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Washington, D.C. – Jane Kinney will join the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) next week as its new Assistant Director. Kinney’s new appointment follows the departure earlier this month of Sirisha Bandla who left CSF for a new position in the commercial space industry.

Prior to joining CSF, Kinney worked in the space industry including serving as a Flight Controller at the NASA Johnson Space Center where she provided mission operations support to the International Space Station. In addition, she was a systems engineer at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

“Jane has an impressive background and brings a considerable amount of industry-related experience to CSF and will no doubt add a fresh approach and new ideas to the organization,” said CSF President, Eric Stallmer. “We look forward to having Jane as part of our team and her contributions to ensure CSF continues to deliver quality, strategic programs and support to our members,” Stallmer said.

As assistant director, Kinney will support CSF’s development of industry-led voluntary consensus standards, engagement on export control issues and industry and member relations, among other responsibilities.

Kinney holds a B.S. in Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University. Bandla, who served as CSF’s Assistant Director for 3 years, is also a Purdue graduate. “We are incredibly indebted to Sirisha for her commitment and outstanding accomplishments on behalf of CSF and its members. Her strong work ethic, depth and understanding of the commercial spaceflight industry and her dedication to the organization led to countless successes during her tenure. We’ll miss Sirisha, and wish her the best in her new opportunity.”

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information, please visit http://www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Executive Director Tommy Sanford at tommy@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.715.2924.

Washington D.C. – Today the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015 (SPACE Act of 2015) by a large bipartisan majority, 284-133. Among other things, the SPACE Act of 2015 addresses many of the major policy issues currently facing the commercial spaceflight industry relating to the Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984.

This bill represents the culmination of many years of bipartisan oversight and study by the House, spanning multiple congresses, on matters related to U.S. commercial space transportation. It responds to input from a diverse set of experts in industry, government, academia and non-profit organizations, communicated through a multitude of democratic mediums, including Congressional oversight hearings, briefings, and reports.

CSF President Eric Stallmer released the following statement regarding the House’s bipartisan passage of the SPACE Act of 2015:

“The U.S. commercial space industry is rapidly expanding, and today’s bipartisan vote illustrates the House’s strong commitment to policies that enable its continued growth and international competitiveness. Most importantly, this bipartisan bill reaffirmed the FAA’s authority to regulate commercial space launches and reentries for the safety of the uninvolved public, safety of crew, and safety of spaceflight participants in response to an incident or a series of indications that something is wrong. Further, the SPACE Act fosters the development of industry-wide voluntary consensus standards and other means by which the federal government can encourage an ever-improving safety framework for the industry.

CSF would like to thank the 284 members of the House who voted for this important legislation. In addition, we would like to thank Majority Leader McCarthy, Chairman Smith, the cosponsors of this bill, the Republicans and Democrats who offered thoughtful amendments to improve the base bill, and the Congressional staff whose months of hard work and dedication made this possible. We look forward to continuing work with both parties in both houses of Congress towards a bipartisan bill that the President can sign into law this year.”

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit http://www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Associate Director Sirisha Bandla at sirisha@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.715.2928.

Washington, D.C. – This week the House Appropriations’ Transportation, Housing and Urban Development subcommittee passed their Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 spending bill. The legislation includes funding for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST), which is a part of the Department of Transportation. The bill did not approve FAA AST’s $1.5 million requested budget increase for FY 2016, keeping FAA AST’s budget flat relative to their FY 2015 budget.

Since 2011, the commercial space sector has seen an increasing number of licensed launches each year, and as private companies enter their flight test phase, the number of applications, as well as the complexity and geographic diversity of launches, will just continue to grow. FAA AST plays a critical role in providing timely approval of launch permit and licenses for the commercial space industry, and their budget will constrain their ability to fulfill these responsibilities.

CSF President Eric Stallmer released the following statement regarding FAA AST’s funding for FY16:

“We understand that as long as the 2011 budget caps remain in place, Congress will be forced to make tough tradeoffs regarding funding priorities. With that said, funding this modest increase should be viewed as a priority, as it embodies a smart, growth-driven policy that provides certainty for the private sector to invest and innovate. The request is modest but the impact on productivity will be enormous, since without these funds the AST has stated it will be forced to enter into a triage process prioritizing government-related launches over private sector activity.”

