Senate Appropriators Urge DOT To Reconsider Draft Commercial Space Launch Rules

Senate Appropriators Urge DOT To Reconsider Draft Commercial Space Launch Rules

The Senate Appropriations Committee is urging the Department of Transportation (DOT) to reconsider its draft rules to modernize commercial space launch regulations. The committee’s report on the Transportation-HUD (THUD) bill, released today, echoes criticism from the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) that the draft fails to create an improved regulatory environment for the industry.  The committee also provided more funding than requested for the FAA’s space office, but less for commercial space integration into the National Airspace System (NAS).

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House Passes 7-Week CR and Bills Honoring Hidden Figures and Christa McAuliffe

House Passes 7-Week CR and Bills Honoring Hidden Figures and Christa McAuliffe

The House was busy passing legislation today.  Among the bills is a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government open through November 21 since the regular appropriations bills will not be completed before FY2020 begins on October 1.  Two others honor women in mathematics and engineering who worked at NASA and its predecessor from the 1930s to the 1970s, and Teacher in Space Christa McAuliffe who perished in the 1986 Challenger tragedy.

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Skepticism Abounds on Moon-by-2024 Goal at House Hearing

Skepticism Abounds on Moon-by-2024 Goal at House Hearing

NASA’s own witness at today’s House hearing was skeptical about getting humans back on the Moon by 2024 as directed by the Trump Administration. The acting head of NASA’s human spaceflight program, former astronaut Ken Bowersox, said he wouldn’t bet his child’s birthday present on it, but the agency will try as hard as it can to meet that goal. A critical factor is getting the $1.6 billion in extra funding NASA requested this summer, and getting it now. If NASA is put into a Continuing Resolution (CR) that holds the agency at its current spending level, reaching that goal will be “much, much harder.”  The House is about to do just that, however, with a vote on a CR expected tomorrow.

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Today’s Tidbits: September 16, 2019

Today’s Tidbits: September 16, 2019

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for September 16, 2019.  We’re catching up on a bunch of things again from new jobs for Janet Kavandi and Chris Shank to the Schriever Wargames to Vikram’s somersault to Brad Pitt’s new movie Ad Astra to Maezawa-san’s plans for going to the Moon.  Be sure to check our website for feature stories and follow us on Twitter (@SpcPlcyOnline) for more news and live tweeting of events.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy September 15-21, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy September 15-21, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of September 15-21, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

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Barrett Endorses Space Force as Senate Appropriators Approve Funding

Barrett Endorses Space Force as Senate Appropriators Approve Funding

Not surprisingly, President Trump’s nominee to be the next Secretary of the Air Force strongly supported efforts to create a Space Force as part of the Air Force at her confirmation hearing today. Barbara Barrett called it a “key imperative” and vowed to make it an agency focused on capability in space, not bureaucracy.  At the same time, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its version of the FY2020 defense appropriations bill, providing the requested funding for the Space Force.

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Kavandi, Morrow Retirements Mean More Change at NASA

Kavandi, Morrow Retirements Mean More Change at NASA

Two of NASA’s field centers will be getting new Center Directors in the next few months.  Janet Kavandi, Director of Glenn Research Center, and George Morrow, Acting Director of Goddard Space Flight Center, have announced their retirements.  Coupled with other resignations, by the end of this year at least half of the leaders of NASA’s 10 nation-wide centers will be new to the job since Jim Bridenstine became Administrator.

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NASA: Artemis on Track for 2024

NASA: Artemis on Track for 2024

NASA officials provided an update on the Artemis program today indicating that it is on track to achieve the goal of landing astronauts on the Moon by 2024 and going to Mars thereafter. When people will land on Mars is dependent on policy and national priorities that will be determined by others, not NASA, according to the head of the Mars Architecture team at Johnson Space Center (JSC).

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Today’s Tidbits: September 10, 2019

Today’s Tidbits: September 10, 2019

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for September 10, 2019: Japan’s HTV-8 launch scrubbed due to fire on launch pad; ISRO updates Moon lander status; NASA’s Langley Research Center gets new Director.  Be sure to check our website for feature stories and follow us on Twitter (@SpcPlcyOnline) for more news and live tweeting of events.

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Space Command Gets to Work While Congress Continues to Debate Space Force

Space Command Gets to Work While Congress Continues to Debate Space Force

An establishment ceremony was held today at Peterson AFB, CO, the initial home of U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM).  Gen. Jay Raymond, Commander, and Gen. Joseph Dunford, Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, outlined the new Command’s purpose and goals.  At the same time, Congress returned from its summer recess to work on finalizing the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and whatever it will say about creating a new Space Corps or Space Force as a sixth military service.

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