Saturday, March 27, 2010

Articles of Interest

Articles of interest while I'm out of town the next few days ...

I noted on March 13 a report on SpacePolitics.com about President Obama proposing a reform of export control policies that adversely impact the ability of the American space industry to compete globally.

Space Politics updated that report yesterday, although it's noted that in an election year the issue might be spun to deal the president a defeat despite what's in the nation's best interest.

Space Politics reported on March 25 that former Lockheed Martin executive Tom Young criticized Obama's NASA budget proposal. Young doesn't believe commercial space access will be successful and wants NASA to continue with Constellation. Lockheed Martin is one of the primary contractors for Orion, the capsule that would one day ride atop Constellation rockets.

Space News reports that Lockheed Martin might be forced to slow or stop work on Orion to save money should the project be cancelled as the Obama administration proposes. Space News also reported on Young's testimony.

Aviation Week reports that Pentagon leaders have no problem with the NASA budget proposal, despite prior testimony by underlings to the contrary.

Space.com reports that NASA awarded $50 million each to five companies for new propulsion technologies.

The space agency granted $50 million each to five companies for research into novel engine system designs such as electric propulsion, new propellants made from non-toxic chemicals, and other areas.

The recipients of the funds include Aerojet of Sacramento, Calif.; ATK Mission Systems of Ronkonkoma, N.Y.; Northrop Grumman Aerospace Corporation of Redondo Beach, Calif.; Orbital Technologies Corporation of Madison, Wisc.; and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Inc. of Canoga Park, Calif.


The article concludes, "The new contracts come at a time when NASA is planning to embrace novel technologies under the new plan outlined in President Obama's 2011 budget."

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