Donald Trump's "peace through strength" space doctrine, op ed, Space News
"A key Trump goal will be to create lower costs through greater efficiencies. We must ensure that space products developed for one sector, but applicable to another, will be fully shared, not duplicated. It makes little sense to develop numerous launch vehicles at taxpayer cost, all with essentially the same technology and payload capacity. Coordinated policy could end such duplication of effort and could likely determine where there are private sector solutions that do not necessarily require government investment."
Keith's note: A second Trump space policy op ed in 2 weeks - and still no overt mention of support for SLS/Orion, ARM, or #JourneyToMars - just the same statement that government should not be developing launch capabilities when the private sector can do so.Election 2016
Space Foundation CEO Steps Down, Space Foundation
"Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Space Foundation, Admiral James O. Ellis Jr., announced that Space Foundation CEO, Elliot Pulham, has resigned his position, and the board has commenced a search for new leadership of the organization. ... We are committed to an open and competitive process to select the Foundation's next leader, and are grateful for the continued support of the space community."Categories: Commercialization
"Spaceport America, the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport located in southern New Mexico in the USA, today announced that, in collaboration with relay racing specialists MH Enterprises LLC, the Spaceport America Crew will host and support a two-day, 200 mile, relay race event."
Spaceport America, Wikipedia
"As of August 2012, Spaceport America is substantially complete and the cost of the entire project was $209 million. ... In May 2015, budgetary details made public revealed that the substantially unused spaceport has an annual deficit that has been running approximately US$500,000, with the deficit being made up by state taxpayers. The primary planned revenue in the times of delayed operations by Virgin Galactic and SpaceX, with limited operations by other minor tenants, is local tax revenue, paid by the taxpayers of Sierra and Dona Ana counties."Categories: Commercialization
Keith's update: According to CNN, Trump has cancelled plans to visit KSC. So much for the photo op of his jet landing at KSC shuttle landing facility. Apparently they could not find a rally location offsite in a nearby location that would meet the expected audience numbers. I've also heard that there was a NASA concern that the campaign would try and do a tour where giant NASA logos would appear in campaign photos.
Donald Trump adds Sanford, St. Augustine to Florida swing, FloridaPolitics.com
"In addition, he's expected to tour Kennedy Space Center and meet with the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast. That activity originally was scheduled for Monday but the Space Coast EDC reported it has been postponed to Tuesday. No details are yet available."
Donald Trump to meet with Florida space officials Monday, Orlando Sentinel
"Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has accepted an invitation to tour Kennedy Space Center and other locations on the Space Coast before sitting in on a roundtable of space industry leaders on Monday, Oct. 24. ... So far, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has not accepted invitations to tour the region. Lynda Weatherman, president and CEO of the economic development commission of Florida's Space Coast, said she hopes Trump's visit encourages Clinton to follow suit."Categories: Election 2016
"Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas) yesterday sent letters to four senior officials following up on requests for information about the current U.S. policy governing the export of U.S. commercial satellites for launch on Indian launch vehicles. On July 6 Chairmen Smith and Babin wrote Director of Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren, Secretary of State John Kerry, United States Trade Representative Michael Froman, and U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, seeking this information. Yesterday's letters reiterate requests for a briefing and documentation on the current U.S. policy."
"Here, CSF opposes any change to the current U.S. policy with respect to launch on Indian launch vehicle systems. For commercial as well as government launches, Indian launch vehicles are operated by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), a government entity that also funds the development and manufacture of these launch vehicles. Here, CSF has seen that pricing for commercial launch services on Indian rockets historically has not reflected the true costs associated with their initial development and on-going launch operations, putting U.S. commercial launchers at a disadvantage in competitions for these class of payloads. In effect, India is dumping these vehicles on the commercial market to the detriment of U.S. firms. We would encourage the U.S. Congress to support American firms offering legitimate pricing for launch services in this market."
Elliot Pulham, Space Foundation Testimony, April 2016
"The concern about using Indian boosters is not so much the transfer of sensitive technology to a nation that is a fellow democracy, but rather whether Indian launches are subsidized by the Indian government to the degree that other market actors, for example American launch companies or those of allies, would be priced out the market."
Keith's note: Why is India being singled out for special treatment? Who own's most, if not all, of China's launch infrastructure? Russia's? Europe's? Japan's? Who sets their launch prices? Why is it that every time the U.S. buys Soyuz seats the price goes up far more than it should?
- Will U.S. Companies Be Allowed To Launch on Indian Rockets?, earlier post
- America's Hypocritical Fear of Indian Rockets, earlier post
- Congress Asks Questions About U.S. Policy Regarding Indian Launch Vehicles, earlier post
- Hearing Discusses Using Old ICBMs As Satellite Launchers, earlier post
"NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has identified new markings on the surface of the Red Planet that are believed to be related to ESA's ExoMars Schiaparelli entry, descent and landing technology demonstrator module. Estimates are that Schiaparelli dropped from a height of between 2 and 4 kilometres, therefore impacting at a considerable speed, greater than 300 km/h. The relatively large size of the feature would then arise from disturbed surface material. It is also possible that the lander exploded on impact, as its thruster propellant tanks were likely still full. These preliminary interpretations will be refined following further analysis."Continue reading: Europe's Mars Lander Crashed.
