Trump Issues Order for Protection of GPS-Reliant Infrastructure

NASA’s Orion spacecraft that flew Exploration Flight Test-1 on Dec. 5, 2014 is seen on the South Lawn of the White House, Sunday, July 22, 2018 in Washington, DC. Lockheed Martin, NASA’s prime contractor for Orion, began manufacturing the Orion crew module in 2011 and delivered it in July 2012 to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center where final assembly, integration and testing was completed. More than 1,000 companies across the country manufactured or contributed elements to the spacecraft. Photo Credit: (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

Executive Order

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Purpose.  The national and economic security of the United States depends on the reliable and efficient functioning of critical infrastructure.  Since the United States made the Global Positioning System available worldwide, positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services provided by space-based systems have become a largely invisible utility for technology and infrastructure, including the electrical power grid, communications infrastructure and mobile devices, all modes of transportation, precision agriculture, weather forecasting, and emergency response.  Because of the widespread adoption of PNT services, the disruption or manipulation of these services has the potential to adversely affect the national and economic security of the United States.  To strengthen national resilience, the Federal Government must foster the responsible use of PNT services by critical infrastructure owners and operators.

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NASA Coverage Set for Rescheduled Cygnus Launch on Friday

Antares with Cygnus CRS-13 spacecraft on the launch pad on Wallops Island. (Credit: NASA)

WALLOPS, Va. (NASA PR) — Northrop Grumman’s next NASA resupply services mission to the International Space Station is targeted for launch at 3:43 p.m. EST Friday, Feb. 14. Live coverage of the launch and briefings will begin at 3:15 p.m., on NASA Television and the agency’s website

The company’s 13th commercial resupply services mission using its Cygnus cargo spacecraft will launch on its Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

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Bridenstine to Give Keynote at NSRC 2020; Advanced Registration Closes Thursday

BROOMFIELD, Colo. (NSRC PR) — We just received confirmation today that NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine will be giving a keynote talk at NSRC-2020!

The conference will be held at the beautiful Omni Interlocken Hotel and Resort in Broomfield, Colorado, on March 2-4, with an opening reception Sunday, March 1, at 7:30 pm.

And a reminder that the Advanced Registration Deadline is this Thursday, Feb 13! You can register at  https://www.boulder.swri.edu/NSRC2020/Site5/Registration.html

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Man Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Inspection Reports for SpaceX Parts

BUFFALO, N.Y. (US DOJ PR) –U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that James Smalley, 42, of Penn Yan, NY, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Wolford to falsifying inspection reports for space parts. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard A. Resnick, who is handling the case, stated that the defendant was a Quality Assurance Engineer at PMI Industries, LLC, a Rochester aerospace precision machining service, specializing in high-tolerance machining for flight critical aerospace parts used to build space flight vehicles by SpaceX and other Department of Defense aerospace contractors.

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ICEYE Appoints Mark Matossian as Head of New U.S. Operation

Mark Matossian (Credit: ICEYE)

HELSINKI, February 13, 2020 (ICEYE PR) – ICEYE, the global leader in small satellite synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) technology, today announced the hire of Dr. Mark Matossian, an aerospace industry expert, as CEO of ICEYE US, Inc. Dr. Matossian most recently served for more than a decade in program management at Google, including carrying the responsibility of manufacturing and launch of the Terra Bella Earth imaging constellation. The hire marks a significant expansion in the US activities of ICEYE, including plans to extend satellite manufacturing to the US.

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Astroscale Selected as Commercial Partner for JAXA’s Commercial Removal of Debris Demonstration Project

TOKYO, February 12, 2020 (Astroscale PR) – Astroscale Holdings Inc. (“Astroscale”), the market-leader in developing technology and services to remove space debris and secure long-term orbital sustainability, today announced it has been selected as the commercial partner for Phase I of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) first debris removal project, a groundbreaking step by Japan to commercialize space debris removal.

