Front Page


Editor: Veronica Pierce
OpEd: Dan Schrimpsher
Reporter: Dan Schrimpsher
Finance: Veronica Pierce
Contact Us Alternative Contact
space (spās) n. 1. space beyond the atmosphere of the earth.

prag·ma·tism (prgm-tzm) n. A way of approaching situations or solving problems that emphasizes practical applications and consequences.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


David Powell has an in depth article on plans for a communications satellite system around the Moon to support Lunar-Earth communications.

NASA Begins a Trade Study of Ares 1 Oscillation Solutions

NASA has begun a trade study of three possible solutions to the Ares 1 oscillation problem.

India Launches 10 Satellites at Once

India made history by launching ten satellites at one time. The launch took place on Monday, April 28, on India's polar rocket PSLV – C9.

ESA Uses Artificial Intelligence to Search ffor Martian Life

The European Space Agency (ESA) is using Artificial Intelligence to help with the search for life on Mars.

Army to Launch Satellite Constellation for Beyond Line of Site Comms

The Army is planning to launch a constellation of communication satellites for the first time in 50 years. An urgent need for beyond line of site communications is needed to support future Army systems. A pathfinder project of eight satellites should launch in nine months, according to Army officials. Orbital Science's Minotaur and SpaceX's Falcon 1 are the launch vehicles of choice.

Monday, April 28, 2008

ISDC 2008 starts May 29

Don't forget to register for ISDC 2008 beginning May 29 in Washington, DC. (Program)

This Weeks Space Review 4/28/2008

The Space Review is out:

A flower in the polar sky: the POPPY signals intelligence satellite and ocean surveillance

Notes on the state of the RLV industry in 2008 (part 1)

The satellite shootdown: the rest of the story

Review: Shuttle Launch Experience

Launch Complex 40 is Gone to Make Way for SpaceX

Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral has been demolished. SpaceX will launch their COTS resupply rockets from this launch pad in the future.

Presidential Candidates Will Have to Deal with China in Space

An article in CNN points out correctly that none of the presidential candidates are talking about real space issues and China's growing expertise in the space realm. "the Chinese program will be on par with America's by the end of the next president's second term. Then, it will be a real race to Mars even if we want to join." Time to put away the fluff and deal with real issues that affect national security.

Friday, April 25, 2008

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract to SpaceX Press Release with Comments

WASHINGTON -- NASA has awarded Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, a NASA Launch Services contract for the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles.

The NASA Launch Services contracts are multiple awards to multiple launch service providers. Twice per year, there is an opportunity for existing and emerging domestic launch service providers to submit proposals if their vehicles meet the minimum contract requirements.

The contract is an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract where NASA may order launch services through June 30, 2010, for launches to occur through December 2012. Under the NASA Launch Services IDIQ contracts, the potential total contract value is between $20,000 and $1 billion, depending on the number of missions awarded.

The contract seeks a launch capability for payloads weighing 551 pounds or heavier into a circular orbit of 124 miles at an orbital inclination of 28.5 degrees. Payloads would be launched to support three NASA mission directorates: Science, Space Operations and Exploration Systems.

Because an IDIQ contract has been awarded to SpaceX, it can compete for NASA missions using the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles as specified by the NASA Launch Services contract process.

NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center is responsible for program management. This award to SpaceX adds to the stable of launch vehicles available to NASA under previously awarded contracts. The original request for proposal was issued in 1999.


Receiving the NASA Launch Services contract for the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 is a significant endorsement of SpaceX's products and of our plans for the future. In addition to the fourteen missions we've sold thus far, gaining NLS approval constitutes further validation of SpaceX's technology, and opens the doors for the wide variety of NASA spacecraft to fly aboard our launch vehicles. We look forward to working with NASA to send their payloads to Earth orbit, Geostationary orbit, the Moon, Mars and beyond.


Falcon 1 to Kwajalein

The SpaceX Falcon 1 rocket has been loaded on the boat for a June launch at Kwajalein.

Power From Space

Raji Patel thinks with all the talk about greenhouse gases, we need to seriously look at getting power from space.

NASA is Developing Nanosats for 5G Global Communications

NASA is working with Machine-to-Machine Intelligence Corp to develop nanosat constellations to provide 5th generation communications for phones, wireless, and video-on-demand around the world.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

General Dynamics Awarded $116 Million LandSat Contract

General Dynamics has won a $116 million contract with NASA to develop the space craft for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission.

