<img height="1" width="1" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=205228923362421&amp;ev=PageView &amp;noscript=1">

US pushes for space policies and regulations.

FAA launches human spaceflight rulemaking panel. A US bill pushes space to be seen as critical infrastructure. Argentina signs the Artemis Accords. And more.





The FAA launches a human spaceflight rulemaking committee. US legislators introduce a bill calling for space to be recognized as critical infrastructure. Argentina becomes the 28th country to sign the Artemis Accords. L3Harris Technologies completes its acquisition of Aerojet Rocketdyne for $4.7 billion, and more.

Remember to leave us a 5-star rating and review in your favorite podcast app.

Miss an episode? Sign up for our weekly intelligence roundup, Signals and Space. And be sure to follow T-Minus on Twitter and LinkedIn.


T-Minus Guest

Casey Anglada DeRaad, CEO NewSpace Nexus, a non-profit company dedicated to helping new space companies get to market.

You can connect with Casey on LinkedIn and learn more about NewSpace Nexus on their website.

Selected Reading

FAA launches new guidelines for commercial space travel- WHNT

Bipartisan bill designates space as critical infrastructure sector- The Hill


NASA Welcomes Argentina as Newest Artemis Accords Signatory- NASA

Joint Statement from President Biden and Prime Minister Meloni- The White House

NASA’s Commercial Partners Pass Milestones for New Space Stations- NASA


Sybilla spots Chandrayaan-3

T-Minus Crew Survey

We want to hear from you! Please complete our 4 question survey. It’ll help us get better and deliver you the most mission-critical space intel every day.

Want to hear your company in the show?

You too can reach the most influential leaders and operators in the industry. Here’s our media kit. Contact us at space@n2k.com to request more info.

Want to join us for an interview?

Please send your pitch to space-editor@n2k.com and include your name, affiliation, and topic proposal.

T-Minus is a production of N2K Networks, your source for strategic workforce intelligence. © 2023 N2K Networks, Inc.

>> Maria Varmazis: Since 2004, Congress has said the commercial spaceflight industry is still too nascent to impose regulatory measures upon it and is still getting its feet underneath it. That learning period is up for renewal in October, but we haven't had a whole lot of commercial space flights yet, to be honest. But, regardless, if that learning period is extended or not, the FAA says it's getting ready for the day that Congress says commercial space flight needs regulation.

>> Unidentified Person: T-Minus 20 seconds to LOA. Go for the floor.

>> Maria Varmazis: Today is July 28, 2023. I'm Maria Varmazis.

>> Alice Carruth: I'm Alice Carruth, and this is T-Minus.

[ Music ]

>> Maria Varmazis: The FAA launches Human Spaceflight Rulemaking Committee. US legislators push for space to be recognized as critical infrastructure. Argentina signs the Artemis Accords.

>> Alice Carruth: And our guest today is Casey DeRaad, CEO at NewSpace Nexus. So stick with us for that.

[ Music ]

>> Maria Varmazis: Happy Friday, everyone. Happy Friday, Alice. Let's have a look at our intel briefing for today. Let's start with the story from the top of the show. The pause on commercial spaceflight regulations has been extended a number of times since Congress first declared the industry's learning period in 2004. In the meantime, commercial space flights, not that there have been a ton of them, have leaned on informed consent for their customers. In other words, if you're flying on a commercial spaceflight, you're agreeing and understanding that this is, indeed, a risky venture. And, as we said earlier, the commercial spaceflight learning period is up for renewal in October, and it's been a game of will they won't they renew for congressional watchers. Will the learning period end? Will the FAA be tasked with sussing out regulations for commercial spaceflight? Will the learning period be renewed for another few years? Will the Titan ocean submersible incident put pressure on Congress to end the space flight learning period perhaps a bit earlier than expected? Well, the FAA is eyeing that October end date for the learning period and saying, regardless if the learning period is getting extended or not, let's be ready for the day we need to step in. Yesterday the FAA announced they formed a rulemaking committee to aid in the development and cost of possible future regulations for commercial human spaceflight occupant safety. This does not mean it's a sure thing that the learning period will expire in October. The FAA's own statement reflects the uncertainty about timing here, and it says this: The committee is expected to gather recommendations from industry and other stakeholders to help the FAA plan, conceive, and implement when the time is right a well-informed thoughtful regulatory regime for commercial human spaceflight occupant safety. So when is the time going to be right? That is the multi-million-dollar question, isn't it. We'll have to see what Congress decides in October. And, in the meantime, the FAA committee will be working on their recommendations through the year into next summer when they'll submit their recommendations to Congress.

