Irene Klotz

Irene Klotz
Articles
Orbital, United Launch Alliance Gearing Up For Cygnus Rocket Swap 
Orbital Sciences’ early decision to tap heritage hardware for its Cygnus cargo capsule is making integration with a replacement launcher a relatively straightforward and uncomplicated process, says the commercial program manager for United Launch Alliance (ULA), Orbital’s newly hired subcontractor.
Orbital, ULA Gear Up For Cygnus Rocket Swap 
ULA expects its first—and possibly only—Orbital Sciences Cygnus capsule to arrive in Florida late this summer for a launch targeted for the last quarter of the year. Orbital Sciences has an option for a second flight in 2016.
NASA CCDev Round Three Contracts Will Be Fixed-Price 

NASA's next round of awards to support development of commercial systems to fly crews to the International Space Station (ISS) will be fixed-priced contracts, not the more flexible Space Act agreements favored by industry, the agency announced as it released a draft solicitation for the program's Integrated Design Phase.

NASA Unveils Plan For Next Commercial Crew Awards 

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA’s next round of awards to support development of commercial systems to fly crews to the International Space Station (ISS) will be fixed-priced contracts, not the more flexible Space Act Agreements favored by industry.

Managers of the Commercial Crew Program office announced the move Sept. 16 at an industry briefing in advance of next week’s release of a draft request for proposals.

NASA Inks Pact For New Space Station Manager 

CAPE CANAVERAL – The Florida-based Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (Casis) has signed a $15 million-per-year, 10-year agreement with NASA to manage the U.S. portion of the International Space Station (ISS) not needed by the U.S. space agency, officials announced last week.

NASA Shifts Orion Abort Test To Florida 

CAPE CANAVERAL — A test flight of the Launch Abort System (LAS) for NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle will shift from U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range, N.M., to a Florida-operated pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The flight, called Ascent Abort-2, is slated for late 2013 or early 2014. The successful Orion LAS Pad-Abort I test was conducted on May 6, 2010, at White Sands.

Shuttle Comms Relay Station Mothballed 

NASA’s Merritt Island Launch Annex (MILA) in Florida was decommissioned this week, another fallout from the end of the space shuttle program.

Located on 61 acres of land just west of Kennedy Space Center’s (KSC) Visitors Complex, MILA provided communications between the orbiters and Mission Control in Houston during launches and landings.

Jupiter Mission Tweaked For Solar Power 

CAPE CANAVERAL — Faced with the choice of waiting for NASA and the U.S. Energy Department to develop a new type of nuclear radioisotope thermoelectric generator—typically used for deep-space missions — or design a survey of Jupiter with a solar-powered probe, program scientists opted for the latter, believing there was less risk to schedule and cost.

Next Station Crew Prepares For Commercial Freighters

CAPE CANAVERAL — The first International Space Station crew in the post-shuttle era had an additional stop in its training flow — Space Exploration Technologies’ Hawthorne, Calif., facility for familiarization with the company’s Dragon cargo freighter.

Juno Probe Heads To The Launch Pad

CAPE CANAVERAL — NASA’s Juno, an innovative and ambitious mission intended to resolve some long-standing mysteries about the formation of Jupiter and the Solar System, headed to the launch pad in Florida July 25 in anticipation of launching Aug. 5.

Orbital Sciences Vet Jumps Ship To SpaceX 

With the space shuttle program ending and U.S. transportation to the International Space Station falling on private industry’s shoulders, Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has hired away a chief legislative affairs executive from competitor Orbital Sciences Corp.

SpaceX and Orbital Sciences share $3.5 billion in NASA contracts to fly cargo to the space station. SpaceX, a privately held company founded by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, also won $75 million in NASA funding to help upgrade its Dragon cargo capsule for human transport.

Florida Team Wins Bid To Manage Space Station Segments

NASA has selected a Space Florida-led team called the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (Casis) to manage commercial, industrial and other non-NASA uses of the International Space Station (ISS).

Partners in the project, which initially will be worth up to $15 million a year, include Boeing, Bionetics and Dynamic Corp. Space Florida is a state-backed economic development board focused on building and diversifying Florida’s aerospace businesses. Casis will be based at the Space Life Sciences Laboratory, adjacent to Kennedy Space Center.

SpaceX Lures Away Orbital Sciences Lobbyist 

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a privately held company founded by Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, has hired Mark Bitterman as senior VP of government affairs, a position he held at competitor Orbital Sciences Corp.

SpaceX holds NASA contracts to fly cargo to the space station and upgrade a Dragon cargo capsule for human transport. Bitterman says, "My focus at SpaceX will be to further strengthen the company's relationships with Congress during a time of great challenges for the nation's civil, commercial and military space programs."

Weather Clouds Plans For Last Shuttle Launch 

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Preparations for the launch of Atlantis and its four astronauts on the final flight in the space shuttle program proceeded smoothly on July 7, but the weather outlook for liftoff at 11:26 a.m. EDT July 8 remained dim.

Meteorologists with Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s 45th Space Wing downgraded their launch day forecast to a 70% chance of a scrub due to thunderstorms, clouds and rain.

Shuttle Launch Team Convenes For One Last Countdown 

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — With little fanfare, the Kennedy Space Center shuttle launch team gathered at 1 p.m. July 5 to begin the 135th and last countdown for a shuttle launch, aiming to get Atlantis and its four-member crew off the ground at 11:26 a.m. EDT on July 8.

“The team gets into the mode of ‘This is launch countdown,’ and that’s really the focus that everybody has,” says NASA test director Jeremy Graeber. “To do it one more time is a great feeling.”

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