Today’s Tidbits: May 23, 2018

Today’s Tidbits: May 23, 2018

Here are’s tidbits for May 23, 2018:  House appropriators clear funding bill for FAA space office; U.S. Postal Service issues Sally Ride stamp.  Be sure to check our website for feature stories and follow us on Twitter (@SpcPlcyOnline) for more news and live tweeting of events.

House Appropriations Approves THUD Bill

The House Appropriations Committee approved the FY2019 Transportation-HUD (THUD) funding bill today.  It includes the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST), which would get a boost compared to President Trump’s request.

As we reported earlier, the bill recommends $24.9 million for FAA/AST, an increase of $3.1 million over the  Trump Administration’s request of $21.8 million  FAA/AST’s champions in Congress point out that with the dramatic growth in license applications from companies that want to launch to and/or reenter from space, the office needs adequate resources to process them.  Otherwise it could hurt their businesses.  FAA/AST is mandated to regulate, facilitate and promote commercial space launches and reentries.

U.S. Postal Service Issues Stamp Honoring Sally Ride

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) issued its long-awaited stamp today honoring Sally Ride, the first American woman in space.

Ride made her first flight, STS-7, in 1983 on the space shuttle Challenger.  She flew again on Challenger in 1984, STS 41-G.  Two years later, she was a member of the Rogers Commission that investigated the January 28, 1986 Challenger tragedy that killed its seven member crew.

She left NASA in 1987 and first joined the faculty at Stanford University, then moved to the University of California at San Diego (UCSD).  In 2003, she was a member of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board that investigated that space shuttle tragedy, which also killed its seven member crew.  She famously said that she heard “echoes” — parallels — of the Challenger disaster in what happened to Columbia.

Ride died of pancreatic cancer in 2012 at the age of 61.  One of her enduring legacies is Sally Ride Science, which is now affiliated with UCSD, and encourages young people, especially girls, to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).  UCSD is participating in the USPS tribute to Ride.

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