>> Alice Carruth: I look forward to hearing a little bit more about that in the future. But, for now, a bipartisan group of US senators have introduced the Space Infrastructure Act, a bill to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate space systems, services, and technology as a sector of critical infrastructure. The legislation is aimed at ensuring that the space industry gets adequate resources and future security protections. Currently, the US works to protect 16 critical sectors of infrastructure. That includes areas like water, communications, and energy. But, according to the representatives, there's no singular sector that concentrates on space, causing the space industry to rely on collecting threats and security information from a patchwork of 16 existing sectors. We will continue to closely follow the bill's progress.

>> Maria Varmazis: And now congratulations and welcome to Argentina, which is now the 28th country to sign the Artemis Accords. The Accords are a set of agreements designed to establish a practical set of principles to guide space exploration cooperation among nations, including those participating in NASA's Artemis program. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson attended the signing in Buenos Aires and said, As the United States and Argentina mark two centuries of diplomatic relations this year, we know our partnership over the next century will be deepened by discoveries made together in space. Along with our fellow Artemis Accord signatories, the United States and Argentina are setting a standard for 21st century exploration and use of space. As we explore together, we will explore peacefully, safely, and transparently. Bienvenida, Argentina.

>> Alice Carruth: And US President Joe Biden hosted Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the White House yesterday. The two countries released a joint statement that included a commitment to strengthen space cooperation. Both nations reaffirm their partnership on space exploration and support for the principles of the Artemis Accords. The statement read that the US and Italy recognize the importance of addressing space threats and welcome innovative new commercial space partnerships, including to advance human spaceflight. Both countries look to encourage further space-related investments and industrial collaboration, including on commercial space stations.

>> Maria Varmazis: And speaking of commercial space stations, NASA says four US companies are making progress on new low Earth orbit platforms for the space agency to continue its research and technology development after the retirement of the International Space Station. NASA has held system requirements reviews with Axiom, Blue Origin, Nanoracks, and Northrop Grumman. All four companies have shown progress by checking off engineering design and development objectives specific to individual projects. NASA is working closely with the commercial companies to ensure that the US maintains a continuous human presence in low Earth orbit and provides direct benefits for people on Earth. The agency will provide industry with draft requirements and standards for review by the end of this year.

>> Alice Carruth: We mentioned it yesterday and had our fingers crossed for the completion today, and they have delivered. L3Harris Technologies has now acquired Aerojet Rocketdyne for a mere 4.7 billion US dollars, forming a fourth business segment of the company. L3Harris signed a definitive agreement to purchase Aerojet Rocketdyne in December of last year, emphasizing its ability to strengthen the defense industrial base, enhance competition, and accelerate innovation for a critical merchant supplier of propulsion systems. The Federal Trade Commission gave the green light to complete the acquisition yesterday. The company has also announced that Ross Niebergall will serve as president of the Aerojet Rocketdyne segment at L3Harris.

>> Maria Varmazis: And, as always, you can find links to all of the stories we've covered in today's Intel briefing in our show notes at space.n2k.com.

[ Music ]

>> Alice Carruth: Hey, T-Minus crew. Tune in tomorrow for T-Minus Deep Space, our show for extended interviews, special editions, and deep dives with some of the most influential professionals in the space industry. Tomorrow we have Casey DeRaad talking about NewSpace Nexus and their mission to help startups navigate the valley of death, otherwise known as the federal procurement process. Check it out while you're mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, folding laundry, or driving your kids to the game. You don't want to miss it.

