Category: Uncategorized

Senate Appropriators “Extremely Disappointed” With NOAA’s Execution of STM Pilot Program

Senate Appropriators “Extremely Disappointed” With NOAA’s Execution of STM Pilot Program

The Senate Appropriations Committee rebuked the NOAA division that oversees the Office of Space Commerce for not following through on direction to create a Space Traffic Management (STM) pilot program. In its report on the just-released FY2022 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill, the committee recommended the office be moved under the direct supervision of the head of NOAA and its budget doubled. Advocates want it moved even further up the chain of command to the Office of the Secretary of Commerce, but Congress has not been willing to go that far.

Read More Read More

Senate Appropriators Increase NASA’s Budget a Tad, But Not Enough for a Second HLS

Senate Appropriators Increase NASA’s Budget a Tad, But Not Enough for a Second HLS

The Senate Appropriations Committee released the FY2022 appropriations bill that funds NASA today, skipping over subcommittee and full committee markups as it did last year. The Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill provides $24.837 billion for NASA, almost the same as the request.  While it adds $100 million for a second lunar landing system, it is not enough to pay for two suppliers.

Read More Read More

Lucy Solar Array Problem Could Complicate Mission to the Trojan Asteroids

Lucy Solar Array Problem Could Complicate Mission to the Trojan Asteroids

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft started its journey to the Trojan asteroids with a successful launch yesterday, but today the agency said one of the two solar arrays, critical to mission success, may not be properly latched. Still, the arrays are producing power and charging the battery, so the long term consequences are yet to be determined. More information could come out tomorrow at an already scheduled meeting on NASA’s space science missions.

Read More Read More

What’s Happening in Space Policy October 17-23, 2021

What’s Happening in Space Policy October 17-23, 2021

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of October 17-23, 2021 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

Read More Read More

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.

Read More Read More

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.]

Read More Read More

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.”

Read More Read More

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.

Read More Read More

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.

Read More Read More

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.

Read More Read More