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NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke will provide an update on the work of their task force that was created in response to President Obama's April 15 promise to spend $40 million to help space workers along Florida's space coast. The event starts at 10:00 am EDT and will be held at the Orlando Airport Hyatt Hotel in Orlando, FL. It can be viewed on NASA TV.
UPDATE: The Soyuz landed safely at 11:25 pm EDT today (9:25 am June 2 in Kazakhstan).
Representative Parker Griffith (R-AL), who represents Huntsville, AL, lost his Republican primary battle yesterday. Rep. Griffith was elected to Congress as a Democrat in 2008, but switched to the Republican party in 2009.
When he was a Democrat, he was a member of the House Science and Technology Committee. He lost that seat when he switched parties, but continued to attend some NASA-related hearings as a non-member, supporting the Constellation program. He lost the Republican primary decisively, 51 percent to 33 percent.
The first flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 is still set for Friday a company spokeswoman, Emily Shanklin, said in an email tonight. The four-hour launch window opens at 11:00 am EDT. The next day has been reserved for a second attempt if needed. Weather is forecast to be 40% no go at this time, according to Shanklin.
Apparently hoping to dampen expectations for this much anticipated flight, the email emphasizes that the goal is to gather flight data and
The BBC reports that Jean-Jacques Dordain may be reappointed as Director General (DG) of the European Space Agency (ESA).
Dordain, a Frenchman, became DG in 2003 and is nearing the end of his second term. He was expected to be replaced by a German as head of the intergovernmental organization. The leading German candidate, Jan Woerner, announced on Monday that he did not want the job, saying on his blog that consequently France and Germany were jointly proposing that Dordain be asked to stay,the BBC reported.
ESA's 18 members are: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
In an op-ed for The Washington Times yesterday, Paul Spudis and Bob Zubrin joined forces to oppose President Obama's new human space flight plan and support President Bush's Vision for Space Exploration. Spudis is a senior staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute and well known advocate for lunar research. Zubrin is an ardent supporter of human exploration of Mars and is President of the Mars Society. President Obama sees no need to return to the Moon "because we've been there before" and wants to focus on sending crews to orbit Mars first, with a landing only sometime within his lifetime. Thus it may not be as surprising as it would seem at first blush to see Spudis and Zubrin working together to support the Bush plan despite their past differences.
Legendary Russian rocket designer Boris Chertok has edited a new book forecasting the next century of spaceflight. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Baturin outlined the book's contents at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars this afternoon, emphasizing that it is a forecast, not a prediction.
The book's 40 authors incorporated science and science fiction to put forward their best guess as to what the 21st century will hold for the world, including for space activities. Somewhat surprisingly, they foresee little role for Russia in space past the 2020s, with the United States and China as the dominant players. They anticipate significant militarization of space and the first "space war" about 2050. They assert it will last two years and the results will be just like World War II - favorable to the United States. The pi ce de r sistance as the next century begins will be a "shocking event" according to Baturin: the first launch of an "artificial space pilot: not an automated device, but the product of artificial life." It terms of its impact on humanity, he likened it to Yuri Gagarin's 1961 flight that placed the first human into space.
Russian cosmonaut Yuri Baturin will speak at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars tomorrow (Tuesday, June 1) from 12:00-1:00 on "New Paradigms for International Space Programs: Prospects and Forecasts." The event will be in the 6th Floor auditorium of the Wilson Center, located at the Ronald Reagan Building, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC. No reservations are required; seating is on a first come first served basis. A photo ID is required for entrance to the building.
(This story has been updated to add the undocking and landing times.)
That will leave three crew aboard the station: Alexander Skvortsov, Tracy Caldwell Dyson, and Mikhail Kornienko. They will be joined by three new colleagues in two weeks: Doug Wheelock, Fyodor Yurchikhin, and Shannon Walker. For more on ISS comings and goings, visit NASA's ISS website.
UPDATE: Space News has published a story quoting SpaceX official Larry Williams as saying that Mr. Musk's financial situation is "irrelevant to the company and our future" because although he is the largest shareholder, "he is only one of a number of investors at this point." The focus of the article is that SpaceX told NASA that it would be eight months instead of five months between the first and second test flights of Falcon 9 that are part of NASA's COTS subsidy program. The first test launch of Falcon 9, with a Dragon mockup, is currently scheduled for June 4 but does not count as part of COTS, according to the article.
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