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December 2021

5th GLOBAL MOON VILLAGE WORKSHOP & SYMPOSIUM, Dec 6-8, 2021, Nicosia, Cyprus/online

The Moon Village Association will hold the 5th Global Moon Village Workshop and Symposim from December 6-8, 2021.  The event will take place online and will be coordinate from Nicosia, Cyprus.

More information is on the event’s website.

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NASA AEROSPACE SAFETY ADVISORY PANEL (ASAP), Dec 6, 2021, virtual, 9:30-10:00 am ET

NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) will hold an open meeting on December 6, 2021 from 9:30-10:00 am ET.

The meeting is available telephonically.  More information is in the Federal Register notice, which is reproduced below.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration announces a forthcoming 
meeting of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP).

DATES: Monday, December 6, 2021, 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time.

ADDRESSES: This will be a virtual meeting via teleconference.

Administrative Officer, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, (202) 
358-1947 or lisa.m.hackley@nasa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) 
will hold a public meeting to deliberate new formal recommendations for 
NASA. This discussion is pursuant to carrying out its statutory duties 
for which the Panel reviews, identifies, evaluates, and advises on 
those program activities, systems, procedures, and management 
activities that can contribute to program risk. This meeting is a 
virtual meeting, and only available telephonically. Any interested 
person may call the USA toll free conference call number 888-566-6133; 
passcode 8343253 and then the # sign. At the beginning of the meeting, 
members of the public may make a verbal presentation to the Panel on 
the subject of safety in NASA, not to exceed 5 minutes in length. To do 
so, members of the public must contact Ms. Lisa M. Hackley at 
lisa.m.hackley@nasa.gov or at (202) 358-1947 at least 48 hours in 
advance. Any member of the public is permitted to file a written 
statement with the Panel via electronic submission to Ms. Hackley at 
the email address previously noted. Verbal presentations and written 
statements should be limited to the subject of safety in NASA. It is 
imperative that the meeting be held on this date to accommodate the 
scheduling priorities of the key participants.
Find out more »


NASA will introduce its newest class of astronauts on December 6, 2021 at 12:30 pm ET.

The event at Ellington Field near NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, will air live on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

Participating in the event are:

  • Bill Nelson, NASA Administrator
  • Pam Melroy, NASA Deputy Administrator
  • Vanessa Wyche, Director, Johnson Space Center
  • Norm Knight, Flight Operations Director, JSC
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Space News will announce the winners of its 2021 awards at a virtual event on December 6, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET.

After a keynote address by Derek Tournear, Director of the Space Development Agency (SDA), award winners and Space News journalists will engage in a panel discussion on how 2021’s influx of space capital is creating new opportunities and new challenges.

The first two awards were announced November 9:  The Private Astronaut and The SPAC [Special Purpose Acquisition Company].  The others will be announced December 6.

More information is on the event’s website.





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Update, December 5, 3:05 pm ET:  The launch has been scrubbed again. New date, Tuesday, December 7.  Same time: 4:04 am ET.

Update, December 4, 10:10 pm ET:  The launch was scrubbed. They will try again December 6 at 4:04 am EST.

Original Entry: DOD’s Space Test Program-3 (STP-3) mission is scheduled to launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket on December 5, 2021 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, FL. The two-hour launch window opens at 4:04 am ET.

The mission will launch DOD’s STPSat-6 satellite and the Long Duration Propulsive Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) or LDPE-1.

STPSat-6 has nine payloads: the Space and Atmospheric Burst Reporting System–3 developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and National Nuclear Security Administration; NASA’s Laser Communications Relay Demonstration (LCRD); and seven experimental payloads manifested after being assessed and prioritized by the DoD Space Experiment Review Board. One of the latter is the NASA/Naval Research Lab Ultraviolet Spectro-Coronagraph Pathfinder (UVSC Pathfinder).

NASA TV launch coverage begins at 3:30 am ET.

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NASA APPLIED SCIENCES ADVISORY CMTE, Dec 7-9, 2021, virtual, 11:00 am ET

NASA’s Applied Sciences Advisory Committee, which reports to the Earth Science Division of the Science Mission Directorate, will meet virtually from December 7-9, 2021. The meeting begins at 11:00 am ET each day.

