Exploration Mission-2 Gets a Re-Do

Exploration Mission-2 Gets a Re-Do

NASA’s Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2), the first launch of a crew on the new Space Launch System (SLS), is being revised now that NASA has permission to build a second Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) and has reassessed the costs of human-rating the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS).  NASA’s Bill Gerstenmaier said today that the idea now is to launch EM-2 on the initial version of SLS with ICPS, not the upgraded design with the more capable Exploration Upper Stage (EUS), and to move EM-2 forward in time. Using the less capable ICPS means changing what EM-2 will do, however.

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House Passes Legislation Creating, Reforming Commercial Space Regulation

House Passes Legislation Creating, Reforming Commercial Space Regulation

Today the House passed the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act by voice vote with bipartisan support.  The bill modernizes the existing regulatory system for commercial remote sensing satellites and designates the Department of Commerce as the agency responsible for regulating new “non-traditional” commercial space activities.  Action now moves to the Senate.

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The Bridenstine Era Begins

The Bridenstine Era Begins

Former Congressman Jim Bridenstine took the oath of office today becoming NASA’s 13th Administrator.  Vice President Mike Pence presided over the ceremony at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC bringing greetings from President Trump, “a great champion … of the  pioneering work of NASA” and who is committed to ensuring America remains preeminent in space.  

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What’s Happening in Space Policy April 22-28, 2018

What’s Happening in Space Policy April 22-28, 2018

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of April 22-28, 2018 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

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Bridenstine to be Sworn In As NASA Administrator April 23

Bridenstine to be Sworn In As NASA Administrator April 23

Jim Bridenstine will be sworn into office as NASA Administrator on Monday, April 23, 2018.  Vice President Mike Pence, who chairs the White House National Space Council, will officiate.  The ceremony will be webcast.

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Bridenstine Confirmed as NASA Administrator On Party-Line Vote

Bridenstine Confirmed as NASA Administrator On Party-Line Vote

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Oklahoma) was confirmed by the Senate this afternoon to be the next Administrator of NASA.  The vote was along party lines: 50-49.   Bridenstine is taking over the agency as Robert Lightfoot retires.  A career NASA civil servant, Lightfoot has been serving as Acting Administrator since the Trump Administration began in January 2017.

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Bridenstine Nomination Squeaks Through Cloture After Flake Changes His Vote – UPDATE

Bridenstine Nomination Squeaks Through Cloture After Flake Changes His Vote – UPDATE

The Senate narrowly voted to proceed with consideration of Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s (R-Oklahoma) nomination to be NASA Administrator this afternoon.  The 50-48 vote came only after Arizona Republican Jeff Flake changed his vote from no to yes, resolving what had been a 49-49 tie.  The cloture vote limits debate on the nomination itself to 30 hours once it begins.  The Senate has not specified when that will happen.  [Update: the Senate will continue consideration of the Bridenstine nomination tomorrow morning, with a vote scheduled at 1:45 pm ET.]

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NASA Authorization Bill Clears Committee with Bipartisan Support After Last Minute Negotiations

NASA Authorization Bill Clears Committee with Bipartisan Support After Last Minute Negotiations

The House Science, Space, and Technology (SS&T) Committee approved a FY2018-2019 NASA authorization bill (H.R. 5503) on a 26-7 bipartisan vote today.  Winning the support of committee Democrats involved last minute negotiations while the markup was underway that resulted in adoption of an amendment restoring $471 million in Earth science funding for FY2019.  That brings the total authorized for NASA in FY2019 to $21.2 billion, which is $1.3 billion more than President Trump requested.

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Today’s Tidbits: April 16, 2018

Today’s Tidbits: April 16, 2018

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for April 16, 2018: new CSIS Space Threat Assessment report, an update on Europa Clipper, and the cause of the Long March 5 failure last year.  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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Bridenstine Nomination Finally Headed to the Senate Floor

Bridenstine Nomination Finally Headed to the Senate Floor

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took a procedural step this afternoon to bring to a vote the nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Oklahoma) to be the next NASA Administrator.  NASA has been operating without a presidentially-appointed Senate-confirmed administrator since President Trump took office.  Robert Lightfoot, the top civil servant at NASA, has been serving as Acting Administrator, but is retiring at the end of this month.

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