Advances in Space Transportation Systems Transforming Space Coast

Asia's Tech News Daily

Advances in Space Transportation Systems Transforming Space Coast

From a seaside perch overlooking the hustle and bustle of ships coming and going at Port Canaveral on Florida’s east coast, Dale Ketcham reflects on decades of history with nostalgia.

“I moved here and learned how to walk on Cocoa Beach three years before NASA was created” in 1958, he said.

Not only can Ketcham trace his life alongside the U.S. space program, he’s had a firsthand view of the transformation of the economies of communities surrounding NASA’s Kennedy Space Center several times since the 1950s.

“The space program continued to progress, but it was always government-focused,” said Ketcham, adding that the configuration did not bring long-term stability to the local workforce.

“For 50 years roughly, Florida’s Space Coast was the place for launch” but not production of spacecraft, said Brian Baluta of the Economic Development Commission (EDC) of Florida’s Space Coast.

Most of the equipment used in the Apollo and space shuttle programs in the last half of the 20th century was shipped to Florida for assembly.When Atlantis touched down in 2011 on the final shuttle mission, it marked the end of an era in human spaceflight, with painful economic consequences for the Space Coast.

“The job losses started to pile up, and that happened to coincide with the Great Recession,” Baluta said.”And that was really a one-two punch for this area. In 2011, unemployment was 12% at that point. The economy and its outlook (were) not that strong.”

Baluta’s organization responded by forging a plan to boost the fortunes of the area’s workforce – permanently.

“It started with taking the unusual step of reaching out to the companies who were likely to produce the successor to the space shuttle,” he said.”At the time, it was called the Crew Exploration Vehicle, and there wasn’t a contract for it yet,” he said. “But we reached out to Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing – the companies that would likely compete and win for that contract. And we made the unusual pitch of, ‘If you win the contract, not only should you consider launching from Cape Canaveral, but you should consider assembling your spacecraft here.'”

Diversify products
The concept took off. “Just like diversifying a portfolio, if you diversify the area and your products, you can ride through those lows,” said Lockheed Martin’s Kelly DeFazio. Her company won the contract to create NASA’s next-generation spacecraft transporting humans back to the moon.

The Crew Exploration Vehicle, now called Orion, is the crew capsule of the upcoming Artemis missions. Instead of making them elsewhere, some of Orion’s key components are pieced together at Lockheed Martin’s new STAR (Spacecraft, Test, Assembly and Resource) Center near Titusville, Florida, which is the former home of Space Camp and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

“This particular center here was an 18-month, $20 million investment by Lockheed Martin, and that is helping to expand the manufacturing footprint for the Space Coast and allowing us to increase throughput (output) over time to support the lunar mission,” said DeFazio, who is also a longtime resident of Florida’s Space Coast. She now oversees the work at STAR Center, which includes creating wiring harnesses and the application of thermal tiles that will protect the Orion capsule.

Amid all the activity at STAR Center, DeFazio said local excitement is building.

“I think that it will start to become very clear with the launch of Artemis 1 that there is a difference,” said DeFazio. “And you know what? We’re going to take humans farther than they have ever gone before.”

“When I was growing up with the original seven astronauts, it was really a frontier town,” Ketcham said. That Wild West frontier town description is also how he characterizes the present-day Space Coast, with government contractors and private companies jockeying for real estate and launch access.

“In many ways, we’re going back. … The workforce is younger, particularly with Space X. They aren’t afraid to fail,” Ketcham said.

‘The more the merrier’
Space X, Blue Origin, and the Airbus and One Web partnership are just a few of the growing number of companies now with facilities near the rocket launch pads at Kennedy Space Center, thanks in part to the efforts of the EDC and organizations like Space Florida, where Ketcham now serves as vice president.

“We just had an announcement this week that there will be a small launch company called Astra coming here to build small rockets for small satellites, which is a big new component of the space industry,” said Ketcham. “But we’ve also got Firefly, Relativity coming – and others will be coming after that.”

The more the merrier said Ketcham, who believes the flurry of activity not only helps the local economy but also keeps the United States competitive globally in what he sees as a new international space race.

China leading the race
“The Chinese will put more rockets into orbit than we will because the Chinese are competitive, very smart, very capable, very well-resourced and very committed. And they are the major competitors in space,” Ketcham said.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson agrees.

During a U.S. House of Representatives appropriations hearing conducted remotely last year, he signaled alarm over the recent successes in the Chinese space program, including landing a rover on the surface of Mars, and is concerned that their ambitions are not limited to the red planet.

“They want to send three big landers to the south pole of the moon,” Nelson told members of Congress. “And that’s where the water is. And we are still a year or two away from a much smaller lander going there.”

