Tag: Commercial Spaceflight Federation

NASA, Air Force & Others Weigh in on SpaceX Falcon 9 Accident

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Falcon 9 explodes on the launch pad. (Credit: USLaunchReport.com)

Falcon 9 explodes on the launch pad. (Credit: USLaunchReport.com)

NASA

“We remain confident in our commercial partners and firmly stand behind the successful 21st century launch complex that NASA, other federal agencies, and U.S. commercial companies are building on Florida’s Space Coast. Today’s incident — while it was not a NASA launch — is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but our partners learn from each success and setback.

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CSF Welcomes AECOM

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csf_logo_newestWASHINGTON, DC – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation continues to grow its membership, announcing today the addition of a new associate member, AECOM.

AECOM is built to deliver a better world; they are the world’s #1-ranked engineering design firm by revenue, according to Engineering News-Record magazine. They design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets for governments, businesses and organizations worldwide. As a fully integrated firm, they connect knowledge and experience across their global network of experts to help clients solve their most complex challenges. From high-performance buildings, ports, roads, airports, spaceports and infrastructure, to resilient communities and environments, to stable and secure nations, their work is transformative, differentiated and vital. AECOM has offices throughout the United States and their clients include NASA, USAF, DoD, FAA, SpaceX, Space Florida, New Mexico Spaceport Authority, and thousands of others.

“CSF welcomes the addition of AECOM to its membership. Infrastructure is extremely important to the future success of spaceports and adding AECOM’s expert voice to the conversation will be a great asset,” said Eric Stallmer, President of CSF.

CSF is excited to bring on such a prominent engineering services firm that has been integral in the development of spaceflight complexes such as Kennedy Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, and SpaceX’s various facilities.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering.

The Federation Adds New Members

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CSF_logo2WASHINGTON, DC (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation continues to grow its membership, announcing today the addition of new associate members — DigitalGlobe and NanoRacks.

DigitalGlobe is a leading global provider of high-resolution Earth-imagery products and services sourced from its own advanced satellite constellation and third-party providers.

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Coalition Issues Plan for Ensuring U.S. Leadership in Space

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Earth_from_Orbit
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.

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CSF on Bridenstine’s Commercial Space Efforts: We Like Them!

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csf_logo_newestWASHINGTON, DC (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation today hosted its first Executive Leadership Forum, an open dialogue for policymakers, industry leaders and other key stakeholders to discuss key issues and opportunities in the commercial spaceflight industry.

Today’s keynote speaker, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), told the group that, “The commercial space industry holds enormous potential both as a tool of economic growth and reliable provider of services to government. The Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act is a tremendous milestone that will enable this industry to innovate and expand access to space. We must not let the momentum established by this law dissipate; Congress, together with stakeholders, need to continue proactively addressing issues that could serve as further impediments to commercial space.”

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NASA Budget Reactions

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CSF_logo2Some reactions to NASA’s $19 billion FY 2017 budget request from the Commercial Spaceflight Federation and the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration.

Commercial Spaceflight Federation

Washington D.C. – Today the Obama administration submitted its FY2017 budget request to Congress. The request includes proposed funding and guidance for all NASA programs and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST).

“I commend the Administration for a budget that provides robust funding for NASA and FAA AST,” said CSF president Eric Stallmer. “We applaud the proposals that would enable and utilize private space capabilities to help build a sustainable American expansion into the Solar System from the edge of space through low-Earth orbit to the Moon and beyond. It builds on the strong foundation established by the FY16 Omnibus and Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act. We look forward to working with the Congress to fully fund a number of the proposals in this request, while also championing efforts to shore up areas that need additional input and support.”

Within the NASA portfolio, the request continues the bipartisan commitment to the United States achieving safe, reliable, and independent human access to the International Space Station (ISS) from American soil by 2017. The request provides funding for NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo programs to ensure that the nation has multiple U.S.-based transportation capabilities to and from the ISS, ending NASA’s dependence on Russia, and expanding ISS scientific research and technology development activities through 2024. The request includes funds for the development of a deep space habitat, which should utilize a public-private partnership to ensure NASA meets the Congressionally mandated 2018 deadline for development of a prototype habitation module. Finally, the request includes $15 million for the Flight Opportunities program to enable affordable testing of new technologies necessary for future exploration plans, and provides critical training opportunities needed to sustain a skilled workforce.

The budget request includes $19.8 million, an increase of $2 million over FY16, for the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation, to ensure that it has the resources necessary to process and approve commercial space launch and reentry licenses, experimental permits, and spaceport licenses in a timely manner, which will help reduce the possibility of delayed launches, slowed innovation, and a diminution in the United States competitive edge. In addition, the request includes $3 million for Commercial Space Transportation Safety to better integrate commercial launch and reentry “traffic” with the National Airspace System.

