Space Policy Events for the Week of March 25-29, 2013

Space Policy Events for the Week of March 25-29, 2013

The following events may be of interest in the week ahead.   The House and Senate are in recess for two weeks.

During the Week

The next two weeks are bound to be calmer than the last two, with Congress in recess for the Easter/Passover holidays.   Before leaving, they compromised on a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund government agencies for the rest of this fiscal year (FY2013), and each chamber passed its own budget resolution for the next 10 years (FY2014-2023).   Fiscal issues are far from resolved, but at least agencies know what they need to do for the next several months.

Space policy will continue perking along, however, while members of Congress reconnect with their constituents back home.  Among the events is a talk by Howard McCurdy tomorrow afternoon (Monday) on Low-Cost Innovation in Spacecraft Projects: Boon or Bust?  The university professor is the author of several books about NASA organization and management, including one on the “faster-better-cheaper” philosophy popular during part of NASA Administrator Dan Goldin’s tenure.  McCurdy will speak at the Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab (APL) in Laurel, MD, home to some of those faster-better-cheaper missions.

The Technical Feasibility panel of the National Research Council’s Committee on Human Spaceflight will meet on Wednesday and Thursday in Washington, DC with presentations from NASA as well as entrepreneurial companies like Golden Spike, Planetary Resources, and Bigelow Aerospace, along with the X-Prize Foundation.   Paul Dimotakis and Lou Friedman will brief the panel on the asteroid retrieval study that was done under the auspices of the Keck Institute for Space Studies.

The ISS will continue to be a busy place.   SpaceX’s Dragon will depart from the space station on Tuesday, while the next crew arrives on Thursday.  This will be the first time a crew makes a direct ascent to ISS, docking just six hours after launch instead of the usual two days.

Monday, March 25

Tuesday, March 26

Wednesday-Thursday, March 27-28

Thursday, March 28

  • Soyuz TMA-08M launch (first crew to make direct ascent to ISS), Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan,
    • launch:  4:43 pm ET (3:43 pm Central Time) or 2:43 am March 29 local time at the launch site
    • docking:  10:32 pm ET (9:32 pm CT)
    • hatch opening:  12:10 am March 29 ET (11:10 pm March 28 CT)


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