NASA To Buy Lunar Resources From Private Companies

NASA To Buy Lunar Resources From Private Companies

NASA wants to buy lunar resources mined by private sector companies by 2024. Companies do not have to physically deliver the material to NASA, just provide imagery showing they have it in their possession on the lunar surface. The point is to illustrate the U.S. position that space resource extraction and ownership by non-government entities is consistent with its obligations under the Outer Space Treaty and other international agreements.

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Today’s Tidbits: September 9, 2020

Today’s Tidbits: September 9, 2020

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for September 9, 2020: LeoLabs foot stomps NAPA report; effort to get space weather bill this year; Boeing agrees to independent ethics audit in HLS inquiry (Reuters).  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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Koerner New Head of Orion Program for NASA

Koerner New Head of Orion Program for NASA

NASA announced today that Catherine Koerner is the new head of the Orion program at Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.  A former flight director, Koerner has 30 years experience in the human spaceflight program and joins other women being assigned to top jobs managed by the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD).

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What’s Happening in Space Policy September 6-12, 2020

What’s Happening in Space Policy September 6-12, 2020

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of September 6-12, 2020 and any insight we can offer about them. The Senate returns to work for legislative business this week. The House continues to meet only in pro forma sessions, but committees will hold hearings.

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China’s “Spaceplane” Lands

China’s “Spaceplane” Lands

The reusable spacecraft launched by China on Friday has returned to Earth. China itself does not refer to it as a spaceplane, but experts on the Chinese space program characterize it as a spacecraft similar to the winged U.S. X-37B that resembles a small space shuttle.

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New White House Space Policy Directive Addresses Cybersecurity

New White House Space Policy Directive Addresses Cybersecurity

The Trump White House released its fifth Space Policy Directive today.  This one establishes principles for space cybersecurity — satellites and their supporting infrastructure.

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China Launches Reusable Spacecraft — Perhaps a Spaceplane?

China Launches Reusable Spacecraft — Perhaps a Spaceplane?

China launched a “reusable experimental spacecraft” September 4 from its Jiuquan launch center in the Gobi desert.  Rumors are circulating on social media that it is a spaceplane akin to the U.S. X-37B, but China has not confirmed that.

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Rocket Lab Reveals Second Spacecraft on Recent Launch

Rocket Lab Reveals Second Spacecraft on Recent Launch

Rocket Lab is back in the news today. After successfully launching its Electron rocket on Sunday night for the first time since a failure two months ago and then getting an FAA operator’s license for its new Virginia launch site, the company revealed that a second spacecraft was aboard that Sunday launch — First Light, a technology demonstration of its Photon spacecraft.

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FAA Approves Rocket Lab’s Operator License for Wallops Launch Complex

FAA Approves Rocket Lab’s Operator License for Wallops Launch Complex

On the heels of a successful return-to-flight launch, Rocket Lab announced today that the Federal Aviation Administration has approved its operator license to launch rockets from Wallops Island, VA. Rocket Lab’s launches to date have been from New Zealand, so this will give the California-based company not just another launch site, but one on U.S. soil.

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Lockheed Martin, York Win SDA Contracts

Lockheed Martin, York Win SDA Contracts

The Space Development Agency announced today that Lockheed Martin and York Space Systems have won contracts for the first step in developing constellations of small, interconnected satellites to transmit data to the warfighter.  Each company will build 10 satellites to be launched in 2022.

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