Space Policy Events for the Week of April 8-12, 2013

Space Policy Events for the Week of April 8-12, 2013

The following events may be of interest in the coming week.  The House and Senate both are in session, returning from their Easter/Passover break.

During the Week

The big event this week is the release — at last — of President Obama’s FY2014 budget request.  It will be sent to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, the same day the House Science, Space and Technology Committee has scheduled Part II of the committee’s hearings on Near Earth Objects (NEOs).   Those are asteroids and comets that come close to, and may threaten, Earth.   The President’s budget request reportedly includes funds for NASA to begin work on the idea of capturing an asteroid, moving it into the Earth-Moon system, and sending astronauts to study it.   Such a mission would respond to scientific interest in asteroids, human exploration goals, planetary defense (defending Earth from asteroids or comets that could cause significant destruction), and the plans of a couple of entrepreneurial companies that want to mine asteroids for their raw materials.  A study by the Keck Institute of Space Studies last year estimated it would cost $2.6 billion in FY12 dollars.  The request for FY2014 is said to be about $100 million.

Several congressional hearings are scheduled this week on the budget requests for the Department of Defense (DOD) and, separately, the Department of Commerce (DOC), which manages weather satellites.  The budget request usually is sent to Congress by the President in February and by this time of the year, most of the budget hearings are completed.  Everything is behind schedule this year, though, because of the extended debate over the sequester and funding for the current fiscal year (FY2013).

Monday, April 8

Monday-Thursday, April 8-11

Tuesday, April 9

Wednesday, April 10

Thursday, April 11

Friday, April 12


Note:  The text of this article has been changed to reflect the fact that Wednesday’s hearing on NEOs has been upgraded from a subcommittee hearing to a full committee hearing.

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