What’s Happening in Space Policy March 10-16, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy March 10-16, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of March 10-16, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

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SECAF Heather Wilson Resigns, Returning to Academia

SECAF Heather Wilson Resigns, Returning to Academia

In a surprise move, Secretary of the Air Force (SecAF) Heather Wilson announced today that she will resign effective May 31, 2019 to become President of the University of Texas at El Paso.  Her name had surfaced repeatedly as a possible successor to Jim Mattis as Secretary of Defense, but that clearly is not in the cards.  President Trump tweeted his appreciation for her service, but neither offered explanations for the sudden departure.

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SpaceX Demo-1 Comes Home

SpaceX Demo-1 Comes Home

SpaceX’s Demo-1 uncrewed flight test of its Crew Dragon capsule undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) this morning and splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida at 8:45 am ET.  It is a major milestone in NASA’s commercial crew program and restoring the ability of the United States to launch astronauts into space.

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Today’s Tidbits: March 6, 2019

Today’s Tidbits: March 6, 2019

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for March 6, 2019:  Pence chats with ISS crew, confirms upcoming all-female spacewalk; Canada releases new space strategy; EELV is now NSSL.  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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Hayabusa2 Selfie Shows Touchdown on Ryugu

Hayabusa2 Selfie Shows Touchdown on Ryugu

Japan’s Hayabusa2 spacecraft took images of itself as it touched down on the asteroid Ryugu last month.  Hayabusa2 is designed to collect samples of Ryugu and return them to Earth. The video shows a blast of material was ejected as planned, although the amount that made its way into the sample canister will not be known until next year when it is back in Japan.

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Zurbuchen Cancels Europa Clipper Instrument Due to Cost Overruns

Zurbuchen Cancels Europa Clipper Instrument Due to Cost Overruns

Thomas Zurbuchen, the head of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, has cancelled an instrument that was being developed for the Europa Clipper mission because of persistent cost overruns.  Instead, he wants to find a way to include a simpler, less complex instrument that can provide similar data.  He also restated NASA’s commitment to the project overall.

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NASA Reassessing EM-1 Launch Date

NASA Reassessing EM-1 Launch Date

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) Director Jody Singer said today that the agency is reassessing the 2020 launch readiness date for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), the first launch of Space Launch System (SLS) with an uncrewed Orion capsule.  SLS was an excepted activity during the 35-day partial government shutdown so work did not stop and significant progress is being made, but NASA wants to ensure the system is ready before attempting the first launch.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy March 3-9, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy March 3-9, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of March 3-9, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

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SpaceX Crew Dragon Docks With ISS

SpaceX Crew Dragon Docks With ISS

In another major step towards resuming launches of American astronauts from American soil, SpaceX’s Demo-1 Crew Dragon successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) this morning just before 6:00 am ET.  No one is aboard this test flight, but it is a critical milestone towards that goal.  The autonomous docking, monitored by astronauts on the ISS and engineers on the ground, went off without a hitch.  The ISS crew entered the spacecraft about two hours later.

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SpaceX Moves NASA One Step Closer to Resuming Astronaut Launches from U.S. Soil

SpaceX Moves NASA One Step Closer to Resuming Astronaut Launches from U.S. Soil

SpaceX’s commercial crew system made a picture perfect launch this morning from Kennedy Space Center (KSC), FL.  The Crew Dragon spacecraft is in orbit and on its way to dock with the International Space Station tomorrow morning about 6:00 am ET.  This uncrewed test flight, Demo-1, moves NASA one step closer to resuming launches of U.S. astronauts from U.S. soil 8 years after the last space shuttle flight.

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