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Our Fact Sheets and Reports

NOAA's FY2016 Budget Request for Satellites

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 16-Feb-2015 (Updated: 16-Feb-2015 03:03 PM)
NOAA's FY2016 Budget Request for Satellites is a free SpacePolicyOnline.com fact sheet that briefly explains President Obama's FY2016 budget request for NOAA's satellite programs in the Procurement, Acquisition and Procurement (PAC) account, including polar-orbiting and geostationary weather satellites (JPSS and GOES), space weather satellites (DSCOVR and a space weather follow-on), the COSMIC-2 GPS radio occultation (GPS-RO) constellation, the Jason-3 ocean altimetry satellite, and efforts to launch three other instruments as part of the SIDAR program.  The fact sheet is updated as congressional or other actions warrant.  The current date is February 16, 2015.

Legislative Checklist: 114th Congress

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 10-Feb-2015 (Updated: 28-Mar-2015 04:59 PM)
Legislative Checklist for 114th Congress:  Major Space-Related Legislation is a free SpacePolicyOnline.com fact sheet that provides tracking information for major legislation concerning the U.S. space program (civil, military and commercial) pending before or passed by the 114th Congress (2015-2016).  Information includes bill numbers, dates of action taken by congressional committees, and report numbers when bills are reported from committee.  The fact sheet is updated as needed.  The date of this issue is March 28, 2015.

NASA's FY2016 Budget Request

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 02-Feb-2015 (Updated: 05-Feb-2015 12:50 AM)
NASA's FY2016 Budget Request is a free SpacePolicyOnline.com fact sheet that summarizes the NASA's budget request and explains the key issues the request will face as it makes its way through Congress.  The key issues this year are the request for NASA's earth science program, its planetary science program, the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), and priorities between the Space Launch System/Orion versus commercial crew.  The fact sheet is updated routinely to reflect congressional actions and other developments.   This version is dated February 4, 2015.

What's a Markup? Answers to That and Other Legislative Mysteries

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 03-Jan-2015 (Updated: 03-Jan-2015 02:38 PM)

Our popular "What's a Markup?" fact sheet was refreshed in January 2015.  It explains basic congressional terminology and the legislative mysteries involved in making a bill into law.   It is not meant to be a comprehensive treatment of lawmaking, but a beginner's guide for those interested in following space policy developments in Congress.

NOAA's FY2015 Budget Request for Satellites

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 26-May-2014 (Updated: 03-Jan-2015 11:49 AM)
NOAA's FY2015 Budget Request for Satellites is a free SpacePolicyOnline.com fact sheet that briefly describes President Obama's FY2015 budget request for NOAA's satellite programs in the Procurement, Acquisition and Construction (PAC) account and tracks congressional action on those programs during the FY2015 budget cycle.  The PAC account includes the vast majority of money NOAA spends on its weather satellites and other operational environmental satellite systems.  The fact sheet was updated as needed throughout 2014.  This is the final version, dated January 3, 2015.

NASA's FY2015 Budget Request

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 25-Mar-2014 (Updated: 03-Jan-2015 11:46 AM)
NASA's FY2015 Budget Request is a free SpacePolicyOnline.com fact sheet that briefly describes President Obama's FY2015 budget request for NASA and includes four tables identifying the request for specific NASA activities.  The fact sheet is updated as the request moves through Congress.   For FY2015, President Obama also is requesting funds for NASA as part of his Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative (OGSI) and that request is also discussed in this report.   This report was updated routinely throughout 2014.  This is the final version and is dated January 3, 2015.

NASA's FY2014 Budget Request

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 22-Jul-2013 (Updated: 24-Mar-2014 09:49 PM)
NASA's FY2014 Budget Request is a free SpacePolicyOnline.com fact sheet that includes a table showing how much money NASA is requesting for FY2014 in each of its accounts and subaccounts compared to how much it received for FY2013 after two rescissions and the sequester were applied to NASA's FY2013 budget.  The fact sheet then tracks congressional action on the FY2014 request, showing how much was approved by each of the congressional authorization and appropriations committees that consider NASA's funding request and how much NASA received in the final FY2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act ("the omnibus").   The final version of this fact sheet is dated March 4, 2014.

List of Russian Space Launch Failures Since December 2010

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 02-Jul-2013 (Updated: 08-Oct-2014 09:39 AM)

Russia's usually reliable fleet of space launch vehicles has been suffering a string of failures since December 2010.   A free SpacePolicyOnline.com Fact Sheet entitled List of Russian Space Launch Vehicle Failures Since Dec. 2010 provides a list of the failures and their causes, where known.  It is updated as needed and was most recently updated on October 8, 2014. 

