Space Policy Directive 3 Brings Space Traffic Coordination to Commerce Department

Wilbur Ross

WASHINGTON, DC (Commerce Department PR) — Today, U.S Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross praised President Donald J. Trump’s signing of Space Policy Directive 3 (SPD-3), America’s first National Space Traffic Management Policy.  The policy acknowledges the rapidly increasing volume and diversity of commercial space activity and announces that the Department of Commerce should be the new civil agency interface for space traffic management (STM) and space situational awareness (SSA).

“I commend President Trump and the National Space Council for reaching yet another important milestone as we work to ensure U.S. commercial leadership in space,” said Secretary Ross. “I look forward to working closely with DoD and other departments and agencies as we meet the challenge of increased commercial and civil space traffic.”

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More Than 2000 Asteroid Day Events Planned for 28-30 June

Hayabusa-2 spacecraft (Credit: Akihiro Ikeshita / JAXA)

LUXEMBOURG, SILICON VALLEY  (Asteroid Day PR) — Asteroid Day, the official United Nations’ day of global awareness and education about asteroids, has announced worldwide events for the week of 25-30 June.  Co-founded by astrophysicist and famed musician Dr. Brian May of the rock group Queen, Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart, Filmmaker Grig Richters, and B612 President Danica Remy, Asteroid Day began with two major events in 2015, and has grown to more than 2000 self-organized events worldwide.

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Filmmaker Ridley Scott Creates 2018 ISS U.S. National Laboratory Mission Patch

Kennedy Space Center, FL (June 13th, 2018)  The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) today announced the unveiling of its latest mission patch, designed by award-winning filmmaker and producer, Sir Ridley Scott. The mission patch represents all payloads intended for the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory in calendar year 2018. CASIS is the organization tasked by NASA with managing research on the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the space station. Research leveraging the ISS National Lab is intended to utilize microgravity for the benefit of life on Earth.

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Trump Forgets Congress Exists, Orders Creation of Space Force

Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

Earlier today, Donald Trump bragged about the booming economy, defended his policy of separating refugee parents from their children, declared that one of his favorite places to visit is Alabama, and threatened to fire a new agency head if he screwed up.

In other words, a pretty standard rally speech he probably gave in Birmingham, Montgomery or someplace else in the Yellowhammer State (it’s a bird).

Only, in this case, he was in the White House at the third meeting of the National Space Council, whose agenda focused on space traffic management and how to leverage commercial activities in exploring the moon.

Trump didn’t disappoint here, either. Overshadowing the progress in these areas and the efforts of his vice president, Mike Pence, who chairs the council, Trump ordered the Pentagon to create an independent, separate but equal branch of the military: the Space Force. This new military service, which would be carved primarily out of the U.S. Air Force, would enable the America to dominate space, the president said.

Of course, Trump can’t simply order the Pentagon to do something so momentous; it will require the ascent of Congress, as Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) helpfully pointed out.

A similar message came from the office of Defense Secretary James Mattis.

“Our Policy Board will begin working on this issue, which has implications for intelligence operations for the Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy,” spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement. “Working with Congress, this will be a deliberate process with a great deal of input from multiple stakeholders.”

So, stay tuned. The political fight has just begun.

Bridenstine Praises Space Policy Directive 3

Jim Bridenstine (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine on Monday’s signing of Space Policy Directive-3 by President Donald Trump:
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine speaks during a meeting of the National Space

“NASA strongly supports the White House’s continued bold direction in forging a sustainable and focused space policy that strengthens American leadership. It was my honor today to represent the agency at the National Space Council, where the President announced Space Policy Directive-3 – which will guide critical and much-needed progress for space traffic management.

“SPD-3 builds on our continued progress implementing SPD-1, which is galvanizing American space leadership by returning to the Moon with commercial and international partners, and SPD-2, which will create regulatory certainty for entrepreneurs to raise capital to grow the American economy in space.

“As we continue to thrive in space, we also have more people launching to orbit, and an increasingly complex universe of satellites overhead. SPD-3 provides guidelines and initiatives to ensure that America is a leader in providing a safe and secure environment as space traffic increases. Common sense space situational awareness and traffic management will be good for our economy and will help provide a more stable environment for the burgeoning space economy.

“Reducing the growing threat of orbital debris is in the interest of all nations, and NASA looks forward to working with the National Space Council, the Department of Commerce and other partners on a path forward. SPD-3 and the directives that preceded it, along with the President’s enthusiasm for our nation’s innovative work, are providing a strong foundation for our nation to once again do the big things that will shape a bright future for all of us in space.”

For information about Space Policy Directive-3, visit:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-achieving-safe-secure-future-space/

This Week on The Space Show


This week on The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston:

1. Monday, June18, 2018; 2-3:30 PM PDT (4-5:30 PM CDT, 5-6:30 PM EDT): MARK SUNDAHL, ATTY, returns to discuss commercial space law, property rights, etc.

2. Wednesday, June 13, 2018: Hotel Mars. See Upcoming Show Menu and the website newsletter for details. Hotel Mars is pre-recorded by John Batchelor. It is archived on The Space Show site after John posts it on his website.

3. Thursday, June 21, 2018: 7-8:30 PM PDT; 9-10:30 PM CDT; 10-11:30 PM EDT: We welcome back DR. HAYM BENAROYA for this special program.

4. Friday, June 22 2018; 9:30 AM-11 AM PDT, (12:30 -2 PM EDT; 11:30 AM-1 PM CDT): We welcome back DR. JOHN BRANDENBURG for his latest science fiction book, “Morningstar Rising UFO Armageddon.”

