World Bulletin / News Desk
NASA hired Space Exploration Technologies to launch an ocean monitoring satellite, a key win for the start-up rocket company that also wants to break into the U.S. military's launch business, NASA officials said on Thursday.
The $82 million contract covers launch, payload processing and other services for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's ocean-measuring Jason-3 satellite, which is slated to fly in December 2014.
Launch would take place from SpaceX's new complex at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
NASA, which handles procurements for NOAA, also awarded three launch contracts, worth $412 million for Delta 2 rockets built by United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Corp and Boeing Co.
One of the satellites earmarked for a Delta 2 flight is the replacement for a carbon dioxide tracking satellite lost in February 2009 after a failed launch on an Orbital Sciences Corp Taurus rocket.
The launches, slated for July 2014, October 2014 and November 2016, also will take place at Vandenberg.
SpaceX, which is owned and operated by internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, already holds NASA contracts worth $1.6 billion to fly cargo to the International Space Station, a $100 billion laboratory that orbits about 240 miles (386 kilometres) above Earth.
The company in May successfully flew a demonstration mission to the station, a key milestone in its efforts to win U.S. military launch contracts as well.
ULA currently has a monopoly on U.S. military launch business. But in an attempt to certify more launchers, the Air Force is expected to award a non-ULA launch services contract this year for the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR), a former NASA Earth-monitoring satellite being repurposed by NOAA into a solar observatory. A request for bids under the Air Force's Orbital/Suborbital Program (OSP-3) was released May 11.
The criteria for new launchers was jointly developed by the Air Force, the National Reconnaissance Office and NASA.
The new NASA contract is the first evidence that Falcon 9 meets the new launcher criteria.
SpaceX will have plenty of chances to build Falcon's flight history. The rocket's launch manifest includes more than 40 flights, including 12 station cargo flights and the Jason-3 ocean survey satellite for NASA.
The business side of the new operating system was debuted Tuesday. In the spring, Microsoft will reveal consumer capabilities.
Atlas will give marketers access to Facebook's user data that they can use for specific ad campaigns.
The European Aviation Safety Agency allowed European airlines to permit the use of electronic devices throughout the whole flight
Water found in Earth's oceans, in meteorites and frozen in lunar craters predates the birth of the solar system, a study shows
The mission makes India the first country in Asia to reach Mars, after an attempt by regional rival China failed to leave earth's orbit in 2011.
Turkish-made electric car traveled 2,500 kilometers (about 1553 miles) to six cities and cost only 37.5 Turkish liras (about $17) since September 15.
Web users will face criminal action for spreading "false" information aimed at discrediting the government, the official KPL news agency said.
"All are welcome, regardless of religion, nationality or occupation, to contact our organization -- Mossad -- to work for us or to be involved in activities which could bring great personal benefit," reads the new "Contact us" section of the Mossad website
MAVEN will study how the solar wind strips away atoms and molecules in the planet's upper atmosphere, a process that scientists believe has been underway for eons.
Chief prosecutor Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei accused Communications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi of failing to unplug social networking sites and apps "with immoral and criminal content."
Promising 500km on just four hours' charge, the 'T-1', designed and produced by staff and pupils at Istanbul University arrives in eastern city of Erzurum during nationwide tour.
Blind people say the KNFB Reader app will enable a new level of engagement in everyday life, from reading menus in restaurants to browsing handouts in the classroom.
A successful Mars mission would boost the global standing of India's state-run space agency.
The Senate Armed Services Committee's year-long probe found the military's U.S. Transportation Command, or Transcom, was aware of only two out of at least 20 such cyber intrusions within a single year.
The new study revealed the role of hunter-gatherers from the Siberian region who the scientists called "ancient north Eurasians."
The iPad is expected to have a 9.7 inch screen, while the new version of the iPad mini will have a 7.9 inch screen, Bloomberg earlier reported