Space Council Issues GPS Space Policy Directive, Final Report

Space Council Issues GPS Space Policy Directive, Final Report

In these closing days of the Trump Administration, the White House National Space Council is still hard at work.  Today it released a seventh Space Policy Directive, this one on positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) policy, and a final report recapping its accomplishments over the past four years. Perhaps the best known PNT system in the world is DOD’s Global Positioning System (GPS), an increasingly essential part of our everyday lives.

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Huntsville Gets Nod for Space Command HQ, At Least for Now

Huntsville Gets Nod for Space Command HQ, At Least for Now

The Air Force announced today that Huntsville, AL is the preferred location for the headquarters of U.S. Space Command. The carefully worded statement indicated, however, that a final choice will not be made until 2023. USSPACECOM is temporarily located in Colorado Springs, CO and Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn already has written to President-elect Joe Biden asking him to reverse the decision.

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Japan and NASA Formally Agree to Gateway Cooperation

Japan and NASA Formally Agree to Gateway Cooperation

Japan has formally agreed to participate in the lunar-orbiting Gateway space station that is part of NASA’s Artemis program to return astronauts to the Moon.  A declaration of intent signed last year paved the way for this agreement. The European Space Agency and Canada also have signed on.

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NASA Still Aiming for 2021 Launch of Artemis-I If Hot Fire Test Goes Well

NASA Still Aiming for 2021 Launch of Artemis-I If Hot Fire Test Goes Well

NASA is still aiming for the first launch of the Space Launch System (SLS) this year if Saturday’s “hot fire” test goes as planned.  The first SLS core stage, fitted with its four RS-25 engines, is on a test stand in Mississippi waiting for that last of eight Green Run tests where all four engines will fire simultaneously for 485 seconds.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy January 10-16, 2021

What’s Happening in Space Policy January 10-16, 2021

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of January 10-16, 2021 (with January 17 as a bonus) and any insight we can offer about them.  The Senate is scheduled to meet only in pro forma sessions through January 19, although one committee hearing is scheduled for this week.  The House schedule is in flux.

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ESA’s Woerner To Depart Early

ESA’s Woerner To Depart Early

ESA Director General Jan Woerner announced today that he will step aside at the end of February instead of June as earlier planned. His successor, Josef Aschbacher, heads ESA’s earth observation programs, one of the reasons Woerner cited as enabling a shorter transition period.

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NASA Sets January 17 for SLS Hot Fire Test – UPDATED

NASA Sets January 17 for SLS Hot Fire Test – UPDATED

NASA today set January 17 as the date for the long-awaited hot fire test of the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS).  It is the last of eight tests in the Green Run series in preparation for the first SLS launch, scheduled for November 2021, that will send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft around the Moon as a step towards returning astronauts to the lunar surface. [UPDATE: NASA HAS MOVED THIS TEST UP ONE DAY, TO JANUARY 16.]

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What’s Happening in Space Policy January 3-9, 2021

What’s Happening in Space Policy January 3-9, 2021

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of January 3-9, 2021 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

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President Signs Law Protecting Lunar Heritage Sites

President Signs Law Protecting Lunar Heritage Sites

Last night as many were celebrating New Year’s Eve, President Trump was busy signing legislation into law including a bill to protect heritage sites on the Moon like the Apollo 11 landing site. As enacted, the bill applies only to NASA’s partnership agreements with companies to conduct lunar activities, not to companies licensed to conduct lunar activities, the focus of the original version.

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