists have found evidence in meteorites on Earth that indicates Mars has a distinct and global reservoir of water or ice near its surface.
  • Reborn Kepler Spacecraft Finds 'Super-Earth'

    19 Dec 2014 | 7:49 am
    NASA's planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft is operating in a new mission profile called K2. Using publicly available data, astronomers have confirmed K2's first exoplanet discovery, proving Kepler can still find planets.
  • Curiosity Detects Methane Spike on Mars

    16 Dec 2014 | 2:17 pm
    NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill.
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    Universe Today

  • Meteoric Evidence Suggests Mars May Have a Subsurface Reservoir

    Matt Williams
    22 Dec 2014 | 8:43 am
    According to recent findings, the water that once existed on Mars’ surface could be found underground. Credit: Kevin Gill It is a scientific fact that water exists on Mars. Though most of it today consists of water ice in the polar regions or in subsurface areas near the temperate zones, the presence of H²O has been confirmed many times over. It is evidenced by the sculpted channels and outflows that still mark the surface, as well as the presence of clay and mineral deposits that could only have been formed by water. Recent geological surveys provide more evidence that Mars’…
  • Why Care About Astronomy?

    Shannon Hall
    22 Dec 2014 | 8:19 am
    The Milky Way seen above the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory. Image Credit: Babak Tafreshi / ESO I need to get something off my chest. A month or so ago I was sitting in a classroom surrounded by 10 peers. For the first time this semester we had the opportunity to spend the entire day discussing astronomy. And I was thrilled to dive into that brilliant subject, which I have adored for most of my 26 years. But it didn’t take long before the day turned sour. Most of my classmates touched on one common theme: why should we care about astronomy when it has no practical…
  • Walk Beside China’s Moon Rover In Best Chang’e-3 Mission Pictures Ever

    Elizabeth Howell
    22 Dec 2014 | 8:00 am
    Taking the Chinese Yutu rover out for a spin on the Moon. The mission began in December 2013. Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences It’s been just over a year since China wowed the world with the first soft Moon landing in almost 40 years. The Chang’e-3 robotic lander made it all the way to Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) on Dec. 14, 2013, quickly deploying the Yutu rover for a spin. Mission updates have been sparse in recent months, but the Planetary Society and a forum on Unmanned Spaceflight recently pointed out a new image archive. These pictures are so high-definition, it’s…
  • What Does It Mean To Be ‘Star Stuff’?

    Vanessa Janek
    22 Dec 2014 | 7:44 am
    The Tycho supernova remnant. This type of structure is all that remains after a massive star dies, releasing the chemical building blocks of life and planetary systems into space. Credit: NASA/CXC/Chinese Academy of Sciences/F. Lu et al. At one time or another, all science enthusiasts have heard the late Carl Sagan’s infamous words: “We are made of star stuff.” But what does that mean exactly? How could colossal balls of plasma, greedily burning away their nuclear fuel in faraway time and space, play any part in spawning the vast complexity of our Earthly world?
  • Gallery: Diving For Spacewalks Is Way Tougher Than You Think

    Elizabeth Howell
    22 Dec 2014 | 7:00 am
    A diver tests out a spacesuit in NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston in December 2014. Credit: Zugzwang5 (imgur) If you’ve spent any length of time underwater, you appreciate just how much drag it creates on your limbs — especially if you’re wearing a little clothing or carrying around diving equipment. Now, try to imagine using a pressurized spacesuit in that environment. You’re already puffed up like a balloon and have the drag to contend with. Few of us will get that experience — NASA won’t let just anybody try on an expensive suit…
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  • Once Written Off, Kepler Telescope Finds New Planet

    Bill Chappell
    18 Dec 2014 | 5:05 pm
    The Kepler space telescope, which cost some $600 million, was feared to be at the end of its useful life in 2013. But NASA says it just found another exoplanet.» E-Mail This
  • India Tests Crew Capsule, New Heavy-Lift Rocket

    Scott Neuman
    18 Dec 2014 | 8:41 am
    An improved version of India's largest space-launch vehicle carried an unmanned crew capsule that was recovered after splashdown in the Andaman Sea.» E-Mail This
  • Black Holes And Our Cosmic Future