Keith's 21 October update: According to sources an internal assessment of SLS software safety activities at QD34 has been conducted at NASA MSFC. The main outcome is an admission that communication between NASA and its safety contractor - and within NASA itself - was not happening. Upper management had no idea what their employees were actually doing - or not doing. In some cases contractor employees were told by NASA not to work on things that they were supposed to be working on. The assessment also found that the use of contractor employees by NASA for what amounts to personal services activities has gotten out of control. As a result of this assessment reassignment of NASA civil servants is being planned. Also, as a direct result of this mess, the current support contractor is likely to be eliminated from future contract consideration.
SLS Flight Software Safety Issues at MSFC (Update), earlier postContinue reading: SLS Flight Software Safety Issues at MSFC (Update).
Trump's space policy reaches for Mars and the stars, Op Ed, Space News
"A 21st century space policy requires a bold combination of public missions, commercial solutions and the agility to address real threats and real opportunities. To craft such a policy, government must recognize that space is no longer the province of governments alone. Ronald Reagan anticipated this revolution long ago when he signed the 1984 Commercial Space Launch Act. ... Creating the technologies necessary to meet these goals would push us into the forefront of technological development and benefit our economy for decades to come. However, NASA cannot be expected to do this kind of 21st century Apollo-like mission if it is forced to accept outdated operational structures, contracting procedures, and bureaucracies created in the last century."
Keith's note: Former congresman, veteran space consultant, and Trump advisor Robert Walker is one of the two authors of this op ed. No mention is made of SLS, Orion, or ARM - yet a list of specific commercial companies and their capabilities - Orbital ATK, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Boeing, Paragon, Sierra Nevada, United Launch Alliance, Virgin Galactic and XCOR Aerospace is included. Moreover a warning against Apollo-like missions (#JourneyToMars) is made.Categories: Election 2016
"NASA's Juno spacecraft entered safe mode Tuesday, Oct. 18 at about 10:47 p.m. PDT (Oct. 19 at 1:47 a.m. EDT). Early indications are a software performance monitor induced a reboot of the spacecraft's onboard computer. The spacecraft acted as expected during the transition into safe mode, restarted successfully and is healthy. High-rate data has been restored and the spacecraft is conducting flight software diagnostics. All instruments are off and the planned science data collection for today's close flyby of Jupiter (perijove 2), did not occur."
"Telemetry indicates that two helium check valves that play an important role in the firing of the spacecraft's main engine did not operate as expected during a command sequence that was initiated yesterday," said Rick Nybakken, Juno project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "The valves should have opened in a few seconds, but it took several minutes. We need to better understand this issue before moving forward with a burn of the main engine."
"Team members of NASA's Juno mission to Jupiter will discuss the latest science results, an amateur imaging processing campaign, and the recent decision to postpone a scheduled burn of its main engine, during a media briefing at 4 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 19."Categories: Space & Planetary Science
Notice of Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement and Initiate Section 106 Consultation for Proposed Changes to Green Bank Observatory Operations, Green Bank, West Virginia and Notice of Public Scoping Meetings and Comment Period, NSF
"The NSF Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Division of Astronomical Sciences, through a series of academic community-based reviews, has identified the need to divest several facilities from its portfolio. This would allow NSF to retain the balance of capabilities needed to deliver the best performance on emerging and key science technology of the present decade and beyond. In 2012, NSF's Division of Astronomical Sciences' (AST's) portfolio review committee recommended divestment of the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) from the AST portfolio."
"Formerly a cornerstone of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the Green Bank Observatory [https://greenbankobservatory.org] is now a fully-fledged, independent astronomical and educational facility of the National Science Foundation (NSF), operated under a cooperative agreement with Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI)."
"Three crew members representing the United States and Russia are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:05 a.m. EDT Wednesday (2:05 p.m. Baikonur time). The Soyuz spacecraft carrying astronaut Shane Kimbrough of NASA, and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, is scheduled to dock to the Poisk module of the space station at 5:59 a.m. Friday, Oct. 21. NASA Television coverage of docking will begin at 5:15 a.m. Hatches are scheduled to open about 8:35 a.m., with NASA TV coverage starting at 8 a.m."
- ISS Crew Could be Short Staffed for Another Month and a Half, earlier post
"On Wednesday 19 October the ExoMars Schiaparelli module will land on Mars at 10:48 am EDT. There is a chance that Opportunity may see it on the horizon as it descends. The name of this location on the rim of Endeavour crater was initially announced a week or so ago. "Wharton Ridge" is named after Robert A. Wharton."
Taking In The View From Wharton Ridge, earlier post
Shenzhou-11 Docks With Tiangong-2, SpaceRef
"China's Shenzhou-11 has docked with the Tiangong-2 Space Station. After completing a series of systems checks astronauts, Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong will enter Tiangong-2 to begin their one month mission. Next spring an automated cargo vehicle will resupply Tiangong-2 in advance of future astronaut visits."Categories: China
Expedition 49 Flight Engineers Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Kate Rubins of NASA successfully captured Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft with the station's robotic arm at 7:28 a.m. EDT.