Mike Griffin Departing DOD

Mike Griffin Departing DOD

Mike Griffin, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD/R&E), announced today that he is leaving on July 10 along with his deputy, Lisa Porter.  In a joint email, they said they are pursuing a private sector business opportunity.

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Commercial Human Spaceflight Making Strides

Commercial Human Spaceflight Making Strides

Commercial human spaceflight, often called space tourism, is making more strides with help from NASA.  The agency has announced plans to fly its own astronauts and other personnel on commercial suborbital space missions launched by Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin.  At the same time, Virgin Galactic signed a deal with the agency to train tourists who want to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) and make arrangements for the trip.

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FAA Shooting for September for Updated Commercial Space Launch Regulations

FAA Shooting for September for Updated Commercial Space Launch Regulations

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hopes to release its updated regulations for the commercial space launch and reentry business in September, a year later than originally planned. Working with industry has been more time consuming than anticipated, but apparently worth the investment. An FAA official said today the new version is “extensively changed” from what it planned to publish last year that created considerable industry angst.

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HASC Stresses DOD Use of Commercial Space Services From Earth to the Moon

HASC Stresses DOD Use of Commercial Space Services From Earth to the Moon

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) will direct DOD to step up its use of commercial space services for everything from space domain awareness to addressing emerging defense needs in cislunar space in the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), H.R. 6395.  Committee action on the bill begins tomorrow.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy June 21-27, 2020

What’s Happening in Space Policy June 21-27, 2020

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of June 21-27, 2020 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session for all or part of the week.

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NOAA Claims Significant Cost Reduction for Polar Weather Satellites

NOAA Claims Significant Cost Reduction for Polar Weather Satellites

NOAA says a reassessment of its Polar Follow On (PFO) weather satellite program resulted in an almost 10 percent savings in life cycle costs compared to a 2016 estimate.  The PFO program funds the third and fourth Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) spacecraft that are planned for launch in FY2026 and FY2031.

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Lueders: Moon-by-2024 Won’t Happen Unless We Try

Lueders: Moon-by-2024 Won’t Happen Unless We Try

The new head of NASA’s human exploration program, Kathy Lueders, agreed today that getting people back on the Moon by 2024 is challenging, but pointed out it definitely will not happen unless NASA tries. She is the third Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD) since March 2019 when the Trump Administration directed NASA to achieve that goal, now called the Artemis program. The first woman to lead NASA’s human spaceflight program, she answered questions from reporters today, her fourth day on the job.

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DOD Issues Defense Space Strategy

DOD Issues Defense Space Strategy

The Department of Defense rolled out a Defense Space Strategy (DSS) today in response to what it sees as Russian and Chinese weaponization of space. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said the United States wants a stable and secure space domain, but our adversaries have made it a warfighting domain and we must respond.

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NOAA’s Jacobs Cited for Scientific Misconduct in Sharpiegate

NOAA’s Jacobs Cited for Scientific Misconduct in Sharpiegate

Neil Jacobs, the acting head of NOAA, was cited in a report released today as having engaged in scientific misconduct in Sharpiegate, where someone used a Sharpie pen to include Alabama in a threatened area from Hurricane Dorian last year.  Jacobs’s nomination to get the NOAA job permanently is pending in the Senate.

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Cardin: NASA Earth Science Just as Important as Exploration

Cardin: NASA Earth Science Just as Important as Exploration

Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) stressed again and again today that while he supports the Artemis program and human space exploration, NASA’s science programs are just as important.  He singled out Earth science, but his overall point is that NASA must have a balanced program. Cardin added that the Senate Appropriations Committee will begin work on the FY2021 funding bills next week.

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