Russians Still Don't Know Why Soyez Fell to Earth

The Soyez dropped "like a rock" to Earth on Saturday. Luckily no one was hurt, but Russian engineers still don't know why the dependable rocket didn't land properly. God help us if the Soyez is going to stop working.

Space Lifestyle Magazine Wins Award

Space Lifestyle Magazine has won a design award.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Space 2.0; the future of commercial spaceflight: a symposium in Haarlem, the Netherlands May 22 2008

If you are going to be in the Netherlands in May, Netherlands Association for Spaceflight and Space Horizons are given a symposium on May 22 in Haarlem. Check out the flier.

13:45 – 14:20: SpaceX (Gwynne Shotwell, Vice-President Business Development)
14:20 – 14:55: XCOR (Jeff Greason, CEO)
14:55 – 15:30: ESA (Wilhelm Kordulla)
15:45 – 16:20: Odyssey Moon (Bob Richards, CEO)
16:20 – 16:55: Your Galaxy (Ronald Heister, CEO, Accredited Space Agent Virgin Galactic)
16:55 – 17:30: Spaceport Partners (Joep de Jong, COO)

ESA Looking at a Cis-Lunar Space Station

The European Space Agency (ESA) is looking at building a cis-lunar space station to support NASA's return to the Moon.

Sierra County Voters Approve Spaceport Tax

T or C, NM – Today, history was made in Sierra County. The voters of Sierra County, New Mexico, have approved an increase in local gross receipts tax to support the construction of Spaceport America, the nation’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport. Sierra County can now join adjacent Doña Ana County in forming a Tax Development District (TDD) as required by the New Mexico State Legislature to fund the spaceport project.

New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) Executive Director Steve Landeene was enthusiastic about the election results, saying, “The people of Sierra County have made a commitment to improve the quality of life for themselves and their children. Spaceport America is real and it’s happening, right here in New Mexico.” The election, which will increase local gross receipts tax by one-quarter of one percent, drew a large turnout of voters, with 2,046 voting in favor of the spaceport and 1,066 voting against.

The formation of the tax district will allow funding for the construction of Spaceport America. In November, voters in adjacent Otero County will go to the polls to decide on a similar tax in that county. In the meantime, NMSA officials will continue to seek their site operator’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) along with a finalized agreement from Virgin Galactic as the spaceport’s anchor tenant, both of which conditions must be met prior to the project moving forward.

With continuing positive community support and ongoing commercial vertical launch activity, Spaceport America holds great promise for New Mexico’s economic future as the nation’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.

Hawkings Says We Need to Colonize the Moon and Mars

Stephen Hawking, renowned physicist, said in a speech at George Washington University on NASA's 50th anniversary that the Earth needs massive investment in establishing colonies on the Moon and Mars. He called for devoting 2.5% of our resources to the task.

NASA Signs Launch Agreement with SpaceX

SpaceX and NASA has signed an agreement to allow the low cost rocket provider to compete for science and exploration missions. The contract could be worth up to $1 billion.

Press Release:

WASHINGTON -- NASA has awarded Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, a NASA Launch Services contract for the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles.

The NASA Launch Services contracts are multiple awards to multiple launch service providers. Twice per year, there is an opportunity for existing and emerging domestic launch service providers to submit proposals if their vehicles meet the minimum contract requirements.
The contract is an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract where NASA may order launch services through June 30, 2010, for launches to occur through December 2012. Under the NASA Launch Services IDIQ contracts, the potential total contract value is between $20,000 and $1 billion, depending on the number of missions awarded.

The contract seeks a launch capability for payloads weighing 551 pounds or heavier into a circular orbit of 124 miles at an orbital inclination of 28.5 degrees. Payloads would be launched to support three NASA mission directorates: Science, Space Operations and Exploration Systems.
Because an IDIQ contract has been awarded to SpaceX, it can compete for NASA missions using the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 launch vehicles as specified by the NASA Launch Services contract process.

NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center is responsible for program management. This award to SpaceX adds to the stable of launch vehicles available to NASA under previously awarded contracts. The original request for proposal was issued in 1999.
For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Burt Rutan to Receive Heinlein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Aerospace

Washington D.C., April 15, 2008 -- The National Space Society (NSS) announced today that famed aircraft and spacecraft designer Burt Rutan will receive the Heinlein award for lifetime achievement in aerospace. The award, which is given out every two years, will be bestowed upon Rutan by CNN correspondent Miles O'Brien at the Gala dinner of the 27th Annual International Space Development Conference (ISDC) taking place at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C. on Friday, May 30, 2008.

The Robert A. Heinlein Memorial Award honors those individuals who have made significant, lifetime contributions to the creation of a free, spacefaring civilization. The award is named after author Robert A. Heinlein, in memory of him and of his many contributions to the pro-space movement. The award is given based on a vote of the entire NSS membership. The 2008 award will be the 12th Heinlein Award given.

"With this award, the members of NSS recognize Burt Rutan for his life's work in advancing the frontiers of air and space," said NSS Executive Director, George T. Whitesides.

NSS selected Rutan in recognition of the unique contribution that he has made in designing not just the innovative and re-usable vehicles: SpaceShipOne and SpaceShipTwo, but just as important, the creation of aircraft specifically designed to launch spacecraft: WhiteKnightOne and WhiteKnightTwo. These designs point the way to future high speed air launch systems which could greatly reduce the cost of launch to orbit.

Elbert Leander "Burt" Rutan was born June 17, 1943 in Estacada, Oregon and well known for his originality in designing light, strong, unusual-looking, energy-efficient aircraft.

He is most famous for his design of the record-breaking Voyager, which was the first plane to fly around the world without stopping or refueling, and the sub-orbital space plane SpaceShipOne, which won the $10M Ansari X PRIZE in 2004 for becoming the first privately funded spacecraft to fly to space twice within a two week period.

Rutan displayed an early interest in aircraft design. By the time he was eight years old he was designing and building model aircraft. His first solo flight in a full-scale plane was an Aeronca Champ in 1959, when he was sixteen. In 1965 he graduated third in his class from California Polytechnic University with an aeronautical engineering degree.

From 1965 to 1972 Rutan worked for the U.S. Air Force at Edwards Air Force Base as a flight test project engineer, working on nine separate projects including fighter spin tests and the LTV XC-142 VSTOL transport. Shortly after, he became director of the Bede Test Center for Bede Aircraft, in Newton, Kansas, a position he held until 1974.

Rutan struck out on his own in June of 1974 with the creation of the Rutan Aircraft Factory in the Mojave Desert, where he designed and developed prototypes for a number of aircraft, mostly homebuilt. His first design was the Rutan VariViggen, a two-seat pusher with a canard in front. The canard was later to become a standard feature in most Rutan designs. In April 1982, Burt Rutan founded Scaled Composites, LLC, which has become one of the world's pre-eminent aircraft design and prototyping facilities. Scaled Composites is headquartered in Mojave, California.

Amongst several honors, Rutan previously received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Ronald Reagan in December of 1986 and was named by TIME Magazine one of the "100 most influential people in the world" in April of 2005.

Previous Heinlein Award Winners include General Chuck Yeager (video of Yeager's acceptance speech), Capt. James Lovell, Neil Armstrong, Dr. Carl Sagan, Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Dr. Robert H. Goddard, Gene Roddenberry, Dr. Wernher von Braun, Dr. Gerard K. O'Neill, Dr. Robert Zubrin, and Sir Arthur C. Clarke.

27th Annual International Space Development Conference

ISDC 2008 will bring the major players from all corners of the space world to the nation's capital for a symposium that will provide invaluable insight into the future of spaceflight and exploration.

On Wednesday May 28th, the conference will kick off with an exclusive pre-event, the 4th Space Investment Summit (SIS), bringing together the emerging commercial space industry with the established world of finance to exchange their goals, ideas and advice. On Thursday May 29th, up-and-coming entrepreneurial space companies will be on hand to share their latest advances. Friday May 30th will focus the discussion on NASA and its future. Saturday May 31 will be focused primarily on personal spaceflight and the final day of the conference will concentrate on the visionaries, scientists and entrepreneurs who look far in to the future at deep space settlements, ways to use and inhabit Mars and the methods used to protect our planet from near earth objects such as asteroids.

