Impending Snowstorm Postpones House Hearing on Asteroids, SSB Meeting to be Webcast

Impending Snowstorm Postpones House Hearing on Asteroids, SSB Meeting to be Webcast

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s hearing on meteors and comets that was scheduled for tomorrow, March 6, has been postponed because of an impending snowstorm.  Separately, sessions of the National Research Council’s Space Studies Board’s (SSB’s) “Space Science Week” meeting scheduled for tomorrow will go on as scheduled, but the SSB has arranged a webcast for people who do not want to brave snow-snarled traffic.

Many of you in parts of the country accustomed to snowstorms undoubtedly will be amused that the Washington, DC area is already calling off events before the first snowflake falls and only 3-7 inches are forecast for the immediate DC area.  However, such is the way of snowstorms in this area that routinely bring traffic on the highways and on our Metro rapid transit system to a halt.  Enough commuters have spent enough 6 to 8 to 10 hour waits stuck on highways or Metro trains that the mere mention of snow makes most rational non-essential people stay home.

The hearing was to feature Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren, Air Force Space Command Commander William Shelton, and NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden discussing how the nation is working to ameliorate threats from asteroids (or meteors as they are called once they enter the atmosphere) and comets.   This was billed as Part I, so the hearing very likely will be rescheduled.

Meanwhile, the SSB’s Space Science Week will begin as scheduled at the National Academy of Sciences building on Constitution Avenue, but the SSB managed to arrange a webcast for people who don’t want to try and make it there to attend in person.   Instructions on how to view the webcast is posted on the SSB website along with an agenda.   It is a three-day meeting of the SSB’s four standing committees that span the range of space science disciplines:  the Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (a joint committee with the Board on Physics and Astronomy), the Committee on Solar and Space Physics, the Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science, and the Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space.

Editor’s note:  an earlier version of this article did not include the term non-essential for those people who brave snowstorms in Washington.  There are lots of essential people who have no choice and we meant no disrespect. 

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