Coalition for Deep Space Exploration

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration notes the release of the Administration’s FY 2017 NASA budget request. The Coalition had hoped the request would reflect the priorities laid out for NASA in the FY16 Omnibus, for which there was broad support. Unfortunately this was not the case. The Coalition is disappointed with the proposed reduction in funding below the FY16 Omnibus for NASA’s exploration programs.

Dr. Mary Lynne Dittmar, the executive director of the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, issued the following statement:

“While we appreciate the funding proposed for the International Space Station and its transportation systems, space science programs including the James Webb Space Telescope, and proposed deep space habitat, we are deeply concerned about the Administration’s proposed cut to NASA’s human exploration development programs. This proposed budget falls well short of the investment needed to support NASA’s exploration missions, and would have detrimental impacts on cornerstone, game-changing programs such as the super-heavy lift rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), and the Orion spacecraft – the first spacecraft designed to reach multiple destinations in the human exploration of deep space.

The greatest challenge to these programs is not technical, but budget stability, plain and simple. At this critical stage, it is important to ensure that the significant progress already made on the development of the SLS and Orion spacecraft continues, so as to meet important milestones including the first integrated launch in 2018 and crewed missions beginning in 2021. Fully developing these systems will enable the United States to realize its aspirations for human exploration, planetary missions, international collaboration, and scientific discovery.

Year after year, Congress, with bipartisan leadership in the House and Senate, has led the way in ensuring these important exploration capabilities remain on track, including in the recently-enacted FY 2016 Omnibus. Once again, we look to bipartisan efforts in the Congress to ensure that these programs receive the funding necessary to continue progress, enabling the nation’s return to deep space and ensuring America’s role as the global leader in human space exploration.”

Stu Witt Retires From Mojave Spaceport in Style

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Stu Witt (center) stands with Congressman Kevin McCarthy, X Prize Chairman Peter Diamandis, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides and others in front of a replica of SpaceShipOne. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Stu Witt (center) stands with Congressman Kevin McCarthy, X Prize Chairman Peter Diamandis, Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides and others in front of a replica of SpaceShipOne. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

They came to Mojave from near and far — from the dusty desert communities of Lancaster, Boron and Ridgecrest to the snow swept tundra of Sweden — to send Stu Witt off in style. One of the most powerful men in Washington, D.C. played hooky from Congress to wish his friend a happy retirement.

Hundreds of people gathered on Jan. 8 to mark the end of Witt’s nearly 14-year term as CEO and general manager of the Mojave Air and Space Port. The event featured a reception and a long parade of friends and colleagues singing his praises.

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Praise for NASA’s Commercial Cargo Contract Awards

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CSF_logo2Commercial Spaceflight Federation

NASA announced three cargo contract awards to ensure robust and affordable transportation of critical supplies, scientific experiments and commercial payloads to and from the International Space Station (ISS) through at least 2024. NASA selected Orbital ATK, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and SpaceX to continue and expand upon its successful public-private partnerships with American companies to obtain reliable cargo resupply services for the ISS.

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FAA AST Responds to NTSB Recommendations in SpaceShipTwo Accident Report

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SpaceShipTwo's right boom. (Credit: NTSB)

SpaceShipTwo’s right boom. (Credit: NTSB)

The Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA AST) has submitted formal responses to the eight recommendations the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made in its report on the loss of SpaceShipTwo in October 2014.

All the responses are dated Oct. 30, 2015 — one day short of the one year anniversary of the crash. The responses are all identified as being from FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Praises Passage of Space Bill

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CSF_logo2WASHINGTON, D.C. (CSF PR) – Last night the Senate passed the bi-partisan U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA, or H.R. 2262 as amended), which represents one of the most significant modernizations of commercial space policy and regulatory legislation since the original Commercial Space Launch Act (CSLA) was enacted in 1984. CSF applauds Senators John Thune (R-SD), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Gary Peters (D-MI), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tom Udall (D-NM) for their leadership and vision in authoring and co-sponsoring this much-needed and comprehensive legislation.

CSLA was last updated in 2004, creating a regulatory framework for commercial human spaceflight that resulted in a wave of investment, innovation, jobs and economic growth for the U.S. This new legislation sets the stage for the continued growth and expansion of the space transportation industry, while enabling rapid advances in safety for spaceflight participants. It also promotes investments in new commercial space applications, promising future spaceflight capabilities that will benefit all Americans.

“The members of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation commend Senators Thune, Nelson, Cruz, Peters, as well as all their cosponsors, for their leadership and perseverance in passing this critical piece of bipartisan legislation to ensure that America remains the leader in space,” CSF President Eric Stallmer said. “CSF looks forward to quick action on this bill in the House of Representatives when it returns next week.”

