Space Force Within Inches Of the Finish Line

Space Force Within Inches Of the Finish Line

After an arduous two years, Congress is on the precipice of passing legislation to create a Space Force as a sixth branch of the U.S. military.  House and Senate negotiators on the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) reached agreement on the legislation today.  The House is expected to vote on it Wednesday followed quickly by the Senate.

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Bridenstine Proclaims SLS Core Complete — “Go SLS”

Bridenstine Proclaims SLS Core Complete — “Go SLS”

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine proclaimed a milestone for the Space Launch System (SLS) today at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF) where it is built.  Called “core complete” it signifies that the main part of the first SLS rocket is ready to be shipped to Stennis Space Center for testing, another step along the way to the first launch.  There was no news, however, about when that launch will take place.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy December 8-14, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy December 8-14, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of December 8-14, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

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Starliner Passes Another Test, But Launch Slips One More Day

Starliner Passes Another Test, But Launch Slips One More Day

Boeing and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully completed a Wet Dress Rehearsal (WDR) test today in preparation for the uncrewed flight test of the CST-100 Starliner to the International Space Station (ISS).  ULA announced, however, that the launch itself will slip another day, to December 20.

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Bridenstine Implores Congress to Finalize FY2020 Appropriations for Desperately Needed HLS

Bridenstine Implores Congress to Finalize FY2020 Appropriations for Desperately Needed HLS

Speaking at a Space Transportation Association (STA) event on Capitol Hill today, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine implored Congress to finalize FY2020 appropriations rather than keeping NASA funded by Continuing Resolutions (CRs) — or worse, allowing a shutdown.  In particular, funding for Human Lander Systems (HLS) is “desperately” needed to meet the White House’s goal of returning astronauts to the Moon by 2024.

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Loverro Takes the Helm at HEOMD, Bridenstine Pushes Back on $2 Billion SLS Cost Estimate

Loverro Takes the Helm at HEOMD, Bridenstine Pushes Back on $2 Billion SLS Cost Estimate

Doug Loverro has reported for duty at NASA as the new Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD).  He succeeds Bill Gerstenmaier, who was abruptly dismissed from the job by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in July.  Bridenstine introduced Loverro to the NASA workforce in a Town Hall meeting today and the two answered a bevy of questions. One concerned the estimate, put forward by the White House, that each Space Launch System (SLS) launch will cost $2 billion. Bridenstine pushed back, saying he thinks it will be much less.

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Today’s Tidbits: December 3, 2019

Today’s Tidbits: December 3, 2019

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for December 3, 2019:  Inhofe urges party leaders to break impasse on FY2020 NDAA, SpaceX pauses Starship work in Florida, India’s Vikram crash site on Moon located. 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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Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test Delayed to December 19

Boeing Starliner Orbital Flight Test Delayed to December 19

Boeing announced today that the uncrewed flight test of its CST-100 Starliner commercial crew system to the International Space Station (ISS) has been delayed by two days.  The eagerly anticipated Orbital Flight Test (OFT) is the company’s next major milestone before the vehicle can be used to take astronauts to and from the ISS.

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ESA Commits to ISS Extension, Cooperation on Gateway

ESA Commits to ISS Extension, Cooperation on Gateway

The ministers of the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) 22 member countries have agreed on plans for ESA’s future investments in space science, exploration, applications, and security.  Among them are extending operations of the International Space Station (ISS) through 2030 — a goal expressed by NASA and some in Congress, but not yet established as policy — and cooperating with NASA on building a Gateway in lunar orbit.  All in all, they approved the largest ESA budget ever:  €14.4 billion (about $15.9 billion) over 5 years.

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