NASA, Roscosmos Congratulate China on Crewed Launch

Bill Nelson

NASA and Roscosmos sent congratulations to the China National Space Administration for its launch of three astronauts on Shenzhou-12 to the nation’s first permanent space station on Thursday.

NASA

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson released the following statement Thursday regarding the China National Space Agency’s launch of the first crew to its Tiangong space station:

“Congratulations to China on the successful launch of crew to their space station! I look forward to the scientific discoveries to come.”

Roscosmos

Roscosmos sends sincere congratulations to China on the successful launch of three taikonauts on the Shenzhou 12 crewed spacecraft to the new Chinese Tianhe space station.

The Chinese space technologies are developing actively, and another success in China’s crewed space program is just a further proof to that!

China has made another confident step forward and together we can achieve even more! As was previously announced, together we will jointly develop the new International Lunar Research Station. Russia and China will become lasting and reliable partners in long-term colonization of near-Earth and outer space.

Senate Confirms Pam Melroy as NASA Deputy Administrator

Pamela Melroy

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The following are statements from Pam Melroy and Administrator Bill Nelson on Thursday’s U.S. Senate confirmation of Melroy as deputy administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration:

“It’s an honor to be confirmed by the Senate to serve as NASA Deputy Administrator, and I am humbled by President Biden and Vice President Harris’ confidence in me,” Melroy said. “I look forward to returning to the NASA family and working with Administrator Nelson to ensure the United States continues to lead in space and beyond – exploring the wonders of the universe, expanding the Earth science research critical to combatting climate change, unlocking scientific discoveries that will change the world as we know it, and inspiring the next generation of discoverers and dreamers.”

“Pam is a pioneer and veteran of NASA, and will be an outstanding leader as we venture farther out to the stars,” said Nelson. “We certainly are lucky to have her on board, and I look forward to leading NASA with her as a team.”

For information about NASA’s missions, discoveries, and activities, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

Brazil Signs Artemis Accords

Brazil Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Marcos Pontes signs the Artemis Accords as President Jair Bolsonaro looks on during a ceremony at the Palácio do Planalto in Brasilia Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (Credits: Marcos Corrêa/PR)

BRASILIA (NASA PR) — Brazil is the latest country to sign the Artemis Accords, affirming its commitment to ensuring sustainable space exploration that adheres to a common set of principles benefiting all of humanity.

Brazil Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation Marcos Pontes signed the document during a ceremony June 15 in Brasília that featured President Jair Bolsonaro, Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos Alberto França, and other officials.

(more…)

NASA Administrator Statement on Meeting with Roscosmos

Bill Nelson

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson released the following statement after an introductory call Friday with Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin:

“I was pleased to speak with General Director Dimitry Rogozin this morning in a productive discussion about continued cooperation between NASA and Roscosmos.

“For more than 20 years, NASA astronauts and Roscosmos cosmonauts have lived and worked together on the International Space Station – a success story that has yielded countless discoveries and enabled research not possible on Earth for the benefit of humanity. NASA is committed to continuing that very effective ISS partnership.

“I look forward to future discussions with General Director Rogozin and participating virtually with him at the upcoming Global Space Exploration Conference.”

For more information on NASA and agency activities, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

Dmitry Rogozin had Telephone Conversation with NASA Administrator Bill Nelson

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On Friday, June 4, 2021, Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of the Roscosmos State Corporation, had a telephone conversation with the newly appointed NASA administrator Bill Nelson. The main topic of the conversation was the continuation of Russian-American cooperation in the field of space, primarily within the framework of the International Space Station program.

During the conversation, the head of NASA positively assessed the bilateral interaction in space, which began with the docking in the framework of the Soyuz-Apollo program in 1975, and also announced his intention to extend the operation of the ISS while ensuring the necessary government funding until 2030. Supporting the head of NASA, Dmitry Rogozin noted the full fulfillment of the obligations by the Russian side to maintain the operation of the ISS and spoke about plans for the development of the Russian segment of the stations.

At the same time, the head of Roscosmos put before his interlocutor a number of questions previously initiated by the American side, which significantly complicate interaction. First of all, we are talking about the sanctions imposed by the American administration against the enterprises of the Russian space industry, and the absence in Roscosmos of official information from American partners about plans for the management and further use of the ISS.

