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Aerospace & Defense News - Space.

Sep 17, 2007

Constellation program will return Americans to the moon. Scientific American takes an in-depth look at the developing Orion spacecraft and NASA's plans for the Constellation program. Sep 14, 2007

Japan successfully launches probe to study Earth's moon. Japan's quest to explore the Moon has begun with the launch of its first lunar probe. The spacecraft will orbit the Moon for about a year, collecting data on its origin and evolution. Japanese scientists say it is the most complex lunar mission since NASA's Apollo program, which put astronauts on the Moon's surface. Sep 14, 2007

WorldView-1 satellite to launch on Sept. 18. DigitalGlobe's WorldView-1 satellite, scheduled for launch atop a Boeing Delta II rocket on Tuesday, is the first of three next-generation commercial U.S. satellites that will be placed in orbit over the next few years. The satellites are designed to deliver the clearest photos yet to the government and consumers. "This new generation in its entirety really is going to sharpen the images people see in Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! and MapQuest with about four times the detail," said analyst Edward Jurkevics of Chesapeake Analytics in Arlington, Va. Sep 14, 2007

NASA will add a fifth spacewalk to shuttle Discovery's upcoming mission to allow astronauts to practice using a tool to repair heat-shield damage similar to that experienced by Endeavour last month. NASA engineers developed the Tile Repair Ablator Dispenser, or T-RAD, to give astronauts a way to repair such damage. The tool dispenses a putty-like material to fill dents and gouges in the fragile thermal tiles. It has not yet been tested in space. Sep 12, 2007

NASA cuts funds to Rocketplane Kistler. NASA officials have abandoned efforts to revive a private $1 billion reusable rocket project led by Rocketplane Kistler. The agency issued a default letter effectively cutting off future federal assistance to the project. Rocketplane had tried to raise as much as $500 million in private financing to keep the project alive but ultimately could not secure the funds. Sep 11, 2007

NASA designs computer chip for hot environments. NASA researchers have designed and built a computer chip that can operate for long periods of time under extraordinarily hot conditions, the agency says. The chip can operate for more than 1,700 hours at temperatures of more than 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Researchers say the chip could be used in jet engines, automobiles, or even robotic exploration on the surface of Venus. Sep 11, 2007

Congress defies veto threat, increases NASA funding. Recent bad publicity has not scuttled congressional support for NASA, as evidenced by Capitol Hill's funding the agency at levels exceeding those requested by the White House. The House approved $17.8 billion in funding for the space agency this summer, and the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the NASA budget at $17.5 billion. The president had requested $17.3 billion for NASA and has threatened to veto spending bills that exceed a $933 billion overall budget cap for programs decided by Congress. Congress has exceeded the limit by $23 billion. Sep 10, 2007

European satellite servicing competitors announce new customers and new spacecraft The two competing on-orbit satellite servicing companies, UK based-Orbital Satellite Services. Sep 10, 2007

Boeing

Boeing completes assembly of new global positioning satellite. Boeing has completed assembly of the first in a new version of global positioning satellites. The company has contracted to build 12 of the block IIF satellites, which will be used for both military and civilian navigation. The Air Force-commissioned satellites will offer improved performance to the military and better signals for civil aviation. Sep 13, 2007

Comtech Mobile Datacom

Comtech Mobile Datacom has won a three-year, $605.1 million Army contract to support a satellite-based system that tracks vehicles on the battlefield. The contract follows a similar 1999 agreement for the program, called the Movement Tracking System. The new contract runs through July 12, 2010. Sep 10, 2007

Lockheed Martin

Engineers boost useful life of old satellites. Scientists at Purdue University and Lockheed Martin have figured out how to extend the lives of older communications satellites by redistributing propellant in their fuel tanks. The method was tested on two communications satellites launched in 1991. The remaining life of the satellites was increased from six to nine months to about two years. A researcher said the longer life brought in an additional $60 million in revenue for the broadcast companies that owned the satellites. Sep 11, 2007

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic spaceship designer reveals changing ideas. Virgin Galactic's suborbital rocket glider SpaceShipTwo (SS2) could have a low wing and its carrier aircraft. Sep 11, 2007

ZZ

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Date:Sep 17, 2007
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