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Donald Trump’s New National Space Council is Already Baffling the Space Industry

July 3, 2017 With no fanfare, President Donald Trump signed an executive order last week to re-form the National Space Council, creating a new body to coordinate space policy across the government. Vice President Mike Pence will chair the council, which President Bill Clinton shut down when he came into office in 1993....

Elon Musk’s SpaceX Will Fly the US Military's Top-Secret Space Robot

June 7, 2017 Now that’s a headline! SpaceX, the upstart rocket maker that went to court for the right to bid on US national security launches and flew its first classified spy satellite to orbit in May, will launch the top-secret X-37B space drone in August, according to US Air Force secretary Heather...

For Trump’s Budget to Work, the US Will Need the Biggest Technology Boom Since World War II

May 23, 2017 One of the most revealing things in President Donald Trump’s budget proposal, due out today, is its extravagant assumptions about economic growth. Even a budget few expect to be enacted needed a behind-the-scenes boost to deliver plausible results, as it effectively assumes a technological revolution bigger than any since World...

from govexec

NASA Won’t Rush Astronauts Back to the Moon to Please Donald Trump

May 15, 2017 In February, at the behest of the White House, NASA said it would consider adding two astronauts to the first integrated launch of its new Space Launch System rocket and Orion space capsule, planned for 2018. That NASA would even try to accommodate US presidential Donald Trump’s hope to see...

The US Air Force Wants to Remind You (and China) That its Secret Space Drone Is Back

May 9, 2017 One of the weirdest open secrets in space has come back to earth: The X-37B, an experimental US Air Force drone that looks and flies like a miniature Space Shuttle, landed at Kennedy Space Center on May 7 with a sonic boom that surprised local residents. The autonomous craft spent...

California’s Plan to Tax Rockets by the Mile Is Exactly What Space Companies Want

May 6, 2017 California has come up with a remarkable plan to tax rocket launches from its coast. Specifically, their tax payments will be determined by how often they fly the 62 miles (100 km) from a California launchpad to the very edge of space while transporting goods or tourists. After 62 miles,...

from govexec

SpaceX is Launching a Spy Satellite for the U.S. Government

May 1, 2017 Elon Musk got his first taste of what goes into a top-secret space mission back in 2006, when his company SpaceX was experimenting with a new rocket at a US Air Force base. For fear that the space startup’s work would disturb efforts by competitors Boeing and Lockheed Martin to...

US Space Firms Tell Washington: China Will Take Over the Moon If You’re Not Careful

April 26, 2017 The US space industry is prodding the US government into refreshing its outdated laws on commercial activity beyond Earth: scare it with talk of Chinese galactic domination. At a Senate hearing on the space industry today, companies that build rockets and space habitats and manufacture electronic goods in space spoke...

Could Donald Trump Really Send Astronauts to Mars in the Next Seven Years?

April 25, 2017 Donald Trump got on the phone yesterday to congratulate veteran astronaut Peggy Whitson, who recently arrived at the International Space Station and, having spent 534 days in space including two previous tours on the orbital lab, broke the record for the longest overall time spent in space by an American....

from govexec

Could Donald Trump Really Send Astronauts to Mars in the Next Seven Years?

April 25, 2017 Donald Trump got on the phone Monday to congratulate veteran astronaut Peggy Whitson, who recently arrived at the International Space Station and, having spent 534 days in space including two previous tours on the orbital lab, broke the record for the longest overall time spent in space by an American....