Kelly Wins, Gardner and Horn Lose

Kelly Wins, Gardner and Horn Lose

A former NASA astronaut will join the ranks of the Senate in January, while two other notable space supporters, one in the Senate and one in the House, will be leaving according to election results called by the Associated Press (AP).  Votes are still being counted, but two have already conceded.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy November 1-7, 2020

What’s Happening in Space Policy November 1-7, 2020

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of November 1-7, 2020 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate will meet only in pro forma sessions this election week.

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O-REX’s Bennu Sample Safely Tucked Away

O-REX’s Bennu Sample Safely Tucked Away

Samples of the asteroid Bennu collected by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft are safely secure in their return canister for the more than 200 million mile trip back to Earth. So much material was obtained last week that it overfilled the container and some start drifting off into space. The government-academia-industry team quickly changed plans, skipping some steps and hastening others to make sure the bulk of it was stowed for the return trip home to scientists eagerly awaiting its arrival in 2023.

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NASA Optimistic About SpaceX Engine Fixes, But Wants GPS III Launch Before Crew-1

NASA Optimistic About SpaceX Engine Fixes, But Wants GPS III Launch Before Crew-1

NASA and SpaceX held a teleconference today to explain the Falcon 9 engine problem that led to a delay for the Crew-1 flight to the International Space Station.  SpaceX has determined and fixed the cause of the anomaly that scrubbed the launch of a DOD GPS III satellite on a Falcon 9 earlier this month, but some changes were required and NASA wants to see the GPS III launch take place before finally committing to launching Crew-1 on November 14.

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ESA Formally Agrees to Gateway Partnership

ESA Formally Agrees to Gateway Partnership

The heads of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) signed an agreement today formally outlining ESA’s role in the Gateway, a small space station that will orbit the Moon as part of the Artemis program. International and commercial partnerships are foundational to Artemis according to NASA and the White House.  Canada and Japan also have signed agreements signaling their intent to participate as well.

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Crew-1 Launch Rescheduled for November 14

Crew-1 Launch Rescheduled for November 14

NASA announced today a new launch date for the first operational mission of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon to the International Space Station (ISS) — November 14.  The launch was postponed after an engine anomaly during the attempted launch of a non-NASA satellite in early October.  NASA and SpaceX will discuss the results of the investigation into that anomaly during a media teleconference on October 28.

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What’s Happening in Space Policy October 25-31, 2020

What’s Happening in Space Policy October 25-31, 2020

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of October 25-31, 2020 and any insight we can offer about them. The Senate is in session for part of the week. The House will meet in pro forma sessions only.

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O-REx Collects Surfeit of Samples from Bennu

O-REx Collects Surfeit of Samples from Bennu

In a hastily called press conference this afternoon, NASA announced that the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collected so much material when it touched down on Bennu that it overfilled the collection device. Some of the larger pieces of material are preventing a flap from closing to secure the material inside.  Time now is of the essence to get the samples safely stowed in the canister that will return them to Earth.

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President Signs PROSWIFT Space Weather Bill, But With Caveats

President Signs PROSWIFT Space Weather Bill, But With Caveats

President Trump signed the PROSWIFT space weather bill into law on October 21, but an accompanying signing statement expressed a number of caveats. Not only does he consider certain sections to be a limitation on his discretion to conduct foreign affairs, but he objects to what he calls the bill’s failure to address the resilience of national security assets or critical infrastructure.

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Wicker Introduces Bill to Codify Commerce’s Role in Space Situational Awareness

Wicker Introduces Bill to Codify Commerce’s Role in Space Situational Awareness

The chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee today introduced legislation to formally put the Department of Commerce in charge of providing Space Situational Awareness (SSA) data to civil, commercial and international satellite operators. A Trump Administration Space Policy Directive did that in 2018, but Congress has yet to codify it in law or provide the money to make it happen.

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