Featured speakers include Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn; SpaceX Founder Elon Musk; Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Dr. Anthony Tether; Hon. Nick Lampson (D-22nd District-TX), United States House of Representatives; Director of NASA Ames Research Center, Dr. Simon "Pete" Worden; Doug Cooke, Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA's exploration programs; X PRIZE Foundation Founder and Chairman Dr. Peter Diamandis; private space explorers Dr. Anousheh Ansari and Gregory Olsen and Space Adventures CEO Eric Anderson.

NASA is the presenting sponsor of ISDC 2008 and Space News is the exclusive media sponsor. Space Florida is the presenting sponsor of SIS 4.

To register for the 27th Annual International Space Development Conference please visit: or call (202) 429-1600.

Austrialia is Fighting Over Virgin Galactic

Now Wimmera wants a Virgin Galactic spaceport.

Korean's to the Moon

One Korean, Yang Sang-hoon, writes a column inspired by Yi So-yeon, the first Korean in space, says that Korea needs to go to the Moon, "even if it means clutching one leg of the U.S"

Cassini Extended by Two Years

NASA has extended the Cassini mission around Saturn by two years. The mission originally ended this July, but since it is in such a good health, NASA is continuing funding for the mission. This should allow for continued study of Saturn's moons.

NASA Completes First Full-Scale Motor Test for Orion Spacecraft

WASHINGTON, April 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has completed the first full-scale rocket motor test for the Constellation Program's Orion spacecraft, a test of a solid rocket that will be used to jettison the craft's launch abort system.

Now under development, Orion will be America's next human spacecraft,
designed to fly to the International Space Station and be part of a space
flight system to return humans to the moon. The Orion jettison motor will
separate the craft's launch abort system from the Orion crew module during

The Orion launch abort system is a larger solid rocket motor system
that will provide a safe escape for the crew in an emergency on the launch
pad or during the climb to orbit. The test completed late last month is a
critical milestone in NASA's preparations for a series of flight tests
planned to begin late this year of the full Orion abort system.

"This was a major success for the Orion launch abort system team," said
Mark Cooper, NASA's integrated product team lead for launch abort system
propulsion at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "The
test provided valuable data on motor performance that will allow design and
analytical refinements by our contactor team. The test is the culmination
of intense and focused work by the entire jettison motor team."

The jettison motor static test firing was conducted by Aerojet
Corporation in Sacramento. NASA has partnered with Lockheed Martin
Corporation, Orbital Sciences Corporation, and Aerojet to supply the
jettison motor. NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., manages the
Orion launch abort system design and development effort with partners and
team members from Marshall.

For still and video imagery to accompany this release, visit:

For more information about NASA's plans to return to the moon and go
beyond, visit:

Lockheed Martin Signs Agreement with Spaceport America

Lockheed Martin has signed a memorandum of understanding with Spaceport America in New Mexico. Lockheed wants to perform tests at the spaceport site.

Not sure if this is related to Lockheed's agreement with Bigelow Aerospace to ferry people to Bigelow's space station. But it does show one more people of evidence that either LM is evolving or they finally see money in the private space industry.

From What The Bigelow/Lockheed Agreement Says about Lockheed:

Lockheed builds rockets for the military and NASA because it is a safe way to make money. What the new agreement with Bigelow shows me is that Lockheed Martin sees these stations as a viable way to make money. They don't normally push new ideas because they are risky. Risky ventures are for companies trying to make a profit from nothing, like SpaceX or Bigelow. I think it is a wonderful milestone in new space that a traditional "dinosaur" is willing to throw their hat into a private space venture, expecting to make money.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First Launch of Ares 1 Set for April 15, 2009

NASA has plans to launch the first flight test of the Ares 1 rocket in one year on April 15, 2009. The Ares 1 is the first part of the manned moon landings planned by 2020.

China Launches a Space Tracking Ship for Shenzhou VII

Saturday, China launched a tracking ship to support the space walk scheduled for the Shenzhou VII launch later this year. The ship sails the oceans between 60 degrees north and 60 degrees south.

Arab Company Buys Entire Virgin Galactic Flight

An Arab company has put a $500,000 deposit on an entire Virgin Galactic suborbital flight. This the first company reported to have bought an entire flight. The details of the company and the flight are expected in July. The flight is expected to take place in 2010.

