A commercial space bill that fell just short of passage last year will be reintroduced this year to serve as the starting point for further discussions, a key senator said Jan. 15.
The Trump administration’s desire to establish a Space Force could be in jeopardy next year after Democrats assume control of the House, while the departure of a key House appropriator could spell trouble for NASA missions to the potentially habitable moon of Europa.
The chairman of the House appropriations committee that funds NASA lost his reelection bid Nov. 6 as Democrats won a majority in the chamber, while a leading Senate Democrat on space policy appeared to lose his race for another term.
The chief executive of Northrop Grumman said July 26 he is willing to make the profit his company earns on the James Webb Space Telescope contingent on the overall success of the mission.
The House Science Committee approved a bill June 27 that would give the Commerce Department new responsibilities for space traffic management despite opposition by some Democrats that the bill “rubber stamps” the administration’s space policy.
As the commercial launch industry seeks regulatory reforms to streamline the licensing process, other are raising concerns about a schedule that calls for those changes to be completed next year.
As the House prepares to take up a bill giving the Commerce Department new authorities for space traffic management, the leaders of NASA and U.S. Strategic Command offered their support for such a move.
A House hearing on the reasons for cost and schedule problems with major NASA programs pointed blame at a wide variety of sources, from the tools used to track programs to the agency’s mindset to Congress itself.
Outer space is the last frontier of human exploration. Unfortunately, the glory days of landing men on the moon are now a distant memory. So too are the memories of watching space shuttles rumble to life and roar to space fading away. That is poised to change and America is ready to lead the way.