Russia lofts milcom troika — Kepler PI sharing Shaw Prize purse — New Horizons teases “technicolor” data dump

Tease of the Day

“Boy there’s going to be some WAY COOL new science with what we release tomorrow! Science in technicolor! #Plutoflyby #Hang_onto_your_hat”

– A tweet Wednesday from the official account for the New Horizons mission about an upcoming release of data returned by the spacecraft from its July flyby of Pluto.

  • The chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) has won election to another term in office. Frank DiBello, president and CEO of Space Florida, was elected by the group’s membership to another term as chairman of the commercial space industry organization. Several new organizations also joined the CSF, bringing its membership to more than 60 companies. [Commercial Spaceflight Federation]
  • For the first time in decades, space is being discussed during a Canadian federal election campaign. Canada’s two leading opposition parties, Liberal and New Democratic, have said they support developing a long-term space strategy that the ruling Conservative Party promised but did not complete. The head of the New Democratic Party has also promised to spend $40 million over four years on a technology development program at the Canadian Space Agency. [SpaceNews]
  • Luxury yachts and cruise ships will get satellite broadband access under a new deal. Maritime satellite communications provider OmniAccess said Wednesday it is buying satellite capacity from Panasonic Avionics to serve its 250 ships, with potential future opportunities in aeronautical broadband as well. Panasonic is providing that capacity from planned Intelsat and Eutelsat high-throughput spacecraft. [SpaceNews]
  • Houston’s nascent spaceport will host a business incubator. The Houston Airport System is in the early stages of planning an incubator for early-stage companies at Ellington Airport, as well as a co-working space where small and large companies could collaborate. The airport received an FAA commercial spaceport license earlier this year, but does not yet have any firm customers for launches or landings. [Houston Business Journal]
  • The principal investigator for NASA’s Kepler mission is donating part of a prize to an advocacy organization. William Borucki, who won the $1 million Shaw Prize in Astronomy this year for leading a mission that has discovered thousands of exoplanets, will donate $100,000 to the Union of Concerned Scientists to support its work addressing climate change. “While we can detect other worlds, we cannot go to them,” he said in a statement. “Our future is here on Earth and we must do much more to ensure that our planet’s climate remains hospitable.” [Union of Concerned Scientists]

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Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...