February 15, 2017

Trump Promises "Very Strong" Response to North Korea, But No Action Taken (Source: Newsweek)
The U.N. Security Council denounced North Korea's weekend missile launch, urging members to "redouble efforts" to enforce sanctions against the reclusive state, but gave no indications of any action it might take. Pyongyang's test of the intermediate-range ballistic missile on Sunday was its first direct challenge to the international community since U.S. President Donald Trump took office on Jan. 20.

At a news conference on Monday, Trump said: "Obviously North Korea is a big, big problem and we will deal with that very strongly." Trump did not speak of any planned response but Washington's U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement: "It is time to hold North Korea accountable – not with our words, but with our actions." (2/14)

Trump Has Few New Options in Wake of North Korea Missile Test (Source: Reuters)
South Korean officials say they will act swiftly if financial markets show volatility following North Korea's missile launch Sunday, since this is the first missile test since US President Donald Trump took office. Analysts, however, say Trump has few new options, despite saying during his campaign that he'd take a tougher stance with North Korea. (2/13)

Japan's Failed Microsatellite Launch Caused by Electrical Issue (Source: Kyodo)
The failed launch of a Japanese small rocket last month was likely caused by an electrical problem. An investigation into the failed mid-January launch of the SS-520-4 rocket, a converted sounding rocket, found that electrical wiring was damaged by the heat and vibration of the launch, creating a short circuit that cut power to a data communications system. Controllers aborted firing the rocket's second stage after losing telemetry. Japanese officials have indicated they will attempt another launch of the rocket, intended for very small satellites, as soon as later this year. (2/14)

Trump Brings Hope for a Quorum to Ex-Im (Source: Aviation Week)
A meeting with the CEO of Boeing helped sway President Donald Trump to support the Export-Import Bank, according to reports. The bank says it is looking "forward to continuing our work with the administration to bring Ex-Im back to full functionality to support US jobs." (2/10)

NASA Waits for Guidance Under Trump Administration (Source: Space News)
So far there has been little movement on White House initiatives at NASA, including increasing competition between legacy NASA programs and private-sector space companies. "At this point, there has been no new guidance on any of our current work, despite what you might have heard being speculated," according to an internal memo by NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot. (2/13)

NASA Bets Big on Private Sector to Put Humans on Mars (Source: CNBC)
NASA will continue tapping the private sector to fund space exploration efforts under President Trump, marking a continuation in policy that first began under President Barack Obama. "Public-private partnerships are the future of space exploration," Dava Newman, a former NASA deputy administrator who resigned before Trump took office, told CNBC on Tuesday. "I call it the new NASA."

In total, 22 companies—all American—have won contracts with the agency across a diverse range of sectors, from in-space manufacturing to engine development. One specific goal of NASA's public-private partnerships is putting humans on Mars by the 2030s, a journey that's already underway. (2/13)

Aerospace Industry Sets $146B Export Record in 2016 (Source: Defense News)
The U.S. aerospace and defense industry set a new record for international sales in 2016, delivering $146 billion in exports, the Aerospace Industries Association announced. Exports for the sector have been on an upward swing for a while, increasing by 52 percent over the past five years. Compared to 2015, companies were able to sell an additional $3 billion in products to international customers in 2016, AIA data shows.

Unsurprisingly, civil aerospace sales made up the majority of the $146 billion total, with defense products comprising about 15 percent of sales, AIA stated. The U.S. military aerospace sector shipped about $16 billion worth of products to foreign militaries in 2016 — a 5 percent increase from 2015. Non-aerospace military companies fared even better, increasing exports almost 9 percent from $5.6 billion to $6.1 billion. (2/13)

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