New Space Still Can't Get Venture Capitalists

According to an article in Investor's Business Daily, private space ventures are still having trouble getting venture capital money.

Monday, April 14, 2008

NASA Selects Landing Site for Next Rover

NASA has selected the landing site for its next mars rover, Phoenix, when it lands late next month. Green Valley is pleasant sounding, flat area, with very few rocky areas.

South Australia Wants Space Tourism

South Australia is trying to woo Richard Branson into putting Virgin Galactic in their area of the outback.

Scientists Planning Outer Planet Probes

Scientists are bringing concepts to NASA for exploration of the outer planets.

Russia to Build Orbital Assembly Plant

Russia has proposed an orbital assembly plant to put large spaceships together. The translation is a little bad, so good luck.

[update] Here is a better translation and it says construction will begin in 2015.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Carnival of Space #49

Will Gater hosts the 49th installment of the Carnival of Space.

Rocket Racing League to Announce Date of First Exhibition Race, 2008 Exhibition Race Schedule, and Key Acquisition & Partnership

The Rocket Racing League, the new entertainment sports league that combines the exhilaration of racing with the power of rocket engines, will announce the date of the first Exhibition Race of the Rocket Racing League and the 2008 schedule of exhibition races across the country. In addition, Rocket Racing League Composites Corp. will announce the acquisition of a leading aircraft manufacturer and a partnership with a leading engine manufacturer.

Monday, April 14, 2008, 9:15 am EDT

Yale Club of New York City

Granger Whitelaw, CEO, Rocket Racing League
Peter Diamandis, Co-Founder, Rocket Racing League
Adam Smith, Vice President, EAA
Len Fox, Test Pilot, Rocket Racing Composites Corp.
Scott Baker, President, Velocity Aircraft
Neil Milburn, Armadillo Aerospace
John Carmack, Armadillo Aerospace
Mike Houghton, CEO, Reno Air Racing Association
Timothy Hutton, Oscar Winner & Advisory Board Member, Rocket Racing League

About The Rocket Racing League
Founded in 2005 by two-time Indianapolis 500 winning team partner Granger Whitelaw and X-Prize Chairman and CEO Peter Diamandis, the Rocket Racing League (RRL) is a new entertainment sports league that combines the exhilaration of racing with the power of rocket engines. To be held at venues across the country, the Rocket Racing League will feature multiple races pitting up to 12 Rocket Racers going head to head in a 4-lap, multiple elimination heat format on a 5-mile “Formula One”-like closed circuit raceway in the sky. For more information on The Rocket Racing League, please visit

NSS Report on Space Based Solar Power

The National Space Society (NSS) has a special report on Space Based Solar Power.

LADEE to Examine Lunar Dust

LADEE , a small probe set to ride piggyback on the lunar gravity-mapping probe in 2011, will spend 100 days examining lunar dust.

Calling All Lunar Scientists!

Apparently after the Apollo landings ended, people stopped becoming lunar scientists. With the new vision, we need more.

Mars Rover Lead to Give Talk at Vanderbilt University

Steve Squyres, Lead Scientist of the Mars Rover program, is giving a free public talk at Vanderbilt University on April 18. The talk is scheduled for 4 p.m. (CST) in Room 4327 of the Stevenson Center.

NASA Launches New Science Web Site

WASHINGTON, April 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA's Science Mission
Directorate has launched a new Web site that provides enhanced and engaging
information about NASA's vast scope of scientific endeavors and

The site will provide in-depth coverage of NASA's past, present and
future science missions with features that include:

  • Interactive tables and searches for Earth, heliophysics, planetary
    and astrophysics missions
  • Insight into dark matter and dark energy, planets around other
    stars, climate change, Mars and space weather
  • Resources for researchers including links to upcoming science
    solicitations and opportunities
  • A mapping of science questions for NASA science missions and the
    data they produce
  • A citizen-scientist page with access to resources that equip the
    public to engage in scientific investigation
  • Expanded "For Educators" and "For Kids" pages to provide access to a
    broader range of resources for learning the science behind NASA missions
  • Easy-to-navigate design and an improved search engine to help find

Visit the new NASA science Web site at:

    Thursday, April 10, 2008

    UP Aerospace Agrees To 10-Year NM Spaceport Deal

    Press Release: (Upham, NM) - UP Aerospace, Inc., the first company to launch a commercial payload at New Mexico’s Spaceport America, has jointly announced a Memorandum of Understanding for a ten-year agreement with the New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) to make Spaceport America its home for spaceflight operations. Currently based out of Colorado, UP Aerospace, Inc. has already conducted several launches from Spaceport America.

