Status Report

Florida Spacegram 31 Jan 2001

By SpaceRef Editor
January 31, 2001
Filed under ,

Russia Set to De-Orbit Mir Space Station — The launch last week of a
Russian “Progress” cargo vehicle to the Mir space station will allow
controllers in Moscow to de-orbit the aging facility in early March. Mir
will re-enter over the Pacific Ocean to ensure public safety.

China Launches and Recovers Man-Rated Spacecraft — China’s plans to send
humans into space were boosted by the seven-day flight and recovery of a
Shenzhou-2 spacecraft, passengers of which reportedly included a monkey,
a dog, a rabbit, and several snails, according to Orbital Report. No
photos of the landing have been published, raising speculation that the
recovery may have failed, or that the capsule may have been damaged.
Grant Solicitation Released for Research and Education Projects — The
NASA-sponsored Florida Space Grant Consortium, Florida Space Research
Institute, and Spaceport Florida Authority have released their third
joint solicitation for space-related research and education proposals.
The grant program is designed to fund projects that are consistent with
the state’s space industry growth needs. Visit
for more information or a copy of the RFP. Or contact Dr. Jaydeep
Mukherjee at [email protected]

Allen Appointed to Spaceport Authority Board — The Speaker of the
Florida House of Representatives, Tom Feeney, has appointed newly elected
State Representative Bob Allen of Rockledge to serve as an ex-officio
member of the Spaceport Authority‚ Board of Supervisors. The board
includes legislatively appointed ex-officio members and seven
governor-appointed voting members.

Nelson Supports Mars Mission — Newly elected U.S. Senator Bill Nelson of
Florida, a former astronaut, endorses human exploration of Mars and will
work to gain congressional support for NASA to proceed with such a
mission, according to Florida Today. Meanwhile, according to Orbital
Report, NASA is considering the option to launch only one of two planned
unmanned Mars rovers in 2003 from the Cape Canaveral Spaceport.
Weldon Addresses Space Transportation Association — Florida Congressman
Dave Weldon, vice chair of the Space & Aeronautics Subcommittee, will be
the featured speaker at a February 6 breakfast meeting of the Space
Transportation Association in Washington. Call Eric Stallmer at
703-671-4116 for information.

Space Grant Consortium Announces Fellowship Opportunities — The
NASA-sponsored Florida Space Grant Consortium, administered by the
University of Central Florida, has released its 2001/2002 fellowship
program solicitation, designed to sponsor upper-level student/faculty
involvement in industry or government space programs. Visit for more information or a copy of the RFP. Or
contact Dr. Jaydeep Mukherjee at [email protected]

NASA Administrator Stays Put For Now — NASA Administrator Dan Goldin has
advised his employees that he will remain in his present position until
the new administration names a successor. He also announced that Courtney
Stadd will serve as NASA’s chief of staff and White House liaison. Stadd
was previously assigned by the President-elect to serve as NASA
transition chief.

Space Day Planned for April 2 in Tallahassee — The Spaceport Authority
is working with several aerospace companies and organizations to sponsor
Space Day 2001 in Tallahassee on April 2, during the state‚ annual
Legislative Session. Visit the Spaceport Authority’s website at for more information.
Aerospace States Association Meeting Includes Honors for O‚ — The
Aerospace States Association (ASA) will hold its quarterly meeting in
Washington on February 12-13. The meeting will include an appreciation
event for Ed O‚Connor, who is one of the founders of ASA. Visit for info about ASA.

SIFT Seeks Industry Partners for Summer Teacher Fellowships — The Summer
Industrial Fellowship for Teachers (SIFT) seeks space industry partners
to employ teachers during the coming summer. Many teacher applications
are being accepted and SIFT will have difficulty placing all of the
eligible teachers in industry positions. SIFT will pay a large portion of
the cost using proceeds from the state’s Challenger License Plate
program, provided through TRDA’s Teacher Quest program. The SIFT program
allows teachers to learn new skills from industry and bring them back
into their classrooms. Visit SIFT at, or email Don Beck at
[email protected] for information.

