NASA chief talks moon partnership in Israel
Watch FIRST this video where Buzz Aldrin…FINALLY ADMITS that we…NEVER WENT TO THE MOON!!! WHY? because according to NASA ITSELF, the Dept. of Defense, US government contracts and the US government, in general, we live in a GEOCENTRIC, GEODEITIC, ENCLOSED SYTEM upon a…FLAT EARTH!!!
With help from Connor O’Brien and Adrienne Hurst
NASA CHIEF TALKS MOON PARTNERSHIP IN ISRAEL: Jim Bridenstine is in Israel on his first foreign trip as NASA administrator discussing how to expand the partnership with the Israel Space Agency — including on a crewed mission to the moon, he tells us from Jerusalem.
He’s met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; Brig. Gen. Isaac Ben Israel, chairman of the Israel Space Agency; Avi Blasberger, the agency’s director general; and Ofir Akunis, the minister of science, technology and space.
“They want to partner on going back to the moon. There’s a strong interest in that,” the NASA chief says. “The next steps are to figure out exactly where they could fit into the architecture and take advantage of a lot of the great technology they have.”
Bridenstine learned more about AstroRad, a protective vest to shield astronauts from radiation in deep space — set to go on the first test flight of NASA’s Space Launch System — and pointed to technical areas such as miniaturizing electronics for small satellites and remote sensing capabilities where Israel excels.
The two sides, which began collaborating in 1996, signed a new agreement pledging to cooperate on the International Space Station, earth and life sciences, and nanotechnology.
Bridenstine is also expected to visit SpaceIL to hear about its plans to launch the first unmanned Israeli spacecraft to the moon in December.
That’s a mission that that “could have implications for our own lunar objectives,” he said by phone.
The NASA chief plans to meet with high school students during a tour of the Bloomfield Science Museum in Jerusalem before heading to London for Farnborough International Airshow.
NEW NASA DEPUTY NOMINATED. President Donald Trump went in a different direction Thursday than many expected when he nominated James Morhard, the deputy sergeant at arms in the U.S. Senate and former staff director of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to be deputy NASA administrator.
“It’s telling that Bridenstine was openly campaigning for someone with research and operational experience, but unfortunately, like many things this administration does, they appointed a friend of those in power who has no relevant experience or expertise,” Phil Larson, a former space adviser to President Barack Obama, said in reacting icily to the announcement.
There was widespread speculation that Trump might choose former astronaut Janet Kavandi, the director of the John Glenn Research Center who logged 33 days in space. Bridenstine said last month he was rooting for her.
Some senators questioned the science and space expertise of Bridenstine, a former congressman, and during his lengthy confirmation process he promised the critics he would advocate for a technical expert to be his second in command. Morhard was reportedly Trump’s top choice.
** A message from The Boeing Company: Punching a ticket to the moon, Mars and beyond requires the largest, most powerful rocket ever. One taller than the Statue of Liberty, packing more thrust than 208,000 Corvette engines, blasting open a new era of space exploration. Meet NASA’s Space Launch System built by Boeing. Discover more and connect with us @BoeingSpace. **
AIR FORCE SPACE OPS CENTER TO GET NEW PARTNERS. The Air Force on Wednesday will expand its Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to “improve coordination between the U.S., allies, commercial and civil partners for defensive space efforts,” the service says, renaming it the Combined Space Operations Center.
“Strong alliances are vital, and the U.S. National Space Policy is clear on the importance of partnering with nations that share U.S. objectives to promote the preservation and long-term sustainability of the space environment,” Gen. John Raymond, head of Air Force Space Command, said in a statement. Among the center’s key space missions: missile warning; navigation; environmental monitoring; space intelligence; and space defense.
The Air Force is overhauling its space mission — including a major overhaul of the acquisition process at Space and Missiles Systems Center in Los Angeles expected later this year — at the same time the Pentagon is studying how best to organize the space missions at the direction of Congress and President Trump, who wants a separate branch of the military focused on space.
HOUSE AND SENATE NEGOTIATORS TO TUSSLE OVER MILITARY ‘SPACE FORCE.’ The final National Defense Authorization Act for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 is taking shape, but one unresolved issue has major implications for the military space mission: how, or even if, to lay the groundwork for a new space branch.
