Biden Signs 2022 NASA Authorization Act Into Law

Biden Signs 2022 NASA Authorization Act Into Law

President Biden signed the 2022 NASA Authorization Act into law this morning, the first such act in five years. Incorporated into the CHIPS and Science Act, the bipartisan legislation supports NASA’s full suite of programs in aeronautics, human spaceflight, science, and technology. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson later enthused the bill gives NASA everything it needs, except appropriations, and he’s optimistic about that.

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Northrop Grumman Finds Non-Russian Alternative for Antares

Northrop Grumman Finds Non-Russian Alternative for Antares

Northrop Grumman announced today it is teaming with Firefly Aerospace to build an entirely domestic version of the Antares rocket. Right now Antares uses Russian RD-181 engines. In the aftermath of U.S. sanctions imposed after its invasion of Ukraine, Russia said it would no longer sell rocket engines to U.S. companies. Today’s deal means Northrop Grumman can continue to launch cargo to the International Space Station for NASA, although it reportedly will use a few SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets in the interim.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy August 7-13, 2022

What’s Happening in Space Policy August 7-13, 2022

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of August 7-13, 2022 and any insight we can offer about them. The Senate began its summer recess today, Sunday, August 7.  The House will return from its recess and meet briefly in legislative session on Friday.

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FCC’s Role in Commercial Space Expands with ISAM Proceeding

FCC’s Role in Commercial Space Expands with ISAM Proceeding

The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously today to open a new proceeding called Space Innovation to assess what it could and should be doing in regulating new areas of commercial space activity. A Notice of Inquiry on the nascent In-Space Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing industry is its first step, but there is more to come.

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Final SBIRS Missile Warning Satellite Finally in Orbit

Final SBIRS Missile Warning Satellite Finally in Orbit

The sixth and final Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, SBIRS GEO-6, is in orbit today, 11 years after the first was launched. Coupled with SBIRS satellites in other orbits, the system allows the United States to detect and track missile launches and other thermal events anywhere in the world, a critical capability. The Space Force is already working on its successor, Next Generation Overhead Persistent InfraRed or Next-Gen OPIR, hopefully avoiding the cost overruns and schedule delays that plagued SBIRS over the past 26 years since its inception.

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NASA, Roscosmos Project Camaraderie As Crew Exchange Flights Near

NASA, Roscosmos Project Camaraderie As Crew Exchange Flights Near

Officials from NASA and Roscosmos projected an air of camaraderie today as the first Russian cosmonaut prepares to fly on the next Crew Dragon mission to the International Space Station. Russians routinely flew on the U.S. space shuttle, but this is the first time on the newest U.S. crew space transportation system and comes amidst a tense geopolitical climate because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine plus new leadership at Russia’s space agency.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy July 31-August 6, 2022

What’s Happening in Space Policy July 31-August 6, 2022

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of July 31-August 6, 2022 and any insight we can offer about them. The Senate is in session this week. The House has begun its summer recess and is not scheduled to return for legislative business until mid-September, but that could change.

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China’s Rocket Reenters Near Borneo and the Philippines

China’s Rocket Reenters Near Borneo and the Philippines

China’s Long March-5B rocket made an uncontrolled reentry this afternoon EDT over the Indian Ocean near Borneo and the Philippines. Videos posted to Twitter by residents in the area are widely accepted, though not confirmed, as showing it breaking apart as it plummets through the atmosphere. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson criticized China for not sharing trajectory data during the reentry.

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Borisov Clarifies Russia’s Space Station Plans

Borisov Clarifies Russia’s Space Station Plans

The new head of Russia’s space agency, Yuri Borisov, clarified Russia’s space station plans today in an interview with Russian television. Russia is not planning to suddenly leave the International Space Station partnership in 2024 as some media reports said earlier this week, but is assessing how much longer the Russian modules can last and preparing for what comes next. He reiterated that Russia will fulfill its commitment to the other ISS partners and provide the required one-year’s notice when the time comes.

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Senate Appropriators Support Full NASA FY2023 Budget Request

Senate Appropriators Support Full NASA FY2023 Budget Request

The Senate Appropriations Committee released the “chairman’s mark” for all 12 FY2023 appropriations bills today. The committee approved NASA’s full request, $25.984 billion, although it made some changes to how that funding is allocated. Negotiations can now commence with the House Appropriations Committee, which approved half a billion dollars less than the request.

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