Weekly Roundup for SpacePolicyOnline.com: May 22-28, 2023

Weekly Roundup for SpacePolicyOnline.com: May 22-28, 2023

Here are links to all the articles published on SpacePolicyOnline.com during the week of May 22-28, 2023, including our “What’s Happening in Space Policy” for this coming week. Click on each title to read the entire article.

What’s Happening in Space Policy May 28-June 3, 2023

May 28, 2023. Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of May 28-June 3, 2023 and any insight we can offer about them. The Senate will be in session this week beginning Tuesday. The House schedule is in flux.

NASA: Starliner Will Launch Only When Ready

May 26, 2023. One day after NASA’s safety advisory panel urged an independent review before launching Boeing’s Starliner commercial crew vehicle with astronauts aboard, the agency issued an assurance that it will launch only when ready. Crew safety is the highest priority and schedule adjustments will be made if needed, NASA said, but stopped short of agreeing to the panel’s recommendation.

Japanese Lunar Lander Hakuto-R M1 Failed Due to Software Error

May 26, 2023. The Japanese company ispace released its analysis today of why the Hakuto-R M1 lunar lander crashed on the lunar surface. In short, a software error told the lander’s automated systems that it was on the surface when in fact it was still at 5 kilometers altitude. Company officials said they will use this as a learning experience as they move forward with the next two scheduled missions in 2024 and 2025.

NASA Safety Panel Urges Independent Review of Boeing’s Starliner Program

May 26, 2023. NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel is urging NASA to establish an independent review of Boeing’s Starliner commercial crew transportation system before launching the spacecraft with people aboard. NASA and Boeing currently are planning that Crew Flight Test for July, but ASAP clearly is not convinced it is ready.

Virgin Galactic Resumes Spaceflight As Virgin Orbit Ceases Operations

May 25, 2023. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic conducted its first spaceflight in almost two years today, taking six company employees across the imaginary line between air and space for a few minutes of weightlessness and a great view of Earth. The company provided no live coverage of the “Unity 25” mission, issuing only a few tweets during the flight and a press release afterwards asserting success. Unity 25 flew just two days after Branson’s other space company, Virgin Orbit, ended operations following bankruptcy proceedings.

Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser Getting Closer to First Flight

May 23, 2023. Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser spaceplane is getting closer to its first launch. Looking like a small space shuttle, Dream Chaser lost out to SpaceX and Boeing for NASA’s commercial crew program, but won a spot in the second round of commercial cargo missions to deliver supplies to the International Space Station. Two members of the next ISS crew are in training to learn how the spacecraft operates so they’re ready when it arrives.

NASA’s LRO Images Hakuto-R Lunar Crash Site

May 23, 2023. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has spotted the crash site of ispace’s Hakuto-R M1 lander on the surface of the Moon. Hakuto-R M1 is the first commercial spacecraft to land on the Moon, but not successfully. Radio transmissions monitored by amateur radio enthuasiasts suggest it ran out of fuel and made a hard landing. LRO’s images show four areas of disturbance where pieces apparently rest. NASA’s Lunar Flashlight, a completely separate cubesat that launched on the same rocket, also failed.

Weekly Roundup for SpacePolicyOnline.com: May 15-22, 2023

May 22, 2023. Here are links to all the articles published on SpacePolicyOnline.com during the week of May 15-22, 2023, including our “What’s Happening in Space Policy” for this coming week. Click on each title to read the entire article.

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