In addition, Dmitry Rogozin put forward a number of initiatives to organize Russian-American cooperation in the field of fundamental space research. The leaders agreed to intensify negotiations in all areas, including in the format of personal meetings. Until the end of June 2021, Russian-American talks are planned at the expert level, including within the framework of the GLEX 2021 conference. The head of Roscosmos also invited Nelson to come to Russia. The invitation was accepted.

South Korea Signs Artemis Accords

Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of Science and ICT Lim Hyesook signs the Artemis Accords during a ceremony May 24 in Seoul. ROK is the 10th country to sign the Artemis Accords, which establish a practical set of principles to guide space exploration cooperation among nations participating in NASA’s 21st century lunar exploration plans. (Credits: ROK Ministry of Science and ICT)

SEOUL, South Korea (NASA PR) — The Republic of Korea has become the 10th country to sign the Artemis Accords, which establish a practical set of principles to guide space exploration cooperation among nations participating in NASA’s 21st century lunar exploration plans. Minister of Science and ICT Lim Hyesook signed the Artemis Accords for the country during a ceremony held May 24 in Seoul. South Korea, whose official name is the Republic of Korea, joins Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, and the United States, and is the first nation to sign the Accords under the Biden Administration.

(more…)

House Science Chairwoman Says GAO Report “Wake-up Call” on Artemis Moon Program

SLS Core stage for Artemis I mission removed from the test stand at Stennis. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (House Science Committee PR) – Today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report, “NASA Lunar Programs: Significant Work Remains, Underscoring Challenges to Achieving Moon Landing in 2024”. The report was the result of an Appropriations request for GAO work on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA’s) lunar programs. NASA has initiated eight programs as part of its goal of returning humans to the surface of the Moon by 2024. The report evaluated NASA’s progress on its lunar programs, including the goal for a human landing in 2024, and its challenges in managing the programs.

“The GAO report released today should serve as a clear wake-up call both to NASA’s leadership and to Members of Congress that NASA’s Artemis Moon-Mars initiative is in serious trouble, and strong corrective actions will be needed if it is to succeed, “said Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX). “It is particularly sobering that the problems highlighted by the GAO team are not primarily budgetary in nature, but reflect organizational weaknesses, reliance on immature technologies, an unrealistic timetable and acquisition approach, and lack of commitment to a rigorous systems engineering & integration capability, among other concerns. I urge Administrator Nelson to carry out an independent review of the entire Artemis initiative as soon as possible so that he can determine what will be needed to put this important national undertaking on an executable path. I want to see NASA get the resources it will need to carry out a successful Moon-Mars initiative, but Administrator Nelson first needs to take all necessary steps to identify and address the problems afflicting Artemis and develop an executable Moon-Mars plan, or we will not just be wasting money—we will be putting our astronauts and our nation’s standing at risk.”

“The Moon to Mars Artemis initiative enjoys strong bipartisan support in Congress, and that Congressional support comes with the responsibility to ensure that this highly important national effort is carried out based on well-established management and technical processes,” said Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA). “Today’s GAO report raises questions about NASA’s current approach to managing Artemis. A national endeavor as critical as Artemis requires clear roles and responsibilities, defined management tools, cost and schedule oversight, and an organization focused on mission success. GAO’s report identifies the need for improvement in these areas in order to avoid further delays and costs, and to ensure a successful outcome. I want America to lead an international effort to land humans on the Moon in preparation for Mars and to do so as expeditiously and safely as possible. I look forward to working with Administrator Nelson and the Biden Administration on taking the necessary steps to put Moon to Mars on a path to success.”

New NASA Earth System Observatory to Help Address, Mitigate Climate Change

NOAA-12 image of Hurricane Emily in 1993. (Credit: NOAA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA will design a new set of Earth-focused missions to provide key information to guide efforts related to climate change, disaster mitigation, fighting forest fires, and improving real-time agricultural processes. With the Earth System Observatory, each satellite will be uniquely designed to complement the others, working in tandem to create a 3D, holistic view of Earth, from bedrock to atmosphere.

(more…)

NASA Administrator Nelson Congratulates China on Mars Landing

Bill Nelson

WASHINGTON — NASA Administrator Sen. Bill Nelson issued the following statement Wednesday after the China National Space Administration’s release of the first photos from the Zhurong Mars rover:

“Congratulations to the China National Space Administration on receiving the first images from the Zhurong Mars rover!” Nelson said. “As the international scientific community of robotic explorers on Mars grows, the United States and the world look forward to the discoveries Zhurong will make to advance humanity’s knowledge of the Red Planet. I look forward to future international discoveries, which will help inform and develop the capabilities needed to land human boots on Mars.”

