JWST Arrives in Kourou as COVID Drives Up Cost of Its Successor

JWST Arrives in Kourou as COVID Drives Up Cost of Its Successor

The $9 billion James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has safely arrived at its launch site in South America after a 16-day journey at sea from California through the Panama Canal. Years late and billions over budget, NASA does not want to repeat JWST’s history on its next flagship astrophysics mission, the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, but the COVID-19 pandemic just added $382 million to its price tag.

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China’s Next Space Station Crew Ready for Launch

China’s Next Space Station Crew Ready for Launch

China is set to launch its next space station crew, Shenzhou-13, for a six-month mission on the Tianhe core space station module. Launch is set for 12:23 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) tomorrow, October 15 (October 16, 12:23 am Beijing Time) from China’s Jiuquan launch site in the Gobi desert. [UPDATE, October 15 EDT: the launch was successful.]

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Shatner Overwhelmed Seeing Earth from Space: “Everybody In the World Should Do This”

Shatner Overwhelmed Seeing Earth from Space: “Everybody In the World Should Do This”

Actor William Shatner, who just made his first actual trip to space after decades portraying Star Trek’s fictional Captain Kirk, was overwhelmed by the experience. His emotional and eloquent description of comprehending Earth’s fragility by seeing it from space exemplifies what space advocates hope will be a newfound appreciation for our home planet as ordinary citizens get a chance to see it from above. He thinks “everybody in the world should do this.”

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What’s Happening in Space Policy October 10-17, 2021

What’s Happening in Space Policy October 10-17, 2021

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week plus a day of October 10-17, 2021 and any insight we can offer about them. The House will be in session for at least one day, Tuesday, and committees are meeting virtually. The Senate is in recess except for pro forma sessions.

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National Academies: Planetary Protection Constraints on Robotic Mars Exploration Can Be Relaxed

National Academies: Planetary Protection Constraints on Robotic Mars Exploration Can Be Relaxed

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has issued another in a series of reports reassessing what restrictions are needed to preserve the chance of unambiguously determining if indigenous life exists or existed on Mars. As more countries and companies want to explore the planet, and knowledge grows about the most likely places to look for life on Mars, scientists are being asked if planetary protection guidelines can be relaxed. This report says yes, in some cases at least.

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NASA Expresses Confidence in Boeing’s Starliner as it Reassigns Crews to SpaceX

NASA Expresses Confidence in Boeing’s Starliner as it Reassigns Crews to SpaceX

NASA is reassigning two astronauts scheduled to fly on Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft to a SpaceX Crew Dragon mission instead. Starliner’s debut is delayed indefinitely as the company troubleshoots a valve issue that arose just hours before an uncrewed test flight in August. NASA said it still has confidence in Boeing, but it was time for the two rookies, Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, to get some spaceflight experience and Starliner will not be launching anytime soon. A decision on whether to reassign another rookie, Jeanette Epps, is pending.

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Russians Give New Meaning to Shooting on Location

Russians Give New Meaning to Shooting on Location

A Russian space crew is giving new meaning to shooting a film on location. Actress Yulia Peresild and film director Klim Shipenko are on board the International Space Station in Earth orbit today beginning a 12-day shoot for their movie The Challenge. A professional cosmonaut was at the controls during launch and docking, but the film crew is grabbing all the headlines.

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Another Actor Heads to Space — This Time It’s Captain Kirk

Another Actor Heads to Space — This Time It’s Captain Kirk

Russia is in the news right now because it is sending an actress to the International Space Station tomorrow to shoot scenes for an upcoming Russian movie, but another actor is headed to space, too. Blue Origin announced today that William Shatner, the iconic Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series, will finally make it to space later this month.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy October 3-10, 2021

What’s Happening in Space Policy October 3-10, 2021

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week plus a day of October 3-10, 2021 and any insight we can offer about them. The Senate is in session this week. The House is in a “committee work week” mode where committees meet but the House has only pro forma sessions through October 19.

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President Signs CR — Keeps Government Operating and Funds Disaster Relief

President Signs CR — Keeps Government Operating and Funds Disaster Relief

President Biden signed the FY2022 Continuing Resolution (CR) into law this evening after passage by the Senate and House earlier today, the last day of FY2021. The bill not only keeps the government operating through December 3, but funds disaster relief including money for NASA to recover from two hurricanes.

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