More information and the agenda are on the committee’s website.

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IXPE PAYLOAD BRIEFING, Dec 7, 2021, KSC/virtual, 1:00 pm ET

NASA will hold a payload briefing on December 7, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET for the Imaging X-Ray Polarimeter Explorer (IXPE) mission that is scheduled for launch on December 9.

The briefing will take place at Kennedy Space Center and will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Participants are:

  • Elisabetta Cavazzuti, ASI IXPE program manager, Italian Space Agency
  • Luca Baldini, Italian co-principal investigator, National Institute for Nuclear Physics
  • Brian Ramsey, deputy principal investigator, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
  • MacKenzie Ferrie, IXPE program manager, Ball Aerospace

A pre-launch briefing will take place later that day at 5:30 pm ET.  See our separate Calendar entry for that one.

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TO INFINITY AND BEYOND: SPACE LAW 101 (Lawrina), Dec 7, 2021, virtual, 1:00 pm ET

Lawrina will hold a free open online lecture on December 7, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET.

The topic is “To Infinity and Beyond: Space Law 101” and features Prof. Mark Sundahl, Director of the Global Space Law Center at Cleveland State University.

More information and registration instructions are on the event’s website.

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IXPE PRE-LAUNCH BRIEFING, Dec 7, 2021, KSC/virtual, 5:30 pm ET

NASA will hold a pre-launch briefing on December 7, 2021 at 5:30 pm ET for the Imaging X-Ray Polarimeter Explorer (IXPE) mission that is scheduled for launch on December 9.

The briefing will take place at Kennedy Space Center, FL and air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Participants are:

  • Sandra Connelly, deputy associate administrator for science, NASA Headquarters
  • Martin Weisskopf, IXPE principal investigator, Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Makenzie Lystrup, vice president and general manager, civil space, Ball Aerospace
  • Tim Dunn, launch director, NASA’s Launch Services Program
  • Julianna Scheiman, director, civil satellite missions, SpaceX
  • Mike McAleenan, 45th Weather Squadron, Space Launch Delta 45

A separate payload briefing will take place earlier in the day, at 1:00 pm ET.  See our separate Calendar entry for that one.


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SOYUZ MS-20 LAUNCH AND DOCKING, Dec 8, 2021, Kazakhstan, Launch, 2:38 am ET/Dock, 8:41 am ET

(NASA TV begins 2:00 am ET)

Russia will launch Soyuz MS-20 to the International Space Station on December 8, 2021 at 2:38 am EST (07:38 UTC) from the Baikonur Cosmosdrome in Kazahhstan.  If launch goes as planned, they will dock at the International Space Station six hours later at 8:41 am EST.  They will remain until December 19, landing at 10:18 pm ET.  NASA TV will cover launch, docking and landing as follows:

Wednesday, Dec. 8

2 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for 2:38 a.m. launch.

8 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for 8:41 a.m. docking.

10:15 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for hatch opening and welcome remarks.

Sunday, Dec. 19

3 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for hatch closing at 3:32 p.m.

6:30 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for undocking at 6:54 p.m.

9 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for deorbit and landing. Landing is targeted for 10:18 p.m.

The three-person crew includes one Russian professional cosmonaut and two Japanese space tourists.

  • Alexander Misurkin, Roscosmos cosmonaut
  • Yusaku Maezawa, spaceflight participant (Japanese billionaire)
  • Yozo Hirano, spaceflight participant (Maezawa’s production assistant who will document the flight

Follow on Twitter at #MZJourneytoSpace)

Fun fact: Maezawa has also purchased all the seats on the first flight of SpaceX’s Starship around the Moon, which is tentatively scheduled for 2023. He held a competition earlier this year to choose 8 companions for the journey, which he calls Dear Moon. The winners have not been announced yet.

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Defense One will hold its 9th annual summit, Outlook Summit 2022, from December 7-9, 2021 virtually.

One session, at 2:30 pm ET on December 8, is specifically focused on the national security space program.

Brig. Gen. John Olson, Mobilization Assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force, will be interviewed by Tara Copp, Senior Pentagon Correspondent, Defense One.

