Senate and House committees held hearings on consecutive days last week about space situational awareness (SSA) and space traffic management (STM), i.e., the ability to accurately track objects in Earth orbit and to avoid dangerous collisions that could knock out satellites and even render entire orbits unusable.
The overall conclusion was that, although progress is being made, we’re not nearly as aware as we need to be as orbital debris poses an ever bigger problem and companies prepare to launch tens of thousands of new satellites.
“Near Earth space is geo-politically contested, it’s commercially contested and it’s in dire need of environmental protection because it is a finite resource,” said Moriba Jah, an associate professor of astronautics at the University of Texas.
January 9, 2020 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Blue Origin have partnered to create Design/Build/Launch (DBL), a new competition designed to launch experimental payloads to study the effects of short-duration microgravity.
RESTON, Va. (AIAA PR) – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) applauds the establishment of the U.S. Space Command. The new combatant command prioritizes the protection of our assets and sustains our advantages in space.
AIAA Executive Director Daniel L. Dumbacher made the following statement after the official ceremony to stand up U.S. Space Command:
“Space is essential to each and every one of us. Not only is it critical to U.S. military operations, but it is vital for civilian and commercial applications as well. Perhaps no one better understands that than AIAA’s members and community. With the reality that space is a contested environment, we welcome the U.S. government’s establishment of U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) as the entity responsible for ensuring free and open access to space.
The Institute, through our DEFENSE Forum and ASCEND event, as well as technical resources, looks forward to working with General John Raymond and the Command leadership to accomplish its missions of missile warning, satellite operations, space control and space support. We look forward to working with USSPACECOM to ensure that space remains conflict free and open to all.”
PASADENA, Calif. (NASA/JPL-Caltech PR) — The first briefcase-size CubeSats to journey to another planet have been honored for their role in NASA InSight’s successful Mars landing. The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) bestowed their Small Satellite Mission of the Year award to Mars Cube One, or MarCO, Aug. 8, 2019, at the annual Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah.
RESTON, Va., April 2, 2018 (AIAA PR) — The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has announced the 2018 recipients of its most prestigious awards. Presentation of these awards and recognition of the Institute’s newly elected Fellows and Honorary Fellows will take place on May 2 at the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.
The AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala is an annual black-tie event recognizing the most influential and inspiring individuals in aerospace, whose outstanding contributions merit the highest accolades.
House of Representatives Space Subcommittee Hearing
In-Space Propulsion: Strategic Choices and Options Date: Thursday, June 29, 2017 – 10:00am Location: 2318 Rayburn House Office Building
NASA is pursuing several in-space propulsion technologies to advance not only human exploration, but also uncrewed spacecraft operations. The hearing will explore NASA’s current portfolio of investments in in-space propulsion technologies, the state of the various technologies, and how they fit into future space architectures.
Mr. William Gerstenmaier — Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, NASA
Mr. Stephen Jurczyk — Associate Administrator, Space Technology Mission Directorate, NASA
Dr. Mitchell Walker — Chair, Electric Propulsion Technical Committee, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Dr. Franklin Chang-Diaz — Founder and CEO, Ad Astra Rocket Company
Mr. Joe Cassady — Executive Director for Space, Washington Operations, Aerojet Rocketdyne
Dr. Anthony Pancotti — Director of Propulsion Research, MSNW LLC
President Elect Donald Trump has appointed six new members to the NASA transition team, including Steve Cook, who formerly managed the agency’s Ares program, and retired astronaut Sandra Magnus.
Steve Cook, acting president of Dynetics Technical Services in Huntsville, Ala., led NASA’s Ares program from July 2005 to August 2009. The program included the Ares I and Ares V heavy-lift vehicle and the Orion crew spacecraft for deep-space exploration.
The Obama Administration canceled the programs. However, Congress resurrected the Ares V as the Space Launch System and kept the Orion program in place.
At Dynetics, Cook has been involved in support Aerojet Rocketdyne’s development of the AR-1 engine. He also supported the company’s work on Stratolaunch Systems’ aircraft, which is designed to air launch satellite boosters.
WASHINGTON (AIAA PR) — A coalition of space organizations today released a joint white paper, “Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space,” at a National Press Club Newsmaker news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Bill Provides Increased Funding for Important Aerospace Programs
RESTON, Va., (AIAA PR) — The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) applauds congressional passage of the “Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016.” The $1.15 trillion spending bill provides funding for key programs at NASA, the Department of Defense, and the FAA.
The bill increases NASA funding to $19.3 billion, more than $1.3 billion dollars over FY15 funding. Among the allocations are $1.24 billion for the Commercial Crew program, which will allow the transport of astronauts from the United States to the International Space Station. The bill also funds the agency’s planetary sciences program at $1.63 billion and the Space Launch System at $2 billion. These increased levels will help us maintain our long-standing global leadership in space exploration and scientific discovery.
LOGAN, UT (Planetary Society PR) — At the 29th annual American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)/Utah State University (USU) Conference on Small Satellites, The Planetary Society’s citizen-funded LightSail spacecraft test mission (LightSail-A) was named Mission of the Year by the AIAA Small Satellite Technical Committee. Eleven standout small satellite projects from around the world were nominated by a committee of experts. A voting period during the conference engaged the engineering and scientific community and the public.
ARLINGTON, Va. (AIA PR) —The Aerospace Industries Association announces today that after her successful seven-year tenure as President and Chief Executive Officer, Marion C. Blakey will be leaving to take the position of President and CEO of Rolls Royce North America.
“AIA has been very fortunate to have Marion’s leadership over the last seven years,” said AIA Chairman and President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Aviation, David L. Joyce. “Under Marion’s guidance, AIA has elevated its role advocating in the best interests of the nation and the aerospace and defense industry.”
Beginning in November of 2007, Blakey’s tenure saw the achievement of numerous milestones for the industry. AIA’s advocacy played a key role in changing the classification of commercial satellites in 2014, enabling American manufacturers to better compete in the global market. AIA’s work in support of the Next Generation Air Transportation System has been widely recognized by industry and government.
Bruce Pittman, Chief System Engineer, NASA Space Portal, Moffett Field, CA; Daniel Faber, Chief Executive Officer, Deep Space Industries, McLean, VA; Robert P. Hoyt, CEO & Chief Scientist, Tethers Unlimited Inc., Bothell, WA; Col Gregory Johnson, USAF (Ret.), President & Executive Director, CASIS, Melbourne, FL; Aaron Kemmer, CEO, Made in Space, Inc., Moffett Field, CA; Jeffrey Manber, Managing Director, NanoRacks, Houston, TX
Editor’s Note: This is an excellent panel discussion. It’s long, but it’s worth watching all the way through to understand what’s going on in commercial space. The Commercial Crew Program gets a lot of attention, but the things that CASIS, NanoRacks, Made in Space and others are probably under appreciated at this point. Things are beginning to shift in a very significant way.