    Marcelo Gleiser
    17 Dec 2014 | 7:37 am
    Commentator Marcelo Gleiser says that while he enjoys sci-fi speculation like most people, he also thinks there is a chance, in viewing recent films, to learn something about ourselves and our planet.» E-Mail This
  • Methane Bursts On Mars Could Hint At Previous Life

    Joe Palca
    16 Dec 2014 | 1:19 pm
    Scientists have seen mysterious bursts of methane in the Martian atmosphere, and they can't rule out the possibility that the methane was made by something that was once alive on Mars.» E-Mail This
  • Geminids Promise A Light Show In The Night Sky

    13 Dec 2014 | 5:11 am
    The best and most easily-watched meteor shower of the year is happening this weekend. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Jackie Faherty, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science.» E-Mail This
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    The Space Review

  • Cleaning up space junk

    15 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    Although current efforts to deal with space debris have focused on limiting the growth of new objects, some argue it's time to focus on actively removing debris objects. Jeff Foust recaps the discussion on this topic at a recent conference, including the technical, legal, and financial obstacles such efforts face.
  • From Michigan to the Moon

    15 Dec 2014 | 2:59 am
    Al Worden is one of only 24 humans in history to have flown to the Moon. Shane Hannon sat down with the former test pilot and NASA astronaut during a recent visit to Ireland to discuss his remarkable life.
  • Of budgets past and future

    15 Dec 2014 | 2:58 am
    Last week Congress finally wrapped up a fiscal year 2015 spending bill, one that provides NASA with $18 billion. Jeff Foust reports that while the bill is largely good news for many key NASA programs, the agency still faces uncertainties about those programs, and its long-term fiscal future.
  • Review: The New Moon

    15 Dec 2014 | 2:57 am
    Although not part of NASA's human exploration plans, many other nations, and companies, are interested in a return to the Moon. Jeff Foust reviews a book that attempts to make a case for humans on the Moon based on both science and policy.
  • The beginning of a new era -- but which one?

    8 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    The successful inaugural flight of Orion last week was hailed by many as a beginning of a new era in human spaceflight, as a first step towards humans on Mars. Jeff Foust reports on the test flight and just how much of a step towards Mars it really was.
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    NASA Watch

  • Orion Astronaut View on Re-Entry

    Marc Boucher
    22 Dec 2014 | 7:47 am
    Video: NASA Provides an Astronaut's-Eye View of Orion's Re-entry "New video recorded during NASA's Orion return through Earth's atmosphere provides viewers a taste of what the vehicle endured as it returned through Earth's atmosphere during its Dec. 5 flight test."
  • SpaceX Will Attempt Rocket Ship Landing on a Drone Barge (Update)

    Keith Cowing
    18 Dec 2014 | 8:30 am
    X Marks the Spot: Falcon 9 Attempts Ocean Platform Landing "During our next flight, SpaceX will attempt the precision landing of a Falcon 9 first stage for the first time, on a custom-built ocean platform known as the autonomous spaceport drone ship. While SpaceX has already demonstrated two successful soft water landings, executing a precision landing on an unanchored ocean platform is significantly more challenging." NASA, SpaceX Delay Launch of Fifth SpaceX Resupply Mission to Space Station "NASA and SpaceX announced today the launch of SpaceX's fifth commercial resupply services mission…
  • NASA Media Brief On Asteroid Mission No One Supports

    Keith Cowing
    17 Dec 2014 | 1:15 pm
    NASA to Discuss Today Asteroid Redirect Mission Capture Concept, Next Step in Journey to Mars "NASA will host a media teleconference at 4 p.m. EST today during which agency officials will discuss and answer questions on the selection of an Asteroid Redirect Mission concept. The mission is to retrieve an asteroid mass and redirect it into lunar orbit, where astronauts will explore it in the 2020s. The mission will test a number of new capabilities needed for future human deep space expeditions, including to Mars." Asteroid Redirect Mission Critique, earlier post "... It will require an…
  • OIG: NASA Reliance on DCAA Increases Costs