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NASA Prepares for Moon and Mars With New Addition to Its Deep Space Network

This artist’s concept shows what Deep Space Station-23, a new antenna dish capable of supporting both radio wave and laser communications, will look like when completed at the Deep Space Network’s Goldstone, California, complex. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

FORT IRWIN, Calif. (NASA PR) — Surrounded by California desert, NASA officials broke ground Tuesday, Feb. 11, on a new antenna for communicating with the agency’s farthest-flung robotic spacecraft. Part of the Deep Space Network (DSN), the 112-foot-wide (34-meter-wide) antenna dish being built represents a future in which more missions will require advanced technology, such as lasers capable of transmitting vast amounts of data from astronauts on the Martian surface. As part of its Artemis program NASA will send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, applying lessons learned there to send astronauts to Mars.

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Australian Government Boosts Space Booster Project

GOLD COAST, 13 February 2020 (Gilmour Space Technologies PR) — Research that could cut space travel cost by 25 percent has received a $3 million [US $2 million] boost from the Australian Government.

A Gilmour Space Technologies, University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and Teakle Composites project to create lightweight rocket fuel tanks was included in the latest round of the Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) grants.

The project is a $12.5 million [US $8.4 million] investment by the consortium with support from the Federal Government in order to design, develop and manufacture flight ready cryotanks.

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NASA Budget Proposal Laser Focused on the Moon

Astronauts on a future lunar walk. (Credit: NASA)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Determined to land astronauts on the moon in time for the 2024 presidential election, the Trump Administration has proposed boosting NASA’s budget by 12 percent, an increase that includes $3.37 billion program for a human lander.

The $25.2 billion plan for fiscal year 2021 is $2.69 billion above the current spending level. More than half the amount, $12.95 billion, would be spent on human space operations in Earth orbit and preparing for missions to the moon.

How the proposal will fair in Congress is unclear. To boost Artemis spending, the Administration has proposed a number of cuts that Congress has rejected in previous Trump budgets. Those reductions include:

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Alexander Skvortsov Recounts Recently Completed ISS Mission

Alexander Skvortsov at a post-flight news conference in February 2020. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov gave his post-flight conference on February 10, 2020 at Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC). After a 200-day long mission to the International Space Station, on February 6, 2020 he successfully returned to Earth.

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Plans Submitted for Satellite Launch Site in Sutherland

Sutherland launch complex. (Credit: HIE)

INVERNESS, Scotland (HIE PR) — The latest generation of small communications satellites could be launched into Earth orbit from the northern Highlands of Scotland within the next two years. 

Development agency Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has submitted a planning application for a vertical launch site, Space Hub Sutherland, that it plans to construct on the A’ Mhoine peninsula, Melness, near Tongue.

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Kleos Scouting Mission Satellites Dispatched to India for Launch

LUXEMBOURG, 12 February 2020 (Kleos Space PR) – Kleos Space S.A, a space-powered Radio Frequency Reconnaissance data-as-a-service (DaaS) company, confirms it has dispatched its four Scouting Mission nanosatellites to Chennai, India, in preparation for launch aboard PSLV C49 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

The dispatch starts the Kleos specific launch activity for the Scouting Mission satellites on PSLV C49, a rideshare mission conducted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that includes satellites from other organisations such as Spire Global.

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Spaceflight Industries Spins Off Rideshare Business

HERNDON, Va., February 11, 2020 (Spaceflight Industries PR) – Today, Spaceflight Industries, Inc. announced it has signed a definitive share purchase agreement with Mitsui & Co., Ltd., in partnership with Yamasa Co., Ltd. to sell its satellite rideshare launch business, Spaceflight, Inc. Mitsui & Co.’s planned acquisition of the launch service provider is a unique opportunity for Spaceflight to further invest and expand its commercial and government rideshare launch services while Mitsui & Co. expands its portfolio to offer space services. Financial details of this deal are not disclosed.

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Qarman CubeSat: Falling Into a Fireball

ESA’s next CubeSat mission seen enduring the scorching heat of simulated atmospheric reentry inside the world’s largest plasma wind tunnel. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA’s latest mission will enter the vacuum of space, not aboard a rocket but by being released from the International Space Station. The first task of the shoebox-sized Qarman CubeSat is simply to fall. While typical space missions resist orbital decay, Qarman will drift down month by month until it reenters the atmosphere, at which point it will gather a wealth of data on the fiery physics of reentry.

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