What’s Happening in Space Policy November 24-December 7, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy November 24-December 7, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the next TWO weeks, November 24-December 7, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in recess this week except for pro forma sessions.  The Senate returns on December 2; the House on December 3.

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Full GAO Decision Explains Rulings on Blue Origin’s Protest of AF Launch RFP

Full GAO Decision Explains Rulings on Blue Origin’s Protest of AF Launch RFP

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) today released the full text of its decision on Blue Origin’s protest of the Air Force’s procurement of launch services for contracts to be awarded beginning next year.  A letter summarizing the decision was released on Monday, but the full report goes into more detail about why GAO sustained one part of the protest, but denied others.

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Today’s Tidbits: November 21, 2019

Today’s Tidbits: November 21, 2019

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for November 21, 2019:  Hyten moves to JCS, Richard takes over USSTRATCOM; Myers withdraws nomination for NOAA; AF to modify launch RFP per GAO.  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 Suffers Starship Setback

SpaceX Suffers Starship Setback

A SpaceX Starship prototype literally blew its top today in Boca Chica, TX while propellant was being loaded for a tanking test.  SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk had said earlier that the vehicle would fly to an altitude of 20 kilometers sometime this fall, but after today’s incident downplayed its importance in Starship’s development.  He said he will simply move on to the next prototype iteration.

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Today’s Tidbits: November 19, 2019

Today’s Tidbits: November 19, 2019

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for November 19, 2019:  Blue Origin wins favorable GAO decision on AF launch procurement; NASA ISS advisory committee highlights top concerns.  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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Five More Companies Added to NASA’s CLPS Pool

Five More Companies Added to NASA’s CLPS Pool

NASA announced five additional companies for its pool of providers for the Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program today.  Among them is SpaceX whose President and COO, Gwynne Shotwell, says it hopes to land a cargo version of Starship on the lunar surface in 2022.  Much attention is focused on when Starship will send astronauts to the Moon or Mars, but Shotwell made clear today they want to get a lot of experience with the cargo version first.

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Boeing Fights Back on NASA Inspector General Report

Boeing Fights Back on NASA Inspector General Report

Boeing issued a strongly worded defense of its work on NASA’s commercial crew program today following a blistering report from NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) last week.  The company disputes many aspects of the OIG report, including its calculation of how much NASA is paying to take astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS) on its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

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Zurbuchen Hints at More JWST Delays

Zurbuchen Hints at More JWST Delays

The head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate hinted today that more delays may be in the offing for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST).  While progress is being made integrating the spacecraft and its instruments at prime contractor Northrop Grumman, Thomas Zurbuchen is worried about the time it is taking and an agency-level assessment is underway to determine whether the March 2021 launch date is realistic.

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Mike Gold To Shepherd NAC Extraterrestrial Resource Principles in New Job at NASA

Mike Gold To Shepherd NAC Extraterrestrial Resource Principles in New Job at NASA

The NASA Advisory Council  (NAC) recently adopted a set of eight principles for the extraction and utilization of extraterrestrial resources.  Developed by NAC’s Regulatory and Policy Committee (RPC), they are headed to the Administrator’s office where they will be received by a familiar face.  Mike Gold, who chaired the RPC, is joining NASA as  a special advisor to the Administrator tomorrow and hopes to shepherd the principles along to a wider audience both domestically and internationally.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy November 17-23, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy November 17-23, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of November 17-23, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them. The House is in session Tuesday-Thursday.  The Senate is scheduled to be in session all week.

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