Here are links to all the articles published on SpacePolicyOnline.com over the past two weeks, January 29-February 11, 2024, including our “What’s Happening in Space Policy” for this coming week. Click on each title to read the entire article.

What’s Happening in Space Policy February 11-17, 2024

February 11, 2024. Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of February 11-17, 2024 and any insight we can offer about them. The House is in session this week. The Senate’s schedule is uncertain.

Greece Becomes 12th ESA Member to Join the Artemis Accords

February 10, 2024.  Greece just became the 35th country, and the 12th member of the European Space Agency, to sign the U.S.-led Artemis Accords. The Accords are a set of non-binding principles for responsible behavior on the Moon. ESA is one of NASA’s partners in the Artemis program to return astronauts to the Moon for long-term sustainable exploration and utilization.

Axiom-3 Home At Last

February 9, 2024. The four-person Axiom-3 private astronaut crew is home at last, days late because of poor weather in Florida. Their ride to and from the International Space Station was aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule that splashes down either in the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico off the Florida coast. Rough seas meant they spent almost a week longer in space than expected. The mission included Türkiye’s first astronaut, ESA’s first “project astronaut,” and the first Italian astronaut to make a suborbital spaceflight before visiting the ISS.

NASA Launches PACE To Advance Knowledge of Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions

February 8, 2024. Early this morning NASA launched the PACE satellite to advance understanding of the oceans, the atmosphere, and how they interact. The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud ocean-Ecosystem satellite’s launch today is the culmination of a long journey for the program, which survived repeated cancellation attempts by the Trump Administration. The launch is also the first time a U.S. government satellite has launched into a polar orbit from Florida since 1960.

JPL Lays Off Eight Percent of Workforce Amid Budget Uncertainty

February 6, 2024. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced today that it is laying off 580 people, 8 percent of its workforce, plus contractors, because Congress has not passed FY2024 appropriations. One of JPL’s flagship missions, Mars Sample Return, would be drastically cut in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s version of NASA’s funding bill and while that outcome is far from certain, NASA and JPL have to plan for the worst.

Marshall Space Flight Center Gets New Director

February 5, 2024. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson appointed Joseph Pelfrey as the new Director of Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL today. Pelfrey has been acting Center Director since Jody Singer retired last summer.

A Valentine’s Day Launch for the Next U.S. Moon Mission

February 5, 2024. Launch service provider SpaceX said today the first Intuitive Machines mission to the Moon is scheduled for launch on Valentine’s Day, February 14. Intuitive Machines is one of several companies participating in NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS, program to deliver NASA and other payloads to the surface of the Moon. The first CLPS mission by another company, Astrobotic, in January failed. Now it is Intuitive Machines’ turn with the IM-1 mission. If all goes well, IM-1’s lander will touch down near the Moon’s South Pole on February 22.

What’s Happening in Space Policy February 4-10, 2024

February 4, 2024. Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of February 4-10, 2024 and any insight we can offer about them.  The Senate and House are in session for at least part of this week.

Good Night, SLIM

February 1, 2024. Lunar night has descended on JAXA’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, in the Shioli crater on the Moon. For the next 14 Earth days, temperatures will drop below 200 degrees Fahrenheit and the sky will be pitch dark. SLIM was not designed to survive those conditions, but JAXA will try to communicate with it again after sunrise in mid-February just in case it does.

Starship Gets Another Customer — the Starlab Space Station

January 31, 2024. Voyager Space and Airbus announced today they will launch their Starlab commercial space station on SpaceX’s Starship. Unlike the International Space Station and other space station concepts, Starlab can be put into space with just one launch rather than assembled in orbit.

JAXA’s SLIM is Back to Work on the Moon

January 29, 2024. JAXA’s Smart Lander for Investigating Moon, or SLIM, has resumed operations on the lunar surface. SLIM landed upside down because of an engine failure leaving the solar cells pointing in the wrong direction. But the sun’s angle has changed over the past several days and the solar cells are now recharging the battery.

Weekly Roundup for SpacePolicyOnline.com: January 22-28, 2024

January 29, 2024. Here are links to all the articles published on SpacePolicyOnline.com over the last week, January 22-28, 2024, including our “What’s Happening in Space Policy” for this coming week. Click on each title to read the entire article.

 

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