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Today’s Tidbits May 20, 2019

Today’s Tidbits May 20, 2019

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for May 20, 2019: SecAF Wilson bids farewell; NASA picks 11 companies for lunar lander studies; LRO images of Beresheet impact point. 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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House Appropriators Detail Misgivings About Space Force, SDA

House Appropriators Detail Misgivings About Space Force, SDA

The House Appropriations Committee has released the draft report to accompany the FY2020 defense appropriations bill.  The report explains the actions the committee took in the companion bill, which was released and approved at subcommittee level last week.  The committee stopped short of rejecting the idea of a Space Force or a Space Development Agency (SDA), but has enough misgivings that it wants DOD to think about it a while longer yet.  Only reestablishment of a U.S. Space Command won the committee’s total endorsement. The full committee will mark up the bill tomorrow.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy May 19-25, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy May 19-25, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of May 19-25, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

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FY2020 NASA Funding Bill Moves Forward to Full Committee Markup Next Week

FY2020 NASA Funding Bill Moves Forward to Full Committee Markup Next Week

NASA’s FY2020 funding bill was approved at subcommittee level today.  It will be considered by the full House Appropriations Committee next week.  The bill boosts NASA’s funding to $22.32 billion from its current level of $21.50 billion, but ignores the Trump Administration’s Artemis Moon 2024 initiative.  Most of the increase is for science programs.

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Draft House Approps Bill Gives NASA More Money, But Ignores Artemis

Draft House Approps Bill Gives NASA More Money, But Ignores Artemis

The House Appropriations Committee (HAC) is proposing $22.32 billion for NASA in FY2020, which is more than it has today and more than the original Trump Administration request. But it falls short of the amended request that adds $1.6 billion for the Artemis Moon 2024 program. In fact, the draft bill does not mention that program and the biggest beneficiary of the increased funding is NASA’s science projects.  They get a $255.6 million boost over their current funding levels — a total of $7.16 billion.  The HAC Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) meets this morning to approve the draft bill and send it on to the full committee.

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Administration Asks For Authority to Shift Money Within NASA to Pay for Moon Program

Administration Asks For Authority to Shift Money Within NASA to Pay for Moon Program

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has said repeatedly that trying to take money from other parts of NASA to pay for the Artemis Moon program will set up political and parochial divides likely to doom the effort.  Yet that is exactly what the Trump Administration is asking permission to do.  The budget amendment not only requests $1.6 billion more for FY2020, but authority for the NASA Administrator to move money at his discretion this year, in future years, and from funds appropriated in prior years. It promises to be one of several sticking points in getting Congress to agree to accelerating a return to the Moon.

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House Appropriators Give Lukewarm Support for Space Force, SDA

House Appropriators Give Lukewarm Support for Space Force, SDA

The House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee will mark up its FY2020 defense appropriations bill today in closed session.  A draft of the bill shows some support for the Space Force and the Space Development Agency (SDA), but much less than a wholehearted endorsement.

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Moon 2024 Gets a Name — Artemis

Moon 2024 Gets a Name — Artemis

NASA has finally given a name to its program to return astronauts to the surface of the Moon by 2024 — Artemis.  JFK had the Apollo program. In Greek mythology, Artemis was Apollo’s twin sister. The announcement came at the end of a media teleconference where NASA explained its $1.6 billion FY2020 supplemental budget request to make returning to the Moon a reality.

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Trump Requests $1.6 Billion Plus-Up to NASA Budget to Return Americans to the Moon by 2024

Trump Requests $1.6 Billion Plus-Up to NASA Budget to Return Americans to the Moon by 2024

President Trump made his first comment today about the proposal to accelerate NASA’s plans to return astronauts to the surface of the Moon within 5 years — a program now named Artemis.  Vice President Pence announced the goal on March 26, but Trump has been silent about it until today.  Trump’s tweet was to announce that he is increasing his NASA budget request for FY2020 by $1.6 billion to begin paying for it.  The questions are whether that is adequate to meet such a bold goal and if Congress will agree.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy May 12-18, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy May 12-18, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of May 12-18, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

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