CNSA’s successful landing of the Zhurong rover last week makes it only the second nation to ever land successfully on Mars. Zhurong joins active NASA missions – the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers and Insight Lander – in exploring the surface of the Red Planet.

For more information on NASA and agency activities, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

Nelson Promotes KSC’s Bob Cabana as NASA Associate Administrator

Bob Cabana

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Sen. Bill Nelson announced Monday Robert D. Cabana, who has served as director of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida since 2008, will serve as associate administrator effective Monday, May 17. Steve Jurczyk, who held the position since 2018, announced his retirement Monday.

“Bob has a relentless determination to expand America’s role in space. Under his leadership, Kennedy has emerged as a modern, world class multi-user spaceport, partnering with commercial customers and supporting NASA’s science and human exploration missions,” Nelson said. “Bob is the real deal – he has the vision and management skills to bring NASA to even higher heights.”

(more…)

Steve Jurczyk Retires as NASA Associate Administrator

Steve Jurczyk

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Steve Jurczyk, who served as acting NASA administrator from Jan. 20 to May 3, 2021, announced Monday he will retire on Friday, May 14, after more than three decades of service at NASA.

Jurczyk has served as associate administrator, the agency’s highest-ranking civil servant, since May 2018. He was the highest-ranking career civil servant leading NASA throughout the pandemic and most recently oversaw the successful landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars, a successful Green Run test of the core stage of the Space Launch System rocket, the naming of the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building, the launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 to the International Space Station, and the return of Crew-1 back to Earth.

(more…)

Long March 5B Stage Reenters North of Maldives as NASA Administrator Nelson Criticizes Chinese Actions as Irresponsible

Long March 5B launches the Tianhe space station core module on April 29, 2021. (Credit: CASC)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A Chinese Long March 5B reentered the Earth atmosphere on Sunday over the Indian Ocean north of the Maldives, ending more than a week of global anxiety that the massive booster could spread debris over a populated area.

The 18th Space Control Squadron confirmed the 21-metric ton stage reentered the atmosphere and fell into the ocean north of the island chain at latitude 22.2, longitude 50.0 on Sunday, May 9 at 0214 UTC. There have been no reports of injuries.

(more…)

Vice President Harris Swears in NASA Administrator Sen. Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson is sworn in as NASA administrator. From left to right, Pam Melroy, current nominee for NASA deputy administrator, former NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Bill Nelson Jr., son of Bill Nelson, Nan Ellen Nelson, daughter of Nelson, former Senator Bill Nelson, his wife, Grace Nelson, and Vice President Kamala Harris pose for a photo after Nelson was ceremonially sworn in as the 14th NASA administrator, Monday, May 3, 2021, at the Ceremonial Office in the Old Executive Office Building in Washington. A Moon rock collected by astronaut John Young during the Apollo 16 mission was also on display. (Credits: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Sen. Bill Nelson took office as the 14th administrator of NASA Monday, after he was given the oath of office by Vice President Kamala Harris during a ceremony at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington.

(more…)

Johnson Space Center Director Mark Geyer Moves To New Role

Mark Geyer, Senior Advisor to the Associate Administrator (Credits: NASA/Bill Stafford)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Mark Geyer, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, is stepping down from his position leading the center to focus more time on his health and family in light of a cancer diagnosis.

“Mark has had an exceptional impact on this agency, leading the nation’s key human spaceflight programs for decades. Under Mark’s leadership, Johnson has moved the United States into a new era of human space exploration,” said NASA Administrator Sen. Bill Nelson. “We’re fortunate to continue to have Mark and his decades of expertise serving the agency in his new role as senior advisor to the associate administrator.”

“It has been my honor to lead the Johnson Space Center team,” Geyer said. “JSC is a group of extremely talented professionals all dedicated to the mission of expanding human exploration of the solar system. The diverse scope of work they accomplished and the challenges they overcame inspired me every day.  I have been so blessed to work here.” 

(more…)

Biden-Harris Administration Shows Strong Support for NASA in First 100 Days

President Joe Biden stands with a model of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, which achieved its first flight on the Red Planet April 19. (Credits: White House/Adam Schultz)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris Administration, NASA has taken bold steps to expand America’s exploration and scientific frontiers, advancing the nation’s commitment to build back better through innovation, combat climate change, re-establish America’s standing abroad, and inspire the next generation.

(more…)