A former senior NASA official violated procurement regulations in his dealings with Boeing out of fear the company could delay the Trump Administration’s plan to land astronauts on the moon in 2024, The Washington Postreports.
The Post reports that NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration Doug Loverro reached out to Boeing Senior Vice President Jim Chilton in February to tell the company it would not win a study contract for the Human Landing System, a vehicle that will take astronauts to and from the lunar surface. The call came at a time when NASA was not to contact any of the bidders.
Loverro, who abruptly resigned in May, wanted to find out if Boeing planned to protest its loss. If so, NASA would need to issue stop work orders to the winning bidders until the Government Accountability Office (GAO) ruled on the protest. GAO reviews usually take months.
CNBCreports that Jeff Bezos, who has been selling Amazon stock to fund his Blue Origin space company, has liquidated more of his holdings.
Bezos has accelerated his stock sales in the last year. In August, Bezos offloaded more than $3.1 billion of Amazon shares, after selling more than $4.1 billion worth of shares in February. The sales this week bring his total cash out in 2020 to more than $10.2 billion so far, which is a notable jump from 2019, when Bezos sold $2.8 billion worth of shares.
Bezos has previously said he sells about $1 billion of Amazon stock each year to fund his rocket start-up, Blue Origin. Additionally, the Amazon CEO in February launched a $10 billion Earth Fund to combat the effects of climate change, which will issue grants to scientists, activists and other organizations.
Bezos’ estimated net worth is $170 billion, making him the richest man in the world.
Jeff Bezos’ Amazon Web Services (AWS) has unveiled a new space business segment. The company described it in a blog post.
Today, we’re excited to announce that AWS is introducing a new business segment dedicated to accelerating innovation in the global aerospace and satellite industry. The Aerospace and Satellite Solutions business segment will bring AWS services and solutions to the space enterprise, and work with customers and partners around the world to:
Reimagine space system architectures.
Transform space enterprises.
Launch new services that process space data on Earth and in orbit.
Provide secure, flexible, scalable, and cost-efficient cloud solutions to support government missions and companies advancing space around the world.
Whether on Earth or in space, AWS is committed to understanding our customers’ missions. As we enter new areas of exploration, leadership, and knowledge are key. That’s why we are excited to welcome Retired Air Force Major General Clint Crosier, former director of Space Force Planning at the U.S. Space Force, as the leader of this new business segment. Maj. Gen. Crosier has spent the last 33 years driving transformation and mission success across the space enterprise, and led the Defense Department’s efforts to stand up the U.S.’s newest military service.
“We find ourselves in the most exciting time in space since the Apollo missions,” said Maj. Gen. Crosier. “I have watched AWS transform the IT industry over the last 10 years and be instrumental in so many space milestones. I am honored to join AWS to continue to transform the industry and propel the space enterprise forward.”
SPARKS, Nev. (June 12, 2020) – Eren and Fatih Ozmen, owners of the global aerospace and national security leader Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), were honored this week with the prestigious Eisenhower Award for their lifetime contributions to U.S. national security.
Many of the nation’s pre-eminent current and retired military leaders also attended the virtual celebration. The semiannual Eisenhower Award, presented by Business Executives for National Security (BENS), recognizes extraordinary Americans who embody the values and principles of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his holistic definition of national security, which he described as “…the total product of our economic, intellectual, moral and military strength.”
Jeff Bezos’ Amazon and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are among companies doing due diligence on OneWeb, the satellite broadband company that declared bankruptcy in March.
Other companies interested include Eutelsat, Cerberus and two Chinese companies, according to Space Intel Report.
OneWeb has 74 satellites in orbit, which is only 11.4 percent of an initial planned constellation of 648 satellites designed to provide broadband services across the globe.
SpaceX is already deploying its rival Starlink constellation with satellites the company says are more capable than the ones launched by OneWeb. Bezos’ Amazon is planning its own satellite constellation.
It’s not clear whether potential buyers want to purchase the entire company or the OneWeb’s bandwidth allocation, which could be worth as much as $1 billion.
OneWeb filed bankruptcy in March, blaming the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic for drying up financing for the multi-billion satellite constellation.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin released a fact sheet about its programs when it opened its new Huntsville manufacturing facility on Monday. Below is an excerpt on the New Shepard suborbital program.