Roundtable Plans Congressional Dinner — The Florida Space Business
Roundtable has scheduled its annual Congressional Dinner for April 30 at
the Cocoa Beach DoubleTree hotel. The event will precede the annual Space
Congress event. Call 459-2200 for information or reservations.

Roundtable Invites Nominations for Bumper and Explorer Awards — The
Florida Space Business Roundtable invites nominations for organizations
and individuals who should be considered for the Roundtable‚ annual
Bumper and Explorer awards. The Bumper (named after the first rocket
launched from the Cape) honors an individual or organization that has had
the most significant impact on Florida‚ space industry over the past
year, and will be presented during Space Day in Tallahassee. The Explorer
(named after the first satellite launched from the Cape), meanwhile, will
be presented at the Roundtable’s annual Congressional Dinner to an
individual or organization who has had the most significant impact on
Florida‚ space-related education and research interests. Call me at
321-730-5301, ext. 1105 for nomination forms, or print them from the
Spaceport Authority’s website at

Boeing Plans Delta Consolidation — Boeing has announced plans to
consolidate the management of its Delta family of expendable rockets,
according to Space News. The move is expected to streamline production
and operations, and increase continuity among Boeing’s customers.

Arianespace Posts a Loss for 2000 — Europe’s Arianespace consortium has
confirmed a loss of approximately $190 million in 2000. This represents
the first time in 20 years that Arianespace has posted such a loss.
According to Orbital Report, Ariane’s current backlog of launches now
stands at 49 primary payloads, representing $4.2 billion in anticipated
revenues. Arianespace launches Europe’s Ariane 4 and Ariane 5 rockets
from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.

Lockheed Martin/ILS Wins Contracts — Lockheed Martin’s International
Launch Services unit has announced the signing of 16 firm launch
contracts in 2000, with options for an additional 17. The launches will
be aboard U.S. Atlas rockets and Russian Proton rockets. Though details
were not provided for all of the contracts, it appears that the division
between Atlas and Proton missions will be roughly equal. The value of the
firm contracts is quoted at more than $1 billion, for a total backlog of
about $3 billion.

Israeli Company Proposes Jet-Assisted Microsatellite Launches — Israel’s
Rafael has proposed to launch military microsatellites aboard missiles
that would be deployed from an F-15 fighter jet flying at high altitude.
Spaceport Authority Sponsors Ft. Lauderdale Space Event — The Spaceport
Authority joined several other sponsors, including Boeing and United
Space Alliance, at the gala events in Ft. Lauderdale on Jan. 29-31 for
the astronauts of STS-97, the most recent Space Shuttle mission to the
International Space Station.

Retirement Dinner Planned for Ed O’Connor — The Spaceport Authority is
planning a Feb. 8 retirement dinner for former Executive Director Ed
O‚Connor at the Patrick Air Force Base Officers Club. Contact Patty
Sweetman at 321-730-5301, ext. 1210 for info.

Space Finance Corp. Plans Presence at Florida/NASA Incubation Center —
The Florida Commercial Space Financing Corp. will locate offices at the
Florida/NASA Business Incubation Center at the Titusville campus of
Brevard Community College. The move will allow the organization to
explore financing opportunities for space industry start-up companies.
Call 321-267-2877 for information.

Texas Selects Aerospace Director, Seeks Spaceport Funds — The Texas
Aerospace Commission has selected William Looke to serve as executive
director, where he will be responsible for space industry development.
Meanwhile, according to Scripps Howard News Service, the Texas
legislature is being asked to spend $19 million for the development of a
spaceport, and $3 million for environmental impact studies…all aimed at
attracting a reusable spaceplane vehicle to operate in Texas.
Engineer’s Week Banquet Planned on Feb. 23 — The Canaveral Council of
Technical Societies (CCTS) will sponsor the 2001 Engineers Week banquet
at 6:00 p.m. on Feb. 23 at the Cocoa Beach DoubleTree hotel. Call
321-868-1623 for information.

Edward Ellegood

Spaceport Florida Authority

100 Spaceport Way

Cape Canaveral, Florida 32920-4003

321-730-5301, ext. 1105 (phone); 321-730-5307 (fax); 321-698-9101 (cell)

SpaceRef staff editor.