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 billion; NASA to study launching astronauts on first SLS mission

Lunar Exploration:  Moon is star of congressional hearing on NASA’s future  The U.S. should return human explorers to the moon’s surface, according to Jim Bridenstine, the Oklahoma congressman often mentioned as the Trump administration’s choice to become NASA administrator. The lawmaker spoke Thursday during a U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing on NASA’s future. Others who testified echoed support for a human return to the moon before attempting to explore Mars. They included Thomas Young, a former Lockheed Martin executive, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center director and frequent White House space policy advisor, and Tom Stafford, a former NASA Apollo astronaut and advisor to NASA on the International Space Station.  (See also:  Bill introduced to redirect NASA to Moon, establish sustained presence

Cis-Lunar Space:  Cis-lunar space: The next 30 years  A United Launch Alliance vision would have 1,000 people living and working in space in the next three decades helping to expand the global economic sphere. They would be mining resources from the moon and the asteroids, manufacturing products, repairing orbiting satellites, establishing solar power utilities and refueling rockets. They would live and work in commercial habitats in cis-lunar space and the surface of the moon. ULA, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, presented its vision to a collection of experts gathered in Colorado earlier this month, writes Paul Spudis, a planetary scientist and participant.

China and Mars:  Why China wants to go to Mars  China’s plans to launch a Mars lander in 2022 are part of a larger strategy to become a global force in space. The lander, designed to seek out methane in the thin Martian atmosphere, would help to address questions of whether there was, or is, microbial life on the red planet and lay ground work for human exploration in the 2030s.

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.