More information is on the event’s website.

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NASA is scheduled to launch the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Kennedy Space Center, FL on December 9, 2021 at 1:00 am ET.

A payload briefing and a pre-launch briefing will take place on December 7.  See our separate Calendar entries for those events.

IXPE is a joint project with the Italian Space Agency that will measure polarized X-rays from exotic cosmic objects, such as black holes and neutron stars, to better understand these types of phenomena and extreme environments.

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SPACE-BASED SOLAR POWER FOR NET ZERO 2050 WORKSHOP (ESA), Dec 9-10, 2021, virtual, 6:00 am-12:00 pm ET

The European Space Agency (ESA) will hold a two-day virtual workshop from December 9-10, 2021 on “Space-Based Solar Power for Net Zero 2050.”  It will take place from 12:00-18:00 Central European Time (6:00 am – 12:00 pm Eastern Standard Time).

More information and registration links for each day are on the event’s website, which says:

An international workshop to plan ESA’s next steps towards providing clean energy from space for a greener Earth.

Want to know about how space could provide clean energy to society to enable the transition to a Net Zero carbon world by 2050?

Interested to find out what the European Space Agency is doing to see if the idea of collecting energy in space and sending it to Earth is credible and realisable?

Then please join us online on December 9th and 10th, both days from 12:00 to 18:00 pm CET, to meet and hear from international experts in the field and to discuss and learn about the vital role that Space-based Solar Power  (SBSP) could play in the fight against climate change and help ESA shape its future programmes.

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NATIONAL SPACE-BASED PNT ADVISORY BOARD, Dec 9-10, 2021, Arlington, VA, 8:30 am ET

The National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Advisory Board will meet December 9-10, 2021 at the Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel in Arlington, VA.  The meeting starts at 8:30 am ET each day.

More information is in the Federal Register notice, which is reproduced below.

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as 
amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) 
announces a meeting of the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation 
and Timing (PNT) Advisory Board. This will be the 25th meeting of the 
PNT Advisory Board.

DATES: Thursday, December 9, 2021, from 8:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m., Eastern 
Time; and Friday, December 10, 2021, from 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Eastern 

ADDRESSES: Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel, Galaxy Ballroom, 900 South 
Orme Street, Arlington, Virginia 22204.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. James Joseph Miller, Designated 
Federal Officer, PNT Advisory Board, Space Operations Mission 
Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, (202) 262-0929 or 

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This meeting will be open to the public up 
to the capacity of the meeting room. In-person attendees will be 
requested to sign a register prior to entrance to the proceedings. 
Webcast details to watch the meeting remotely will be available on the 
PNT Advisory Board website at: www.gps.gov/governance/advisory/.
    The agenda for the meeting will include the following:

--Opening Remarks and Meeting Objectives by PNT Advisory Board Chair
--Reports and Updates from PNT Advisory Board Working Groups
--Preliminary Deliberations on any Findings and Recommendations
--Other PNT Advisory Board Business and Work Plan Schedule

    For further information, visit the PNT Advisory Board website at: 
    It is imperative that the meeting be held on these dates to meet 
the scheduling availability of key participants.
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BLUE ORIGIN NEW SHEPARD-19 PASSENGER FLIGHT, Dec 9, 2021, West Texas, 10:00 am ET

Blue Origin will launch its third New Shepard passenger flight on December 9, 2021.  It is the 19th New Shepard flight overall and is designated New Shepard-19 (NS-19).

Launch is currently scheduled for 9:00 am Central Time (10:00 am ET) from Blue Origin’s launch site near Van Horn, TX.  Live launch coverage at BlueOrigin.com will begin 90 minutes before launch (so the launch time slips, which is common, so will the broadcast).  Check Blue Origin’s website for up to the minute information.

This will be the first flight with a full complement of six passengers (the first two carried four each). Two are guests, the other four are paying customers. Neither Blue Origin nor any of the customers to date have revealed how much they are paying.