    Officials from UP Aerospace, Inc. believes that Spaceport America, the nation’s first purposebuilt commercial spaceport, is the ideal site from which to lead the next generation of aerospace advancement. "A long-term agreement makes perfect sense,"said company president Jerry Larson. "The commitment from New Mexico at all levels of government, as well as private companies and citizens has been very encouraging every step of the way."

    NMSA Executive Director Steve Landeene is excited about UP Aerospace, Inc. and the longterm commitment the company has made to Spaceport America. "UP Aerospace has already proven the value of Spaceport America to the aerospace industry, and they’re in a perfect position to enlarge their role," Landeene said. "With their ability to provide effective and reliable space access to various clients, UP Aerospace, Inc. is well-positioned for rapid growth in the near-term." Landeene said that the company is planning several launch operations through the second half of 2008.

    Spaceport America offers many unique advantages, including restricted airspace, stable weather for year-round operations, beneficial elevation and dry, non-corrosive climate.

    With continuing positive community support and ongoing commercial vertical launch activity, Spaceport America holds great promise for New Mexico’s economic future as the nation’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.

    SapceX Dragon Demo Schedule Official

    NASA and SpaceX have come to an official agreement for the schedule of the Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule demonstrations. SpaceX reported a six month slip last February. The schedule for the demonstration appears to be:

    • Sept.2008 - 9 engine test
    • Manifest shows three Falcon 9 flights before the first COTS demo
    • June 2009 - COTS Demo 1
    • November 2009 - COTS Demo 2
    • March 2010 - COTS Demo 3

    (hap tip to RLV and Space Transport News)

    ATK Trying to Sell Ares 1 for Other Missions

    ATK is point out the Ares 1 capabilities other than manned Moon missions. At the 24th National Space Symposium Ron Dittemore, president of ATK Launch Systems, told DOD and NRO officials that because of the Ares 1 manned rating, it would be the safest option for their high priority payloads.

    I guess everyone is getting into this capitalist thing. Who knew?

    Soyuz Docks with ISS

    The Russian Soyuz and the first South Korean astronaut are on board the ISS.

    Wednesday, April 09, 2008

    Global Space Economy Reaches $250 Billion in 07

    At the 24th National Space Symposium, The Space Foundation reported that space related revenues across the globe totaled $251 Billion in 2007 , up 11% from 2006. Satellite related products accounted for 55% of the revenue.

    Press Release:
    Colorado Springs, Colo. (April 8, 2008) The Space Report 2008: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity, released by the Space Foundation today, revealed more than $251 billion in global space activity in 2007. The Space Report 2008 is a publication that thoroughly examines and analyzes the state of the space industry. The flagship product of the Space Foundation's Research and Analysis division, The Space Report 2008 covers primarily 2007 data, contains information on global space budgets and revenues, a yearly summary and analysis of the Space Foundation Index, and, for the first time, addresses United States (U.S.) labor and workforce issues. Total global space industry budgets and revenues reached $251.16 billion in 2007, representing a single-year increase of 11 percent from 2006.

    "We are pleased to announce that since the original publication of The Space Report 2006, the global space economy has grown significantly, with double-digit increases each year," said Space Foundation President and Chief Executive Officer Elliot G. Pulham. "It is an exciting time to be part of the space industry. "The Space Report 2008" and the Space Foundation Index clearly illustrate that, in a business climate full of uncertainty and cutbacks, all sectors of space continue to grow and provide value to the global economy."

    For the first time, The Space Report 2008, in a thorough and objective manner, looks at the role of space jobs within the overall United States workforce. Using the most recent statistics available from the federal government, The Space Report 2008 shows that U.S. space industry employment is growing and that the average annual wage within the industry is more than double the broader private sector average wage. In 2006, U.S. space industry workers were paid an average annual wage of $88,200 versus $42,400 for average private sector employees.

