Status Report

Florida Spacegram 16 Mar 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
March 16, 2001
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NASA Selects Eight Firms for Space Launch Initiative Studies
— NASA has reportedly selected eight firms to participate in the
agency’s $900 million Space Launch Initiative (SLI), which is
designed to support technology development for next-generation
reusable launch systems.  According to, the winning
companies are Andrew Space & Technology, Boeing, Kistler
Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Orbital Sciences Corp.,
Universal Space Lines, and Futron Corp.

More Next-Generation Rocket Studies Announced — NASA
Glenn Research Center has awarded approximately $300,000 to Boeing to
study a two-stage-to-orbit rocket concept, while Marshall Space
Flight Center is pursuing contracts with companies like Georgia-based
Space Works Engineering and Missouri-based McKinney Associates 
to study new propulsion technologies for next-generation reusable
rockets, according to Orbital Report.  These awards appear to be
unrelated the NASA Space Launch Initiative studies described
X-38 Work Will Proceed Despite CRV Cancellation — The
development and testing of NASA’s X-38 reusable space vehicle,
designed to serve as a prototype of a Space Station Crew Rescue
Vehicle (CRV), will proceed despite NASA’s cancelation of the CRV
program, according to Orbital Report.  According to NASA, the
X-38 will be released in orbit from Space Shuttle Columbia’s payload
bay in 2002 to perform an unmanned reentry and automated parafoil
X-40 and X-37 Proceed With Successful Drop Test
According to Florida Today, the X-40A prototype for the military
Space Maneuvering Vehicle (SMV) reusable spaceplane was successfully
tested this week in California.  The craft flew for 74 seconds
and made a perfect automonous landing after being dropped by a
helecopter at 15,000 feet.  The test flight and landing
successfully demonstrated a new Honeywell GPS-based navigation
system.  According to Orbital Report, the X-40 is a military
version of NASA’s X-37 (X-37 is 15% larger than X-40A).  NASA
plans to launch X-37 vehicles twice in 2003, carrying them into space
within the Space Shuttle’s cargo bay.  The military SMV is
intended as a reusable upper stage vehicle that perform a variety of
long-term missions after being lifted into space by an existing
expendable rocket or the Space Shuttle.
Increased NASA Requirements Blamed for X-34 Cost Overruns
— According to Orbital Sciences Corp. statements, cost overruns
on the now-canceled X-34 program were largely the result of 
increased redundancy requirements and oversight by NASA.  NASA
reportedly added these requirements in the wake of 1999 Mars probe
failures, according to Orbital Report.
California Seeks More Shuttle Work After X-33 Demise
In the wake of X-33 cancellation by NASA, California legislators are
asking President Bush to invest in three new Space Shuttle orbiters
(each would cost approximately $3 billion) that would be built by
Boeing at or near the Lockheed Martin X-33 production site in
California.  They also seek to establish a regular Space Shuttle
landing site near the production facility, requiring a $21 million
investment, according to Orbital Report. 
Space Research Institute Receives Over 40 Research Proposals
— The Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI) has received over
40 space research/education proposals from universities and colleges
around the state.  FSRI, the Spaceport Authority, and the
UCF-led NASA-sponsored Florida Space Grant Consortium have combined
funding from NASA and the state to support projects that are
consistent with the state’s space industry goals.  Awards will
be announced in April.
Space Subcommittee Reduces Membership — The House of
Representatives has reorganized the Science Committee’ Space &
Aeronautics Subcommittee, which is vice chaired by Florida’ Dave
Weldon.  Weldon remains on the subcommittee after the
reorganization and is the only Florida member within the Science
Committee.  Reps. Alcee Hastings and Mark Foley of Florida are
no longer on the committee as of last year.
Aldridge Selected for DOD Acquisition Chief — Pete
Aldridge of the Aerospace Corp. has been selected to serve as the
Pentagon’s acquisition chief, according to Space News.  As the
head of Aerospace Corp., Aldridge has been a long-time supporter of
military space programs for the Air Force.  The appointment
should be viewed as a positive development for military space
Lockheed Martin and Boeing Get Air Force EELV Contract Add-On
— According to Orbital Report, the Air Force added two $75
million extensions to Lockheed Martin and Boeing contracts to provide
launch services aboard next-generation Atlas V and Delta IV
rockets.  The extensions will allow one of the companies to
provide launch services for a Navy UHF satellite, tentatively in
Korean Spaceport Delegation Visits Florida Spaceport — A
delegation of South Korean space industry officials will visit
Florida next week to tour the Cape Canaveral Spaceport and meet with
Florida space companies that might assist in the development of a
$102 million spaceport and satellite/launch industry in South
Korea.  The visit is being hosted by Enterprise Florida.
China Sets 2002 Date for Manned Launches — China will
launch its first manned spce mission in the second half of 2002,
according to Orbital Report.  Three unmanned test flights are
scheduled before the manned launch.
Space Station Crew Plans Call to Gov. Bush on Space Day — The
crew of the International Space Station will make a long-distance
telephone call to Florida Governor Jeb Bush on April 2 as part of
Florida Space Day at the state capitol in Tallahassee. 
Haiko Named Spaceport Authority Chairman — Ken Haiko of
Ft. Lauderdale has been selected to serve as the new chairman of the
Spaceport Florida Authority’s Board of Supervisors, replacing Ron
Morris who has served as a member of the Spaceport Authority board
since the agency’s creation in 1989.
Tolley Assigned to Finance Corporation Board — Spaceport
Authority board member Jim Tolley of Palm Bay will replace Ron Morris
as the Spaceport Authority’s representative on the board of the
Florida Commercial Space Financing Corp.
NASA Halts X-Vehicle Programs — NASA has decided not to
provide continued funding to the X-33 and X-34 programs, likely
causing a halt to Lockheed Martin’s plans to develop the proposed
VentureStar reusable launch vehicle, and scrapping plans for X-34
operations at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport. 
Space Research Institute Plans Space-Day Meeting — The
board of the Florida Space Research Institute will meet in
Tallahassee on April 2 as part of the Florida Space Day schedule of
events.  Call Melissa at 321-452-3418 for information.
Forrest McCartney Announces Retirement from Lockheed Martin
— Lockheed Martin Vice President Forrest McCartney, in charge of
the company’s launch operations, has announced his retirement after a
distinguished career in the industry.
Spaceport Authority and Research Institute Support
Legislative Hearing and Budget Discussions
— Officials from the
Spaceport Authority and the Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI)
are in Tallahassee today and tomorrow to provide testimony before the
Florida House of Representatives.  Meetings with legislators and
staff will also focus on supporting Governor Bush’s request for
FY-2002 funding to support various space industry programs, including
the Space Experiment, Research & Processing Laboratory (SERPL),
which will be co-managed by FSRI.

Edward L. Ellegood
Spaceport Florida Authority
100 Spaceport Way
Cape Canaveral, Florida 32920
Phone: 321-730-5301; Fax: 321-730-5307; Cell: 321-698-9101

SpaceRef staff editor.