Nelson wants U.S. lawmakers to increase NASA’s funding so the agency can complete the Artemis program, which plans to return humans – including the first woman – to the moon, with Mars as an eventual destination.

“I think that’s adding a new element as to whether or not we want to get serious and get a lot of activity going on landing humans back on the surface of the moon,” he said.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Too much heavy metal stops stars producing

Stars are giant factories that produce most of the elements in the Universe – including the elements in us, and in the Earth’s metal deposits. But what stars produce changes ... Read more »

Deciphering conditions around the Sun five million years ago

Using high-resolution data obtained from the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope, Wesleyan University Professor of Astronomy Seth Redfield can show the conditions the Sun encountered traveling ... Read more »

Researchers Observe Massive CME on Distant, Sun-Like Star

EK Draconis illuminates an unimagined picture of how superflares may affect interplanetary space through coronal mass ejections Welcome to the New Year! While Earth celebrated 2022’s arrival with displays of ... Read more »

North Pole solar eclipse excited auroras on the other side of the world

A solar eclipse over the Arctic created changes in auroras in both of Earth’s hemispheres due to connections through the planet’s magnetic field, according to a new study. The new ... Read more »

Increased space missions risk extraterrestrial contamination

The days of the U.S.-Soviet Space Race are over, and the domain of space exploration is expanding daily to include more countries than ever before. With the advent of private ... Read more »

Planet to launch 44 SuperDove satellites on SpaceX's Falcon 9

Planet Labs PBC reports announced that the launch of their Flock 4x, consisting of 44 SuperDove satellites, will take place on Thursday, January 13th on SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Transporter-3 SSO. ... Read more »

Mangata Networks announces funding for satellite edge computing network

Mangata Networks has closed a $33 million Series A round led by US-based venture capital firm Playground Global to continue its mission to transform the way the world interacts with ... Read more »

Indian Space Agency tests cryogenic engine for its first-ever manned mission

India’s flagship human spaceflight mission, Gaganyaan, has completed the design and testing phases. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) plans to launch two uncrewed missions ahead of the final mission ... Read more »

Manufacturing revenues for Earth observation to grow to $76.1 billion by 2030

Euroconsult, the leading space consulting and market intelligence firm, has released its eagerly awaited ”Earth Observation Satellite Systems Market” report, providing a sweeping review analysis of the Earth Observation (EO) ... Read more »

NASA's new IXPE mission begins science operations

NASA’s newest X-ray eyes are open and ready for discovery! Having spent just over a month in space, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) is working and already zeroing in ... Read more »

Ride into space on Vega-C secured for FLEX and Altius

A contract signed with Arianespace secures the joint launch for two satellites that will further knowledge of our home planet. Scheduled to lift off on a new class of rocket, ... Read more »

The Incredible ASIM: Distant galaxy edition

The Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor, or ASIM for short, is a first-of-its-kind complement of instruments on the International Space Station. Dubbed the ‘space storm hunter’, ASIM measures electric events in Earth’s ... Read more »

From dust to planet: how gas giants form

Gas giants are made of a massive solid core surrounded by an even larger mass of helium and hydrogen. But even though these planets are quite common in the Universe, ... Read more »

SDSS-V robots turn their eyes to the sky

After twenty-one years of observers loading heavy aluminum plates night after night, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is now seeing the cosmos through robotic eyes. Following more than five ... Read more »

Cheops reveals a rugby ball-shaped exoplanet

ESA’s exoplanet mission Cheops has revealed that an exoplanet orbiting its host star within a day has a deformed shape more like that of a rugby ball than a sphere. ... Read more »

Advertising plays key role in satellite TV success, study shows

The pay television market in the United States was dominated by a handful of cable operators until the early 1990s with the entry of satellite TV, which has grown consistently ... Read more »

Elusive atmospheric molecule produced in a lab for the 1st time by UH

The previously elusive methanediol molecule of importance to the organic, atmospheric science and astrochemistry communities has been synthetically produced for the first time by University of Hawai?i at Manoa researchers. ... Read more »

Astroscale U.S. and Orbit Fab sign first on-orbit satellite fuel sale agreement

Orbit Fab, the Gas Stations in Space refueling service provider and Astroscale U.S. Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Astroscale Holdings Inc. and market leader in securing long-term orbital sustainability, has ... Read more »

ASU instrument captures breathtaking 'first light' images

ASU scientists and engineers building the Europa Thermal Emission Imaging System (E-THEMIS) for NASA’s Europa Clipper passed a major hurdle recently by capturing the first successful test images from this ... Read more »

Astronomers identify potential clue to reinonization of universe

About 400,000 years after the universe was created began a period called “The Epoch of Reionization.” During this time, the once hotter universe began to cool and matter clumped together, ... Read more »

