Thursday, December 7, 2023

Short Takes – 12-7-23

NASA says SpaceX’s next Starship flight could test refueling tech. article. Pull quote: “This test would involve transferring super-cold propellant from one tank to another inside a Starship spacecraft. It's a precursor to future, more complex demonstrations involving two giant Starships docked together in Earth orbit. Then SpaceX will be ready to send a Starship toward the Moon for a test landing without astronauts onboard. Once that is successful, NASA will clear Starship for a crew landing on the agency's Artemis III mission, marking the astronauts' return to the lunar surface for the first time since 1972.”

Don’t count on NASA to return humans to the Moon in 2025 or 2026, GAO says. article. Pull quote: “The GAO outlined a "large volume of remaining work" for SpaceX's human-rated lander, a vehicle that will stand more than 15 stories tall. Chief among these milestones is proving the transfer and long-term storage of cryogenic methane and liquid oxygen in orbit. SpaceX plans to launch a series of tankers, each based on the same basic Starship architecture as the Human Landing System, to fill up a propellant depot in Earth orbit. Then, the Starship landing craft will dock with the depot to receive the propellant it needs to travel to the Moon and transport astronauts to and from the lunar south pole.”

Here’s how McCarthy’s resignation affects House GOP’s slim majority. article. Pull quote: “Even with the two new vacancies, Republicans will keep a three-vote cushion on any party-line measure. With McCarthy and Santos gone, it leaves 220 Republicans and 213 Democrats, but the threshold for a majority will dip from 218 members to 217 members.”

20 federal agencies miss the deadline for implementing cyber incident tracking requirements, watchdog says. article. Pull quote: “The report found that 17 agencies had failed to advance beyond complying with OMB’s tier 0 standards, in which “logging requirements of highest criticality are either not met or are only partially met.” GAO found that just three agencies — the Small Business Administration, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Agriculture — met OMB’s August deadline for tier 3 compliance.”

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