[ Music ]

>> Maria Varmazis: Our guest for today is Casey DeRaad. Casey is the CEO at NewSpace Nexus, which is a nonprofit company dedicated to helping new space companies get to market. I started off asking Casey about the mission of the nonprofit.

>> Casey DeRaad: Okay. Well, I have to give a little background about myself to tell you how it came about. I have a long career with the Air Force Research Lab working on space systems and later partnerships. Had a time working with NASA, helping with investment plans between NASA, Navy, NRO. So I had this long career at the latter part working in partnerships with trying to help space industry, space companies be able to navigate and work with the government systems. So that was sort of my career. But I just saw so many challenges for our companies to understand where the resources are and especially our New Mexico companies. And so hit the early retirement date, jumped out at Air Force Research Lab, and decided to tell the story about the possibilities and the opportunity in space. And at the time when I first, you know, was working within the Air Force, a lot of the space funding came from the government side. But here, the commercial and the private space industry is really thriving for about, you know, the last ten years. If you take 2010 and earlier, it was mostly just government funding. So this commercial space, this new space was coming -- coming forward and really expanding. And so the opportunity was there. So we put together, you know, public private partnership where we really studied who are all the partners, and we put out a report. It's on our website. It was in 2019 where we really looked at here's the opportunity. New Mexico's positioned to take a leadership role with all the various assets we have here, between the Space Force organizations, White Sands Missile Range, NASA, Spaceport America, our universities all have great resources in that area. So we have the -- we're position to lead. And so, with that, we came up with some strategy where we really need to put together some kind of council, figure out how to do, you know, put a business connector together, workforce connector, and then also figure out the funding. So, with that, we started a nonprofit organization, NewSpace New Mexico, it started out. That's a corporate name. Right now we're doing business as NewSpace Nexus. But -- so we started it, basically, to do those three things. We put together an alliance. That NewSpace alliance has now grown to over 250 space organizations. We put together some the -- that business connecting. We have our -- what we call our NewSpace Ignitor program to help companies navigate through the valley of death. And then we also have some great resources, like we have an open prototyping event workspace called the Launchpad. And the basics of it all, though, is that we say that we Unite & Ignite Space. So, on the Unite side, of course, we have our alliance where we bring people together. But we also do some networking events locally. We call it the T5 Third Thursday Tech Talks, and everyone comes together. And then we also lead national level forums on the space industrial base. So this is the Unite side, like I said. And I think the key thing about NewSpace Nexus is that we are here to listen to the companies. We bring them together in many different forums. And we really look at, like, what are the challenges, the gaps, the issues that need to be solved and then put together recommendations and who to -- who needs to hear these recommendations and put some resources to it. So that's the Unite side. The Ignite side is we have a partnership intermediary agreement with the Air Force Research Lab. It basically is a five-year agreement to put together the resources to help the companies ignite, accelerate faster, their innovation faster. And so we have this Launchpad that is this co-innovation, open prototyping. The companies can come work there. We can have events there. And it's a really cool space. You've got to visit us sometime. It's in Albuquerque near the airport. We also to ignite is we set up the NewSpace Ignitor Program. And that is where we have 23 companies in the program, and they come in at different levels. We basically help navigate first, you know, do an assessment, help them get their messages clear, figure out what kind of hardware, software experts that they need. And we help navigate them, we say through the valley of death. And then the last part of the program is we showcase them. We do what we call Show Spaces, and we might showcase them to the different funding sources like investor, our investor network. We have government customers or even other prime contractors that they can partner with. So those are kind of like our two sides of the story.

>> Maria Varmazis: That's amazing because you mentioned the valley of death, and that is a phrase that has come up so many times in this podcast. And to have expertise to help guide you through that and not just that but before and after, I mean, that's an amazing service to be providing. I know you have some great success stories of companies that you have shepherded through. Any anything that you can talk about or tell me about a little bit?

