It was 50 years ago today that Apollo 11 touched down on the moon, and hours later Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the surface. Now we are entering an era where space travel is again gaining wider interest.
In the Gulf Coast region, work is being done on NASA’s Space Launch System in East New Orleans, and in nearby Stennis Space Center, Miss., propulsion systems are being tested for NASA and commercial companies. On top of that, newcomer Relativity Space is setting up a rocket factory at SSC, where it’s also testing its own rocket engines.
The moon and planets are beginning to look closer again.
Now for your week in review:
The U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration is investing $12.25 million in the city of Pensacola to help establish a new aircraft maintenance training facility at Pensacola International Airport.
The money will be matched by more than $36 million in local and state funds. The new facility, a 175,000 square foot hangar, will be used for commercial and technological aviation and will create 400 jobs.
Mayor Grover Robinson says this is a part of "Project Titan," which will eventually include four hangars, the one already operating, the one announced Thursday and two more at the PNS campus.
The new hangar will be similar to the first, but a significant difference will be the attachment of a 65,000 square-foot support services center.
“The Support Services Center will enclose all of our customer reps’ offices; it will have our engineering areas, it will have our procurement, our logistics management will be there,” said Bill Hafner, president of ST Engineering in Mobile, Ala. (Post)
U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, announced officers selected for the 2020 air show season.
The selected 2020 officers are F/A-18 demonstration pilots, Marine Corps Maj. Frank Zastoupil, of Kingwood, Texas, an F-35 Lightning II pilot currently assigned to the “Warlords” of Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, and Navy Lt. Julius Bratton, of Woodlawn, Tenn., an F/A-18 Hornet pilot currently assigned to the “Gladiators” of Strike Fighter Squadron 106.
C-130 pilots chosen are Marine Corps Capt. William Huckeba, of Hoover, Ala., a C-130 Hercules pilot currently assigned to Officer Candidate School Quantico, and Marine Corps Capt. Rick Rose, of Napa, Calif., a C-130 Hercules pilot currently assigned to the “Sumos” of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 152.
Previously selected to join the 2020 team was Commanding Officer and Flight Leader, Navy Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, of Fargo, N.D., who was most recently the commanding officer of the “Sunliners” of Strike Fighter Squadron 81. The new team members will officially begin their training for the 2020 show season following the Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Nov. 9. (Post)
-- The Air Force chief of staff announced the assignment of Brig. Gen. William G. Holt III, special assistant to the commander, Air Force Special Operations Command, Hurlburt Field, Florida, to director, joint exercise and training, J-7, U.S. Space Command. (Post)
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded a $34.7 million contract to develop and deliver an engineering change proposal to enable the production cut-in of the Fuselage Station 425 Bulkhead structural modification required for F-35A and F-35C to allow full-envelope internal carriage of aft heavy weaponry. Work will be performed in Fort Worth and is expected to be completed in July 2022. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity. Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 integrated training center. … Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Fla., was awarded a $23.6 million modification to a previously awarded contract for providing a replacement joint air to surface standoff missile (JASSM) anti-jam GPS receiver with a new JASSM Anti-Jam GPS Receiver (JAGR) due to obsolescence. This contract provides replacement for the current JAGR due to obsolescence. Work will be performed at Orlando, Fla., and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2023. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is the contracting activity.