    Keith Cowing
    17 Dec 2014 | 7:37 am
    NASA OIG: Costs Incurred on NASA's Cost-Type Contracts "We found NASA is at increased risk of paying unallowable, unreasonable, and unallocable incurred costs and of losing the opportunity to recoup improper costs because Agency contracting officers rely too heavily on DCAA's incurred cost audit process. Under its new, risk-based methodology, DCAA has significantly decreased the number of contractor proposals it audits in an effort to reduce its 6-year backlog of incurred cost proposals awaiting review. However, NASA contracting officers generally wait for a DCAA audit and do not perform…
  • No One Reads The Federal Register Any More

    Keith Cowing
    16 Dec 2014 | 5:10 pm
    Keith's noteThe NASA Advisory Committee is meeting 14-15 January 2015 at NASA Stennis. NASA staff have managed to find a unique way to format Federal Register notices so as to be all but useless. No one proof reads these things any more.
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    EurekAlert! - Space and Planetary Science

  • Russian scientists 'map' water vapor in Martian atmosphere

    21 Dec 2014 | 9:00 pm
    (Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology) Russian scientists from the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, together with their French and American colleagues, have created a 'map' of the distribution of water vapor.
  • NASA's SDO captures images of 2 mid-level flares

    18 Dec 2014 | 9:00 pm
    (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) The sun emitted a mid-level flare on Dec. 18, 2014, at 4:58 p.m. EST. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, which watches the sun constantly, captured an image of the event.
  • NASA balloons begin flying in Antarctica for 2014 campaign

    18 Dec 2014 | 9:00 pm
    (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center) NASA's 2014-2015 Antarctic Scientific Balloon Campaign took to the skies Wednesday, Dec. 17, with the successful launch of the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna from the Long Duration Balloon facility outside of McMurdo Station, Antarctica.
  • Funding ended for University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center

    18 Dec 2014 | 9:00 pm
    (University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center) Funding has not been renewed for the five-year-old University of California High-Performance AstroComputing Center (UC-HiPACC). UC-HiPACC fostered collaborations of astrophysicists across the UC system and three DOE labs, including attracting students and funding. 'Its loss is devastating,' says director Joel Primack. Alternative funding is now being sought. A No-Cost Extension to the grant through March 31, 2015, will support limited operations: the pioneering AGORA research effort, preparation of a five-year report, and…
  • Joachim Kopp receives ERC Starting Grant for research in particle and astroparticle physics

    18 Dec 2014 | 9:00 pm
    (Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet Mainz) Professor Joachim Kopp receives a prestigious Starting Grant worth 800,000 Euros from the European Research Council to help promote his work in the field of theoretical particle and astroparticle physics.
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    collectSPACE Today In Space History

  • Next year in space

    18 Dec 2014 | 3:05 pm
    One hundred days from embarking on the first yearlong stay onboard the International Space Station (ISS), NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko, a Roscosmos cosmonaut, spoke about their upcoming mission during a press conference at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in Paris on Thursday (Dec. 18). The two space explorers said they were excited for their year off the planet, adding that the expedition is a "stepping stone" toward humans leaving Earth for destinations further out into the solar system.
  • Skywalker X-33

    15 Dec 2014 | 5:45 am
    Tested and qualified by the European Space Agency, the new version of Omega's Speedmaster X-33, the Skywalker, features a movement based on an invention by ESA astronaut Jean-François Clervoy. A digital and analog wristwatch, the Skywalker X-33 features mission and phase elapsed time modes to help astronauts track their mission events and a white on black dial to help with visibility in space. The Skywalker will now be included with the standard equipment issued to ESA astronauts.
  • 'Journey To Space'

    12 Dec 2014 | 11:50 am
    Coming to large-format movie screens in 2015, "Journey To Space" tells the true "story of what the next chapter of space exploration will bring," while looking back at what role the space shuttle played in preparing us for that future. Filmed at NASA centers and at commercial facilities, "Journey To Space" features the real hardware being developed for a human mission to Mars.
  • MoonMail

    11 Dec 2014 | 1:05 pm
    Forty-two years (to the day) after the last manned moon landing, Astrobotic on Thursday (Dec. 11) announced the launch of its MoonMail program, offering the public the opportunity to fly their own mementos to the lunar surface. With a starting price of $460, MoonMail aims to open the moon to individuals. "They will make history by participating in the first commercial moon landing," stated Astrobotic's chief executive officer John Thornton.
  • 'Stoopid' space patch

