Space Policy Events for the Week of March 4-8, 2013

Space Policy Events for the Week of March 4-8, 2013

The following events may be of interest in the week ahead.  The House and Senate will be in session.

During the Week

Government agencies, including NASA, NOAA and DOD, will start implementing the sequester this week.  Washington politicians failed to reach agreement on an alternative to reducing the deficit, so the blunt force “meat-axe” across-the-board spending cuts that were never supposed to happen did happen nonetheless.   For FY2013, the fiscal year that is already underway, NASA and NOAA were cut 5 percent and DOD 7.8 percent, although the effective rates are 9 percent and 13 percent since the cuts must be absorbed in just seven months instead of 12.  

According to a March 1, 2013 Office of Management and Budget report to Congress, NASA will lose $896 million in FY2013 funding compared to its total budget of about $17.8 billion.  We updated our fact sheet on NASA’s FY2013 budget, including adding a table showing how much each of NASA’s budget accounts will be cut.  NOAA will lose $266 million from the two budget accounts that fund its satellite programs.   DOD does not have a “space” budget so understanding the effect on national security space programs is extremely difficult.  Perhaps the Marshall Institute/TechAmerica panel discussion on Thursday will shed some light on that.

Whether the White House and Congress continue discussions on alternates to the sequester this week remains to be seen.   The next critical fiscal deadline is March 27 when the Continuing Resolution that is currently funding the government expires.  It may be that the politicians combine negotiations on the sequester and what to do about funding the rest of FY2013.  Time will tell.

Meanwhile, the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will turn its attention to the threats posed by asteroids (or meteors, once they enter the atmosphere) and comets at a hearing on Wednesday.  That and other events of interest are listed below.

Tuesday, March 5

Wednesday, March 6

Wednesday-Friday, March 6-8

  • National Research Council (NRC) Space Science Week, National Academy of Sciences building, 2101 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC (NOTE THAT THE MEETINGS ARE NOT AT THE KECK CENTER ON 5TH STREET WHERE SUCH MEETINGS OFTEN TAKE PLACE)

    The NRC’s four space science discipline committees will meet jointly and separately over the course of the three days

    • Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science
    • Committee on Earth Science and Applications from Space
    • Committee on Solar and Space Physics

Thursday, March 7

Friday, March 8

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