Tag Archives: space

National security needs robust commercial space

Source: Niskanen Center
by Joshua Hampson

“Recently, the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act (ASCFEA) was introduced to reform domestic oversight of certain commercial space activities. As outlined in a previous post, this bill tackles two issues: (1) it reforms oversight of commercial remote sensing; and (2) it introduces certification for missions that currently stand outside of America’s regulatory regime. The bill is a major step in the right direction, particularly for the commercial outer space industry. One of the questions that has arisen, however, is how the bill would affect America’s national security.” (06/21/17)


China: Regime to launch four more probes before 2021

Source: Space Daily

“China will launch a further four space probes before 2021 as part of the efforts to develop space science, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence Friday. The China-Italy Electromagnetic Monitoring Experiment Satellite will be launched this August to study phenomena related to earthquakes from space. The China-France Oceanography Satellite is expected to be launched in 2018. … An astronomical satellite jointly developed by China and France will be launched in 2021 to study gamma rays and provide data for research in dark energy and the evolution of the universe. China plans to launch the country’s first Mars probe in 2020, which is expected to orbit the red planet, land and deploy a rover in just one mission.” (06/19/17)


The American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act

Source: Niskanen Center
by Joshua Hampson

“Last week, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee marked up the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act. The bill intends to overhaul the U.S. government’s oversight of commercial activities in outer space, both in terms of existing operations and in addressing potential future missions. On both of these fronts, this bill is a major step in the right direction. It strikes at some of the major issues facing America’s commercial space industry, and opens the door for new missions.” (06/15/17)


Kazakhstan: Russians launch robotic cargo ship to space station

Source: Space.com

“An uncrewed Russian cargo ship launched toward the International Space Station today (June 14), kicking off a two-day trip to deliver tons of fresh food and other supplies. The automated Progress 67 spacecraft launched into orbit atop a Russian Soyuz rocket at 5:20 a.m. EDT (0920 GMT). The mission lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, where the local time was 3:20 p.m., NASA officials said. The Progress spacecraft is carrying nearly 3 tons of fresh food, fuel and other vital supplies for the space station’s Expedition 52 crew.” (06/14/17)


SpaceX scores contract to launch Air Force’s secretive X-37B spaceplane

The Verge

Source: The Verge

“SpaceX has scored one of its biggest contracts yet with the US Air Force: launching the military’s secretive X-37B spaceplane on top of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket. The mission, set to happen sometime in August, will be the first one SpaceX does for the Air Force, as the company continues to break into the market of launching military spacecraft. The mission was confirmed Tuesday at a hearing of the US Senate Armed Services Committee.” (06/07/17)


India’s most powerful home-made rocket lifts off

Source: NDTV [India]

“Trailing thick white smoke, India’s monster home-made rocket GSLV Mk III did a perfect lift-off this afternoon from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The ‘Naughty boy’ of Space Agency ISRO is not only expected to propel it into the big league but also hopes to put a man into orbit. The 640-tonne rocket weighs as much as 200 full-grown Asian elephants or five Jumbo jets. It is expected that one day, perhaps in seven years, it will carry astronauts to space.” (06/05/17)


NASA considering using pre-flown SpaceX rockets for cargo flights

Source: Space.com

“SpaceX may not be far away from a big milestone — its first mission that involves both a reused rocket and a reused spacecraft. The California-based company launched a pre-flown Dragon capsule for the first time ever Saturday (June 3), using a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket to blast the robotic craft toward the International Space Station (ISS) on a cargo run for NASA. So the agency is obviously comfortable with used SpaceX spacecraft, at least on uncrewed flights. And it’s now entertaining the possibility of going with used Falcon 9 boosters on future resupply missions as well, NASA officials said.” (06/04/17)


Space industry CEO is “absolutely convinced” that aliens have visited Earth

The Verge

Source: The Verge

“On Sunday, Robert Bigelow — real estate mogul and founder of the space habitat company Bigelow Aerospace — did an interview with 60 Minutes, in which he touted the strengths of the commercial space industry and how private companies would pave the way for people to live in space. He also said aliens have definitely visited Earth. Lara Logan: Do you believe in aliens? Robert Bigelow: I’m absolutely convinced. That’s all there is to it. Lara Logan: Do you also believe that UFOs have come to Earth? Robert Bigelow: There has been and is an existing presence, an ET presence. And I spent millions and millions and millions — I probably spent more as an individual than anybody else in the United States has ever spent on this subject.” (05/30/17)


NASA to announce new details on mission to “touch the sun”

Source: USA Today

“NASA is set to release new details this week about the agency’s ‘unprecedented’ mission to ‘touch the sun.’ The mission, Solar Probe Plus, will launch in summer of 2018 and marks the agency’s first mission to fly into the sun’s atmosphere. Data collected during the mission is expected to improve forecasting of space weather events that impact life on Earth and the lives of astronauts, NASA said in a statement. ‘Placed in orbit within four million miles of the sun’s surface, and facing heat and radiation unlike any spacecraft in history, the spacecraft will explore the sun’s outer atmosphere and make critical observations that will answer decades-old questions about the physics of how stars work,’ NASA said in a statement. NASA will make the announcement live on NASA Television and the agency’s website at 11 a.m. ET on Wednesday.” (05/30/17)


Chile: Construction begins on world’s first “super telescope” that could help astronomers find alien life

Source: Daily Mail [UK]

“Construction has begun on a ‘super telescope’ that could help astronomers find alien life. The European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT), being built in Chile, is designed to help astronomers peer back to the first galaxies 14 billion years ago. … Located on a 3,000 meter-high mountain in the middle of the Atacama desert, it is due to begin operating in 2024. Among other capabilities, it will add to and refine astronomers’ burgeoning discoveries of planets orbiting other stars, with the ability to find more smaller planets, image larger ones, and possibly characterise their atmospheres, a key step in understanding if life is present.” (05/29/17)