    9 Dec 2014 | 2:45 pm
    Invited to design the mission patch for the CASIS ARK3 series of science experiments to be performed on the International Space Station, actor and space enthusiast Seth Green drew inspiration from his inner 'nerd.' Borrowing the shape from the station's own Cupola and deriving its layout from a CASIS motto, Green based his patch's color palette on "Battlestar Galactica."
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    The Daily Galaxy --Great Discoveries Channel: Sci, Space, Tech

  • Alien Minds --"We Will Encounter Superintelligence Much Older than the Human Species"
    22 Dec 2014 | 9:17 am
    World renowned experts from physicist Sir Martin Rees of Cambridge University to astrobiologist Paul Davis of Arizona State have asked that if we were to encounter alien technology far superior to our own, would we even realize what it was. A technology a million or more years in advance of ours would appear miraculous. "I think it very likely – in fact, inevitable – that biological intelligence is only a transitory phenomenon… If we ever encounter extraterrestrial intelligence, I believe it is very likely to be postbiological in nature, writes Paul Davies in The Eerie Silence. In…
  • Russian Scientists Probe Water Cycle in Mars' Atmosphere --"Could Support Existence of Biological Activity"
    22 Dec 2014 | 7:25 am
      Conditions on Mars -- low temperatures and low atmospheric pressure -- do not allow water to exist in liquid form in open reservoirs as it would on Earth. However, on Mars, there is a powerful layer of permafrost, with large reserves of frozen water concentrated at the polar caps. There is water vapour in the atmosphere, although at very low levels compared to the quantities experienced hereon Earth. If the entire volume of water in the atmosphere was to be spread evenly over the surface of the planet, the thickness of the water layer would not exceed 10-20 microns, while on Earth such a…
  • “There have been 10,000 Generations Before Us --Ours Could be the First to Discover Extraterrestrial Life” --NASA (2014 Most Viewed)
    21 Dec 2014 | 5:30 am
    In 1960, the astronomer Francis Drake pointed a radio telescope located in Green Bank, West Virginia, toward two Sun-like stars 11 light years away. His hope: to pick up a signal that would prove intelligent life might be out there. Fifty years have gone by since Drake’s pioneering SETI experiment, and we’ve yet to hear from the aliens.mmBut thanks to a host of discoveries, the idea that life might exist beyond Earth now seems more plausible than ever. For one, we’ve learned that life can thrive in the most extreme environments here on Earth — from deep-sea methane seep and Antarctic…
  • Glow from Orphan Stars--"Generate More Light than all the Galaxies in Observable Universe" (Weekend Feature)
    20 Dec 2014 | 9:15 am
    Using an experiment carried into space on a NASA suborbital rocket, astronomers at Caltech and their colleagues have detected a diffuse cosmic glow that appears to represent more light than that produced by known galaxies in the universe. Initially some researchers proposed that this light came from the very first galaxies to form and ignite stars after the Big Bang. CalTech researchers say that the best explanation is that the cosmic light originates from stars that were stripped away from their parent galaxies and flung out into space as those galaxies collided and merged with other…
  • NASA: "Alien Lifeforms May be More Complex Than Anticipated" (Weekend Most Popular)
    20 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    “We should be mindful that, however they may be encoded, lifeforms are likely to have differentiated on other worlds," says Frank Rosenzweig, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Montana. "Therefore, we should be alert to the signatures left by these more complex forms of life.” When astrobiologists contemplate life on nearby planets or moons, they often suggest such life would be simple. Instead of there being some kind of multicellular organism on, say, Jupiter’s moon Europa, scientists instead aim to find something more like a microbe. But from such simple life, more…
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    Icarus Interstellar » Icarus Interstellar | A nonprofit foundation dedicated to achieving interstellar flight by 2100.

