Space Budgets, Policy, Missions, Benefits, International Updates
Outer Space Treaty: Cruz interested in updating Outer Space Treaty to support commercial space activities Senator Ted Cruz, chair of the Senate’s Space Subcommittee, indicated it may be time to seek changes to the 50-year-old UN Outer Space Treaty in order to encourage U.S. commercial space activities through ownership of recovered resources from the moon and asteroids. Changes could be reflected in an updated version of the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, passed in 2015.
China: China eyes international `Moon Village’ China is pondering participation in the European Space Agency’s proposed moon village, an international/commercial settlement on the moon. Construction would begin in the 2020s. However, one Peking University scientist believes his native country should follow its own course in the exploration of space, one that is focused on deep space exploration and that will establish China as a space power by 2030. (See also: China takes another step towards permanent space station)
Lunar Exploration: Space agency heads see the moon on the path to Mars As a destination beyond the International Space Station, the Earth’s moon offers a place to gain experience and possibly obtain resources for the future human exploration of Mars and other deep space destinations, according to representatives from many of the world’s space agencies gathered for the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs earlier this month. While NASA is more interested in a lunar-orbiting Deep Space Gateway, other nations are intrigued by the lunar surface. NASA, however, has not ruled out a lunar surface collaboration.
Mission Control – The Movie: Mission Control is a wonderful movie. Go see it now. Mission Control, a new documentary combining historical footage with current day interviews examines the personnel behind the scenes that helped to drive the success of NASA’s Apollo era. “They were always watching, running the missions, and ready to make split-second decisions,” notes the review. “In our uncertain times, such a film serves as a marvelous tonic to remind us what America is capable of when we work together toward a common goal.”
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.