Japanese Billionaire To Fly BFR To The Moon in 2023, Along With Some Friends

Japanese Billionaire To Fly BFR To The Moon in 2023, Along With Some Friends

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk tonight introduced the first person who will fly around the Moon on SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) — Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa. He does not plan to make the trip alone.  An art collector, he will invite six to eight artists to join him so they can create art that reflects their experiences.  The week-long trip would notionally take place in 2023, although Musk made clear that is only a planning date.  Both declined to reveal how much Maezawa is paying.

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Space Force to Cost $12.9 Billion Over 5 Years

Space Force to Cost $12.9 Billion Over 5 Years

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson estimates that a Department of the Space Force and an associated unified combatant command will cost $12.9 billion over 5 years. The estimate is included in a September 14 memo signed by Wilson.  President Trump directed DOD to create a sixth military department for space earlier this year.  Wilson said today that the Air Force has a responsibility to develop a “bold” proposal that answers the President’s vision.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy September 16-22, 2018

What’s Happening in Space Policy September 16-22, 2018

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of September 16-22, 2018 and any insight we can offer about them. The House is in recess this week (except for pro forma sessions).  The Senate is scheduled to be in session most of the week (but not Wednesday).

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SpaceX To Announce First Private Passenger to Moon on BFR

SpaceX To Announce First Private Passenger to Moon on BFR

SpaceX tweeted tonight that on Monday, September 17, it will announce the name of the first private passenger who will fly around the Moon on the company’s Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).  A time frame for the flight was not mentioned. Last year SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk announced that he would fly two people around the Moon in 2018 using the Falcon Heavy (FH) rocket, but revealed at the time of the FH’s first flight that he abandoned those plans and would wait for the BFR.

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Bridenstine, Rogozin Discuss Soyuz MS-09 Hole, Will Meet in Person Next Month

Bridenstine, Rogozin Discuss Soyuz MS-09 Hole, Will Meet in Person Next Month

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Rogozin, yesterday discussed the investigation into how a hole was drilled into the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft currently docked at the International Space Station (ISS).  They will meet in person at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan next month at the launch of Soyuz MS-10, which includes a NASA astronaut. In a joint press release, the two agreed to avoid speculation on what happened until a Russian-led investigation is complete.

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Today’s Tidbits: September 11, 2018

Today’s Tidbits: September 11, 2018

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for September 11, 2018:  ISS commander dismisses Rogozin suspicion; ads in space; UAE astronauts.  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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Space Force Skeptics Laud Unified Space Command

Space Force Skeptics Laud Unified Space Command

Former Bush and Obama Administration officials and a former commander of U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) were united in their opposition to creation of a Department of the Space Force at a seminar today, but praised steps being taken to reinstate a unified combatant command for space, U.S. Space Command.  The United States had a unified U.S. Space Command from 1985-2002, but it was eliminated after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and many of its functions merged into USSTRATCOM. 

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What’s Happening in Space Policy September 9-15, 2018

What’s Happening in Space Policy September 9-15, 2018

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of September 9-15, 2018 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate will be in session to conduct legislative business the last half of the week.

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Expert Committee Wants NASA to Build Direct Imaging Space Telescope To Find Life on Exoplanets

Expert Committee Wants NASA to Build Direct Imaging Space Telescope To Find Life on Exoplanets

A new report from the National Academies recommends that NASA build a space telescope capable of directly imaging planets around other stars — exoplanets — that are within the star’s habitable zone.  It would be in addition to four existing or planned ground- and space-based telescopes already designed to find and study exoplanets, though they are not dedicated to that goal: NASA’s JWST and WFIRST and NSF’s GMT and TMT.   The committee’s co-chairs argued that “now is the time” to build the new space telescope and it could enable answering the question of whether there is life on exoplanets “within 20 years.”

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Today’s Tidbits: September 5, 2018

Today’s Tidbits: September 5, 2018

Here are SpacePolicyOnline.com’s tidbits for September 5, 2018:  Sen. Inhofe takes over SASC; NRO takes over commercial satellite imagery acquisition; Colleen Hartman takes over SSB and ASEB.  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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