Today’s Tidbits: July 16, 2018

Today’s Tidbits: July 16, 2018

Here are’s tidbits for July 16, 2018:  VP Pence expects big things from O’Connell at DOC; Bridenstine visits Israel, Farnborough; UK, Lockheed Martin, Orbex team for spaceport in Scotland. Be sure to check our website for feature stories and follow us on Twitter (@SpcPlcyOnline) for more news and live tweeting of events.

VP Pence Expects Big Things from O’Connell at Commerce

Vice President Mike Pence stopped by the Department of Commerce (DOC) today to praise its accomplishments across its broad portfolio, of which space is only a part — but a rapidly growing part.  Pence chairs the White House National Space Council and he spent a fair portion of his speech talking up what DOC is expected to do in terms of streamlining its existing regulation of commercial remote sensing satellites and its new tasks overseeing nontraditional space activities.  He also introduced Kevin O’Connell, the new Director of DOC’s rejuvenated Office of Space Commerce.

“President  Trump and I expect great things” from O’Connell “and from all the great work of this space initiative here at the Department of Commerce. … I want to thank and congratulate Kevin for stepping forward to lead in this vital moment in the life of America’s leadership in space.”

Bridenstine Visits Israel, Farnborough

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is at the Farnborough Air Show (FIA2018) outside of London right now.  It’s his second stop on an international tour.  He was in Israel last week where he met with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israeli government and industry space officials.

This week he’s at FIA2018 also meeting with government and industry space officials.  He will be part of a panel discussion tomorrow (Tuesday) on “Space and Its Economic Benefits” with ESA Director General Jan Woerner, UK Space Agency CEO Graham Turnock, and the President of UKSpace, Andy Green.

He’s tweeting checklists (literally) and other glimpses of his activities at both places. Here’s a sample.




U.K., Lockheed Martin, Orbex Team for Spaceport in Scotland

In conjunction with FIA2018, the U.K. government announced yesterday that it has chosen Sutherland, on the north coast of Scotland, as the site for its “vertical” spaceport.  Today it added that it will provide grants of £25 million to Lockheed Martin to establish space operations there, and £5.5 million to Orbex to build a rocket. []   The U.K. is also planning on building horizontal spaceports for systems like Virgin Galactic that depart from and return to runways.

Orbex tweeted that it has raised a total of £30 million from public and private sources.

Orbex is a U.K. company founded in 2015 that is developing a rocket that can take 150 kilograms to low Earth orbit.  Its CEO is Chris Larmour.

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