Space Policy Events for the Week of December 2-6, 2013

Space Policy Events for the Week of December 2-6, 2013

This article has been corrected since its original publication.  See note at end.

The following events may be of interest in the week ahead.  The House is in session.  The Senate is in recess, scheduled to return next week.

During the Week

Tomorrow (Monday), the House is scheduled to vote on the bill (H.R. 3547) to extend third party liability indemnification for one year.  It is the first of three bills to be considered under suspension of the rules.  The House meets at 2:00 pm ET, but votes are postponed until 6:00 pm.

Also tomorrow, SpaceX may try again to launch the SES-8 communications satellite.   Three attempts on Monday, November 25,  and two on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) didn’t succeed for various reasons.   The company has not officially announced a new launch date and time, saying only that Monday is the earliest it will go.   The launch window is open from 5:41 – 7:07 pm ET if they are, indeed, ready to try again.  A lot is riding on the success of this launch.

Also during the week, hopefully members of the budget conference committee will be trying to find a solution to the nation’s deficit situation so the FY2014 budget, at least, can be finalized even if they cannot reach agreement on a long term solution.   Whatever hope there was — and it wasn’t much — is fading, however, as the committee’s December 13 deadline nears.  December 13 is also the last day the House is scheduled to be in session for this year.   Since the Senate does not return until December 9, there is little time for anything to happen.  The current Continuing Resolution expires on January 15, 2014, the day that another round of sequester cuts takes effect if Congress does not act to stop it.   The story hasn’t changed — no one likes the sequester, but no agreement appears achievable on an alternative because Democrats want to reduce the deficit through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases while Republicans want only spending cuts. 

Many House committees are holding hearings on Obamacare this week, but the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will have one on a more uplifting subject — astrobiology — on Wednesday.

Those and other events we know of as of Sunday afternoon are listed below.

Monday, December 2

Tuesday, December 3

Tuesday-Wednesday, December 3-4

  • NAC Science Committee, NASA HQ, Washington, DC
    • December 3, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm ET
    • December 4, 8:30 am – 3:00 pm ET

Wednesday, December 4

Wednesday-Thursday, December 4-5

Thursday, December 5

Friday, December 6

 CORRECTION:  In an earlier version, we mistakenly listed the WSBR luncheon with Stephane Israel for December 4.  Instead it was December 3.  Our apologies.

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