  • Project Voyager – A Map to Navigate our Dynamic Universe

    Zach Fejes
    9 Dec 2014 | 6:17 pm
    This is an excerpt taken from a recent article by Zachary Fejes on Discovery Space News. The full article on Discovery can be found here. “Indulge me, for a moment, in a brief thought experiment. You have just become the pilot of a modern spacecraft, let’s call it the USS Lucky, docked with the International Space Station. Your mission: fly to Jupiter and check out its moons. Congratulations on the job. You start by checking out your craft. It’s got a single rocket booster in the back with enough fuel for one really big burn, or perhaps a number of small ones. It can turn in any…
  • A Plumber’s Guide to Starships- Part 4 – Materials in High Radiation Environments

    Michel Lamontagne
    20 Nov 2014 | 6:36 pm
    Materials near a fusion reaction are subject to very high levels of both X-ray and Neutron radiation.  How do they stand up to this? Figure 7 – Material swelling due to radiation damage Even with a nominally “aneutronic” fusion reaction – and much more so with D-D fusion — there will necessarily be a large radiation flux coming from the fusion drive, mostly in the form of high energy neutrons and X-rays.  Radiation flux alters materials, but, surprisingly, not necessarily in a negative way.  And the heat from the absorbed radiation needs to be managed, since we do not…
  • Inspiring 8th Graders in East Texas

    Richard Obousy
    6 Nov 2014 | 10:10 am
    My booth at the 8th Grade Inspire Career Fair On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending an 8th grade career inspiration day in my town of Longview, in East Texas. I was thrilled to talk to young kids all about my work with Icarus Interstellar, and all the exciting and profound research and activities we engage in. I’ve been working with the Longview Economic Development Corporation (LEDCO) this year, after founding the East Texas Entrepreneurs Group. LEDCO kindly invited me to the event, with the direction that I was to inspire the kids. Not a problem! As this was a career event, and…
  • Interstellar Comparisons

    Adam Crowl
    1 Oct 2014 | 6:13 am
    Terraformed Venus (a Wikipedia Image) Travelling to the stars within a human lifetime via the known laws of physics requires energies millions of times more potent than a trip to Mars, for example. In our energy hungry modern world the prospect seems fanciful, yet we are surrounded by energies and forces of comparable scale. By taming those forces we will be able to launch forth towards the stars and save our civilization and our biosphere. How so? Consider the sunlight received every second by planet Earth, from the Sun. About 1.4 kilowatts of energy for every square metre directly facing…
  • A Plumber’s Guide to Starships, Part 3 – Thermal Properties of Materials

    Michel Lamontagne
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:12 pm
    Materials are the bedrock upon which we can build starship designs. Outside of science fiction, there is no use postulating a starship drive that requires materials that do not, or cannot, exist. So this article is about materials: what they can do, what we hope future materials can do, and what we expect materials to never be able to do. Figure 1- Roman clay pipes. Modern vitrified clay pipes. Alumina ceramic pipes and linings. 2000 years of progress in materials. For a Starship plumber, the question boils down to: “What’s the best material for my pipes?” And the answer is the…
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    Pillow Astronaut

  • Moon Musings

    22 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    A stunning anniversary just passed, and it's been on my mind all weekend.On December 19, 1972, upon the splashdown return of Apollo 17, there were 12 men on planet Earth who knew what it was like to walk on the surface of our Moon. This fact remained true for true for 18 years and 7 months.Then, in August 1991, James Irwin (Apollo 15) died of a heart attack at age 61.In 1998, Alan Shepard (Apollo 14) died of leukemia at age 74.In 1999, Pete Conrad (Apollo 12) was killed in a motorcycle crash at age 69.In 2012, Neil Armstrong (Apollo 11) died of heart failure at age 82.Today, there are 8 men…
  • FREE 2015 "Year In Space" Calendar

    1 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    Readers and Tweeters! Some lucky SpaceTwit is going to win a stunningly gorgeous 2015 Year In Space Calender, hot off Starry Messenger Press, published in cooperation with The Planetary Society.And when I say SpaceTwit, I mean that in the nicest possible way. Because all you have to do to enter the contest is tweet about the new calendar to spread the word.Designer Steve Cariddi created this large-format 2015 Year In Space Calendar to appeal to space enthusiasts of all ages, and the introduction was written by everyone's favorite Science Guy, Bill Nye!This beautiful creation has his stamp of…
  • Wild Black Yonder

