Robert Lightfoot, the Acting NASA Administrator, sent a memo to the agency on the possibility of putting a crew on EM-1. I discuss the potential fallout from this idea and where the SLS/Orion program may be heading in the future.
A perfect Florida sky, the blending of past and future hardware with the weathered Fixed Service Structure and SpaceX’s brand-new transporter-erector, the sleek-as-ever Falcon 9 complete with landing legs…the absolute beauty of this photo is endless.
Exactly the kinds of projects NASA should be putting attention towards. Help push the development of new and improved technologies that are critical to the missions we—collectively—are on the verge of undertaking. These are also the kinds of projects that show the value in having a testbed like the ISS active and nearby.
Representative Jim Bridenstine posted the full video of his talk at the Commercial Space Transportation Conference, and it’s absolutely worth your time to give it a listen. He speaks passionately and intelligently about spaceflight, exploration, technology, and policy, and shows a true understanding of the issues at hand. You don’t often see a member of Congress speak about these topics with such confidence and fire.
This week, NASA officially announced that NanoRacks will be adding an airlock onto the International Space Station to add capabilities and capacity to their already-up-and-running business. That announcement, along with some early insight into NASA policy in 2017, got me thinking about commercial opportunities within government programs, beyond Commercial Cargo and Crew.
It took a while for this to be announced officially. I talked with Mike Johnson, Chief Designer at NanoRacks, back in September about the airlock project (among a lot of other very interesting topics) and he said on the podcast that they were all set on the NASA side and were about to start finding a launch slot.
Marcia Smith of SpacePolicyOnline.com saw a draft of the 2017 NASA Transition Authorization Act, and it contains some very interesting changes from the 2016 version that bounced around Congress last year. I discuss what some of these changes may mean in the light of Commercial Crew delays, NASA RFIs regarding SLS and Orion, and continued Russian reliability issues.
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