ULA joins call for dismissal of SpaceX suit

United Launch Alliance (ULA) has formally joined the Air Force’s call for the Court of Federal Claims to dismiss SpaceX’s protest of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) block buy contract. As first reported by Space News yesterday, ULA, in its role as “defendant-intervenor” in SpaceX’s suit against the Air Force, filed a motion to [...]

Air Force seeks to dismiss SpaceX EELV suit

In a motion filed with the Court of Federal Claims this week, the Air Force seeks to dismiss SpaceX’s lawsuit against it protesting the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) block buy contract the service awarded to United Launch Alliance (ULA), arguing that SpaceX missed its chance to protest the award by two years.

“SpaceX’s complaint [...]

CSF continues to press for human spaceflight export rule changes

The mid-May publication of the “draft final” export control rule for satellites and related components largely brought the saga of export control reform to an end, with the exception of a few loose ends, such as aperture limits for remote sensing systems. The administration’s decision was a major, but not complete, victory for the space [...]

New House majority leader, a commercial space supporter, opposes a tool that supports commercial space

Last week House Republicans elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as their new majority leader, replacing Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), who was upset in a primary election earlier this month. This should be welcome news for the commercial space industry, as McCarthy has expressed support for the industry in recent years, including sponsoring legislation to “streamline” [...]

Is ULA going its own way for an RD-180 replacement?

Although legislation making its way through both the House and Senate would support the development of a large hydrocarbon rocket engine that could, in principle, replace the Russian-built RD-180 used on the Atlas V, United Launch Alliance (ULA) appears to be moving to take matters into its own hands. The company announced late Monday that [...]

Commercial remote sensing industry wins change to resolution limits

In recent years, the commercial remote sensing industry has been lobbying the federal government to change rules that prevented companies from selling imagery with resolutions sharper than 50 centimeters per pixel. DigitalGlobe in particular argued that its current and planned satellites could already provide imagery with better resolutions than that, and that the capabilities of [...]

National Academies’ report endorses Mars goal for human spaceflight, but says more funding is needed

A report being released today by a committee of the National Research Council endorses Mars as a long-term “horizon” goal of NASA’s human spaceflight efforts, but suggests that more funding, and perhaps a human return to the Moon, are necessary to achieve that goal.

The report, by the Committee on Human Spaceflight, is being released [...]

What will be the significance of the NRC’s human spaceflight report?

The National Academies announced Friday that it will release the long-awaited report on human spaceflight, titled “Pathways to Exploration—Rationales and Approaches for a U.S. Program of Human Space Exploration”, on Wednesday morning, with a briefing by committee members scheduled for 11 am Eastern time Wednesday. The emphasis here should be “long-awaited”: the report was requested [...]

Shelton: time for “pause” in RD-180 debate

A week after Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin ignited a firestorm with a claim that Russia would ban the use of RD-180 engines for launching American military payloads, the head of Air Force Space Command said that operations were proceeding as usual and urged a “pause” in the debate.

“There have been no official [...]

European Mars mission caught in US-Russia tensions

Since the start of the Ukraine criss, the United States and Russia have exchanged space-related sanctions and other measures in recent weeks. Canada, meanwhile, pulled several small satellites that were scheduled to launch in June on a Soyuz. (Russia has subsequently delayed the overall launch for “organizational reasons.”)

Europe has not followed, though, in part [...]