BLUE ORIGIN FACT SHEET
Named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to go to space, New Shepard is Blue Origin’s fully reusable suborbital launch vehicle designed to take astronauts and research payloads past the Kármán line (100km), the internationally recognized boundary of space, then return them safely to Earth.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin released a fact sheet about its programs when it opened its new Huntsville manufacturing facility on Monday. Below is an excerpt on the company’s advanced development programs and Blue Moon lunar lander.
BLUE ORIGIN FACT SHEET
Advanced Development Programs
Blue Origin is developing advanced technologies to enable space exploration and development, including a NASA Tipping Point contract to mature cryogenic liquid propulsion for integrated large-scale lunar lander applications and several years of progress on the Blue Moon Lunar Lander and its BE-7 lunar landing engine.
Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin released a fact sheet about its programs when it opened its new Huntsville manufacturing facility on Monday. Below is an excerpt on the company’s New Glenn rocket and its BE-3, BE-4 and BE-7 engine development program.
BLUE ORIGIN FACT SHEET
Named after John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit Earth, New Glenn is a single configuration, heavy-lift orbital launch vehicle capable of carrying people and payloads routinely to low Earth orbit, geostationary transfer orbit, cislunar and beyond. Its first stage is fully reusable and built for 25 missions initially.
The clock struck midnight on Jan. 1 amid raucous celebrations around the world. The arrival of a new year and decade merely confirmed what had been clear for months: 2019 was not the breakthrough year for getting humans off the planet.
Neither Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin followed through on long-standing promises to fly paying passengers on suborbital joyrides. An era of commercial space tourism that seemed so close that October day in 2004 when Brian Binnie guided SpaceShipOne to a landing at the Mojave Air and Space Port quietly slipped into yet another year.
CNBC reports that Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos has sold more shares in his Amazon company.
The series of sales began on Jan. 31, the filings show, and continued through Feb. 3, and were executed under a pre-arranged trading plan. In total, Bezos sold 905,456 shares in the company for $1.84 billion, according to the filings.
Bezos has said he will sell Amazon shares to help fund his Blue Origin space company. He made similar sales of stock in 2017 and 2019.
The sales became publicly known as Amazon’s market capitalization topped $1 trillion.
Mills served as vice president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Communications from February 2018 until January 2020. Previous to that, she served as Starbucks’ vice president for global communications for six years.
I would see the hiring of Mills as a sign that Blue Origin is going to ramp up its media operations. Jeff Bezos doesn’t hire someone of that stature to continue the company’s low-level activities.
Blue Origins President Bob Smith said last year the company would fly New Shepard with people after conducting two more automated flights. The first of those launches took place in December. So there could be a major ramp up in that area.
Blue Origin also has a lot of other things on its plate. The company is:
developing the New Glenn rocket for orbital missions;
building a new engine for ULA’s Vulcan booster;
bidding on a major U.S. Air Force launch contract;
competing to build NASA’s human lunar lander for the Artemis program;
bidding on NASA’s CLPS task orders to deliver payloads to the moon; and,
developing a rival to SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband constellation.
Whatever the outcome of these efforts, the company needs an experience public relations professional to navigate the sometimes turbulent media seas.
Last year was a busy one for suborbital flights as Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic conducted a combined four flights of their crewed suborbital vehicles. Despite hopes to the contrary, neither company flew paying tourists on their spaceships.
There were also 26 sounding rocket launches that carried scientific experiments and technology payloads above the atmosphere. The year saw:
Japanese startup Interstellar Technologies conduct a successful launch of its Momo commercial sounding rocket;
Texas-based Exos Aerospace continue to struggle with its reusable SARGE booster; and,
the first suborbital launch ever achieved by college students.
Video Caption: Witness the intersection of hard science and science fiction and how one inspires the other. The cast of The Expanse sits down with brilliant minds from Blue Origin to discuss life beyond our planet. » The Expanse returns 12/13.
About The Expanse: The disappearance of rich-girl-turned-political-activist Julie Mao links the lives of Ceres detective Joe Miller (Thomas Jane), accidental ship captain James Holden (Steven Strait) and U.N. politician Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo). Amidst political tension between Earth, Mars and the Belt, they unravel the single greatest conspiracy of all time.