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Elon Musk meets with Donald Trump

Elon Musk. Credit: NASA photo by Dennis Bonilla

The chief executives of Lockheed Martin and SpaceX met with President Trump Monday.

Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk were among a dozen business leaders who met with the president to discuss manufacturing and related issues.

Trump said he would seek to keep manufacturing jobs in the United States and cut down on regulations. [Washington Post]


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Extending a continuing resolution (CR) funding the government could delay a planned space weather mission. NOAA has requested $2.5 million to continue studies of the Space Weather Follow On mission in fiscal year 2017, but under the CR can only spend at a lower rate based on what the program received in 2016. That could delay plans to have the first of two satellites in the program ready for launch in 2022 should the CR, which currently runs through April, be extended for the rest of the fiscal year. The satellites would take over the space weather monitoring missions currently handled by the DSCOVR and SOHO spacecraft. [SpaceNews]

NOAA released the first images from its newest weather satellite Monday. The images from the GOES-16 satellite, formerly GOES-R, demonstrate the high resolution imagery that meteorologists believe will result in more accurate forecasts. Checkout of the spacecraft, launched in November, continues, and NOAA plans to make a decision in May about whether to operate GOES-16 as GOES-East or GOES-West. [Washington Post]

World View plans to fly a weather radar on one of its stratospheric balloons. The Arizona company, which has developed “stratollites” that can carry payloads into the stratosphere to do missions that might otherwise require satellites, is working with EWR Radar Systems to fly one of its weather radars on a test flight later this year. Flying a weather radar in the stratosphere is seen by meteorologists as a way to overcome gaps in coverage in terrestrial radars caused by topography. [SpaceNews]

Japan launched a military communications satellite Tuesday. The H-2A rocket carrying the DSN 1 satellite lifted off on schedule at 2:44 a.m. Eastern from the Tanegashima Space Center. The Japanese space agency said the launch went as planned and the satellite is in its expected orbit. DSN 1 is Japan’s first dedicated military communications satellite, providing X-band communications services in the Asia Pacific region. [Spaceflight Now]

The Proton launch of EchoStar-21 could be facing extended delays. Russian space industry sources said the launch, postponed several times until early February, could be delayed again by up to several months. Previous delays have been linked to work to “eliminate defects” in the Proton rocket, without offering more details about those problems. [Interfax]

Spacecom says negotations with the Chinese company that planned to buy the satellite operator have stalled. Beijing Xinwei Technology Group announced in August plans to acquire Spacecom for $285 million, but that deal was put on hold after Spacecom’s Amos-6 satellite was lost in SpaceX’s Falcon 9 pad explosion. The companies have been in discussions to renegotiate the deal, with Spacecom denying reports in December that they had settled on a lower price of $190 million. Spacecom says there remain “a number of differences on fundamental issues” with Beijing Xinwei, but that it has not given up on the deal. [SpaceNews]

The president of Globalstar is leaving the company to join another satellite services provider. Globalstar announced Monday that David Kagan, the company’s president and chief operating officer, was leaving to join Speedcast, where he will become the COO. Kagan will leave Globalstar in March, and the company said that CEO Jay Monroe would take Kagan’s position on an acting basis if the company doesn’t pick a permanent successor before his departure. [Globalstar]

Boeing is planning to unveil this week the pressure suits astronauts will wear on its CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. The company teased the announcement in a video Monday, showing glimpses of the blue pressure suits the company is expected to unveil on Wednesday. Boeing may also use the unveiling to announce the company test pilot who will fly the first crewed CST-100 mission, along with a NASA astronaut, in mid-2018. [GeekWire]

A massive asteroid collision more than 460 million years ago may be responsible for most of the meteorites since deposited on Earth since then. The most common meteorite found on Earth today, an ordinary chondrite, used to be much rarer, according to studies of older meteorites found in the Earth’s rock record. A massive collision in the solar system about 466 million years ago may have generated that flux of ordinary chondrites, and could explain why that population of meteorites differs from the general composition of the asteroid belt. [Space.com]

NASA is gearing up for its next big mission: the Super Bowl. NASA’s Space Exploration Vehicle, a prototype of a future moon or Mars rover, arrived Mondayin a park in downtown Houston that will host various exhibits during the week leading up to the Super Bowl Feb. 5, which will be played in Houston. The park will also feature a model of the Orion spacecraft, a full-scale replica of the Curiosity Mars rover, and a virtual reality ride. [Houston Chronicle]

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Elon Musk meets with Donald Trump

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