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March 2021

CMTE ON ASSESSMENT OF PARTNERSHIP OPTIONS FOR SMALLSAT OCEANIC/COASTAL DATA COLLECTION (Natl Acad), Mar 18-19, 2021, virtual

The Committee on Assessment of Partnership Options for a Small Satellite System for Collecting Scientific Quality Oceanic and Coastal Data of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will meet virtually on March 18-19, 2021.  Some sessions are open and some are closed.

The committee is organized under the Intelligence Community Studies Board with participation by other Boards including the Space Studies Board.  On the second day (March 19), NASA’s Thomas Zurbuchen and Karen St. Germain will speak to the committee.

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

 

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WSBR WEBINAR WITH DYLAN TAYLOR AND JEFF MANBER, Mar 18, 2021, virtual, 12:00 pm ET

The Washington Space Business Roundtable will hold a webinar on March 18, 2021 at 12:00 pm ET featuring Dylan Taylor, CEO and Chairman of Voyager Space Holdings, and Jeff Manber, CEO of Nanoracks.

More information is on the event’s website.

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STA WEBINAR WITH NASA’S BOB PEARCE, Mar 18, 2021, virtual, 2:00 pm ET

The Space Transportation Association (STA) will hold a webinar on March 18, 2021 from 2:00-3:00 pm ET.  The speaker is Bob Pearce, NASA Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, who will discuss aeronautics on Mars, advanced air vehicles, transformative concepts, and other programs.

The Ingenuity helicopter delivered to Mars on the Perseverance mission will be the first aerial vehicle to fly on another planet.

More information is the emailed announced, which is reproduced below, including a registration link.

Contact STA President Rich Coleman with any questions: rich@spacetransportation.us

 

Please join STA for a virtual meeting with Robert Pearce, Associate Administrator, NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate.

Mr. Pearce will be providing us an update on the programs at Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, including Aeronautics on Mars, Advanced Air Vehicles, Transformative Concepts and the other programs.  His bio may be found below.

When?  Thursday, March 18, 2pm-3pm.

Please click on the link below to register, this is our new process.  After registering you will receive an email with the Teams link you can use to access the meeting.  If you have any problems, such as firewalls blocking clicking on the link, simply register using the email on your phone, or a home computer.  Or just email us and we’ll get your registered.

Registration link

Best regards,
Rich

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WHAT DO EXOPLANETS LOOK LIKE THROUGH A SOLAR GRAVITY LENS? (AAS Hangout), Mar 19, 2021, virtual, 3:00 pm ET

The American Astronautical Society will hold its next Future In Space Hangout on March 19, 2021 at 3:00 pm ET.

The topic is: What Do Exoplanets Look Like Through a Solar Gravity Lens?

The event will be livestreamed on YouTube, no registration is necessary.

Participants are:

  • Slava Turyshev, research scientist at NASA JPL
  • Louis Friedman, Co-Founder and Executive Director Emeritus at The Planetary Society
  • Tony Darnell, Deep Astronomy (moderator)

The emailed announcement is reproduced below.

 

What Do Exoplanets Look Like Through A Solar Gravity Lens?

Join us March 19 for the next American Astronautical Society “Future in Space” online discussion:

Viewing Exoplanets Through A Solar Gravity Lens 

Friday, March 19 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern

FREE – No registration required!

Event linkhttps://youtu.be/LBGUozKTK1Y

 

What is an Einstein ring?
How can we accelerate the search for life in our universe?
And what do pearls and sails have to do with exploring space?

Exciting new mission concepts based on the theory of the solar gravitational lens are being considered using unique technologies to conduct unprecedented science reaching far into the universe. These missions would use the Sun as a gravitational lens to resolve an exoplanet surface and search for signs of life using innovative spacecraft and benefits of autonomous systems.

In this event, Slava Turyshev, research scientist at NASA JPL, and Louis Friedman, Co-Founder and Executive Director Emeritus at The Planetary Society, will lead a discussion on exoplanets and how they are viewed through a solar gravity lens. They will be joined by your moderator Tony Darnell, Deep Astronomy.   