Mini monster black hole could hold clues to giant's growth

The discovery of a supermassive black hole in a relatively small galaxy could help astronomers unravel the mystery surrounding how the very biggest black holes grow. Researchers used NASA’s Chandra ... Read more »

Simulated Image Shows How NASA's Roman Could Expand on Hubble's Deepest View

A team of astrophysicists has created a simulated image that shows how the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope could conduct a mega-exposure similar to but far larger than Hubble’s celebrated ... Read more »

Ocean Physics Explain Cyclones on Jupiter

Hurtling around Jupiter and its 79 moons is the Juno spacecraft, a NASA-funded satellite that sends images from the largest planet in our solar system back to researchers on Earth. ... Read more »

Gilmour Space fires up for 2022 with Australia's largest rocket engine test

Rocket engineers at Gilmour Space Technologies have greeted the new year with a successful 110-kilonewton test fire of the most powerful rocket engine ever developed in Australia. The 75-second test ... Read more »

Prestwick Spaceport Files Planning Application Notice

South Ayrshire Council has started the process of submitting a formal planning application for the Prestwick Spaceport development. The Proposal of Application Notice (POAN) is the first step in the ... Read more »

Life could be thriving in the clouds of Venus

by Eric Verbeten for WISC News Is there life on Venus? For more than a century, scientists have pondered this question. Now, there is renewed interest in Venus as a ... Read more »

How the Earth's tilt creates short, cold January days

As the Earth orbits the sun, it spins around an axis – picture a stick going through the Earth, from the North Pole to the South Pole. During the 24 ... Read more »

NASA's newest astronaut class begins training in Houston

NASA swore in 10 new astronaut candidates Monday at Johnson Space Center in Houston — six men and four women — who someday may walk on the moon or Mars. ... Read more »

Shouzhou XIII crew finishes cargo spacecraft, space station docking test

The Shenzhou XIII astronauts in China’s space station core module have completed the manual rendezvous and docking experiment with the Tianzhou 2 cargo craft, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) ... Read more »

Take-Two to buy 'Farmville' creator Zynga for $12.7 bn

Video game publisher Take-Two announced Monday it reached a deal to acquire “Farmville” creator Zynga for $12.7 billion, in a major mobile gaming push by the maker of “Grand Theft ... Read more »

Hubble sees cosmic clues in a galactic duo

This spectacular image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures the spiral galaxy NGC 105, which lies roughly 215 million light-years away in the constellation Pisces. While it looks like ... Read more »

Eccentric exoplanet discovered

Led by the University of Bern, an international research team has discovered a sub-Neptune exoplanet orbiting a red dwarf star. The discovery was also made thanks to observations performed by ... Read more »

Real-time alert system heralds new era in fast radio burst research

McGill University scientists have developed a new system for sharing the enormous amount of data being generated by the CHIME radio telescope in its search for fast radio bursts (FRBs), ... Read more »

NASA to host coverage for Webb Telescope's final unfolding

NASA will provide live coverage and host a media briefing Saturday, Jan. 8, for the conclusion of the James Webb Space Telescope’s major spacecraft deployments. Beginning no earlier than 9 ... Read more »

Loft Orbital extends production agreement with LeoStella

Loft Orbital Solutions, Inc. (Loft Orbital), a leading space infrastructure-as-a-service provider, and LeoStella, Inc., a specialized satellite constellation design and manufacturing company, have extended their production agreement to secure multiple ... Read more »

Asteroid with a refreshed surface

How did our Solar System form and evolve? Various models for the creation of our system of planets have been proposed, but the planets themselves provide unfortunately little information as ... Read more »

Arianespace consolidates leadership in commercial market with 15 Ariane, Soyuz and Vega launches in 2021

Arianespace confirmed its strong performance in 2021, with 15 successful launches – five more than in 2020 – and 305 satellites sent into orbit using its three launchers, Ariane, Soyuz ... Read more »

Debris from failed Russian rocket falls into sea near French Polynesia

The upper stage of a failed Russian Angara A5 rocket plummeted uncontrolled to Earth, crashing into open sea near French Polynesia. The U.S. 18th Space Control Squadron confirmed the 4 ... Read more »

Metaverse gets touch of reality at CES

A jacket equipped with sensors that let wearers feel hugs or even punches in virtual reality was among the innovations giving the metaverse a more realistic edge at the Consumer ... Read more »

Webb Secondary Mirror Deployment Confirmed

The Webb teams has deployed the observatory’s secondary mirror support structure. When light from the distant universe hits Webb’s iconic 18 gold primary mirrors, it will reflect off and hit ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic