Author: Marcia Smith

Boeing’s Starliner May Not Fly Until 2022

Boeing’s Starliner May Not Fly Until 2022

A NASA official said today that Boeing is still troubleshooting what went wrong with its Starliner spacecraft in August, scrubbing the test flight just hours before launch. They are still working on a schedule, but she said it could be next year before the flight can be attempted again.

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NASA Splits Human Spaceflight Directorate Into Two

NASA Splits Human Spaceflight Directorate Into Two

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson announced today that he is dividing responsibility for the human spaceflight program into two. One Mission Directorate will focus on space operations and the other on develoing systems for exploring the Moon and Mars. It is a return to the NASA organization prior to 2011, but the decision caught the space community by surprise, prompting speculation about motives that might be in play.

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House Begins Debate on FY2022 NDAA

House Begins Debate on FY2022 NDAA

The House is about to begin debate on the FY2022 National Defense Authorizaton Act (NDAA). The NDAA is the only authorization bill that can boast a perfect track record in becoming law year after year for 60 years. This almost certainly will be the 61st. Two years after the FY2020 NDAA created the U.S Space Force, the issues this year are less consequential for space activities.

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Today’s Tidbits: September 20, 2021

Today’s Tidbits: September 20, 2021

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for September 20, 2021: The FAA wants your comments on draft Starship environmental review, NASA chooses second round of human lunar lander contestants and robotic lunar rover landing site, Vande Hei gets another 6 months on ISS. 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 September 19-25, 2021

What’s Happening in Space Policy September 19-25, 2021

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of September 19-25, 2021 and any insight we can offer about them. The House and Senate are in session this week.

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As One Commercial Space Mission Ends, Another Readies for Launch–With a Movie Crew

As One Commercial Space Mission Ends, Another Readies for Launch–With a Movie Crew

Four non-professional astronauts splashed down in the Atlantic ocean this evening almost exactly three days after they blasted off on the first all-commercial orbital space mission. Jared Isaacman and his Inspiration4 companions are not the first “ordinary people” in space. Russia opened the door to private astronauts decades ago and is getting ready for another milestone — sending a film director and actress to shoot scenes in space next month.

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Inspiration4 Crew Gets Ready for Return Saturday Afternoon

Inspiration4 Crew Gets Ready for Return Saturday Afternoon

The first all-commercial space crew is getting ready to come home after a three-day jaunt in Earth orbit. Jared Isaacman and his three Inspiration4 companions shared a brief live update from orbit Friday afternoon as they began to get ready to end their adventure and splash down in the ocean near Florida on Saturday.

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Three Chinese Astronauts Return from Three Month Space Station Mission

Three Chinese Astronauts Return from Three Month Space Station Mission

Three Chinese astronauts returned to Earth today after three months aboard China’s space station core module, Tianhe. It is the longest duration mission by any Chinese astronauts and signals the beginning of China’s new space station era.  Tianhe is the first segment of a multi-modular facility and will host expeditions of increasing duration. Though decades behind Russia and the United States, it is a milestone in China’s growing space ambitions.

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The New Era of Commercial Human Space Flight Means Little News

The New Era of Commercial Human Space Flight Means Little News

One day after the launch of the first all-commercial human space flight mission there is little to report. As soon as the Inspiration4 crew reached orbit last night, public channels of communication ended. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk tweeted today that all is well, but the public silence from the crew underscores how different this new commercial era is from what has come before.

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First All-Commercial Astronaut Crew Reaches Orbit Opening New Era of Spaceflight

First All-Commercial Astronaut Crew Reaches Orbit Opening New Era of Spaceflight

Four private citizens with no spaceflight experience or backing from government agencies are in orbit tonight, the first all-commercial space crew. Billionaire Jared Isaacman is paying SpaceX for the trip and taking three “ordinary” Americans along with him on the Inspiration4 mission and raising funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. With their arrival, 14 people are in space tonight, a record.

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