Space Policy Events for the Week of December 16-20, 2013

Space Policy Events for the Week of December 16-20, 2013

The following events may be of interest in the week ahead.   The House will meet only in pro forma session (i.e. no legislative business).  The Senate is in session.

During the Week

The House has essentially gone home for the rest of the year.  All eyes are focused on the Senate to see if it will agree to two bills passed by the House last week without making any changes, the only way they wlll clear Congress this year.  If changes are made, the bills would have to go back to the House for concurrence and they will not be in session (unless something changes and the Speaker calls them back into legislative session).

The two bills are the FY2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and a final budget resolution that would set top level funding limits for FY2014 and FY2015, enabling appropriators to finalize FY2014 funding.  The existing FY2014 Continuing Resolution under which the government is operating expires on January 15.  

Members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees reached agreement on a compromise NDAA last week and the House passed it without changes.  Similarly, members of the House and Senate Budget Committees reached agreement on a compromise budget resolution last week and the House also passed that without changes.  Expectations are that even though the bills are far from perfect in the eyes of both parties, the Senate will follow the House’s lead and pass them.

Meanwhile, NASA continues to troubleshoot the International Space Station’s cooling loop issue and decide whether a spacewalk is needed to fix it and when Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Orb-1 mission should take place.   That mission, Orbital’s first operational launch of the Cygnus cargo spacecraft, is currently scheduled for December 19, but that date could easily change.

As the days count down to holidays and the end of the year, fewer and fewer space policy meetings are on the docket, but activity will pick up immediately after the New Year.   Meanwhile, here’s what we know about for the coming week as of Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, December 17

Tuesday-Thursday, December 17-19

Thursday, December 19 

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