FAA to Open Updated Commercial Space Launch Rules for Public Comment

Federal Aviation

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will release a consolidated launch and reentry licensing rules for the commercial space launch industry "in the next few weeks" to solicit public comment. Following its dialogs with the industry, the agency looked into changing the launch licensing approach from prescriptive to performance based as suggested. 

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FAA, NASA Conclude Drone Traffic Mgmt Pilot Program’s Second Phase; Pamela Whitley Quoted

Unmanned Traffic

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA have completed virtual tests of multiple unmanned traffic management (UTM) platforms intended to support drone operations beyond visual line of sight. The events featured systems designed to support international UAS standards validation, multisector information sharing, in-flight separation from other aircraft and the development of a flight information management system.

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Northrop Grumman Supports Successful MDA Flight Test; Scott Lehr Quoted

Northrop Grumman

The Missile Defense Agency (MDA) successfully intercepted a Northrop Grumman Corporation built Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) target that was launched during a flight test from the Reagan Test Site in the Kwajalein Atoll. “With this successful test, the MDA has successfully demonstrated critical capabilities for the defense of our country utilizing many of Northrop Grumman’s missile defense capabilities, said Scott Lehr.

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Marine Corps Activates Space-Focused Unit; Maj. Gen. Matthew Glavy Quoted

Maj. Gen. Matthew Glavy

The U.S. Marine Corps has established a space organization that will be led by Maj. Gen. Matthew Glavy and will support the Fleet Marine Force. Marine Corps Forces Space Command will initially operate at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Space professionals from the existing Marine Corps Forces Strategic Command compose the new service component. 

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NASA’s Deanna Lee on Agency Efforts to Centralize Procurement Ops

Federal Contracting

Deanna Lee, a project manager at NASA, has said the agency is launching a program aimed at streamlining acquisition operations at 11 NASA centers across the country. She noted that NASA's procurement office intended to centralize operations at the enterprise level and has “done a very good job of training and informing its staff” on product service lines.

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USSF Solicits Input to Shape Commercial Space Access Expansion Strategy

Space Control

The U.S. Space Force (USSF) has issued a request for information on transformational approaches to expand space access, mobility and logistics operations as part of plans to establish a technology research, development, test and evaluation program. SMC/ECL is also looking to deploy technologies that “can be on-ramped when available,” the notice states.

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NASA Issues Audit on Mars Sample Collection Campaign; Jim Bridenstine, Thomas Zurbuchen Quoted

Jim Bridenstine

NASA has released an independent report detailing the agency’s readiness to conduct a campaign focused on obtaining soil samples from Mars to be used for Earth-based scientific research. “We know there are challenges ahead, but that’s why we look closely at these architectures,” said Jim Bridenstine, administrator of NASA and a former Wash100 Award winner.

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Brig. Gen. Douglas Schiess to Take Director Role at Space Operations Command

BG Douglas Schiess

Brig. Gen. Douglas Schiess, commander of the U.S. Space Force’s 45th Space Wing, has been appointed director of space and cyber operations at the military branch’s Space Operations Command. Schiess concurrently serves as director of the Space Force’s Eastern Range at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida, the Department of Defense (DoD) said Tuesday.

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Northrop Grumman Wins 2 Missions Under NASA CRS-2 Contract; Frank DeMauro Quoted

Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman has secured two additional missions by NASA under the Commercial Resupply Services contract-2 (CRS-2) with launches occurring in 2023. Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft will be carried into orbit by the company’s Antares launch vehicle from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility for the additional missions. 

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Gen. John Raymond Unveils Priorities in Planning Guidance for Space Force

Gen. John Raymond

Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations at the U.S. Space Force and a 2020 Wash100 Award recipient, laid out in a planning guidance his five priorities for organizing the new military branch and one of those is to establish a lean and agile service. “This planning guidance is going to be absolutely critical to us as we develop that force design going forward,” Raymond said. 

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