The House and Senate versions of the legislation take vastly different approaches. Reps. Mike Rogers of Alabama and Jim Cooper of Tennessee, the GOP chair and top Democrat on the strategic forces subcommittee, have championed a new branch, which Trump called for last month. The House bill calls for a new space command and Air Force space unit as a “foundational step” to pave the way for the creation of a full-fledged Space Force, possibly as early as next year. It also requires a Pentagon report on establishing a separate acquisition system for space. But the Senate remains largely opposed to the idea.
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BUILDING A ‘COMMERCIAL NASA’ TO PROPEL THE NEW SPACE AGE. That’s the vision of Dallas Bienhoff, who last year founded the Virginia-based startup Cislunar Space Development Company, which seeks to build gas stations and “space tugs” to refuel satellites and other spacecraft in orbit.
“Once we put something up in space we should never get rid of it,” argues Bienhoff, who previously served as the “space architect” at Boeing. “We should continue to use it, we should make it reusable.”
Bienhoff is seeking to enlist hardware manufacturers to carry forward his concept of “propellant depots” that separate oxygen and hydrogen from water and then liquefy and store them as a source for refueling spacecraft. (it’s a viable idea, according to new research findings published this week in Nature).
He contends such a development would be a game-changer for space travel and settlements on the moon, and could crack open new, more efficient ways to deliver and operate satellites in higher orbits.
“We need in-space transportation, in-space infrastructure, if we are going to go anywhere, if we are going to go to the moon permanently, if we are going to go to Mars permanently,” Bienhoff tells us. “Propellant is expensive. It takes half your mass.”
He spoke to POLITICO about his small company’s next steps — “the concept is ready for an independent review and critique,” he says — and why he has no illusions it will be a easy sell for NASA and some major space companies. But he’s hopeful.
“It is time to change,” Bienhoff insists. “Reusability is coming into the launch business. Reusability needs to move into the in-space business. There is a lot of stuff going on that needs transportation to get to where it is going. And this is probably the best environment — political and commercial — that we have to attempt to change.” Read the full interview here.
VIRGIN EXEC: NEW REGS MUST PLAN FOR THE FUTURE: Updating launch regulations to cover current technology isn’t good enough, Sirisha Bandla, government affairs and business development manager at Virgin Orbit, told a Capitol Hill gathering of young space leaders on Thursday: They must be flexible enough to cover fast-paced advances.
Current regulations were crafted before anyone imagined satellites regularly placed in orbit by rockets carried on aircraft or the advent of reusable space launch vehicles that return to Earth, she said at event sponsored by Future Space Leaders.
“We could get into the same situation if we update regulations and write regulations that fit only the launch vehicles we have today, because we don’t know what the vehicles are going to evolve to or look like,” Bandla said. “We need to reform regs to look more like a set of requirements … but not describe how a vehicle satisfies that requirement.”
It’s an increasing growing concern that space technology has outpaced space laws — putting innovation at risk.
REVOLVING AIRLOCK. NanoRacks has hired Venable’s Daris Meeks, former policy director of the House Republican Conference and senior adviser to House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), to lobby on “issues related to commercial space travel,” according to a new filing.
The company, which bills itself as the “concierge to the stars,” has been steadily adding to its lobbyist roster since 2013, according to public disclosures. Earlier this year it hired former Air Force, NASA and congressional officials at Van Scoyoc Associates. And in recent years the lobby team included Capitol Hill veteran Paul Gay at Strategic Marketing Innovations and James Muncy of Polispace.
TOP DOC: No more tickets to ride? NASA needs to figure out how to get American astronauts to the International Space Station if commercially available spacecraft aren’t ready by the time it uses up all the rides it bought from the Russians, the Government Accountability Office is warning.
Certifications for Boeing and SpaceX commercial crew programs are likely to slip further, the report says — to December 2019 and January 2020, respectively. But NASA has purchased seats on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft only through November 2019.
NASA must also determine how to measure the potential loss or injury of astronauts — one metric that will be used to certify the crew capsules. Right now, there is “no consistent approach for how to assess loss of crew,” GAO says.
