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 will attempt to achieve certification with test flights currently scheduled for late 2017 through 2018. Initially.
DoT Oversight of Commercial Launches: Chao punts on whether commercial space should be restored to DOT secretary’s office During confirmation hearings, Department of Transportation Secretary designate Elaine Chao was non-committal on whether the U.S. Office of Commercial Space, now part of the department’s Federal Aviation Agency, should be returned to the secretary’s office. The office issues licenses for U.S. commercial launches, domestic space ports and other space related activities.
Safety Report: NASA safety advisory group raises concerns about SpaceX rocket fueling process In its annual safety report to Congress, the NASA Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel raises concerns about SpaceX’s fueling protocol for future agency contracted Commercial Crew Program launches of astronauts to low Earth orbit destinations, including the International Space Station. The issue arose after the September 1 SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch pad fire and explosion.
Citizens for Space Exploration – a pro-space, taxpayer, grassroots advocacy group (http://www.bayareahouston.com/content/c_s_e/c_s_e) – has traveled to Washington, D.C. the past 24 years to meet face-to-face with Members/staff of Congress to discuss the value of America’s investment in space exploration. In order to sustain that dialogue on a regular basis, Citizens distributes “Space Exploration Update” to Congressional offices on a weekly basis. The intent is to provide an easy, quick way to stay abreast of key human space exploration program and policy developments.