    24 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    Arthur Darris of Chicago, IL emailed me with the following question; upon discussion over the past couple days, he said I could use our [slightly paraphrased] conversation as a blog post. Regarding the mention of Radio Telescope technology on my last Trivia Series, Arthur asks: There is something I have wondered about as we search for radio signals from space hoping to pick up signs of life. Why radio? Is it because that is what we use? I thought I read that our own signals aren't reaching deep space as once thought... don't they degrade as they travel? Maybe ETs don't want to interfere with…
  • Telescopin' Trivia

    17 Nov 2014 | 10:40 am
    Peak Meteor Shower time! Hope everyone is enjoying the Leonids! And what better time to appreciate our telescopes-- which often translates into coveting a newer, better, bigger one. Conventional history records that German-born Hans Lippershey invented the telescope in 1608, but legend has it that the device was actually invented years earlier by children playing with lenses in his shop where he created eye-spectacles. Other stories say his apprentice first hit upon the idea of doubling refracting lenses. Nonetheless, Lunar Crater Lippershey is named after him, and not the help. Coastal…
  • Happy Carl Sagan Day 2014!

    6 Nov 2014 | 5:00 am
    Happy, happy Sixth Annual Carl Sagan Day!This year's theme is,unshockingly, "COSMOS: A Spacetime Odyssey," and once again, Florida's Broward College has planned awesome lectures, planetarium shows, children's activities, educator workshops, COSMOS episodes, telescope instruction, and star-gazing.  The celebration includes a fundraiser dinner to honor what would have been Sagan's 80th birthday.Most folks recognize Carl from COSMOS in the 1980s, the most widely watched program in PBS history! No surprise, the reboot this past year with Neil deGasse Tyson was also incredibly popular! I've…
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    21st Century Waves

  • Bruce returns to The Space Show, Sunday 12/7

    Dr. Bruce Cordell
    6 Dec 2014 | 3:55 pm
    Happy to announce that I’m returning to The Space Show, hosted by Dr. David Livingston on Sunday, December 7, 2014 from Noon to 1:30 pm PST. We’ll be exploring the status and future of Human Spaceflight in the world, the U.S., and at the University of Southern California, where I teach a graduate astronautical engineering course of the same name. Ironically, our slow but accelerating recovery and global challenges indicate that our multi-century “ducks” — technology, economic, geopolitical — are nearly in a row, signaling the rapid approach of a new…
  • Time’s “Cold War II” Cover Suggests a New 1960s-style “Critical State”

    Dr. Bruce Cordell
    3 Aug 2014 | 11:52 pm
    The Cold War of the 1960s between Russia (i.e. the Soviet Union) and the U.S. was a time of major geopolitical stress (e.g. the Cuban Missile Crisis, which almost led to a nuclear war) and rapid economic expansion in the West (e.g., the JFK Boom, which resulted in the greatest prosperity up to that time) — that triggered the Moon Race and the first Space Age. According to Time magazine’s August 4, 2014 cover, “Cold War II — The West is Losing Putin’s Dangerous Game.” Click Although this is hardly a new idea — e.g., 6 years ago there were serious…
  • New USC astronautics course “Human Spaceflight” for Fall 2014

    Dr. Bruce Cordell
    4 Jun 2014 | 11:52 am
    Happy to announce that I’m teaching a new graduate course for the Department of Astronautical Engineering at USC this Fall on “Human Spaceflight.” University of Southern California New for FALL 2014 – ASTE 599, Human Spaceflight Instructor: Dr. Bruce Cordell Human spaceflight has become a dynamic international and commercial activity that promises to exceed even the 50-year old transformational space vision of President John F. Kennedy, which led to the first humans on the Moon in 1969. Engineers, scientists, and managers need to stay abreast of this arena as global needs…
  • Bruce’s ISDC 2014 Presentation — The New Apollo-level Space Age

    Dr. Bruce Cordell
    26 May 2014 | 3:13 pm
    It was a pleasure to be an invited speaker at the recent meeting of the International Space Development Conference (ISDC 2014) of the National Space Society on May 15 in Los Angeles. The Conference theme was A Space Renaissance, and my presentation — “The New Apollo-level Space Age” — was definitely in that spirit! CLICK For the ppt version CLICK: ISDC.2014.Cordell. The key points include: 1. A variety of long-term and current global indicators point to a new, international, Apollo-level Space Age (i.e., a Maslow Window) that is just around the corner. 2. Great…
  • State of the Wave: 10 Space Trends for 2014 – Getting Our Ducks in a Row for the New Space Age

