Category: Uncategorized

House Will Try Again Next Week to Reopen NASA, NOAA, With Vote on Conference Version of CJS Bill

House Will Try Again Next Week to Reopen NASA, NOAA, With Vote on Conference Version of CJS Bill

The House is passing FY2019 appropriations bills to reopen government agencies like NASA and NOAA and end the partial government shutdown. Next week it plans to take up the compromise version of the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill that funds NASA and NOAA as part of broader legislation. This version would fund NASA at $21.500 billion for FY2019 and warns NASA that the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is not an entitlement program.  NOAA’s satellite programs would get $1.455 billion.

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New Missile Defense Review Has Echoes of Reagan’s Star Wars

New Missile Defense Review Has Echoes of Reagan’s Star Wars

President Trump’s speech today at the Pentagon to release DOD’s new Missile Defense Review (MDR) conjured memories of Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), or  “Star Wars.”  The MDR calls not only for better space-based sensors to support ground-based missile defenses as expected, but restores Reagan’s vision of space-based interceptors.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy January 13-19, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy January 13-19, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of January 13-19, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are scheduled to be in session this week.

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SpaceX to Layoff 10 Percent of Workers

SpaceX to Layoff 10 Percent of Workers

SpaceX revealed that it plans to layoff 10 percent of its workforce.  The January 11 announcement came just hours after the company’s first launch of the year — 10 Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Force Base, CA.

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Iridium Completes Constellation Replacement

Iridium Completes Constellation Replacement

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lofted the final 10 Iridium NEXT satellites into orbit today from Vandenberg Air Force Base.  The launch completes a new constellation of 75 Iridium communications satellites and signals an expansion of Iridium services into broadband.  The satellites also carry Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) payloads for Aireon’s air traffic global surveillance system.  This was the eighth SpaceX launch for Iridium over two years.

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The Far Side of the Moon — In Panorama

The Far Side of the Moon — In Panorama

China released a panoramic view of the far side of the Moon today taken by its Chang’e-4 spacecraft.  Chang’e-4 is the first spacecraft to land on the lunar farside. While orbiting spacecraft from several countries have taken thousands of images, this is the first panorama from the surface.

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SpaceX Assessing Impacts of Government Shutdown on Commercial Launches

SpaceX Assessing Impacts of Government Shutdown on Commercial Launches

As the partial government shutdown hits the 20 day mark with no end in sight, SpaceX said today that it is assessing the impact on its commercial launches.  SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted over the weekend that the first test launch of its Crew Dragon system was “about a month away,” a slip of several weeks.  NASA confirmed today that the new date is targeted for “February.”

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Rogozin Wants Official Explanation

Rogozin Wants Official Explanation

Russia’s space agency head, Dmitry Rogozin, is waiting for an official explanation for why NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine withdrew the invitation for him to visit the United States.  In an interview with a Russian TV station today, he blamed it on NASA falling victim to a “struggle” between Congress and the Trump Administration, but said the incident has “left a nasty taste in our mouths.”

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Wicker, Cantwell to Lead Senate Commerce Committee; Appropriations Leadership Remains the Same

Wicker, Cantwell to Lead Senate Commerce Committee; Appropriations Leadership Remains the Same

The leadership of the key Senate committees and subcommittees that oversee civil and commercial space policy and funding are taking shape.  The Senate remains in Republican hands so there are fewer changes than in the House, but one committee — Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation — is getting both a new Chairman and a new Ranking Member.

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Blue Origin Tourist Flights Still Expected in 2019, But No Price or Ticket Sales Yet

Blue Origin Tourist Flights Still Expected in 2019, But No Price or Ticket Sales Yet

Blue Origin’s Ariane Cornell spoke at AIAA’s SciTech Forum in San Diego today.  During her remarks on a panel entitled “Exploration for Everyone” she provided updates on the company’s New Shepard, New Glenn, and Blue Moon projects.

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