China's Human Spaceflight Program: Background and List of Crewed and Automated Missions

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 11-Jun-2013 (Updated: 17-Aug-2014 06:39 PM)

CHINA'S HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT PROGRAM:  BACKGROUND AND LIST OF ALL CREWED AND AUTOMATED LAUNCHES -- a SpacePolicyOnline.com fact sheet.  Updated June 26, 2013.   (Download PDF version)

China's human spaceflight program, Project 921, officially began in 1992.  The launch of Shenzhou-10 in June 2013 was the tenth flight in the series, but only the fifth to carry a crew.

Shenzhou 1-4 were automated tests of the spacecraft.   Shenzhou-8 was an automated test of rendezvous and docking procedures with the Tiangong-1 space station.

Tiangong-1, China's first space station, was launched in September 2011.  It hosted the automated Shenzhou-8 in 2011 and two three-person crews:  Shenzhou-9 in 2012 and Shenzhou-10 in 2013.  

The Tiangong-1 space station is a small (8.6 metric ton) module. As first space stations go, it is rather modest -- just less than half the mass of the world's first space station, the Soviet Union's Salyut 1.  Launched in 1971, Salyut 1 had a mass of about 18.6 metric tons.  The first U.S. space station, Skylab, launched in 1973, had a mass of about 77 metric tons.  Today's International Space Station (ISS), a partnership among the United States, Russia, Japan, Europe, and Canada, has a mass of about 400 metric tons and has been permanently occupied by 2-6 person crews rotating on 4-6 month missions since the year 2000.

Chinese astronauts are often called "taikonauts" in the West. English-language Chinese reports call them astronauts.  Shenzhou means Divine Vessel.  Tiangong means Heavenly Palace.  All human spaceflight-related launches have been from the Jiuquan Space Launch Center in the Gobi desert.

The following SpacePolicyOnline.com table lists all ten Chinese human spaceflight missions to date, including automated tests and those that carried crews.

LIST OF CHINESE HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT MISSIONS
(Prepared by SpacePolicyOnline.com)

Mission

Launch Date

Crew (# of flights)

Comments

Shenzhou-1

Nov. 19, 1999

none

Automated test

Shenzhou-2

Jan. 9, 2001

none

Automated test

Shenzhou-3

Mar. 25, 2002

none

Automated test

Shenzhou-4

Dec. 29, 2002

none

Automated test

Shenzhou-5

Oct. 15, 2003

Yang Liwei

First Chinese astronaut
21 hour 12 min mission

Shenzhou-6

Oct. 12, 2005

Fei Junlong
Nie Haisheng

First Chinese 2-person crew
5 day mission

Shenzhou-7

Sept. 25, 2008

Zhai Zhigang
Liu Boming
Jing Haipeng

First Chinese 3-person crew
First Chinese spacewalk (Zhai for 22 min; Liu did stand-up EVA in airlock for about 2 min)
3 day mission
Small (40 kg) subsatellite ejected

Tiangong-1

Sept. 29, 2011

Visited

First Chinese space station (8.5 metric tons)

Shenzhou-8

Oct. 31, 2011

none

Automated test of rendezvous and docking with Tiangong-1 (docked twice)

Shenzhou-9

July 19, 2012

Jing Haipeng (2)
Liu Wang
Liu Yang

First Chinese space station crew; automated and manual docking
Liu Yang first Chinese woman astronaut
Jing first Chinese astronaut to make 2 flights
13 day mission

Shenzhou-10

June 11, 2013

Nie Haisheng (2)
Zhang Xiaoguang
Wang Yaping

Automated docking with Tiangong-1 June 13.  Later did manual docking test, and, just before reentry, a fly-around (China's first).
Wang second Chinese woman astronaut and first "teacher in space" because she taught a lesson from space
15 day mission

 

Legislative Checklist 113th Congress: Major Space-Related Legislation

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 01-Feb-2013 (Updated: 28-Mar-2015 05:04 PM)
Legislative Checklist 113th Congress:  Major Space-Related Legislation is a free SpacePolicyOnline.com fact sheet that provides information on major legislation concerning the U.S. space program (civil, military, commercial) pending before or passed by the 113th Congress (2013-2014).   Information includes bill numbers, dates of action taken by congressional committees, and links to legislation and related congressional committee reports.  The fact sheet was updated as needed throughout the 113th Congress.   This is the final version, dated January 3, 2015.