    Dr. Bruce Cordell
    9 Mar 2014 | 9:34 pm
    2014 will be a “Year of Decision” in the U.S as a mid-term election will influence how rapidly the anticipated new Apollo-level international Space Age will arrive. Specifically, U.S. voters will decide if the status quo will continue for two more years or if a new balance of power will set the stage for a transformative, 1960s-style golden age of prosperity, exploration, and technology. The new face of space? Supermodel Kate Upton suggests how exciting zero-g can be! Click For a brief intro to how space exploration is likely to go ballistic in the near-term, see my 2012 Ad Astra…
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  • Rosetta Team Focusing on Upcoming Comet and Lander Science and Planning Ultra Close Flyby

    Ken Kremer
    21 Dec 2014 | 8:09 pm
    From the location where it came to rest after bounces, the Philae lander of the European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission captured this view of a cliff on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The feature is called “Perihelion Cliff.” The image is from the lander’s CIVA camera. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA The team guiding Europe’s history making [...]
  • ‘There Is a Santa Claus': The Voyage of Apollo 8 (Part 2)

    Ben Evans
    21 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    Hanging in the black sky, five degrees above the lunar horizon and with the terminator crossing Africa, this astonishing view of the Home Planet represented the first occasion on which human eyes glimpsed “Earthrise” from the Moon. It is a timeless image which continues to draw inspiration and wonder. Photo Credit: NASA Forty-six years ago, [...]
  • NASA’s Orion EFT-1 Spacecraft Returns Home to Kennedy Space Center

    Talia Landman
    20 Dec 2014 | 3:17 pm
    NASA’s Orion Crew Capsule back home at KSC after carrying out the EFT-1 mission just a couple weeks prior. Photo Credit: John Studwell / AmericaSpace NASA’s Orion spacecraft is back home after making its way cross-country from California to the east coast of Florida after a successful experimental test flight, EFT-1, which took place [...]
  • NASA’s Fermi Mission Provides More Insight on Thunderstorm Gamma Rays

    Talia Landman
    20 Dec 2014 | 10:46 am
    New research merging Fermi data with information from ground-based radar and lightning networks shows that terrestrial gamma-ray flashes arise from an unexpected diversity of storms and may be more common than currently thought. Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Gamma rays make up a considerable amount of the cosmos. They can be emitted from [...]
  • ‘Launch Commit': The Voyage of Apollo 8 (Part 1)

    Ben Evans
    20 Dec 2014 | 7:00 am
    Watched by a global audience of millions, and seemingly also by a crescent Moon, the first Saturn V ever trusted with human passengers takes flight on the morning of 21 December 1968. Photo Credit: NASA Since July 1969, astronaut Mike Collins has achieved fame as “the other one” on the first lunar landing crew. [...]
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    Space Industry News

  • Telsa Motors Launches Battery Swap Pilot Program

    William W.
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:08 pm
    At an event in Los Angeles last year, Tesla showcased battery swap technology to demonstrate that it’s possible to replace a Model S battery in less time than it takes to fill a gas tank. This technology allows Model S owners in need of a battery charge the choice of either fast or free. The free long distance travel option is already well covered by our growing Supercharger network, which is now at 312 stations with more than 1,748 Superchargers worldwide. They allow Model S drivers to charge at 400 miles per hour. Now we’re starting exploratory work on the fast option. Starting…
  • SpaceX Completes First Milestone for Commercial Crew Transportation System

    NASA Press Release
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:25 am
    NASA has approved the completion of SpaceX’s first milestone in the company’s path toward launching crews to the International Space Station (ISS) from U.S. soil under a Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract with the agency. During the Certification Baseline Review, SpaceX described its current design baseline including how the company plans to manufacture its Crew Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 v.1.1 rocket, then launch, fly, land and recover the crew. The company also outlined how it will achieve NASA certification of its system to enable transport of crews to and…
  • NASA Awards SpaceX Launch of Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite

