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U.S. GAO - NASA Human Space Exploration: Persistent Delays and Cost Growth Reinforce Concerns over Management of Programs

U.S. GAO - NASA Human Space Exploration: Persistent Delays and Cost Growth Reinforce Concerns over Management of Programs

Summary: A sixty-page government report doesn't make for light reading. And perhaps the conclusions and recommendations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) aren't that surprising. But maybe there's something to be admired about the nearly 30 years of persistent if futile, fingerpointing from the GAO about NASA's acquisition management problems.

Covered Companies: N/A

Mentioned: Boeing, Lockheed Martin

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State of the Space Industrial Base: Threats, Challenges and Actions

State of the Space Industrial Base: Threats, Challenges and Actions

Summary: The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) released a 19-page white paper calling for "a unified and comprehensive national strategy that builds and continually refreshes a strong space industrial base."

Covered Companies: N/A

Mentioned: N/A

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$1 Trillion Space Economy? STPI Thinks Not

$1 Trillion Space Economy? STPI Thinks Not

Summary: The Institute for Defense Analysis' (IDA) Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) presented logical grounds for doubt surrounding extremely optimistic space economy forecasts a few years ago. The findings, provided to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES) on 4 June 2019, will be released in a report from STPI in a few weeks.

Covered Companies: N/A

Mentioned: Bank of America, Morgan Stanley

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On the Other Hand, this $1 Billion Seems Very Promising

On the Other Hand, this $1 Billion Seems Very Promising

Summary: For any doubts remaining about Blue Origin's New Glenn rocket building efforts, maybe there should be some re-examination of them. Blue Origin announced this week it would be investing $1 billion into all sorts of infrastructure in Florida. The investment will support New Glenn launches from Launch Complex 36 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 2021.

Covered Companies: Blue Origin

Mentioned: N/A

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The Economics of Space: An Industry Ready to Launch

The Economics of Space: An Industry Ready to Launch

Summary: Libertarian Reason Foundation released a nearly 100-page study (the link above goes to a summary): "The Economics of Space: An Industry Ready to Launch." The study's upshot is legacy processes with no room for innovation burden NASA and slow down the private sector. However, some legacy ideas burden the study, such as asteroid mining, space-based energy sources, microgravity experimentation, etc.

Covered Companies: N/A

Mentioned: N/A

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Commercializing LEO

Commercializing LEO

Summary: "[It] is unlikely that a commercially owned and operated space station will be economically viable by 2025." That statement was written two years ago in the IDA Science & Policy Institute's "Market Analysis of a Privately Owned and Operated Space Station." With that market study's findings in mind, NASA went ahead and asked for particular companies to conduct a study on the commercialization of low Earth orbit. A major stipulation appears to be the envisioning of the International Space Station as a major contributing platform to that economy, perhaps hoping for a Valerian-style outcome, a la Point Central, once commercial interests take over.

Covered Companies: Multiple

Mentioned: Axiom Space, Blue Origin, Boeing, Deloitte, KBRwyle, Lockheed Martin, McKinsey&Company, NanoRacks, Northrop Grumman, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Space Adventures, SSL

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Federal Register:  Licensing of Private Remote Sensing Systems

Federal Register: Licensing of Private Remote Sensing Systems

Summary: Commercial satellite imagery companies have long complained that the US regulatory environment is complex, capricious, and really slow. Well, lo and behold, the Commerce Department is proposing to "...entirely rewrite the current regulations," via new Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). Unfortunately, early reviews of the new rule are not so favorable, primarily because nearly all commercial satellite systems will get pigeonholed into a new "high-risk" classification. On a more positive note, the rule would exclude cameras used for technical purposes, which means SpaceX will no longer need a license to film its launch and recovery operations.

Covered Companies: N/A

Mentioned: N/A

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The

The "Other" Space Force: Staffing at the FAA's Commercial Space Transportation Office

Summary: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) has a lot on its plate. Among its responsibilities, AST makes sure space launches play well with national air traffic for public safety reasons. The problem is, re-routing air traffic around very large areas of closed airspace (maybe larger than necessary) is expensive. And the longer the airspace is closed, the more air traffic gets re-routed, increasing travel time and all sorts of associated expenses.

Covered Companies: N/A

Mentioned: N/A

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Is it

Is it "On-orbit Servicing" (OOS), or "In-orbit Servicing?"

Summary: We covered NSR's in-orbit servicing webcast last year. But now we have an Aerospace Corporation "Game Changer" analysis about on-orbit servicing (OOS), which sounds a lot like in-orbit servicing. Either way, within the analysis, "ON-ORBIT SERVICING: INSPECTION, REPAIR, REFUEL, UPGRADE, AND ASSEMBLY OF SATELLITES IN SPACE," the authors seem to indicate commercial and civil space operators ultimately need to study and understand the capabilities OOS brings to orbital space operations.

Covered Companies: Multiple

Mentioned: Airbus, Altius Space Machines, Astroscale, Busek, Chandah Space Technologies, Effective Space, iBoss, Made In Space, Maxar, Northrop Grumman, SSTL

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Maritime Geospatial Analysis

Maritime Geospatial Analysis

Summary: An in-depth article from Trajectory Magazine on the emerging asymmetric threats in the maritime domain and how geospatial information (optical/SAR) along with AIS data, AI, and (yes) blockchain can be used to ferret out the good guys from the bad guys.

Covered Companies: N/A

Mentioned: N/A

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