Events of Interest: Week of December 17-21, 2012

Events of Interest: Week of December 17-21, 2012

The following events may be of interest in the week ahead.  The House and Senate will be in session.

During the Week

On Monday,. NASA will have commentary on the splatdown of the two GRAIL probes that have been orbiting the Moon since the beginning of the year.  There is no video coverage of the impact of the probes onto the lunar surface at approximately 2:28 pm PT (5:28 pm ET), but experts will provide commentary as the end comes for the two spacecraft that have exhausted their fuel supplies.

On Tuesday, the House will vote on a bill (H.R. 6612) to rename NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center after the late Neil Armstrong.

Sometime during the week, It is possible the Senate could act on S. 3661, a Nelson-Hutchison bill to amend the Iran-North Korea-Syria (INKSNA) act to allow NASA to purchase services from Russia for the International Space Station after July 2016, to extend third party liability indemnification for launch services companies for two years, and to make it clear that NASA should explore cis-lunar space.   It also could act on the House-passed H.R. 6586 (Palazzo) that only extends the third party liability indemnification.  The FAA’s authority to provide that indemnification ends on December 31, so that is a must-pass provision.

On Wednesday, the National Research Council will hold the first public meeting of its Committee on Human Spaceflight.  The members of the parent committee — chaired by former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry and Cornell space scientist Jonathan Lunine — were named last month.  The members of one of its two panels, on Technical Feasibility, were named last week.   The meeting is at the National Academy of Sciences building at 21st Street and Constitution Avenue, not at the Keck Building on 5th Street where NRC meetings usually are held.

Also on Wednesday, three new International Space Station crew members will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile everyone is awaiting action on the fiscal cliff.

Those and other events of interest are listed below.

Monday, December 17

Tuesday, December 18

Wednesday, December 19

Wednesday-Thursday, December 19-20


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