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.
Among those hit were the London newspapers Daily Telegraph, Independent and Evening Standard, which reported that other news organisations had also been targeted.
The European Union's privacy watchdogs agreed on a set of guidelines to help them implement a ruling from Europe's supreme court that gives people the right to ask search engines to remove personal information
Iraq bars private companies from owning fixed networks transiting domestic data and anything they build is usually seized by the government.
The new crew faces a busy six months in orbit, including a trio of spacewalks to prepare the station for a new fleet of U.S. commercial space taxis
European politicians have grown increasingly concerned about Google's and other American companies' command of the Internet industry, and have sought ways to curb their power
NSA chief Rogers said digital attackers have been able to penetrate such systems and perform "reconnaissance" missions to determine how the networks are put together.
World's largest atomic laboratory finds two subatomic particles; discovery alters shape of physics.
When bank employees were primed to think less about their profession and more about normal life, they were less inclined to dishonesty.
Comets date back to the formation of our solar system and have preserved ancient organic molecules like a time capsule.
The State Department's network was infiltrated last month, but the department did not disconnect the affected systems until over the weekend, according to federal technology information website
Before dying, Philae defied the odds and radioed its science results back to Earth for analysis.
New funds from the Department of Energy will go toward building supercomputers for nuclear weapons and other research.
The presidential library statement said that 50,000 books and archive documents from 27 libraries around Russia had already been handed over for the process of establishing the "alternative Wikipedia".
Hackers could potentially steal login credentials, access sensitive data stored on iOS devices and remotely monitor activity on those devices, the government said.
First spacecraft in history to land on comet's surface posts photos on its twitter account.
The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth quoted one of the group members as saying that his group had already accessed and blocked the website of the Palestinian Interior Ministry on Tuesday