No Go for Plutonium-238 in DOE Appropriations Bill

No Go for Plutonium-238 in DOE Appropriations Bill

Conferees on the Department of Energy’s appropriations bill (H.R. 3183) adopted the Senate position of zero funding for restarting production of plutonium-238 for NASA’s robotic space science missions, and House language regarding what is required to possibly obtain congressional approval next year. Conferees completed work on the bill today (Wednesday) and it may go to …

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One Down, Eleven to Go — Congress Passes Legislative Branch Bill and Keeps Goverment Operating Past Midnight

One Down, Eleven to Go — Congress Passes Legislative Branch Bill and Keeps Goverment Operating Past Midnight

The Senate passed the conference report on the FY2010 Legislative Branch appropriations bill today, to which a one-month Continuing Resolution (CR) is attached to prevent a government shutdown at midnight tonight (Wednesday) as fiscal year 2009 ends and fiscal year 2010 begins. The “Leg Branch” bill is the first of the 12 appropriations bills to …

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Soyuz TMA-16 Ready to Launch Early Tomorrow at 3:14 am EDT

Soyuz TMA-16 Ready to Launch Early Tomorrow at 3:14 am EDT

The Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft is ready to launch in a few hours from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Launch is scheduled for 3:14 am EDT on Wednesday, September 30. The three person crew includes a Russian cosmonaut, Maxim Suraev; an American astronaut, Jeffrey Williams; and a Canadian “spaceflight participant,” Guy Laliberte, founder and CEO of …

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New Life for Iridium?

New Life for Iridium?

Satellite phone company Iridium appears to be the comeback kid following its acquisition by GHL Acquisition, which took the company public this week with an expectation of raising at least $160 million. The company needs funding for a new generation of satellites, Iridium NEXT, estimated to cost about $2.5 billion. After spending $5 billion on …

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Conference on DOE Appropriations Bill Postponed

Conference on DOE Appropriations Bill Postponed

The conference committee meeting on the Energy-Water appropriations bill (H.R. 3183) that was scheduled for this afternoon was postponed for unspecified reasons, according to Congress Daily (subscription required). A new date was not set, but could be as early as tomorrow (Wednesday). The DOE bill includes a critical provision related to production of the plutonium-238 …

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"A Day Without Space" Fourth Seminar: Oct 1, 2009, 8:30-10:00 am

"A Day Without Space" Fourth Seminar: Oct 1, 2009, 8:30-10:00 am

The Marshall Institute and the Space Enterprise Council of TechAmerica will hold the fourth and final seminar in their series “A Day Without Space” on Thursday, October 1, from 8:30-10:00 am in B-338 Rayburn House Office Building. The agenda is available here. RSVP to info@marshall.org or call 202-296-9655.

Cubesats Adding to Space Debris Woes; DARPA Seeking Innovative Clean-up Solutions

Cubesats Adding to Space Debris Woes; DARPA Seeking Innovative Clean-up Solutions

Leonard David reports in Space News that cubesats are adding to the problem of space debris. He quotes John Lyver of NASA’s Office of Safety and Mission Assurance as saying that cubesats are neat, cheap and do great stuff, but “they are increasing orbital debris…and it’s uncontrolled orbital debris.” Meanwhile, through a request for information …

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NASA's Need for Plutonium Gets Airing on National Public Radio As Conferees Prepare to Meet

NASA's Need for Plutonium Gets Airing on National Public Radio As Conferees Prepare to Meet

National Public Radio ran a story this morning about NASA’s need for plutonium-238 for its robotic deep space and some lunar surface missions. As reported earlier on SpacePolicyOnline.com, the Obama Administration requested $30 million in the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) FY2010 budget to restart production of this fuel. The Senate zeroed the request and the …

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New Impact Point for LCROSS

New Impact Point for LCROSS

The Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) science team has decided that the spacecraft should impact a different crater on the Moon. Initially the Cabeus-A crater was selected, but now LCROSS will aim at Cabeus (proper). Additional analysis using data from four past and present lunar probes (LRO, Lunar Prospector, India’s Chandrayaan-1, Japan’s Kaguya) …

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NRC Planetary Science Decadal Survey: Presentations to the Satellites Panel September 2009

NRC Planetary Science Decadal Survey: Presentations to the Satellites Panel September 2009

The following presentations were made to the second meeting of the Satellites panel of the National Research Council’s Planetary Science Decadal Survey. The meeting was held on September 21-23, 2009 in Irvine, CA. Titles of the presentations are from the agenda for the meeting (note that ESA’s Michel Blanc substituted for ESA’s Michele Dougherty). Adobe …

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