    The Space Report 2008 also reveals that satellite-based products and services and U.S. government spending on space again comprise the two largest segments of the space industry at 55 percent and 25 percent of total revenues, respectively. Direct-to-home television and Global Positioning System equipment and chipsets, the two largest sub-segments of the commercial space industry, also posted the strongest growth numbers in 2007, with 19 percent and 20 percent increases, respectively.

    The original edition, The Space Report 2006, looked at the global space industry in its entirety for the first time and established a value for the industry in terms of budgets and revenues, as well as creating a market index for space. "As we learn more about the evolving global space industry," said Pulham, "the Space Foundation is committed to providing the most comprehensive, transparent, and accurate assessment of the impact of established and emerging space markets on our daily lives and financial markets."

    A key component of "The Space Report 2008" is the Space Foundation Index. Now in its third year, the Space Foundation Index is a weighted index that tracks the market performance of 31 public companies that derive a significant portion of their revenue from space-related assets and activities. From its inception in June 2005, through December 2007, the Space Foundation Index increased by more than 29 percent, on pace with the NASDAQ Composite Index and outpacing the S&P 500 Index.

    The early April release of The Space Report 2008 contains data for calendar year 2007, and will provide timely and useful information throughout the calendar year. For more information, or to purchase a copy of The Space Report 2008: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity, visit

    About the Space Foundation
    Founded in 1983 and celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Space Foundation is an international nonprofit organization advancing space-related endeavors to inspire, enable, and propel humanity. A leader in space awareness activities, major industry events, and educational enterprises that bring space into the classroom, the Space Foundation is headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colo. It conducts research and analysis and government affairs activities from its Washington, D.C., office, and has field representatives in Houston and Cape Canaveral, Fla. The Space Foundation conducts the premier annual gathering of the global space community, in Colorado Springs. The Space Foundation will also conduct the inaugural Space Business Forum: New York, on June 18, in New York City, and along with partnering organizations, Strategic Space and Defense 2008, scheduled 6-8 October in Omaha, Neb. For more information, visit

    Boeing Calls for More NASA Funding

    Jim Albaugh, the head of Boeing's defense arm, says that NASA needs more funding if the US is keep its edge in Space. He is concerned about China and India's space ambitions.

    Tuesday, April 08, 2008

    Spaceport Executive Director Can Go Ahead with Virgin Galactic Deal

    The New Mexico Spaceport Authority voted Monday to give Executive Director Steve Landeene the authority to make a deal with Virgin Galactic for use of Spaceport America in New Mexico.

    Russian Soyuz Carries First Korean to ISS

    A Russian Soyuz rocket carried South Korea's first astronaut to the ISS today. Yi So-yeon, a 29-year-old nanotechnology engineer, was both the first South Korean astronaut and the first South Korean woman astronaut.

    Senator Shelby Says Propulsion Will Stay in Huntsville

    U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, said today that after talking with NASA director Mike Griffin, propulsion work would continue at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. We went on to say "There is no NASA without Marshall Space Flight Center, because there is no space travel without propulsion."

    ITAR Loosens Up a Little

    The Defense Technology Security Administration and the National Security Space Office (NSSO) are looking at removing some commercial satellite components from the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). About time if you ask me.

    Virgin Galactic Tickets on Gmail

    I saw an add for Virgin Galactic tickets on Gmail this morning. Does that mean space tourism is hitting the main stream?

    Monday, April 07, 2008

    This Weeks Space Review

    This weeks Space Review is out:

    Governor Richardson and Mike Griffin Discuss Spaceport America

    Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico and NASA Director Mike Griffin met last week to talk about NASA's role in Spaceport America. NASA is planning to use private suborbital ships to perform research in addition to the sounding rockets they have used in the past.

    Sunday, April 06, 2008

    Ten New Planets Discovered!

    Scientists found ten new planets that were confirmed on April 1 the SuperWasp planet factory.
    The planets include Wasp 6b through Wasp 15b. The atlas can be seen here. Check out the New 3D planetary atlas.

    Friday, April 04, 2008

    NASA May Speed Up COTS Program

    NASA has just finished a study at the possibility of speeding up the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program to include crew transport as well as cargo. Currently SpaceX and Orbital Science have been funded to build phase 1, or cargo to orbit, of the COTS program . SpaceX has said they plan to try for the crew portion as well with their Dragon capsule.

    This could be very good news for the American space program.

