Today’s Tidbits: April 10, 2018

Today’s Tidbits: April 10, 2018

Here are our tidbits for April 10, 2018:  international team writing Woomera Manual on International Law of Military Space Operations; JAXA gets new President; NASA gets new Chief Scientist.  Be sure to check our website for feature stories and follow us on Twitter (@SpcPlcyOnline) for more news and live tweeting of events.

Woomera Manual on International Law of Military Space Operations

Australia’s University of Adelaide and UNSW Canberra, the U.K.’s University of Exeter, and the U.S. University of Nebraska College of Law are drafting the Woomera Manual on International Law of Military Space Operations. They expect to complete it in 2020. The founding leaders are Professor Melissa de Zwart and Professor Dale Stephens (Adelaide), Professor Rob McLaughlin (UNSW Canberra), Professor Michael Schmitt (Exeter), and Professor Jack Beard (Nebraska Law).

Beard  said the manual will be drafted in the “full tradition” of other similar manuals such as the Sam Remo Manual on Naval Warfare, the Harvard Manual on Air and Missile Warfare, and the Tallinn Manuals for cyber operations and warfare.

“Conflict in outer space is not a case of ‘if’ but ‘when,” de Zwart asserted, hence the need for the manual.  She is the Dean of the Adelaide Law School at the University of Adelaide.  Read more at: [].

Woomera, in Southern Australia, was the site of Australia’s first indigenous space launch in 1967 of the WRESAT satellite on a Sparta rocket, a derivative of the U.S. Redstone.  The United Kingdom also launched its own first satellite, Prospero, on its own rocket, Black Brant, from Woomera in 1971.  More recently, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) used Woomera as the landing site for its Hayabusa asteroid sample return mission in 2010.

JAXA Gets New President

Hiroshi Yamakawa, President of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). Credit: JAXA

Speaking of JAXA, it got a new President and other officials on April 1, the beginning of the Japanese fiscal year.  Hiroshi Yamakawa is JAXA’s new President, succeeding Naoki Okumura, who completed his 5-year term.

Yamakawa has extensive experience in the aerospace sector.  He received a PhD in engineering from the Department of Aeronautics at the University of Tokyo.  He then worked at the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS, now part of JAXA), was a Visiting Scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the JAXA Project Manager for the ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission to Mercury, a professor at Kyoto University, and then in the Japanese Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office as Secretary General of the Secretariat of Strategic Headquarters for Space Policy.

In a statement, he said his “vision” for JAXA has two elements: creating a “world where our research and development outcomes are fully utilized and take root” in society and for JAXA to initiate “challenging research and development that opens up new horizons in the field of aerospace.”  In the latter context, he added that “it is important to align our work with the international discussions on lunar exploration” that took place at the International Space Exploration Forum-2 (ISEF-2) held in Tokyo on March 3.

Among the other new executives is JAXA astronaut Koichi Wakata, who is now Vice President and Director General for JAXA’s Human Spaceflight Technology Directorate.  Wakata flew on four space shuttle missions and a long-duration mission on the International Space Station (ISS) where he was the first Japanese to command the ISS.  He has accumulated more than 347 days in space so far.

NASA Gets New Chief Scientist

NASA announced today that Jim Green will become NASA’s new Chief Scientist on May 1.  He is currently Director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division (PSD) in the Science Mission Directorate (SMD).  Green succeeds Ellen Stofan, who left in 2016 (and is about to become Director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum), and Gale Allen, who has been acting chief scientist since then, but is retiring.  Green’s deputy, Lori Glaze, will be acting PSD Director.

Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said Green “brings a variety of scientific research experience and planetary exploration expertise … that will allow him to hit the ground running with great enthusiasm and engagement.”

SMD Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen noted that Green is “one of the most enthusiastic advocates of science I have ever known.”

Indeed, Green has a reputation for indefatigable cheerfulness and optimism, which will serve him well in his new role as principal advisor to the Administrator and other senior officials on agency science programs, strategic planning, science policy, and the evaluation of related investments.

Green received a PhD in space physics from the University of Iowa and began his NASA career in 1980 at Marshall Space Flight Center where he developed and managed the Space Physics Analysis Network.  He moved to Goddard Space Flight Center in 1985 where he was the head of the National Space Science Data Center, and later Chief of the Science Proposal Support Office and co-investigator and Deputy Project Scientist for the Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration (IMAGE) mission.  He became PSD Division Director at Headquarters in 2006.

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