Planetary Society, NSS Call for Full Funding for NEO Surveyor Asteroid Hunter

NEO Surveyor is a new mission proposal designed to discover and characterize most of the potentially hazardous asteroids that are near the Earth. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A joint-letter in Support of NEO Surveyor
National Space Society
The Planetary Society

As part of our ongoing support for the asteroid-hunting space telescope NEO Surveyor, The Planetary Society recently partnered with the National Space Society to urge Congress to reject cuts to this critical mission.

The project is facing a $130 million cut from its planned FY 2023 budget, which would seriously delay and disrupt the mission.

This letter to Congress reflects the high regard for NEO Surveyor shared by the two largest member-supported space organizations in the world.

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U.S. Joins the Space for Climate Observatory

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — This week, the United States joined the Space for Climate Observatory (SCO) initiative, fulfilling the commitment made by Vice President Kamala Harris during her November 2021 visit to France.

Richard Spinrad, Ph.D., Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) signed the SCO Charter as the lead agency for the United States. He was joined for the signing ceremony by Philippe Étienne, the French ambassador to the United States; Philippe Baptiste, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of the French National Center for Space Studies (CNES), along with representatives of the White House, NOAA and the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  

The Space for Climate Observatory is an initiative of the One Planet Summit under the leadership of CNES to combine satellite and in situ data with scientific research to model and track climate change and its impacts at global-to-local scales. It is also working to establish indicators and decision-support tools in a coordinated and cross-disciplinary fashion, including with social and economic sciences, to enhance the global community’s collective ability to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

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President Biden: NASA to Welcome Japanese Astronaut Aboard Gateway

Artemis Gateway orbiting the moon. (Credit: NASA)

TOKYO (NASA PR) — President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met in Tokyo Monday where they announced progress on collaboration for human and robotic lunar missions. They confirmed their commitment to include a Japanese astronaut aboard the lunar Gateway outpost and their shared ambition to see a future Japanese astronaut land on the Moon as part of NASA’s Artemis program. 

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Video: Vice President Kamala Harris Congratulates Mark Vande Hei on Record-setting Spaceflight

Video Caption: Vice President Kamala Harris recently spoke to astronaut Mark Vande Hei after he returned home from spending 355 days in space — the longest single spaceflight for a NASA astronaut.

Mark’s mission and research in space helps us better understand the effects of long-duration human spaceflight as we prepare for the Artemis missions to the Moon. As head of the National Space Council, VP Harris is working on our priorities in space, including building up America’s STEM workforce, addressing the climate crisis, and promoting rules and norms that govern space.

Learn more about Celestial Immunity, space station research that may help us treat diseases: https://go.nasa.gov/3END1kY

U.S. Commits to Not Conduct Direct-ascent Anti-satellite Tests

Vice President Kamala Harris delivers opening remarks at the first meeting of the National Space Council, Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington. Chaired by Vice President Harris, the council’s role is to advise the President regarding national space policy and strategy, and ensuring the United States capitalizes on the opportunities presented by the country’s space activities. (Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

New U.S. Commitment on Destructive Direct-Ascent Anti-Satellite Missile Testing

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (White House PR) — Today at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the United States commits not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) missile testing, and that the United States seeks to establish this as a new international norm for responsible behavior in space. The Vice President also called on other nations to make similar commitments and to work together in establishing this as a norm, making the case that such efforts benefit all nations. 

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NASA Releases Equity Action Plan to Make Space More Accessible to All

Lee esta nota de prensa en español aquí.

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to advance racial equity in the federal government, NASA has released its first-ever Equity Action Plan. The plan establishes key focus areas that will allow the agency to track progress toward improved diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility both internally and externally to NASA.

“At NASA, all of our missions depend on our steadfast commitment to equal opportunity,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “The Equity Action plan deepens our commitment to further identify and remove the barriers that limit opportunity in underserved and underrepresented communities. This framework anchors fairness as a core component in every NASA mission to make the work we do in space and beyond more accessible to all.”

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Texas Gov. Abbott Vows to Fight for SpaceX to Launch From Boca Chica

Greg Abbott

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has vowed to fight for SpaceX to receive federal approval to launch its Super Heavy/Starship system from the company’s Starbase facility in Boca Chica, Texas. Rio Grande Guardian reports:

Asked by veteran broadcaster Ron Whitlock of Ron Whitlock Reports whether he is concerned about losing SpaceX, Abbott said:

“What I am going to do if Biden interferes with the ability of SpaceX to launch from Boca Chica; I am going to be working every step of the way to make sure that they are going to be able to launch from Boca Chica. We heard the vision from Mr. Patel himself about what they are working on and our job is to make sure they are able to achieve their vision. And I have worked with Elon Musk very closely with regard to Tesla and the Giga factory in Austin, Texas. And we will be working with him very closely, every step of the way in Boca Chica for the future of SpaceX. We want that future and that vision to come from Boca Chica, from Brownsville, Texas.”