The six on NS-19 are:

  • Laura Shepard Churchley, Chair, Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Board of Trustees, and daughter of Alan Shepard, the first American in space (May 5, 1961) for whom the New Shepard rocket is named (guest)
  • Michael Strahan, co-host ABC’s Good Morning America and former Super Bowl Champion (guest, although Blue Origin says he is a member of the “crew” and is being paid a stipend that will be donated to Boys and Girls Club)
  • Dylan Taylor, CEO and Chairman, Voyager Space, and founder of the non-profit Space for Humanity (customer)
  • Evan Dick, engineer, investor and Managing Member of Dick Holdings (customer)
  • Lance Bess, principal and founder of Bess Ventures and Advisory (customer)
  • Cameron Bess, Lance Bess’s child, who “identifies as pansexual” (customer)
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The Secure World Foundation (SWF) will hold a webinar on December 9, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET to discuss “10 Years of the Wolf Amendment: Assessing Effects and Outcomes.”

More information is on the event’s website.

The Wolf Amendment, named after former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) who originally put in into law (the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill that funds NASA) in 2011, tightly restrictis (but does not prohibit) U.S.-China space cooperation. It has been included in every CJS bill since.

Participants are:

Conversational keynote with former NASA Administrators Charles Frank Bolden Jr. (accepted) and Jim Bridenstine (invited).

Followed by a panel of experts, including:

Marco Aliberti, European Space Policy Institute
Scott Pace, Space Policy Institute, George Washington University
Kevin Pollpeter
Makena Young, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Find out more »

PAST AND FUTURE OF MAKING MEGASCIENCE–THE JWST (Sp Pol & Hist Forum), Dec 9, 2021, virtual, 4:00-5:00 pm ET

The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) and NASA will hold the next in NASM’s Space Policy and History Forum series on December 9, 2021 from 4:00-5:00 pm ET.  It will be livestreamed.

The topic is “The Past and Future of Making Megasciene: The James Webb Space Telescope” and features Dr. Robert W. Smith, Professor in the Department of History and Classics at the University of Alberta.

More information is on the event’s website, which says:

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is currently at Kourou in French Guiana being prepared for launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket. If all goes to plan, the Telescope’s launch and subsequent operations will be the culmination of over three decades of planning, negotiations, construction and testing. The $10 billion JWST—a joint enterprise of NASA, the European Space Agency, and the Canadian Space Agency—is the most complex and in some ways the most powerful telescope ever built.

Its history—which includes a near-death experience at the hands of a U.S. congressional committee in 2011 when there was an effort to kill the project—raises a range of space policy issues. In this talk, Dr. Robert W. Smith will discuss some episodes in JWST’s history and examine JWST as an example of what can be termed “Megascience,” a clear increase in scale beyond the usual sorts of Big Science, and in so doing compare its history with those of the Hubble Space Telescope and the ill-fated Superconducting Supercollider.

Join the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and NASA for this virtual Space Policy and History Forum. The program will be moderated by Dr. Bhavya Lal, NASA Associate Administrator for the Office of Technology, Policy and Strategy, and Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, Air and Space curator of the Apollo collection.

Watch the program live on the Space Policy and History Forum YouTube Channel or contact Teasel Muir-Harmony to register for the Zoom webinar. Space in the Zoom webinar is limited.

Register here.

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The FAA will hold a virtual public hearing on December 9, 2021 at 5:00 pm Central Time (6:00 pm Eastern) to provide a briefing on and get public input about its draft environmental assessment for Huntsville International Airport to become a landing site for Sierra Space’s Dream Chaser spacecraft.

The public comment period is open through December 22 for those who want to comment in writing.

More information is the FAA website.

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SPACEPOWER FORUM WITH LT. GEN. JOHN SHAW, DEP COMMANDER, USSPACECOM (Mitchell Inst), Dec 10, 2021, virtual, 8:30 am ET

The Mitchell Institute will hold a virtual Spacepower Forum event on December 10, 2021 at 8:30 am ET featuring Lt. Gen. John Shaw, Deputy Commander of U.S. Space Command.

Gen. Kevin Chilton (Ret.) will be the moderator.

More information is on the event’s website.  Advance registration is required.

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AGU FALL MEETING, Dec 13-17, 2021, New Orleans and virtual

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) will hold its 2021 fall meeting from December 13-17, 2021 in a hybrid mode in New Orleans, LA and virtually.

More information is on the event’s website.

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