Events of Interest: Week of May 14-19, 2012 – UPDATE

Events of Interest: Week of May 14-19, 2012 – UPDATE

UPDATE:  The House Appropriations Committee’s markup of the FY2013 defense appropriations bill on Thursday has been added.

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

During the Week

The House is scheduled to debate the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act that funds DOD space programs among many other items.  The House Rules Committee will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday to write the rule for that debate, with consideration of the bill (H.R. 4310) expected to begin on Wednesday.

On the NASA front, three new International Space Station (ISS) crew members are due to be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 11:01 pm Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Monday, May 14 (May 15 at the launch site in Kazakhstan).  If all goes according to plan, they will dock on May 16 to join the three crew members already there and barely have time to unpack before preparing for arrival of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft.  SpaceX and NASA are once again gearing up for the much anticipated second SpaceX test launch as part of the commercial cargo program.   It is scheduled for the wee hours of Saturday (May 14) morning — 4:55 am  EDT– from Cape Canaveral, FL.   The launch has been postponed a number of times, and SpaceX reserved May 22 as a backup date in case anything goes awry between now and Saturday.  Assuming things go well, however, the Falcon 9 rocket will deliver the Dragon spacecraft carrying supplies for the ISS crew to orbit.  After a series of test maneuvers over several days, where go-no go decisions will be made repeatedly, Dragon will move close to the ISS and be grappled by the ISS crew on Day 4 using Canada’s robotic arm and brought in to berth at the ISS.  SpaceX released a press kit last week with a detailed timeline of events.

Monday, May 14

Tuesday, May 15

Tuesday-Wednesday, May 15-16 

Wednesday, May 16

  • House begins debate on H.R. 4310, FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act, time TBD.  Watch on C-Span.

Wednesday-Friday, May 16-18

Thursday, May 17

Saturday, May 19

Editor’s Note:  The correct local time for the Soyuz TMA-04M launch is 9:01 am May 15 in Kazakhstan, rather than 10:01 am as earlier reported.  It was correctly stated as May 14, 11:01 pm EDT or 10:01 pm CDT.

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