Whitlock followed up with: “And not to Florida?” Abbott responded: “Correct.”

Whitlock interviewed Abbott at an economic development event held recently at the Port of Brownsville. Since this event, SpaceX has learned that its application to expand its Boca Chica rocket launching site has hit a new hurdle.

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NOAA FY 2023 Budget Advances a Climate-Ready Nation, New Blue Economy and Equity

A collage of typical climate and weather-related events: floods, heatwaves, drought, hurricanes, wildfires and loss of glacial ice. (Credit: NOAA)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — “The Biden-Harris Administration recently released its proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2023, which includes strong support for NOAA‘s mission and goals. This level of funding signals the Administration’s support of NOAA as the authority on climate data and information. The FY 2023 budget will allow NOAA to scale our efforts to deliver accurate climate products and services to all Americans by building on our research, forecasts, and observations,” said NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D.

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Singapore Signs Artemis Accords

Deputy Executive Director of the Singapore Office for Space Technology & Industry Chris Leck, left, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Jennifer R. Littlejohn, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, and Singapore Ambassador to the United States Ashok Kumar Mirpuri pose for a photo following Singapore’s signing of the Artemis Accords in Washington, March 28, 2022. (Credits: Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Singapore demonstrated its commitment to the peaceful and responsible exploration of space by signing the Artemis Accords, which set forth the guiding principles for cooperation among nations participating in NASA’s Artemis program. Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong signed the document during a ceremony March 28, 2022, in Washington.

Singapore is the 18th country to sign the Artemis Accords, more than doubling the original number of nations that signed in October 2020.

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NASA Administrator Statement on President’s FY 2023 Budget Request

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The President’s fiscal year 2023 budget would allow NASA to sustain America’s global innovation leadership and keep NASA at the forefront of exploration and discovery by returning to the Moon with the Artemis program, among other efforts. This budget would enable NASA to address climate change, drive economic growth, and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

The Biden-Harris Administration Monday submitted to Congress President Biden’s budget for fiscal year 2023. The President’s budget details his vision to expand on the historic progress our country has made over the last year and deliver the agenda he laid out in his State of the Union address – to build a better America, reduce the deficit, reduce costs for families, and grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out. 

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Annual State of NASA Address, Media Budget Briefing Set for March 28

Bill Nelson

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson will give the 2022 State of NASA address at 2 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 28, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The event will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Nelson will highlight NASA’s plans to explore the Moon and Mars, address climate change, promote racial and economic equity, and drive economic growth while sustaining U.S. leadership in aviation and aerospace innovation.

Following the State of NASA, Associate Administrator Bob Cabana and Chief Financial Officer Margaret Vo Schaus will host a virtual media teleconference at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the Biden-Harris Administration’s fiscal year 2023 funding request for the agency. Joining them for questions and answers are senior leaders from each of NASA’s mission directorates.

Audio from the budget briefing will stream live on NASA’s website.

Timing of these activities are based on the President’s budget release on Monday and are subject to change. Budget proposal for NASA and supporting information will post online March 28 as soon as possible at:

https://www.nasa.gov/budget

NASA Provides Update to Astronaut Moon Lander Plans Under Artemis

An illustration of a suited Artemis astronaut looking out of a Moon lander hatch across the lunar surface, the Lunar Terrain Vehicle and other surface elements. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — As NASA makes strides to return humans to the lunar surface under Artemis, the agency announced plans Wednesday to create additional opportunities for commercial companies to develop an astronaut Moon lander.

Under this new approach, NASA is asking American companies to propose lander concepts capable of ferrying astronauts between lunar orbit and the lunar surface for missions beyond Artemis III, which will land the first astronauts on the Moon in more than 50 years.

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Firefly Aerospace Owner Max Polyakov Sells Stake to Tom Markusic

Max Polyakov

Firefly Aerospace majority stakeholder Max Polyakov announced he was selling his shares to company co-founder and CEO Tom Markusic in a bitter message on his Facebook page.

I am giving up for 1 usd consideration all my 58% stake in Firefly to my co-founder and partner Tom. Dear CFIUS, Air Force and 23 agencies of USA who betrayed me and judge me in all your actions for past 15 months . I hope now you are happy . History will judge all of you guys. Max love Ukraine and yes I have Ukrainian passport and I am Founder of Firefly !!! Bye my “bird” and at the end of the days I proud what I done for my Land soul and heritage !!!

CFIUS is the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Late last year, the committee required that Polyakov, who is Ukrainian, sell his stake in the company. Bloomberg reported:

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NASA Provides Updated International Space Station Transition Plan

The space station is viewed from the SpaceX Cargo Dragon during its automated approach before docking. (Credit: NASA TV)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The International Space Station is a unique laboratory that is returning enormous scientific, educational, and technological developments to benefit people on Earth and is enabling our ability to travel into deep space. The Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to extend space station operations until 2030 will enable the United States to continue to reap these benefits for the next decade while U.S. industry develops commercial destinations and markets for a thriving space economy.  

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