Battle Brewing Over Extending Commercial Spaceflight Learning Period

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Part of SpaceShipTwo's fuselage. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

Part of SpaceShipTwo’s fuselage. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A battle is brewing over whether to extend the learning period for the commercial spaceflight industry, with Congress needing to make a decision before October on when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be allowed to regulate an industry still struggling to get off the ground.

On one side are FAA officials, who believe they can begin to craft basic safety regulations based on more than 50 years of human spaceflight experience. Industry figures dispute this, saying they still don’t have enough experience with their varied vehicles to begin the process.

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Gets New President

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csf_logo_newestSpace News reports that Eric Stallmer will replace outgoing Commercial Spaceflight Federation President Michael Lopez-Alegria in September.

Stallmer has served as vice president government affairs at Analytical Graphics since 2001. Previous to that position, Stallmer had served as president of the Space Transportation Association.

UPDATE: Here’s the Federation’s press release:

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that Eric Stallmer has been named as its next President. Stallmer will join CSF staff in September and will assume the position of President following the departure of Michael Lopez-Alegria.
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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Adds 3 Members

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csf_logo_newestWashington, D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce the addition of three new organizations to its membership. BRPH, The Robert A. & Virginia Heinlein Prize Trust, and Swiss Space Systems’ S3 USA Holdings have each joined as Associate Members.

“The addition of these three members is a testament to the diversity, continued growth and development of the commercial spaceflight sector,” stated CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria. “Each new member represents a unique area within our industry; I look forward to having their expertise as a part of our membership.”

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Commercial Spaceflight Federation Opposes Putting Commercial Space Vehicles on USML

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csf_logo_newestWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation submitted the following comments to the State Department regarding the interim Category XV rule of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

June 27, 2014

Via E-Mail (DDTCResponseTeam@state.gov)

Directorate of Defense Trade Controls
Office of Defense Trade Controls Policy
U.S. Department of State
PM/DDTC, SA-1, 12th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-0112

ATTN: Regulatory Change, USML Category XV
RIN: 1400–AD33

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is an industry association comprised of leading businesses and organizations working to make commercial spaceflight a reality. Our mission is to promote the development of commercial spaceflight, pursue ever higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The CSF commends the Administration for its efforts on export control reform, especially in relation to Category XV, which will reinforce the competiveness of the U.S. satellite industry in the global market. The modernization of Category XV will help bolster the growth of the domestic commercial space sector while enhancing national security by allowing the government to focus its scarce resources on sensitive military technologies.

While we applaud the progress that has been made, there is still more work to be done. As commercial space companies continue to test and develop their vehicles, it is vital to have an export control regime that will not illegitimately inhibit the potential of this growing industry. Steps should be taken to further investigate how to modernize the USML to appropriately move these vehicles to the Commerce Control List (CCL). Again, the CSF commends the State Department on its export control reform efforts to date as well as its outreach to industry, and we hope to continue to work together to determine the appropriate controls for commercial spacecraft.

Although the State Department did not request comment on this matter in its May 13, 2014 rule, the CSF will submit further detailed comments to the State Department along with our submission to the Department of Commerce in response to their request for comments on the continued application of USML controls to commercial space launch vehicles and human spaceflight.

Sincerely,

Michael Lopez-Alegria
President

BLAST OFF Event Set for Explorers Club in New York

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csf_logo_newestBLAST OFF: The Future of Spaceflight
Thursday, May 1st at 7 p.m.
The Explorers Club
New York City

What:

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation and the Explorers Club will be celebrating a night of commercial spaceflight, showcasing the technology and advancement made by companies in this exciting sector. The event will be attended by representatives from CSF’s membership including Blue Origin, Penn State’s Lunar Lion team, Masten Space Systems, Mojave, NASTAR, Orbital Outfitters, Planetary Resources, Sierra Nevada Space Systems, Space Adventures, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, World View Inc., and XCOR Aerospace. The event will provide a great opportunity to network with company representatives and learn more about the exciting progress the companies are making towards commercial space exploration.

Hosted at the historic headquarters of the Explorers Club, there will be ongoing presentations and photo opportunities throughout the evening, with a pre-event VIP reception hosted by veteran astronauts.

For more information, click here.

When:

BLAST OFF: The Future of Spaceflight will be held on Thursday, May 1st beginning at 7:00pm ET.

Where:

The Explorers Club, 46 E 70th St, New York, NY 10021.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit commercialspaceflight.org or contact Sirisha Bandla at sirisha@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.347.1418.

About the Explorers Club

The Explorers Club is an international multidisciplinary professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. Since its inception in 1904, the Club has served as a meeting point and unifying force for explorers and scientists worldwide. Based out of New York City, the Explorers Club promotes the scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. The Club’s members have been responsible for an illustrious series of famous firsts: First to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first to the surface of the moon. For more information please visit explorers.org.