Blue Origin’s New Shepard Finalist for Prestigious Collier Trophy

The New Shepard capsule separates from its booster as the abort motor fires. (Credit: Blue Origin)

WASHINGTON, DC, February 2, 2017 (NAA PR) — The National Aeronautic Association announced today that four aerospace projects and accomplishments will compete for the 2016 Robert J. Collier Trophy.

For 105 years, the Collier Trophy has been the benchmark of aerospace achievement. Awarded annually “… for the greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America,”
it has been bestowed upon some of the most important projects, programs, individuals, and accomplishments in history.


Air Force Reusable Rocket Program Goes Bye-Bye

The U.S. Air Force’s reusable booster program has been canceled due to a lack of funding:

Due to “unexpected funding reductions,” the U.S. Air Force is discontinuing work on a prototype reusable rocket design effort that the U.S. National Research Council recently cited as a key steppingstone to an operational system.


Florida Seeks to Run Shuttle Landing Facility, Build Commercial Launch Complex

The Shuttle Landing Facility in Florida. (Credit: NASA)

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

The state of Florida is looking to not only build a new commercial launch complex at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) but also to manage and develop the center’s Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) as an airport/spaceport.

In a letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Transportation Secretary Roy LaHood, Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll requested the conveyance 150 acres of unused land at the north end of KSC near the former citrus community of Shiloh for the new launch complex. She also asked NASA to transfer the SLF to Florida.


Senators Call for Air Force to Halt Talks with ULA on Bulk Rocket Buy

ULA's Atlas V

The U.S. Air Force’s plan to purchase 40 rockets from United Launch Alliance has hit another snag, Aviation Week reports:

The top two senators from the Senate Armed Services Committee are calling for the U.S. Air Force to halt talks worth up to $15 billion with its top rocket provider owing to insufficient pricing data and management insight for the service to make “informed decisions” for crafting a new buy strategy for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles (EELV).

“Given the current climate of fiscal austerity, these developments are profoundly troubling,” says Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) in an Oct. 21 letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.