Watch these videos before the Hangout to learn more about the topic and build your questions for the guests:

 

This American Astronautical Society “Future in Space” online session is available for FREE and on-line participants have the ability to submit questions to the speakers. This session will set the stage for future, more detailed discussions of the science needs, programs, risks, and challenges in missions to support the human lunar exploration. 
JOIN US ONLINE:

YouTubehttps://youtu.be/LBGUozKTK1Y

More information is available at https://astronautical.org/events/hangouts/.

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SPACE SCIENCE WEEK (Natl Acad), Mar 23-25, 2021, virtual

The Space Studies Board (SSB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will hold its annual Space Science Week from March 23-25, 2021 where all six of its standing committees meet in plenary and individual sessions.  Some sessions are open and some are closed.

The plenary session is on March 23 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm ET.

As of February 21, the Committee on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space is the only one with posted information. It will meet by itself on March 24-25.

Check the SSB’s website for updates.

 

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COMSTAC, Mar 23, 2021, virtual, 9:30 am-4:00 pm ET

The FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) will meet virtually on March 23, 2021 from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm ET.

Anyone who wants to listen to the meeting must register to get the Zoom link.

 

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

SUMMARY: This notice announces a meeting of the Commercial Space 
Transportation Advisory Committee for March 23, 2021.

DATES: The March 23, 2021 meeting will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 
p.m.
    Requests to attend the meeting must be received by March 9, 2021.

[[Page 9991]]

    Requests for accommodations to a disability must be received by 
March 16, 2021.
    Requests to speak during the meeting must be submitted by March 9, 
2021 to DOT and include a written copy of their remarks. Registrants in 
the Zoom meeting room will have the opportunity to interact directly 
with committee members.
    Requests to submit written materials to be reviewed during the 
meeting must be received by DOT no later than March 9, 2021.

ADDRESSES: The March 23, 2021 meeting will be an internet-only meeting. 
No physical meeting is planned. Instructions on how to attend the 
meeting, copies of meeting minutes, and a detailed agenda will be 
posted on the COMSTAC website at: https://www.faa.gov/space/additional_information/comstac/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Hatt, Designated Federal 
Officer, U.S. Department of Transportation, at james.a.hatt@faa.gov, 
(202) 549-2325. Any committee related request should be sent to the 
person listed in this section.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Background

    The Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee was created 
under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), in accordance with 
Public Law 92-463. Since its inception, industry-led COMSTAC has 
provided information, advice, and recommendations to the U.S. 
Department of Transportation through FAA regarding technology, 
business, and policy issues relevant to oversight of the U.S. 
commercial space transportation sector.

II. Proposed Agenda

DOT/FAA Welcome Remarks
VIP Remarks
FAA Updates
Review of Taskers Assigned at Previous Meetings/COMSTAC Final 
Recommendations
Public Comment
Future COMSTAC Business

III. Public Participation

    The meeting listed in this notice will be open to the public. The 
US Department of Transportation is committed to providing equal access 
to this meeting for all participants. If you need alternative formats 
or services because of a disability, such as sign language, 
interpretation, or other ancillary aids, please contact the person 
listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.
    There will be at least thirty minutes allotted for oral comments 
from members of the public joining a COMSTAC meeting. To accommodate as 
many speakers as possible, the time for each commenter may be limited. 
Individuals wishing to reserve speaking time during the meeting must 
submit a request at the time of registration, as well as the name, 
address, and organizational affiliation of the proposed speaker. If the 
number of registrants requesting to make statements is greater than can 
be reasonably accommodated during the meeting, the FAA Office of 
Commercial Space Transportation may conduct a lottery to determine the 
speakers. Speakers are requested to submit a written copy of their 
prepared remarks for inclusion in the meeting records and for 
circulation to COMSTAC members. All prepared remarks submitted on time 
will be accepted and considered as part of the record. Any member of 
the public may present a written statement to the committee at any 
time.
    Issued in Washington, DC.
* * * * *

    Dated: February 10, 2021.
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“WAR AND PEACE IN OUTER SPACE”: BOOK LAUNCH AND ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION (SWF et al), Mar 23, 2021, virtual, 5:00-6:00 pm ET

The Secure World Foundation, the Australian National University (ANU)’s Centre for International and Public Law, Harvard University’s Department of the History of Science, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Centre for Ethics and the Rule of Law will hold a webinar on March 23, 2021 from 5:00-6:00 pm ET where a new book will be discussed by a panel of experts.