Just this week, Blue Origin conducted a successful development flight of their New Shepard launch vehicle, and SpaceX conducted its fifth operational launch in four months. To continue on the current trajectory of the sector, we must ensure that the FAA AST has the resources it needs to work with the industry in a manner that will continue to promote growth, and improve public and occupant safety. The commercial space industry and government are partners in the economic development of space, and CSF looks forward to working with Congress to support this increase as it improves this bill through the legislative process.”

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit http://www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Associate Director Sirisha Bandla at sirisha@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.715.2928.

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation applauds the proposals within NASA’s FY 2016 budget request that will enable NASA’s public-private partnerships to advance U.S. exploration in low-Earth orbit and beyond. The budget provides $1.24 billion for the Commercial Crew Program, $231 million for Advanced Exploration Systems (AES), and $15 million for Space Technology’s Flight Opportunities Program.

“Many of the proposals in this budget request continue the good work enacted into law by Congress last year,” stated CSF President Eric Stallmer. “We applaud the strong support for Commercial Crew and Cargo, Advanced Exploration Systems, and Space Technology’s Flight Opportunities Program, all of which contribute to safe, reliable, and cost-effective capabilities for our nation’s space program. We look forward to working with Congress to fully fund and authorize these innovative commercial approaches to achieve our national space priorities.”

NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Programs leverage competitive, firm-fixed price contracts to provide the U.S. with multiple transportation capabilities to and from the International Space Station; thereby ending NASA’s dependence on Russia by 2017. NASA currently pays Russia more than $70 million per seat to fly our Astronauts from Russia to the International Space Station. With two domestic providers under contract, the Commercial Crew Program will allow American Astronauts to fly from American soil and lower the average cost per seat to $58 million.

AES initiatives enable NASA to leverage industry’s investments in the development of exploration capabilities such as expandable habitat modules and lunar landers. These public-private partnerships will play a critical role in extending sustained human presence in and beyond low-Earth orbit.

The Flight Opportunities Program works with commercial companies to pursue cost-effective technology demonstration and science research opportunities on suborbital vehicles. The knowledge gained from these affordable flights will enable future manned and unmanned missions to new destinations, keeping the U.S. at the forefront of exploration technology.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Sirisha Bandla at sirisha@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.715.2928.

Washington D.C. — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation commends the hard work of the entire Orbital Sciences and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport teams in preparation for today’s launch of an Antares rocket carrying their Cygnus spacecraft. The Antares rocket incurred an anomaly shortly after liftoff, however no injuries were reported. Cygnus was an unmanned spacecraft intended to rendezvous with the International Space Station for its third resupply mission. Orbital Sciences Corporation is conducting a full investigation into today’s event.

“We must be mindful that launching rockets remains an extremely difficult task” stated CSF President Eric Stallmer. “The data gathered today will be applied to improve the process of developing safe and reliable commercial space flight services. We commend the partnership between NASA and the commercial space sector for their dedication to building a robust U.S. space program for frequent access to space.”

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Sirisha Bandla at sirisha@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.715.2928.

Washington, D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates Paragon Space Development Corporation® and its StratEx team, on Alan Eustace’s historic supersonic dive at 135,908 feet from a high-altitude balloon. During the October 24 StratEx jump over Roswell, New Mexico, Eustace set U.S. records for highest skydive and fastest vertical speed, along with a new world record for longest freefall. Paragon, specializing in extreme environmental control systems, worked closely with Eustace to develop, build, and manage the self-contained space suit system.

“Once again, history has been made by the commercial spaceflight sector,” said CSF President Eric Stallmer. “The StratEx program has added considerable depth to important areas of stratospheric research, and is an exciting milestone in a new era of space flights. We celebrate their record-breaking feat and we look forward to seeing World View carry this exciting technology into the future. ”

The same ballooning system that supported Eustace’s jump will soon be employed by World View Enterprises to bring tourists to the edge of space, and the company has acquired the patent-pending technology from StratEx.

For more information on StratEx, please visit their site here.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high- tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit http://www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Associate Director Sirisha Bandla at sirisha@commercialspaceflight.org or 202-715-2928.

