International Space Station

Commercial Crew on Schedule for 2018:  Commercial Crew on tight but achievable timeline for crewed flights in 2018  Boeing and SpaceX are showing signs of achieving crewed test flights of their CST-100 Starliner and Dragon spacecapsules by the end of 2018. Both are developing systems to transport astronauts to and from the International Space Station […]

NASA Authorization Legislation

President Signs:  Trump touts bipartisanship of NASA reauthorization in weekly address  In a video address early Saturday, President Trump pointed to his signing of the 2017 NASA Transition Authorization Act last week as an effective example of Washington bipartisanship. The president said with the NASA Transition Authorization Act, “we renew our national commitment to NASA’s […]

FY17 and FY18 Budgets

NASA Funding:  FY2018 budget may be topic A, but FY2017 still not settled Though Congress is soon to get more details from the Administration on the proposed 2018 budget, the White House and lawmakers must still come to terms on a spending plan for 2017. Unable to agree on a budget last year, lawmakers and […]

NASA Authorization Legislation

Senate:  Senate passes 2017 NASA Transition Authorization Act  The U.S. Senate passed an updated NASA authorization measure on Friday, one similar to a House measure approved in the last Congress. Formulated with bi-partisan support, the Senate measure urges NASA to study how the Orion capsule might serve as a backup to the commercial crew vehicles […]

International Space Station

New ISS Airlock:  The International Space Station will get a new, private airlock in 2019  Houston-based Nanoracks has reached an agreement with NASA for the installation of a cargo airlock on the U.S. segment of the International Space Station, possibly at the Tranquility module. Boeing will assemble and install a compatible berthing mechanism. The new […]

Orion and Space Launch System

Orion Update:  Insider exclusive: Orion designed to keep crew in the ‘loop’  Lockheed Martin, NASA’s prime contractor for development of the Orion crew module, is paying close attention to the requirements and limitations of future crew members as it proceeds, according to the company’s crew module director. Work is underway at NASA’s Johnson Space Center […]

Commercial Space Transportation

Commercial Crew:  Commercial crew providers remain confident in schedules Prepare for the inaugural launches of astronauts by Boeing and SpaceX in 2018, representatives of the two companies are declaring in response to a recent U.S. Government Accountability Office audit that cautions the flights could be delayed until 2019. Boeing’s Starliner 100 and SpaceX’s crewed Dragon are […]

Space Budgets, Policy, Missions, Benefits, International Updates

Crewed EM-1 Mission:  Panel urges caution as NASA studies flying crew on first SLS; ESA deal hinges on what Trump does with NASA’s human spaceflight plans;NASA just got real about returning to the moon; Expert panel supports study to accelerate first crewed SLS mission; Trump makes NASA add astronauts to moon mission, could save $10 […]

Space Budgets, Policy, Missions, Benefits, International Updates

Human Missions to Mars:  Why Mars is the best planet  The passage of time, four billion years, has separated Mars and the Earth. The two planets may once have exhibited similar conditions, including temperate environments. However, while life thrived on the Earth, Mars turned cold and desert-like. The red planet may hold answers to why […]

Commercial Space Transportation

Contracts for Boeing and SpaceX:  Boeing and SpaceX win four more NASA orders for space taxis, with one big ‘if’  NASA has agreed to purchase four more crew launches to the International Space Station from Boeing and SpaceX — if their spacecraft achieve agency certification. Each company had contracts for two flights previously. The two companies […]