The book is War and Peace in Outer Space: Law, Policy and Ethics (Oxford University Press), edited by Cassandra Steer and Matthew Hersch.  It features a foreword by Lt. Gen. David D. Thompson, U.S. Space Force.

Participants in the roundtable discussion are:

Air Commodore Philip Gordon, Director General Air Defence and Space, Royal Australian Air Force

Matthew Hersch, Harvard University

Victoria Samson, Secure World Foundation

Cassandra Steer, ANU College of Law

 

More information is on the event’s website.

 

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CMTE ON BIOLOGICAL AND PHYSICS SCIENCES IN SPACE (Natl Acad), Mar 24-25, 2021, virtual

The Committee on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space of the Space Studies Board (SSB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine will meet virtually March 24-25, 2021.  Some sessions are open and some are closed.

The meeting is part of SSB’s Space Science Week, March 23-25, 2021, where all five of SSB’s standing committees meet in plenary and individual sessions.  The plenary session is on March 23.

More information is on the committee’s website.

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ENGINEERING A LAUNCH: THE STEAM THAT DRIVES IT ALL (Space Fndtn), Mar 24, 2021, virtual, 1:00-2:30 pm ET

The Space Foundation will hold the next its Space Symposium 365 webinar series of March 24, 2021 from 1:00-2:30 pm ET.

The topic is:  New Generation Space Leaders Panel–Engineering a Launch: The STEAM That Drives it All.  More information is on the event’s website.

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NASA AND THE RISE OF COMMERCIAL SPACE: FOLLOW-UP SESSION (NASA-MSFC), Mar 25, 2021, virtual, 1:00-3:30 pm ET

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and the University of Alabama in Huntsville will hold a virtual symposium on “NASA and the Rise of Commercial Space” from March 17-19, 2021.

A follow-up session will take place on March 25 from 1:00-3:30 pm ET.

More information, including the agenda, is on the event’s website.

 

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11th AUSTRALIAN SPACE FORUM, Mar 30, 2021, 6:15 pm EDT (Mar 31, 8:45 am ACDT), Adelaide, Australia & virtual

The Andy Thomas Space Foundation will hold the 11th Australian Space Forum at the Adelaide Convention Center in South Australia on March 31, 2021 local time.

On March 31, 2021, Adelaide will be on Australian Central Daylight Time, ACDT, which is 14:30 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time.  The meeting begins at 8:45 am on March 31 ACDT, which will be March 30, 6:15 pm EDT.

More information, including the agenda, is on the event’s website.

The meeting will take place in-person and virtually.

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April 2021

DATE CHANGE

BOEING STARLINER OFT-2 UNCREWED FLIGHT TEST, ?? 2021, Cape Canaveral, FL

Update, March 4:  NASA said today the launch will not take place in April. A new date was not set.

Update, March 1:  NASA said at a briefing today (re the upcoming Crew-2 mission) that the OFT-2 launch will not take place on April 2.  A new date has not been set.  The delay is due largely to the fact that software testing was delayed by the severe winter storm in Texas that took out power throughout the state. Caused about a 2-week delay for OFT-2 readiness and now have to find a slot in the ISS traffic schedule to launch it. Have a Soyuz launch and Crew-2 launch coming up.

Update, February 17: Boeing has delayed the launch to April 2 in this long-winded statement that doesn’t disclose that fact until literally the last line.

Update, January 25:  Boeing has moved the No-Earlier-Than (NET)  launch date UP four days, to March 25.  The company explained via email that:

The Boeing Starliner second uncrewed flight test is now scheduled to launch four days earlier.

NASA and Boeing are targeting March 25 for the Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2).

The date change was made possible by:

  • An opening on the Eastern Range
  • Availability of the ULA Atlas V rocket
  • Progress on the spacecraft hardware and software
  • Docking opportunity on the ISS

Original Entry: NASA and Boeing have announced that Boeing will launch the second Orbital Flight Test (OFT-2) of its Starliner commercial crew spacecraft on an uncrewed test flight on March 29, 2021.  The first OFT was not completely successful in December 2019 and the company decided a reflight is needed before putting astronauts aboard.