Washington, D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce that Tommy Sanford has been named as its Director. Sanford will join the CSF staff on October 1 and, among other duties, will be responsible for government affairs for the organization under incoming CSF President Eric Stallmer.

Sanford has extensive experience in the aerospace sector including his recent position as Government Affairs Associate at the Space Foundation, where he was responsible for analyzing and implementing policy strategies in the aerospace, defense, and international arenas. He also worked at the Department of Commerce’s Office of Space Commercialization and on Capitol Hill for the House of Representatives Science, Space and Technology Committee. Sanford is a graduate of the George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute.

“With an impressive DC background, Tommy has already demonstrated a solid understanding of legislative and regulatory policy and a passion for the space industry,” said Stallmer. “Coupled with his experience working at the Space Foundation, Tommy will be an invaluable addition to the CSF leadership. I look forward to working with him to continue to advance the commercial space sector.”

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit http://www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Associate Director Sirisha Bandla at sirisha@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.715.2928.

 

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates Blue Origin on their partnership with United Launch Alliance to jointly fund the development of their new BE-4 rocket engine. The agreement includes a four-year development process with full scale testing in 2016 and first flight in 2019.

“We are pleased to see the commercial space industry step up to the challenges for sustainable space exploration,” stated Incoming President Eric Stallmer. “Blue Origin’s American made engine will provide cost-effective and reliable access to space for national security, civil, and commercial purposes. Congratulations to both Blue Origin and ULA on their announcement, and I look forward to following the progress of the BE-4.”

The development of the BE-4 engine has been underway for three years and its components are currently undergoing testing at Blue Origin’s West Texas test facilities. Read more about the BE-4 engine here.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit http://www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Associate Director Sirisha Bandla at sirisha@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.715.2928.

 

Washington, D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation welcomes the announcement by the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation that the spaceport license application for Midland International Airport has been approved, making it the 9th U.S. spaceport. The newly-named Midland International Air & Space Port is the first primarily commercial service airport to be awarded a spaceport license under the Federal Aviation Regulation Part 420, and has already attracted two notable commercial companies, XCOR Aerospace and Orbital Outfitters.

“Texas has always played a pivotal role in spaceflight history, and Midland is now poised to serve the next generation of commercial spaceflight as an incubator and collaborative environment for the aerospace community,” said CSF Incoming President Eric Stallmer. “The co-location of this spaceport with a thriving commercial airport is an exciting industry milestone and I congratulate Midland on their achievement.”

CSF Executive members XCOR Aerospace and Orbital Outfitters have both expanded operations to Midland. XCOR Aerospace is currently completing hangar renovations for their Lynx spacecraft and Orbital Outfitters is planning a new spacesuit manufacturing and altitude chamber complex.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high- tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Associate Director Sirisha Bandla at sirisha@commercialspaceflight.org or 202-715-2928.

Washington, D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation congratulates NASA and the winners of the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract awards announced today. CCtCap is the latest round in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program that will develop domestic space transportation capabilities for NASA astronauts. Boeing and SpaceX were awarded fixed-price contracts totaling $6.8 billion to complete development, certify and launch their vehicles to include one crewed demo flight to the International Space Station (ISS).

“With this award, we are one major step closer to restoring our nation’s ability to launch U.S. astronauts to the ISS from American soil,” stated CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria. “NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is developing safe, reliable transportation to low-Earth orbit through the use of innovative contracting mechanisms. NASA’s selection of two companies demonstrates its prudent commitment to both competition and operational redundancy. With these commercial companies developing transportation for astronauts to and from LEO, NASA can focus more of its resources on deep space exploration.”

“The Commercial Crew Program is the quickest and most cost-effective way to get our astronauts flying again in U.S. vehicles,” stated CSF Chairman Frank DiBello. “However, the beauty of the commercial space industry is in its diversity. While these companies work to restore crewed LEO transportation capabilities, other companies are working to grow those and other markets in space. CSF congratulates NASA on the awards and we look forward to supporting the next steps in the new space era.”

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit http://www.commercialspaceflight.org or contact Associate Director Sirisha Bandla at sirisha@commercialspaceflight.org or at 202.715.2928.