Our Fact Sheets and Reports
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 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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
NASA's FY2013 Budget Request is a SpacePolicyOnline.com fact sheet that tracked NASA's FY2013 budget request as it worked its way through Congress. The fact sheet summarizes three key issues that arose while Congress debated the bill: robotic Mars exploration, whether to transfer NOAA's weather satellite programs to NASA, and funding for the commercial crew program.
This edition of the fact sheet includes final funding figures for NASA from its FY2013 operating plan, which was approved in August 2013. NASA has not released the operating plan to the public, but provided the figures in this fact sheet upon request by SpacePolicyOnline.com on August 29, 2013. In addition, it includes a chart using data provided by NASA's planetary science division director with additional details on the final FY2013 funding figures for specific planetary exploration programs.
The current date of this fact sheet is September 4, 2013.
FY2013 Budget Request for Space Activities: Where to Find Agency Budget Documentation is a SpacePolicyOnline.com fact sheet that provides links to FY2013 budget request documentation for U.S. government space activities. Included are links to budget materials for the Department of Defense (DOD), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) Office of Commercial Space Transportation, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), which operates the Landsat land remote sensing satellites. This fact sheet is dated September 15, 2012 and updates the link for NOAA's Blue Book.
Box Score of 2011 Space Launches is a free fact sheet from SpacePolicyOnline.com that shows the total number of space launches in 2011 by Russia, the United States, Europe (Arianespace), China, Japan, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea and South Korea. The table shows how many space launches were successful and how many were failures.