Cruz Skeptical of FY2021 Appropriations, Other Legislation Passing This Year

Cruz Skeptical of FY2021 Appropriations, Other Legislation Passing This Year

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) expressed skepticism tonight that any FY2021 appropriations bills, including NASA’s, will pass this year.  His outlook for other legislation, like a new NASA authorization bill or his Space Frontier Act, is almost as gloomy.  While hopeful that space will remain a bipartisan issue, he was harshly critical of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and is not convinced she will allow any legislation favorable to the Trump Administration to clear the House.

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Northrop Grumman’s MEV-1 Docks With Intelsat 901

Northrop Grumman’s MEV-1 Docks With Intelsat 901

Today, Northrop Grumman and Intelsat announced that the Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) docked with the Intelsat 901 communications satellite yesterday. MEV-1 is now controlling the satellite’s orbital position and attitude and will soon move the satellite back to its operational orbit where it will resume service.  This is the first docking between two commercial satellites.

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Virgin Galactic Wants to Grow Pool of Potential Customers, But Date, Price, Uncertain

Virgin Galactic Wants to Grow Pool of Potential Customers, But Date, Price, Uncertain

Virgin Galactic will roll out a new “One Small Step” initiative tomorrow to allow people interested in flying on one of its suborbital trips to space to put down a deposit to be at the front of the line when ticket sales reopen.  When that will be, and how much it will cost, are still unknown, however.

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Condolences Pour In After Katherine Johnson Passes Away

Condolences Pour In After Katherine Johnson Passes Away

Condolences are pouring in for the family and friends of Katherine Johnson, who died today at the age of 101.  She won fame in recent years for her previously unheralded work as a human computer during the early days of NASA’s human spaceflight program — one of the African American women now known as the “Hidden Figures.”

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What’s Happening in Space Policy February 23-29, 2020

What’s Happening in Space Policy February 23-29, 2020

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of February 23-29, 2020 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

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Howard: “Urgent Need” for SSA Funding at Department of Commerce

Howard: “Urgent Need” for SSA Funding at Department of Commerce

A Department of Commerce (DOC) official said today there is an “urgent need” for funding to enable the Office of Space Commerce (OSC) to move forward with Space Situational Awareness (SSA) efforts.  Congress appropriated only $2.3 million for OSC in FY2020, about 20 percent of the request.  The Trump Administration is asking for $15 million for FY2021.  In the meantime, OSC is doing all it can with available resources by working closely with other parts of DOC as well as with industry

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Roscosmos Replaces Russian Crew of Next Soyuz Mission

Roscosmos Replaces Russian Crew of Next Soyuz Mission

Russia’s space state corporation Roscosmos announced today that the two cosmonauts in training for the next Soyuz mission to the International Space Station (ISS) will be replaced by their backups.  They and NASA’s Chris Cassidy are scheduled to launch to ISS on April 9.  The swap reportedly is due to an injury suffered by one of the cosmonauts.

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Saunders Replaces DeWit as NASA CFO

Saunders Replaces DeWit as NASA CFO

NASA has a new acting Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Melanie Saunders, replacing Jeff DeWit who resigned last week.  Saunders was Deputy Associate Administrator and her replacement on an acting basis is Cathy Mangum, who has been Associate Director of Langley Research Center.

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Astra Ready for DARPA Launch Challenge

Astra Ready for DARPA Launch Challenge

DARPA’s Launch Challenge is on!  The prize-money competition to demonstrate flexible, responsive launch capabilities should see its first rocket launch before March 1 from Kodiak Island, Alaska.  The sole remaining competitor, Astra, will have to reach orbit and then do it again within two weeks to win $12 million.

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SpaceX and Space Adventures Ink Deal on Crew Dragon Tourist Flight

SpaceX and Space Adventures Ink Deal on Crew Dragon Tourist Flight

SpaceX and Space Adventures announced today that they have signed an agreement to fly private citizens to orbit on one of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.  The four space tourists would not dock at the International Space Station (ISS), but remain in space for up to 5 days on a free-flying mission.  The asking price was not revealed.

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