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Chinese space official seems unimpressed with NASA's lunar gateway, Ars Technica

"Another slide from [CNSA's Pei Zhaoyu] offered some thoughts on the gateway concept, which NASA intends to build out during the 2020s, delaying a human landing on the Moon until the end of the decade at the earliest. Pei does not appear to be certain about the scientific objectives of such a station, and the deputy director concludes that, from a cost-benefit standpoint, the gateway would have "lost cost-effectiveness."

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Mike Pence will visit Cape Canaveral next month for a big space update, Orlando Weekly

"Vice President Mike Pence will visit NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral next month to announce the first astronaut crews under NASA's Commercial Crew Program, according to sources familiar with the matter. Pence, who chairs the National Space Council, will confirm a new launch date for the first private crew missions and announce which crew capsules each of the four selected astronauts will ride in to the International Space Station."

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NASA Watch by Keith Cowing - 46m ago

UK spaceports: NASA could launch satellites from new bases, Sky News

"Jim Bridenstine, who was appointed as NASA's administrator by US president Donald Trump earlier this year, said the UK government's plans for new spaceports open new opportunities. "We are thrilled about this. "It's about what we are trying to launch, where do we want it to go in orbit and who can provide the best price. "The UK and the US have a long partnership in space exploration," he added. "I would see NASA putting satellites on top of a rocket that launches from the UK," he said."

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Keith's note: Flawless 9th flight for BlueOrigin. If only airlines operated like this. Watch a replay.

Flawless 9th flight for @BlueOrigin. If only airlines operated like this. #blueorigin #NewShepard pic.twitter.com/t0e73wpNXx

— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) July 18, 2018
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Exciting that companies will soon put customers into space. But when ticket prices exceed the average cost of a 4 year college education or a family's house only rich people are going to be buying tickets. What about the rest of us? No one in the space media ever reports on that. pic.twitter.com/70WgaAlMpE

— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) July 18, 2018
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Update from @SpaceFoundation Long time (12+ year) employee Brendan Curry is out as VP of DC operations. Sources report that former @NASA PAO AA @JenRaeWang (Trump appointee) is his replacement. Stay tuned. #MoreDrama

— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) July 17, 2018
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Yea but @NASA won't be using this reusable Ar-22 engine. @DARPA will use it on Phantom Express.

Alas, #NASA spent a billion dollars to make a reusable Shuttle engine disposable. Go figure. https://t.co/0jLszKW7HG

— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) July 16, 2018

Um, let's see: your team is only as good as the weakest player - and right now the @NASA_SLS team has a batting average of .000 https://t.co/xDSt7BznrO

— NASA Watch (@NASAWatch) July 16, 2018
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Keith's note: Northrop Grumman has a big Webb Space Telescope Charm offense underway. Their ads are everywhere. First they took out that huge $200,000 full page ad in the Washington Post. Now they have a companion website using this code under ad links that pop up all over the place: http://www.northropgrumman.com/MediaResources/MediaKits/JWST/Home.aspx?utm_source=PrintAd&utm_medium=Redirect&utm_campaign=FromOrigJWSTurl+Redirect When you get to the website you are treated to nothing but happy aerospace banter. No mention of launch dates and delays, more than a decade of multi-billion dollar cost overruns, the need for Congressional reauthorization due to cost overruns, anger by NASA managers, dumb engineering mistakes, etc. Instead, NorthropGrumman just pounds out their oxymoronic tag line "Making History Requires Mission SUccess".

Clueless Webb Telescope Advertisement From Northrop Grumman

"Northrop Grumman just wants you to know that "mission success" is important. Duh. I am not certain they care so long as they get paid. This is not how America is going to do that whole leadership-in-space thing. If this is an example of how we do that leadership thing we won't be able to afford to lead the way."

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The Air Force's $10000 toilet cover, Washington Post

"Loren Thompson, a defense consultant who works for the Lexington Institute, a think tank that gets funding from defense contractors, said he is worried the military will be unable to buy next-generation weapons systems if it spends too much on overpriced spare parts."

Northrop Grumman CEO will step down, Washington Post

"Loren Thompson, a defense consultant, said that when Warden was elevated to the COO position last year, "it was a signal that succession had begun." .. Thompson called Bush "a godsend for Northrop Grumman shareholders. Nobody in the industry believed when he became CEO that the share price would have get as high as it is today. In fact, the company was in such bad shape when Wes took over that his predecessor had to fight to get him the job."

Playing defense - but at a price?, Politico

"The 501(c)(3) Lexington Institute doesn't disclose its donors. But Thompson said it receives contributions from defense giants Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and others, which pay Lexington to "comment on defense."

Keith's note: It is rather odd that the Washington Post does not bother to tell its readers that Loren Thompson works from the Lexington Institute gets significant funding from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and other defense companies - especially when he is being quoted in articles about those companies. Yet the post goes out of its way (quite properly) to tell people that Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post every time Amazon, Whole Foods, or Blue Origin are mentioned in a story.

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Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon tragically died on the Columbia Space Shuttle. His widow, Rona, honored his memory by creating a foundation that is inspiring and educating young adults and students across Israel. It was such an honor to meet this amazing woman. pic.twitter.com/h0Vz5DS1OE

— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) July 14, 2018

Columbia: Thinking Back - Looking Ahead

From the an event held on the one year anniversary of Columbia's loss at the Israeli embassy in Washington, DC: "At the end of the event, Rona Ramon, Ilan's widow, spoke last. "Our mission in space is not over" she told the hushed audience. "He was the first Israeli in space -- that means there will be more."

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