What’s Happening in Space Policy September 8-14, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy September 8-14, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of September 8-14, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

Read More Read More

Communications Lost with Chandrayaan-2 Just Before Landing on Moon – UPDATED

Communications Lost with Chandrayaan-2 Just Before Landing on Moon – UPDATED

India’s Chandrayaan-2 lander/rover failed to successfully land on the Moon today (EDT).  Communications were lost 2.1 kilometers before the expected touchdown.  Speaking to the Chandryaaan-2 team hours later, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the mission an “amazing journey” and assured them “the best is yet to come.” [UPDATED September 8, with news about locating it on the surface.]

Read More Read More

Space One of Five Trump Administration R&D Budget Priorities

Space One of Five Trump Administration R&D Budget Priorities

The Trump Administration released its list of R&D priorities for the FY2021 budget today.  Space exploration and commercialization make the list of the top five areas of investment needed to maintain American science and technology leadership during what it refers to as the Second Bold Era.  No budget numbers are included, but the document from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) signals what to expect when the budget request is released in February.

Read More Read More

ESA Urges Automated Satellite Collision Avoidance Systems After Aeolus/Starlink Maneuver

ESA Urges Automated Satellite Collision Avoidance Systems After Aeolus/Starlink Maneuver

The European Space Agency (ESA) is urging development of automated collision avoidance systems to replace “archaic” email exchanges between satellite operators to prevent satellites from running into each other in Earth orbit.  Yesterday ESA had to maneuver its Aeolus earth science satellite to ensure it did not collide with SpaceX’s Starlink 44.  SpaceX acknowledged today that a “bug” in its on-call paging system prevented its Starlink operator from realizing the risk of collision had increased.

Read More Read More

Today’s Tidbits: September 2, 2019

Today’s Tidbits: September 2, 2019

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for September 2, 2019:  KSC at HURCON 1; Trump reveals classified satellite imagery; ESA avoids collision with SpaceX satellite.  Be sure to check our website for feature stories and follow us on Twitter (@SpcPlcyOnline) for more news and live tweeting of events.

Read More Read More

What’s Happening in Space Policy September 1-7, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy September 1-7, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of September 1-7, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in recess (except for pro forma sessions) until September 9.

Read More Read More

U.S. Space Command Reestablished After 17-Year Hiatus

U.S. Space Command Reestablished After 17-Year Hiatus

The United States once again has a unified combatant command dedicated to defending the space domain.  President Trump presided over a Rose Garden ceremony today where Secretary of Defense Mark Esper signed papers officially establishing U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) while Vice President Pence and Gen. John (Jay) Raymond looked on.  Raymond is now the commander of USSPACECOM as well as Commander of Air Force Space Command.  Meanwhile, Congress continues to work on legislation to create a Space Force as a new military service.

Read More Read More

NASA IG Urges Congress to Remove Requirement to Launch Europa Clipper on SLS

NASA IG Urges Congress to Remove Requirement to Launch Europa Clipper on SLS

Paul Martin, NASA’s Inspector General, urged Congress today to remove the requirement in law that NASA launch the Europa Clipper mission on the Space Launch System (SLS).  Congress has included that requirement in NASA’s annual appropriations bills for the past several years. NASA has pushed back for just as long on the basis that a commercial rocket would be much less expensive and SLS is needed for its effort to return humans to the Moon.  NASA must soon decide on a launch vehicle and Congress is working on the final details of the next appropriations bill, so time is of the essence.

Read More Read More

SpaceX One Step Closer to Starship with Starhopper’s Hop – Updated with Video

SpaceX One Step Closer to Starship with Starhopper’s Hop – Updated with Video

SpaceX’s Starhopper test vehicle executed its planned “hop” today at the company’s test site in Boca Chica, Texas.  An earlier test was just 20 meters, but today it was headed for an altitude of 150 meters. The company has not issued an official statement on what was achieved, but that looked about right on the livestream.  The test is a step, however small, towards the Starship vehicle that SpaceX is developing to send people to the Moon and beyond.  UPDATED WITH SPACEX VIDEO.

Read More Read More

Three ISS Crew Take Short Ride to Reposition Soyuz Spacecraft – UPDATE

Three ISS Crew Take Short Ride to Reposition Soyuz Spacecraft – UPDATE

Three International Space Station (ISS) crew members took a short ride in their Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft Sunday night (EDT) to move it from one docking port to another.  The maneuver was needed because an automated rendezvous and docking system at one of the ports malfunctioned during Saturday morning’s attempt to dock Soyuz MS-14.  That is a test flight and no one is aboard so it needs the automated system. Soyuz MS-13 does not because the crew can dock it manually.  With the orbital do-si-do complete, Roscosmos will try again to dock Soyuz MS-14 Monday night EDT (Tuesday morning Moscow Time). [UPDATE, August 26, 11:14 pm EDT: Soyuz MS-14 successfully docked at the Zvezda port at 11:08 pm EDT].

Read More Read More