Big rocket builders are skeptical small launchers will find customers

As the pool of small launch vehicles grows, larger launch providers continue to express skepticism about whether the new crop of small vehicle startups will have enough customers to sustain them and their business models. Small launch vehicles promise to further reduce barriers of entry to space for non-traditional customers by offering dedicated launches for lighter payloads at lower price points. But incumbent providers SpaceX, ULA and others – which

US space policy landscape is about to change dramatically

U.S. space policy and regulation is in the midst of a massive evolution, as the Trump administration continues to reorganize aspects of space governance away from the centralized regime that dominated the last century, and in favor of private enterprise and the burgeoning commercial space sector. The recent commotion around NASA’s Resource Prospector mission is case in point: Months after president Trump directed NASA to return to the Moon, members

Big rockets will take us the Moon

After a successful test flight last week, SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy has reinvigorated the public’s interest spaceflight development. But what does the rocket’s development mean for commercial space? With its lower price points -- the Falcon Heavy flies for $90 million, while its competitors fly about three times that -- SpaceX has once again injected a burst of competition into an industry that has, for too long, lacked motives for innovation.

Congress calls into question NASA’s public-private partnerships

Members of the House of Representatives’ space subcommittee weren’t happy to hear that NASA’s private partners are slipping behind schedule on the development of the next generation of spacecraft that’ll carry astronauts to space. Boeing’s VP and program manager, John Mulholland and SpaceX’s VP of Build and Flight Reliability, Hans Koenigsmann, met a tough crowd at the committee hearing, as members voiced their disappointment at the two companies’ progress in

‘Radical new vision’ for NASA would see it become an enabler of the future space economy

The US will be able to maintain its lead in the latest space race, but only if NASA re-focuses on supporting the private sector, according to a new report, entitled “American Space Enterprise and Security,” released from the Potomac Institute of Policy Studies (PIPS). Potomac Institute joins a growing number of research and financial firms that have begun incorporating space industries into their offerings. The report is the first to

Trump nominee Bridenstine could advance public-private partnerships at NASA

Oklahoma Republican representative Jim Bridenstine has been nominated to lead NASA, and the commercial space sector is lining up in support, as more information becomes available about what Bridenstine’s leadership of the agency might look like. Bridenstine has been a vocal advocate for expanding private enterprise’s role in NASA’s space activities, and the pick seems to line up with the Trump administration’s interest in helping advance a commercial space sector.

“We’re struggling with C-axis – oh. It’s gone.” – End of mission for Saturn probe

Within a minute of the time Cassini's final transmission was expected, the probe burnt up in Saturn's hydrogen-dense atmosphere. Thus ended the nearly 20 year Cassini-Huygens mission, one likely to have a significant impact on future exploration to those far reaches of our solar system. Indeed, the very reason NASA decided to destroy the probe, launched in 1997, touches on the significant gains in knowledge gained from the mission, one

What the past tells us about Scott Pace & the future of the NSC

Last month, US president Donald Trump named Scott Pace as executive secretary of the newly formed National Space Council. Pace is director of the Space Policy Institute and a professor of the Practice of International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs. He’s a longtime veteran of both the public and academic sides of the space sector. In the 1990s, Pace worked for the White House Office

Commercial space could play a bigger role in new space council

In a much-anticipated signing ceremony, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on 30 June reauthorizing the National Space Council, an advisory body that, though a driving force behind many of that country’s most significant forays in space exploration, has been defunct for 24 years. The council will work closely with several federal agencies to foster cooperation “in order to provide a coordinated process for developing and monitoring the

Chinese Satellite Suggests Inconsistencies in Einstein’s Principle of Local Realism

A major breakthrough in physics and a potent weapon in the ever-widening battle for information supremacy, the quantum satellite Mozi, on orbit at around 500 kilometers, is a symbol of both scientific progress and a harbinger of a new era of ultra-secure communications. As we’ve reported before, the Mozi (sometimes anglicized as “Micius”) satellite is a warning to the world that classical encryption is not only a threatened species, but