5. Sunday, June 24, 2018: 12-1:30 PM PDT; 2-3:30 PM CDT; 3-4:30 PM EDT. DENNIS WINGO returns to do a special interview with me about commercial and NewSpace history.

President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 3 on Traffic Management

Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

WASHINGTON, DC (White House PR) — FURTHER SPACE DEVELOPMENT: President Donald J. Trump signed Space Policy Directive – 3 directing the United States to lead the management of traffic and mitigate the effects of debris in space.
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Florida to Subsidize SpaceX & Blue Origin Projects at KSC

Space Florida is scheduled to provide about $18 million to Blue Origin and SpaceX for a pair of projects, Florida Today reports.

Next Wednesday in Tampa, Space Florida’s board of directors will consider two proposals worth $14.5 million supporting SpaceX’s proposed spaceport expansion, including a hangar for Falcon rocket refurbishment and a control tower.

Another $3.4 million would support Blue Origin’s rocket manufacturing site in Exploration Park, a state-run complex on NASA property at the south end of KSC….

Most of the work is described as “common infrastructure improvements,” such as access roads and utilities that could benefit multiple tenants or guests around a site, not just the two private, billionaire-led companies.

SpaceX and Blue Origin have committed to investing $15 million and $30 million, respectively, of their own money in those improvements, and much more on the overall projects.

Trump to Chair National Space Council Meeting on Monday

President Donald Trump signs an executive order reviving the National Space Council. (Credit: The White House)

President Donald Trump will chair the third public meeting of the National Space Council on Monday. The previous two sessions were chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, who heads up the council

I haven ‘t been able to find a time or agenda for the meeting, but when it does go live the event will be shown on NASA TV (https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html) and the White House Live website (www.whitehouse.gov/live/).

Although there is no published agenda, one likely topic of discussion is Space Policy Directive 3, which is focused on how the government will handle space traffic management.

The Space Council’s Users Advisory Group is scheduled to meet on Monday at NASA headquarters from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. EDT. The meeting will be webcast via Webex and be available via phone dial up.

Andy Pasztor of The Wall Street Journal reports that former House speaker Newt Gingrich and former NASA Ames Director Pete Worden have been dumped from the advisory group due to issues involving their business and financial ties.

ISS Astronauts Install HD Cameras for Commercial Crew Flights

 
NASA Correction, June 14, 2018
:  This post has been updated to clarify the timing of the first uncrewed test missions, which are planned for later this year.

Editor’s Note: The original post indicated that Boeing and SpaceX would conduct automated flight tests of Starliner and Dragon 2 to the space station at the end of the year. They’re both officially scheduled for August, although the schedule is likely to slip.

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA astronauts Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel are set to go on their third spacewalk together this year on Thursday at the International Space Station. Their new Expedition 56 crewmates Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Alexander Gerst are training today to support the two spacewalkers.

Arnold and Feustel will begin Thursday’s spacewalk at 8:10 a.m. to install new high definition cameras to support upcoming commercial crew missions from SpaceX and Boeing to the orbital laboratory. The first uncrewed test missions are planned to begin later this year. The cameras will provide improved views of the commercial crew vehicles as they approach and dock to the station. NASA TV will provide complete live coverage of the 211th space station spacewalk starting at 6:30 a.m.

Auñón-Chancellor and Gerst, who just arrived at the station on Friday, will assist the spacewalkers on Thursday. Gerst will help the spacewalkers in and out of their spacesuits. Auñón-Chancellor will operate the Canadarm2 robotic arm. The duo practiced today on a computer the robotics procedures necessary to maneuver a spacewalker to and from the worksite on the starboard side of the station’s truss structure.

Arnold and Feustel had some extra time today to work on science and maintenance activities. Arnold worked with the Microgravity Science Glovebox to troubleshoot a semiconductor crystal growth experiment. Feustel performed some plumbing work in the Tranquility module before relocating a pair of incubator units to support new experiments being delivered on the next SpaceX Dragon cargo mission. Finally, the duo readied the Quest airlock and their spacesuits for Thursday morning’s spacewalk.

ESA Council Backs Lunar Gateway & Exploration, Mars Sample Return

The space station formerly known as the Deep Space Gateway (Credit: NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — Over the past 18 months, ESA and its Member States have gathered in a series of space exploration workshops culminating in a discussion in the ESA Council held in Paris on 13 June 2018.

The Council discussed Europe’s ambition to play a leading role in the global exploration of space based on its European Exploration Envelope Programme, (known as E3P) that was created by ESA’s ministers when they met in December 2016 in Lucerne, Switzerland.

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ESA Council Approves Completion of Ariane 6, Transition from Ariane 5

Ariane 6 variants (Credit: ESA–David Ducros,)

PARIS — 14 June 2018 (ESA PR) — The ESA Council met today in Paris to discuss the path towards the future exploitation of Ariane 6.

In view of the progress made in the Ariane 6 programme, Participating States have decided on the completion of the development up to full operational capability and agreed to fund industrial incentives associated with the development of Ariane 6 and P120C solid rocket motor.

Participating States also committed to start with the first step of the Ariane 6 and P120C Transition Programme. This programme supports the evolution from Europe’s Ariane 5 to full operational capability of Ariane 6.

Ariane 6 is Europe’s new-generation launcher, designed to secure guaranteed access to space for Europe at an affordable price for European institutional users. It will operate in two configurations: Ariane 62 is fitted with two P120C strap-on boosters while Ariane 64 has four. Ariane 6’s maiden flight is planned for mid-2020.

P120C is the largest carbon-fibre solid propellant booster ever built in one segment at almost 13.5 m long and about 3.4 m in diameter. Two boosters will be used on Ariane 6’s maiden flight in 2020.