Today’s Tidbits: January 8, 2019

Today’s Tidbits: January 8, 2019

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for January 8, 2019: Robert Lightfoot honored with 2019 Goddard Trophy; Barry Myers renomination for NOAA in the works?  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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SpaceX Demo-1 Slips to February

SpaceX Demo-1 Slips to February

SpaceX’s uncrewed test flight of its Crew Dragon, Demo-1, will not take place until February according to the company’s founder and CEO Elon Musk.  NASA initially announced a January 7 launch date, which slipped to January 17, but yesterday Musk tweeted that the flight was “About a month away.” He also warned that it will be “especially dangerous” since so much new hardware is involved.

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Today’s Tidbits: January 7, 2019

Today’s Tidbits: January 7, 2019

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for January 7, 2019:  Nick Cummings joins SpaceX, NASA extends comment period on draft Discovery AO, DigitalGlobe loses WorldView-4. 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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What’s Happening in Space Policy January 6-20, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy January 6-20, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the next TWO weeks, January 6-20, 2019, and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate will be in session most of this time.

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Bridenstine Rescinds Rogozin Invitation

Bridenstine Rescinds Rogozin Invitation

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has rescinded the invitation to his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Rogozin, to visit the United States after an earlier statement that the trip would be “postponed.”  The action comes in response to mounting congressional opposition to Rogozin being allowed to come to the United States in spite of the fact that he is under U.S. sanctions for his role in Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

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NASA Postpones Rogozin Visit as Opposition Grows

NASA Postpones Rogozin Visit as Opposition Grows

NASA has postponed a visit from Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia’s Roscosmos space state corporation, in response to growing congressional opposition.  Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the top Democrat on the Senate subcommittee that funds NASA, was the latest Senator to urge Bridenstine to rescind the invitation “before Congress is forced to take action.”  Rogozin is under U.S. sanctions for his role in the annexation of Crimea in 2014 when he was a Russian Deputy Prime Minister.

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New Congress Convenes as Shutdown Nears Two Week Mark

New Congress Convenes as Shutdown Nears Two Week Mark

The 116th Congress convened at noon today amid a partial government shutdown that will reach the two-week mark tomorrow.  The House is now under control of Democrats while the Senate remains in Republican hands.  The pagentry associated with swearing in new Representatives and Senators soon returned to business as usual, with the two parties blaming each other for the inability to pass legislation to reopen NASA, NOAA and many other departments and agencies that have been without funding since December 21.

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The View from Yutu 2

The View from Yutu 2

China’s lunar rover Yutu-2 rolled off of the Chang’e-4 lander today (Eastern Standard Time) giving the first view of the far side of the Moon from the surface.  Although the far side has been imaged by orbiters for decades, this is the first time a spacecraft has soft landed there.  Chang’e-4 arrived last night, setting down in the Moon’s South Pole-Aitken Basin at a place called the Von Kármán crater, a place of great scientific interest.

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China Lands Probe on Far Side of Moon for the First Time

China Lands Probe on Far Side of Moon for the First Time

China achieved a space “first” tonight (January 2 Eastern Standard Time) landing the Chang’e-4 spacecraft on the far side of the Moon.  The United States and Soviet Union landed many spacecraft on the near side, but no country has attempted a soft landing on the far side before.  China’s CGTN tweeted the news just after 10:00 pm EST, but then deleted it for unknown reasons.  China’s CCTV confirmed the landing in its 11:00 pm EST news program (12:00 noon January 3 in Beijing).

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OSTP Finally Gets a New Director

OSTP Finally Gets a New Director

Almost two years into President Trump’s term, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is getting a new director.  Kelvin Droegemeier was confirmed by the Senate tonight as one of its last acts before the end of the 115th Congress.  Sen. John Thune (R-South Dakota), outgoing chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, praised the action.

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