What’s Happening in Space Policy February 9-15, 2020

What’s Happening in Space Policy February 9-15, 2020

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of February 9-15, 2020 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

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Boeing Software Errors Could Have Doomed Starliner’s Uncrewed Test Flight

Boeing Software Errors Could Have Doomed Starliner’s Uncrewed Test Flight

A NASA/Boeing Independent Review Team (IRT) looking into problems encountered during Boeing’s December 2019 uncrewed Orbital Flight Test (OFT) has tentatively concluded that two software errors could have led to loss of the spacecraft.  Only intervention by ground control teams during the flight saved the mission. News about the interim IRT findings comes one day after the second of the two software errors, which the agency and Boeing had not publicly disclosed previously, was revealed by a NASA safety panel.

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NASA Safety Panel: Second Starliner OFT Software Error Could Have Been “Catastrophic”

NASA Safety Panel: Second Starliner OFT Software Error Could Have Been “Catastrophic”

NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) revealed today that a second software error was discovered during the uncrewed Boeing Starliner flight test in December.  Had it gone undetected during the flight, it had the potential to cause “catastrophic spacecraft failure” during reentry.  The panel wants a complete review of Boeing’s software verification processes before NASA decides whether a second uncrewed flight test is needed.  In an email this evening, Boeing said it appreciates the input and is working on a plan with NASA to address all the issues and decide what comes next. [UPDATE: NASA announced late today that it and Boeing will hold a media teleconference about this tomorrow, Friday.]

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Koch Back on Earth After Record Setting 328-Day Spaceflight

Koch Back on Earth After Record Setting 328-Day Spaceflight

NASA astronaut Christina Koch is back on Earth after a record-setting 328 days in space, the longest continuous spaceflight by a woman.  She and her Soyuz MS-13 crewmates, Russia’s Alexander Skvortsov and ESA’s Luca Parmitano, landed on time at 4:12 am EST on the steppes of Kazakhstan.

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Christina Koch’s Record-Setting Space Flight Coming to a Close

Christina Koch’s Record-Setting Space Flight Coming to a Close

NASA astronaut Christina Koch and two International Space Station (ISS) colleagues will return to Earth early tomorrow morning bringing her record-setting mission to a close.  Not only did she participate in the first all-female spacewalks, but she will set a new record of 328 days for a continuous spaceflight by any woman, just 12 days short of the all-time American record held by Scott Kelly. 

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Space Force, Artemis Get Shout Outs in State of the Union Address

Space Force, Artemis Get Shout Outs in State of the Union Address

President Trump gave a shout-out to the new U.S. Space Force in tonight’s State of the Union address as well as calling on Congress to fully fund the Moon-by-2024 Artemis program as a “launching pad” to Mars.

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Space Force Gearing Up

Space Force Gearing Up

The Air Force has submitted its report to Congress laying out initial plans for standing up the Space Force.  The 20-page memo is one of many required by the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to keep Congress apprised of exactly how DOD and the Air Force will structure this new sixth military service and keep it from growing out of bounds.

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Today’s Tidbits: February 3, 2020

Today’s Tidbits: February 3, 2020

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for February 3, 2020:  international ocean science satellite honors Mike Freilich, National Academies releases heliophysics mid-term review, NASA adds SPIDER to Restore-L.  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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What’s Happening in Space Policy February 2-8, 2020

What’s Happening in Space Policy February 2-8, 2020

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of February 2-8, 2020 (plus a bonus of two more for February 9) and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

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NASA Community Honors Fallen Heroes on 2020 Day of Remembrance

NASA Community Honors Fallen Heroes on 2020 Day of Remembrance

The NASA community honored its fallen heroes today in the annual Day of Remembrance.  NASA officials presided over a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, while NASA centers around the country held their own observances. NASA sets aside a day each year around this time, which marks the anniversaries of three fatal missions:  Apollo 1 on January 27, 1967; Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986; and Space Shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003.

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