Dream Chaser on Track for 2021 Cargo Mission, Crew Within 5 Years

Dream Chaser on Track for 2021 Cargo Mission, Crew Within 5 Years

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is on track for the first cargo flight of its Dream Chaser spacecraft next year.  Looking like a small space shuttle, Dream Chaser lost out on a contract for NASA’s commercial crew program, but was selected in the second round of commercial cargo contracts.  SNC still plans to use Dream Chaser for crewed missions for other customers and expects the first within 5 years.  SNC also is bidding on contracts for NASA’s Artemis program, including as part of a Dynetics team for the Human Landing System.

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House Committee Approves Space Weather Legislation

House Committee Approves Space Weather Legislation

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee approved a space weather bill this morning at its first meeting in the 2nd session of the 116th Congress. The Senate Commerce Committee approved its own version in April 2019, but filed a report on the bill only in December.  Coupled with a significant boost in NOAA’s budget for a Space Weather Follow-On program in the FY2020 appropriations bill, it could be that after several years of trying, a space weather bill may finally clear Congress.

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NASA/Boeing Team to Look for Root Cause of Starliner’s Mission Elapsed Timer Issue

NASA/Boeing Team to Look for Root Cause of Starliner’s Mission Elapsed Timer Issue

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced today that an independent team is being set up by NASA and Boeing to determine the root cause of what went wrong with the Mission Elapsed Timer on Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test (OFT) last month.  The failure prevented Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner commercial crew capsule from fulfilling all of its objectives, notably conducting rendezvous and docking operations with the International Space Station (ISS).  The team’s report will help determine whether a second OFT is needed before NASA agrees to put astronauts aboard Starliner.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy January 5-11, 2020 – UPDATE

What’s Happening in Space Policy January 5-11, 2020 – UPDATE

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of January 5-11, 2020 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week. [UPDATED: THE CSIS EVENT ON THURSDAY WITH NASA ADMINISTRATOR BRIDENSTINE HAS BEEN POSTPONED AS HAS THE SPACEX IN-FLIGHT ABORT TEST]

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NOAA Gets Boost for Space Weather Follow-On

NOAA Gets Boost for Space Weather Follow-On

Congressional appropriators gave NOAA a significant boost for its development of sensors to help forecast space weather events.  The final Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill includes $64 million for the Space Weather Follow-On (SWFO), more than twice the request.

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Indian Astronauts to Begin Training in Russia, Chandrayaan-3 Approved

Indian Astronauts to Begin Training in Russia, Chandrayaan-3 Approved

Four astronauts from India will begin training in Russia this month according to the head of India’s space agency.  India has not officially said when the first crewed mission will take place, but India’s Prime Minister set a goal of 2022 and an uncrewed test flight is planned this year.  India also has approved sending another lander/rover to the Moon to complete the tasks unfilled by Chandrayaan-2 in 2019.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy December 29, 2019 – January 11, 2020

What’s Happening in Space Policy December 29, 2019 – January 11, 2020

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the next TWO weeks, December 29, 2019-January 11, 2020.  The Senate begins the second session of the 116th Congress this Friday, January 3. The House resumes work on Tuesday, January 7.

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China’s Long March 5 Rocket Returns to Flight

China’s Long March 5 Rocket Returns to Flight

More than two years after its second flight ended in failure, China’s biggest rocket, Long March 5, returned to work today successfully lofting a large experimental communications satellite, Shijian-20, into orbit.  Roughly equivalent to the U.S. Delta IV Heavy, the Long March 5 is a critical component of China’s future robotic and human space flight plans.

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Andrucyk to Take Over as Acting Goddard Space Flight Center Director

Andrucyk to Take Over as Acting Goddard Space Flight Center Director

Dennis Andrucyk will take over as Acting Director of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center next week following the retirement of George Morrow.  Morrow has been Acting Director since Chris Scolese left at the end of July.  A 31-year NASA veteran, Andrucyk has held a number of positions at NASA, including 26 years at Goddard.  Currently he is Deputy Associate Administrator of the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA Headquarters.

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