    NASA Press Release
    18 Dec 2014 | 8:18 am
    NASA has selected SpaceX to provide launch services for the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. TESS will launch aboard a Falcon 9 v1.1 launch vehicle, with liftoff targeted for August 2017 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The total cost for NASA to launch TESS is approximately $87 million, which includes the launch service, spacecraft processing, payload integration, tracking, data and telemetry, and other launch support requirements. TESS’s science goal is to detect transiting exoplanets orbiting nearby bright stars. During a three-year funded science…
  • NASA Rover Finds Active and Ancient Organic Chemistry on Mars

    NASA Press Release
    16 Dec 2014 | 12:17 pm
    NASA‘s Mars Curiosity rover has measured a tenfold spike in methane, an organic chemical, in the atmosphere around it and detected other organic molecules in a rock-powder sample collected by the robotic laboratory’s drill. “This temporary increase in methane — sharply up and then back down — tells us there must be some relatively localized source,” said Sushil Atreya of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and Curiosity rover science team. “There are many possible sources, biological or non-biological, such as interaction of water and rock.”…
  • Venus Express goes gently into the night

    ESA Press Release
    16 Dec 2014 | 9:51 am
    ESA’s Venus Express has ended its eight-year mission after far exceeding its planned life. The spacecraft exhausted its propellant during a series of thruster burns to raise its orbit following the low-altitude aerobraking earlier this year. Since its arrival at Venus in 2006, Venus Express had been on an elliptical 24 hour orbit, travelling 66 000 km above the south pole at its furthest point and to within 200 km over the north pole on its closest approach, conducting a detailed study of the planet and its atmosphere. However, after eight years in orbit and with propellant for its…
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    Space Safety Magazine

  • Past and Current Ariane Launchers

    Guillaume Houdu
    19 Dec 2014 | 3:54 am
    With a recent 63rd consecutive launch success, the European launcher Ariane 5 has a leader position on the commercial launchers market. In order to ensure this leading position, ESA’s member governments met in Luxembourg in December 2014 and agreed on Ariane 5’s next evolution, While Germany was in favor of a progressive upgrade of the... Read more → The post Past and Current Ariane Launchers from Guillaume Houdu appeared first on Space Safety Magazine.
  • Space Debris Mitigation

    Matteo Emanuelli
    3 Dec 2014 | 1:28 pm
    Since the launch of the Sputnik 1, the first satellite, in 1957, humankind has left a notable trace in the orbit around Earth. According to the European Space Agency (ESA), in more than half a century of space activities, about 4800 launches have placed some 6000 satellites into orbit. Today, less than a thousand of... Read more → The post Space Debris Mitigation from Matteo Emanuelli appeared first on Space Safety Magazine.
  • The Overview Effect: A Review

    Merryl Azriel
    2 Dec 2014 | 1:30 pm
    One can’t knock around the space world for long without bumping into the Overview Effect. Its ubiquity is a sign of Frank White’s success in putting a name to that feeling an astronaut gets when peering out from an orbiting spacecraft at a borderless blue-green world below. But despite having watched Fragile Oasis and Planetary... Read more → The post The Overview Effect: A Review from Merryl Azriel appeared first on Space Safety Magazine.
  • Skyfall: Peter Siebold’s Battle for Survival

    Michelle La Vone
    1 Dec 2014 | 6:19 am
    Within seconds of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo breaking up above the Mojave Desert, pilot Peter Siebold was free falling to Earth. His survival can be considered a miracle, considering the many dangers he was exposed to during his fall. While the nitty gritty details of the accident remain under investigation, the various moments of Siebold’s near-death experience... Read more → The post Skyfall: Peter Siebold’s Battle for Survival from Michelle La Vone appeared first on Space Safety Magazine.
  • Space Safety Magazine Issue 10, Fall 2014

    Staff Writers
    27 Nov 2014 | 3:45 am
    The 10th issue of Space Safety Magazine looks back to the history of space medicine, explores today’s suborbital flight risks, and peeks at the dual promise and threat of tomorrow’s space settlements and potentially hazardous asteroids. Suborbital Spaceflight and Decompression Risk Aviation has been dealing with decompression risks since its invention. What do suborbital flight... Read more → The post Space Safety Magazine Issue 10, Fall 2014 from Staff Writers appeared first on Space Safety Magazine.
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