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 under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.(See also:  NASA engineers evaluate ECLSS for Commercial Crew missions)
Starliner Testing:  Returning astronauts safely: Starliner test provides crucial re-entry data  New Mexico’s Spaceport America is the site of parachute testing for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, one of two spacecraft in development under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program to transport astronauts to and from the InternationalSpace Station. A helium balloon is carrying a capsule mockup to high altitude for the parachute release. The most recent test was carried out on March 10.
Dragon Supply Mission:  SpaceX’s Dragon supply carrier wraps up 10th mission to Space Station  NASA’s latest contracted re-supply mission to the International Space Station concluded early Sunday with a Pacific Ocean splashdown and recovery. The mission, launched February 19 by SpaceX, delivered a new external sensor to monitor the health of the Earth’s atmosphere; a stem cell investigation for cancer treatment and another investigation of processes influencing bone and tissue injuries; and sensors to help develop a new commercial satellite servicing industry. SpaceX’s Dragon capsule returned with over 5,400 pounds of science gear and no longer needed equipment.
Dream Chaser Tests:  Sierra Nevada to resume Dream Chaser flight tests  Engineers are preparing Sierra Nevada’s winged, reusable Dream Chaser spacecraft for tow and landing tests at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California this spring. Sierra has been contracted by NASA for delivery of the cargo to the International Space Station using Dream Chaser beginning in 2019.
Docking Portal for Commercial Space:  Docking port relocated at SpaceStation to support commercial spacecraft  Using Canadian robotics on the outside of the International Space Station, NASA ground controllers have moved a formerspace shuttle docking component, Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3), from the outside of the Station’s U.S. segment Tranquility to a space-facing location on the outside of the Harmony module. The work will prepare PMA-3 to serve as the base for a NASA/Boeing International Docking Adapter, which is to arrive at the Station by early next year to complete a new docking port for astronauts launched aboard Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX’s Dragon.

Citizens for Space Exploration – a pro-space, taxpayer, grassroots advocacy group Citizens Space Explorateion_logo( – 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.