    NASA and GAO Go at it Over Budget

    NASA is trying to convince congress that they need $3.5 billion in 2009 for the return to the Moon. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the budget is full of red flags. The GAO is concerned that the Ares I and Orion have software, mass, and load requirements problems that make cost estimates difficult.

    NASA Close to Fixing Ares Vibration Issues

    At a press conference yesterday, NASA officials said the vibration issues with the Ares 1 solid rockets are "manageable" and are less of a problem than originally thought. Engineers were initially concerned that the shaking could kill astronauts in the Orion capsule on top of the Ares 1 rocket.

    NASA engineers gave two possible solutions. One was adding shock absorbers between stages or under the seats in the capsule. The other option is changing the rocket's weight or stiffness to reduce or eliminate the problem altogether.

    Some people worry with the first solution, it would add too much weight to the capsule causing a host of logistical problems.

    NASA has not yet decided which solution they will go with.

    Thursday, April 03, 2008

    Jules Vern is Clear for Docking to the ISS

    The Jules Vern, Europe's first ATV, has been cleared to dock with the ISS. They performed test earlier this week and should dock today at 9:41 CDT. You can following the docking here.

    [update:] The Jules Vern has locked with the ISS and is docked. Congratulations ESA.

    Virgle Hoax Gets a Few

    The Virgle hoax Sir Richard Branson and Google put out on April 1st (April Fools) apparently got a few online media to believe it was true. I never believed it, but I wish it were true...

    Sign the Petition of Cheap Space

    MarsDrive has a petition for inexpensive access to space. They basically ask:
    "We therefore appeal to all world space agencies, government leaders, and private sector organizations to challenge them in this matter. We ask them to adopt policies and help develop technologies that will take humanity into space. "

    I don't know if it will make a difference but it might make you feel better.

    Yuris Night Comming April 12!

    Don't' forget Yuri's Night, the International celebration of the first man in space. It is coming April 12, 2008. Go to Yuri's Night to find a local party in your area.

    Wednesday, April 02, 2008

    New New Space News

    The Space Frontier Foundation has the April issue of the New Space News out.

    Space Lifestyle Magazine

    The newest edition of Space Lifestyle Magazine is out.

    Planets, Planets, and More Planets

    Dave Mosher reviews how far we have come in finding extrasolar planets in the last 15 years. He also gives a summary of the techniques being used by scientists.

    The Moon as the New Economic Frontier

    Mark Whittinghton discusses Pete Worden's remarks last month about private industry on the Moon.

    Japan and China to Extend their Lunar Missions

    Japan's Kaguya and China's Chang'e-1 lunar orbiters are performing so well, both countries will likely extend their mission past the one year original plan.

    Air Force Tests Inflatable Rods

    Taking a page from Bigelow Aerospace, the US Air Force tested inflatable rods on the last space shuttle mission. The rods were filled with pressurized nitrogen gas and heated and cooled until they were rigid. The robs are now back on Earth for study.

    SpaceDev Revenues Up 6% for 2007

    SpaceDev reported yesterday that revenues were up 6% from $32.6 million in 2006 to $34.7 million in 2007. Their total loss was better by 72% up from $973,185 2006 to $272,562 in 2007. They are definitely moving in the right direction.

    Tuesday, April 01, 2008

    Japan is Looking for a Few Good Astronauts

    JAXA, the Japanese space agency, is looking for new astronauts.

    Major Overhaul to Ares

    If only it were true....

    Major Overhaul to Lunar Architecture.

    NASA Buys out XCOR

    According to the Aero-News Network, NASA has bought out XCOR into order to get their hands on the "cool' plans for the Lynx suborbital craft.

    Happy April Fools Day!!!

    Spaceport Sweden On Track

    Virgin Galactic and Spaceport Sweden held a press conference today. There are reportedly no obstacles in building a co-operating base in Sweden (along with Spaceport America in New Mexico) for Virgin Galactic's private space flights.

    According to Will Whitehorn, president of Virgin Galactic, the ships will be used for space tourism as well as "part of a longer term development programme involving space science, payload deployment and potentially other applications yet to be defined."

    Jules Vern Passes Second Test

    The European Space Agency's ATV, the Jules Vern is 2 for 2 so far. After testing the optical navigation system and the retreat and escape commands the second test was called complete.

    The first docking attempt will be April 3.