Thursday, December 20, 2007

SpaceDev Flies Prototype Hybrid Rocket Lunar Lander

Project is first to demonstrate applied throttling capability

POWAY, CA – SpaceDev, Inc. announced today that it has concluded the first phase of development on its hybrid rocket powered lunar lander prototype, with a successful flight test. The effort was supported by the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) led by Steve Durst, who envision using the technology to bring their ILO spacecraft to a soft landing on the South Pole of the Moon, where it will perform various astrophysics and communication functions.

During the flight test, the lander prototype vehicle’s four hybrid rocket motors were ignited and throttled via radio control, their thrust adjusted in real time to achieve lift-off, ascended to approximately 35 feet, hovered, descended, and landed softly. A video of the flight may be seen here - Lander Test Video.

This test marked the first ever of a hybrid rocket powered lander vehicle and demonstrated applied throttling, a key capability of SpaceDev’s reliable, safe, and non-toxic hybrid propulsion technology. “This is an exciting project that has shown not only the versatility of our hybrid motors, but also SpaceDev’s high levels of responsiveness and efficiency,” said Mark N. Sirangelo, SpaceDev’s Chairman and CEO. “We see many important applications for our throttleable rockets, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with ILOA as well as our research and development of lander vehicles.”

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Space Florida Signs Teaming Agreement with PlanetSpace

Kennedy Space Center, FL – Space Florida, the principal organization charged by the Florida Legislature with promoting and developing Florida’s aerospace industry, announced today it recently entered into a Teaming Agreement with PlanetSpace, offering support as they prepare and submit their proposal in response to the NASA COTS request for proposal. As Florida's aerospace economic development organization, Space Florida is uniquely positioned to utilize the expertise within the organization, and the powers available as defined within the Space Act. Space Florida's role is to guide and facilitate all organizations that seek assistance and actively engage in developing next generation space industry business in Florida.

"Space Florida has worked with PlanetSpace to facilitate their needs during the RFP proposal phase," stated Steve Kohler, President, Space Florida. "Through the Teaming Agreement we have established the parameters of support and development we can assist with for a planned future commercial launch site near Kennedy Space Center, if they win the bid."

Space Florida drives aerospace economic development in Florida and serves as a catalyst for space-related business development, education, spaceport operations, research and development, workforce development, and financing.

PlanetSpace, teaming with Lockheed Martin, ATK, and their financial advisor BMO, has submitted their proposal in response to NASA's COTS Phase 1 RFP to flight demonstrate cargo and crew delivery capability to the International Space Station (ISS).

"Kennedy Space Center is a natural choice for PlanetSpace as our team expands its capabilities to provide not only crew and cargo delivery to the (ISS), but a low cost reliable commercial space transportation system to Low Earth Orbit and beyond," said Dr Chirinjeev Kathuria, PlanetSpace Chairman.

PlanetSpace is moving ahead with plans to establish an orbital launch facility at Cape Canaveral, Florida, as well as the associated manufacturing, training, R&D, and integration facilities. PlanetSpace's proposed Florida economic activity could generate approximately 346 jobs annually with a cumulative economic impact to the State of Florida estimated to be $313 million. The launch, training, R&D and manufacturing facilities are to fulfill delivery of PlanetSpace's commercial launch business plan and will include any potential contractual effort under a Space Act Agreement with NASA for Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS).

BMO Capital Markets ("BMO") is engaged as PlanetSpace's financial advisor for any acquisitions of the company, as well as the placement of any debt and equity securities. PlanetSpace's consortium has also signed teaming agreements with United Launch Alliance, Wyle Laboratories, Paragon Space Systems, and MEHTA Engineering.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Chang'e-1 images moon's dark side

This undated photo shows a ray crater on the moon issued by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Dec. 11, 2007. The charge-coupled device (CCD) camera on Chang'e-1, China's first lunar orbiter, has started imaging probes on the dark side of the moon and captured photos of parts of this region, CNSA announced Tuesday.

(Xinhua Photo)
Photo Gallery>>>

BEIJING - The charge-coupled device (CCD) camera on Chang'e-1, China's first lunar orbiter, has started imaging probes on the dark side of the moon and captured photos of parts of this region, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced Tuesday.

The CNSA said that the orbiter is operating normally in terms of flying, probing, land control and communication, as well as data transmitting and processing.

The CNSA released the first picture of the moon captured by Chang'e-1 on Nov. 26, marking the full success of the lunar probe project.

Chang'e-1, named after a mythical Chinese goddess who, according to legend, flew to the moon, blasted off on a Long March 3A carrier rocket at 6:05 p.m. on Oct. 24 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in the southwestern Sichuan Province.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Spaceport America Executive Director Named

Las Cruces, NM – The New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) Board has announced the hiring of Steven Landeene as the new Executive Director for Spaceport America, the nation’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport. Landeene will fill the position left vacant by Rick Homans. The announcement came from Kelly O’Donnell, Chair of the NMSA, who said that Landeene will assume his responsibilities on January 7, 2008, as the Spaceport continues to meet key development benchmarks.

“Steven Landeene’s credentials speak for themselves,” said Governor Bill Richardson. “His years of experience in engineering and business will be beneficial to marketing the aerospace industry and more importantly, to this critical stage for Spaceport America.”

Landeene has extensive experience in aerospace-related fields, including 20 years with Honeywell Aerospace and three years with Landmark Aviation. As the Director of Aftermarket Services Marketing, Sales and Support at Honeywell International, Inc., Landeene served as the global marketing and sales support leader for the company’s aftermarket services.

Most recently, Landeene served as the Director of Strategy and Planning for Sales & Marketing of Landmark Aviation out of Phoenix, Arizona. Landeene holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautical/Astronautical Engineering from the University of Illinois and a Masters in Business Administration from Arizona State University.

Landeene’s selection comes following an intensive, months-long national search for a new Executive Director.

“I’m excited to be spearheading such a groundbreaking endeavor that will create increased commercial access to space,” said Landeene on news of his appointment.

As the Executive Director for Spaceport America, Landeene’s duties will include the oversight of all spaceport operations, staffing, planning and development. His role encompasses working as a liaison between government entities and managing the Spaceport’s public relations. In addition to serving as Executive Director of Spaceport America, Landeene will work closely with New Mexico State University, nurturing a unique educational partnership between Spaceport America and the New Mexico education system. Landeene’s first task as Executive Director will be to transition Spaceport America from planning to actualization.

Spaceport America, a landmark project, is poised to become one of the world's leading commercial spaceport centers to be completed in Sierra County, 45 miles northeast of Las Cruces. According to economic forecasts by NMSU and Futron, Spaceport America may spur up to 5,000 new jobs and up to $1 billion in new revenue in the state. Spaceport America is scheduled to open for business in mid 2010.

For images of Spaceport America go to:

(For additional information, contact David Wilson @ Wilson Binkley Advertising & Marketing - 575-524-8118)