Space-Based Infrared Telescope for Planetary Defense Gets Boost from National Academies

Space-Based Infrared Telescope for Planetary Defense Gets Boost from National Academies

A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today gives a boost to supporters of building a space-based infrared telescope to detect asteroids as part of NASA’s planetary defense goals as opposed to its science program.  The distinction is important because NASA’s science program is guided by the Academies’ Decadal Surveys, which do not include missions for planetary defense, making it virtually impossible for such missions to compete for NASA’s limited mission opportunities.

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GAO Blasts NASA For Understating Cost Growth on SLS/Orion, NASA Shoots Back

GAO Blasts NASA For Understating Cost Growth on SLS/Orion, NASA Shoots Back

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its latest report on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), Orion crew spacecraft, and associated ground systems today.  The congressional watchdog agency minced no words in criticizing NASA for understating cost growth, lack of transparency, and paying contractors hundreds of millions of dollars in award fees despite overruns and schedule delays.  NASA was equally blunt in response, complaining about the report’s negative tone and lack of acknowledgement of the progress that has been made in developing these complex systems.

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Senate NDAA Could Include Space Frontier Act, Intelligence Authorization

Senate NDAA Could Include Space Frontier Act, Intelligence Authorization

The Senate is still on track to take up the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) tomorrow.  Among the many amendments that will be offered are two that would attach the Space Frontier Act and the Intelligence Authorization Act to the bill.  With so little legislation getting through the Senate these days, the NDAA may be one of the few trains leaving the station this year, so many want to climb aboard.

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Shanahan Out, Esper In as Acting Defense Secretary

Shanahan Out, Esper In as Acting Defense Secretary

President Trump announced via Twitter today that Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan has withdrawn from consideration as Secretary of Defense.  Furthermore, he is out as Acting Secretary and will be replaced in that position by Secretary of the Army Mark Esper.  The announcement comes hours after stories were published in two leading newspapers about an FBI investigation of Shanahan’s 2010 divorce and allegations of domestic violence although it is not clear who was at fault.

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Today’s Tidbits: June 17, 2019

Today’s Tidbits: June 17, 2019

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for June 17, 2019:  Chris Shank resigns as head of DOD’s SCO; Trump orders cuts to number of government advisory committees.  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 June 16-22, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy June 16-22, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of June 16-22, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

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CNN: Bridenstine Says Artemis Cost is $20-30 Billion

CNN: Bridenstine Says Artemis Cost is $20-30 Billion

CNN Business reports that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the effort to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024, Artemis, will cost $20-30 billion over the next 5 years.  Until now, no one in the Administration has been willing to say publicly what the cost estimate is, citing only the $1.6 billion FY2020 supplemental budget request as a down payment.

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More Details on SASC’s Space Force Plans

More Details on SASC’s Space Force Plans

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) released the explanatory report for its FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) today.  It provides more details of what the committee has in mind for what it calls the U.S. Space Force and other reorganization plans for national security space activities.  The release comes the same day that the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) agreed on its version of the bill.  There are differences, starting with whether it is a Space Corps or a Space Force, but also similarities.  Final details will be worked out in conference if and when the bills pass each chamber.

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HASC Approves Space Corps, Not Space Force

HASC Approves Space Corps, Not Space Force

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) adopted an amendment in the early hours this morning to create a Space Corps within the Air Force.  It is similar to what the committee approved two years ago and different from the Trump Administration’s proposal to establish a Space Force, though both have the same overall goal of reorganizing how military space programs are managed and executed. HASC’s version is also different from what the Senate Armed Services Committee approved last month.

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Today’s Tidbits: June 12, 2019

Today’s Tidbits: June 12, 2019

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for June 12, 2019: Scolese and Raymond nominations; international payloads for the China Space Station; rift among planetary scientists over lunar science.  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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