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23rd IAA HUMAN IN SPACE SYMPOSIUM, Apr 5-8, 2021, Moscow, Russia/virtual

The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), Roscosmos, Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation, the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Institute of Biomedical Problems will hold the 23rd IAA Human in Space Symposium from April 5-8, 2021.  It will take place at the Radisson Blu Slavyanskaya Hotel and Business Centre, Moscow, Russia as well as virtually because of the pandemic.

More information is on the event’s website.

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LAUNCH OF SOYUZ MS-18 TO ISS, Apr 10, 2021, Kazakhstan

Russia plans to launch its next Soyuz mission, Soyuz MS-18, to the International Space Station on April 10, 2021.

As of February 25, the crew complement was not settled as NASA and Roscosmos continue to discuss whether a NASA astronaut will be onboard.  NASA has ended its contract with Roscosmos to purchase Soyuz seats because it now can use SpaceX’s Crew Dragon to ferry crews back and forth.  But NASA wants to continue launching Americans on Soyuz, and in return to launch Russians on Crew Dragon and Boeing’s Starliner, indefinitely in order to ensure that one American and one Russian are always onboard since most of the systems are Russian or American in origin.  NASA intends for this to be on a no-exchange-of-funds basis, but Russia has not yet agreed.

At the moment three Russians are listed as the flight crew:  Oleg Novitsky, Pyotr Dubrov and Sergey Korsakov. But rumors are that NASA’s Mark Vande Hei will replace one of them.

 

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SOYUZ MS-17 RETURN TO EARTH, Apr 17, 2021

The return to Earth of Soyuz MS-17 from the International Space Station has been rescheduled for April 17, 2021.  Details have not been publicly released yet.

 

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UNCOPUOS SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SUBCOMMITEE, Apr 19-30, 2021, Vienna, Austria

The Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the U.N. Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) will meet April 19-30, 2021.

The U.N. Office of Outer Space Affairs website does not indicate where the meeting will take place, so presumably it will be in Vienna, Austria as usual and not held virtually as many meetings are during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Check that website for information closer to the date of the meeting to be sure.

The Legal Subcommittee meets May 31- June 11.  The full committee meets August 25-September 3.

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LAUNCH OF CREW-2 TO ISS, Apr 22, 2021, KSC

Update, March 5:  NASA and SpaceX have reset the launch date for Crew-2 to April 22.  Launch time was not officially announced, but we’ve heard it’s 6:11 am ET.

Update, March 1:  At a press conference today on this mission, NASA said the launch date likely will slip a few days to the right, but did not specify when.  Many factors at play: when Crew-1 can return at a time where there are daytime landing opportunities, the arrival of Crew-2 and Soyuz MS-18, beta-cut out in May.

Original entry: NASA and SpaceX will launch the next NASA/international crew to the International Space Station on a SpaceX Crew Dragon on April 20, 2020.  The mission is designated “Crew-2,” the second operational Crew Dragon mission.

The four crew members are:

  • Shane Kimbrough, NASA (commander)
  • Megan McArthur, NASA (pilot)
  • Akihiko Hoshidi, JAXA (mission specialist)
  • Thomas Pesquet, ESA (mission specialist)

 

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7th IAA PLANETARY DEFENSE CONFERENCE, Apr 26-30, 2021, Vienna, Austria

The 7th International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Planetary Defense Conference is scheduled for April 26-30, 2021 in Vienna, Austria.

More information is on the event’s website, which notes the continuing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  It says a decision will be made by January 15, 2021 as to whether this conference will in-person or virtual.

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13th IAA SYMPOSIUM ON SMALL SATELLITES FOR EARTH OBSERVATION, Apr 26-29, 2021, virtual

The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) will hold its 13th Symposium on Small Satellites for Earth Observation virtually (instead of in Berlin, Germany as originally planned) because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  It will take place April 26-29, 2021.

More information is on the event’s website.

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May 2021

GODDARD MEMORIAL SYMPOSIUM (AAS), May 4-6, 2021, virtual

The American Astronautical Society (AAS) will hold its 2021 Goddard Memorial Symposium from May 4-6, 2021 virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information is on the event’s website.

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