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Nuclear Power in Space (and so many other topics) Discussed at the National Space Council Meeting this Week

Nuclear Power in Space (and so many other topics) Discussed at the National Space Council Meeting this Week

Summary: The National Space Council keeps piling on all sorts of tasks right onto NASA's plate. It's a good thing Bridenstine is one of the most capable administrators the agency has seen. Not to be outdone, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross gave a speech providing a few updates of his department's activities for supporting commerce in space. He noted there are foreign-backed entities attempting to surpass U.S. commercial leadership in space and his department will do its darndest to keep U.S. commercial space industry in the lead.

Covered Companies: NASA

Mentioned: N/A

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Chatham House Report: Space - NATO Cyber Security's Weak Spot

Chatham House Report: Space - NATO Cyber Security's Weak Spot

Summary: What would you do if you couldn't trust the space-based tools and links that help win wars? This paper, "Cybersecurity of NATO’s Space-based Strategic Assets," examines cyber risks to space systems and provides an analysis of just how dependent NATO's missions and capabilities are on space assets. Further exacerbating these risks is the fact NATO doesn't "own" satellites, with its space systems essentially a mélange from member nations who happen to have that capability.

Covered Companies: NATO

Mentioned: N/A

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Space Enterprise Summit: As an Extraterrestrial Resident, does One Pay Taxes?

Space Enterprise Summit: As an Extraterrestrial Resident, does One Pay Taxes?

Summary: United States Deputy Secretary of Commerce Karen Dunn Kelley provided a few remarks during the co-hosted U.S. Department of Commerce's and State's Space Enterprise Summit last week. Some of the more interesting activities the DoC is working on: Improving public awareness of space's impact here on Earth (Impact of improved weather forecasting; Driving economic growth using global positioning system satellites); Involving non-STEM and more diverse professionals in the space workforce; Ensuring the safety and stability of the space environment; Creation of a civil space agency focused on space situational awareness The event was hosted in Washington, D.C. with the purpose of "forging partnerships" and promoting best practices, etc.

Covered Companies: N/A

Mentioned: N/A

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A Sea Change in Connectivity

A Sea Change in Connectivity

Summary: This 2,500-word article in SatellitePro ME provides a pretty comprehensive primer on the maritime connectivity market, with lots of good statistics on the market's size growth, and growth drivers: The autonomous ship market is expected to grow at a 7% CAGR through 2030; The global VSAT market is projected to grow at a 13.3% CAGR through 2025, reaching $5.2 B; Equipment sales are expected to grow at a 12% CAGR over the next ten years.

Covered Companies: N/A

Mentioned: IEC Telecom, NSSL Global, Marlink

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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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