>> Casey DeRaad: There's actually a few that are in the works of getting some funding support. We have -- we just started that Ignitor program in October. And we're tracking -- we're at 7.3 million of different contract wins that they've gotten since and because of working with us. So that has been really good. And a lot about the valley, if you think about New Mexico and even when Senator Heinrich wanted to do this appropriation, the key part is, like, help put resources together like the Launchpad but also put together some kind of industry demonstration program that helps them get out of R&D or, you know, beyond R&D because New Mexico is very well-known with the different national labs, federal labs, that, you know, we have a lot of great R&D. But how do you take these what we call the concept so it's in that R&D and make it to get to a product, then get it to sales. And so, with that, like, some of our companies are RS21, Charles Rath. They've gotten a couple of contracts from our help with that navigating them to the government customers that they can get a win. O Analytics, Deep Blue Space, Goodman Technologies. I wasn't ready for this one, but we do have a number of wins. And the companies love us because we have this -- what we say our secret sauce is -- is our team. Our -- you know, our NewSpace Nexus team, we have over 90 years of experience in military, civil, and commercial space. We have some expertise in strategic sales and product development. And then our engagement team is just the best at putting on events. So our team has this expertise. And then we have a consulting team that we bring on for, like, this, you know, real specific needs that can help the companies. And then, after that, we have what's called our Ignitor Expert Network, which we have over 45 people in it now. And it includes, you know, previous commanders of Air Force Research Lab and chief scientists and investors. And so our companies have this wealth of expertise when they come to us that they'll be able to get what they need.

>> Maria Varmazis: That's -- that is an incredible amount of expertise in one place. To not have to try and scrape that together, that it's there already is quite amazing. And also, I should mention, and I know you mentioned at the beginning that NewSpace Nexus is also a nonprofit. So I'm curious. That is quite a different tactic, quite a different thing for many organizations that I speak to. I imagine that does make you quite unique. Can you talk a little bit about that?

>> Casey DeRaad: One of the key things, like, I've tried to say is, you know, the companies see us as part of their team and that we can help, you know, get them through these processes. One of our companies has said, you know, working with us has cut at least a year off of their development cycle because they get to the needed resources faster. But the reason we wanted to do a nonprofit is we want to be this trusted resource to the space companies. And I think they value us. They know that we're -- you know, we're not here to compete with them. We're here to help them. And so that's where it's been beneficial to be a nonprofit.

[ Music ]

We'll be right back. And welcome back. India's Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft performed its fifth and final earthbound orbit-raising maneuver earlier this week. The spacecraft has now positioned itself for lunar insertion. The very cool news is that some private astronomers spotted the vehicle using the Polish ROTUZ telescope and captured it on video. In the video, the spacecraft was seen rushing through space. It looks like a warp speed moment from Star Trek, certainly something out of this world. So we've included a link to the Twitter post in our show notes. Definitely let us know what you think when you take a look at it. We look forward to seeing Chandrayaan-3 reach the moon in early August, and we'll be keeping our fingers crossed for that soft landing.

[ Music ]

>> Alice Carruth: That's it for T-Minus for July 28, 2023. For additional resources from today's report, check out our show notes at space.n2k.com. We'd love to know what you think of this podcast. You can email us at space@n2k.com or submit the survey in the show notes. Your feedback ensures that we deliver the information that keeps you a step ahead of the rapidly changing space industry.

>> Maria Varmazis: We're privileged that N2K and podcasts like T-Minus are part of the daily routine of many of the most influential leaders and operators in the public and private sector, from the Fortune 500 to many of the world's preeminent intelligence and law enforcement agencies. N2K's strategic workforce intelligence optimizes the value of your biggest investment: your people. We make you smarter about your team while making your team smarter. Learn more at n2k.com. This episode was produced by Alice Carruth, mixing by Elliott Peltzman and Tré Hester, with original music and sound design by Elliott Peltzman. Our executive producer is Brandon Karpf. Our chief intelligence officer is Eric Tillman. And I'm Maria Varmazis. Thanks for listening.

>> Unidentified Person: T-Minus done.

[ Music ]

Similar posts

Stay in the loop on new releases. 

Subscribe below to receive information about new blog posts, podcasts, newsletters, and product information.