MILESTONE: Aerojet Rocketdyne test-fired its AR-22 engine 10 times in 10 days this week, a major step in the development of Boeing’s Phantom Express spaceplane that could eventually deliver satellites to space. The goal was to fire the engine 10 times in 240 hours, and ultimately there was a little over an hour to spare after the final run, Jeff Haynes, the AR-22 program manager at Aerojet Rocketdyne, reported.
Engineers used “some pretty innovative concepts” to reduce the engine’s moisture buildup to dry to just six hours, he added. The effort is part of the Experimental Spaceplane program at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is focused on creating a hypersonic aircraft about the size of a business jet for quick delivery and replacement of mission-critical satellites.
MAKING MOVES: SpaceX, Amazon vet to run Honeywell’s supply chain. Torsten Pilz joins Honeywell as senior vice president and chief supply chain officer after serving in a similar role at SpaceX and VP for worldwide operations at Amazon, the company announced this week.
“He built and developed a team that supported dozens of launches a year as well as the development and production of the Falcon and Falcon Heavy Rockets, the Dragon Spacecraft and the SpaceX’ satellite program,” it highlighted. “He is the right person to help Honeywell continue our transformation into a premier software-industrial company by simplifying our manufacturing footprint and enhancing our ability to execute with speed and precision across our operations.” The diversified technology company has a major space arm.
ON THE BIG SCREEN: The biopic on the late Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, hits theaters this fall but is already getting a the thumbs up from an important quarter: the Apollo astronaut’s family. “They didn’t have to take our advice, but they have in almost everything,” his son Rick told Spacefest earlier this month in Tucson, Ariz. “First Man,” starring Ryan Gosling and directed and written by Academy Award winners Damien Chazelle (“La la Land”) and Josh Singer (“Spotlight”), is based on the 2012 book of the same name by James Hansen. Be sure to check out the trailer. But you’d think the first man on the moon would have a thicker FBI file.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “I’m intrigued by the idea of the man in the moon becoming a gas station attendant.” — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, on how the ice caps on the moon could someday become fuel for missions to deep space, at a Future Space Leaders event Thursday on Capitol Hill.
— New NASA study to look at lunar lander alternatives.
— NASA adds new Space Launch System launches.
— Satellite industry execs storm Hill.
— The U.S. Air Force is betting on SpaceX’s newest rocket.
— Failed Soviet-era space station predicted to crash to earth between 2023 and 2025.
— New Zealand’s Rocket Lab is looking for a U.S. launch site.
— Airbus eyes Florida factory for military space business.
— Virgin inks new agreements with Italian Space Agency.
— Russia reaches International Space Station in record time.
— Russia worries about loss of U.S. customers for rocket engines.
— Is Russia’s space program headed for the “dark ages?”
— U.S, China lead the pack in 2018 space launches.
— Why China wants a super rocket like Space Launch System.
— European Space Agency satellite dodges space junk — again.
— Israel plans to plant a flag on the moon next year.
— The UAE further shrinks its pool of astronaut candidates.
— Eight ways commercial space travel with change things.
— Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin reportedly plans to charge at least $200,00 for a ticket to space.
— Why space engineers come to Seattle — and why some leave.
— Just $145 million to pop the question in space.
— How a hacker saved the Apollo 14 mission.
— What do NASA and Snoopy have in common?
— Five space forces from science fiction and what we can learn from them.
Today: The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ National Space Science Center bring their joint Forums for New Leaders in Space Science to a close.
Saturday through July 22: The Committee on Space Research holds its 42nd Scientific Assembly in Pasadena, Calif.
Wednesday: The Government Affairs Industry Network, Barnes & Thornburg and The Aerospace Corporation host a panel on the Second Space Age.
Thursday: George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute and the Aerospace Corporation host a series of panel discussions on “Greater Security Through International Space Collaboration.”
** A message from The Boeing Company: There’s no questioning the physical power behind the Space Launch System. Especially, considering the 9.2 million pounds of thrust behind it. The opportunities for exploration it will offer are even more undeniable. By rocketing us back to the moon, Mars and beyond, we will unlock clues about our place in the universe, spawn brand new innovations that will improve life back on Earth—all while inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers and explorers. That’s the true power of the Space Launch System. Discover more and connect with us @BoeingSpace. **