Today’s Tidbits: March 2, 2018

Today’s Tidbits: March 2, 2018

Here are our tidbits for March 2, 2018:  China’s 2018 launch plans; NASA Acting Chief Scientist Gale Allen is retiring; former NASA AA for Aeronautics Lisa Porter to be Deputy USD/R&E.  Be sure to check our website for feature stories and follow us on Twitter (@SpcPlcyOnline) for more news and live tweeting of events.

Update on China’s Launch Plans

Andrew Jones at reports that China plans to double the number of space launches it has this year compared to last: 32 in 2018 versus 16 last year.  The record for the country is 22 in 2016, he adds, and “Other, expected commercial Chinese launches mean the country could see over 40 orbital launches this year.”  Among them is the first sea launch of Long March 11 from a freighter.  Progress is also being made on a new Long March 8 with a first launch in 2020 (a slip from 2018) and planning for the Saturn V-class Long March 9.

Jones cites Li Hong, president of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, as the source of that information and notes that Li did not mention when the Long March 5 would return to service.   It failed last year during its second launch attempt.  Separately, however, Jones reports that another Chinese space official, Bao Weimin, said the return-to-flight mission will take place in the second half of this year. Click the links in the tweets to read his full stories.

NASA Acting Chief Scientist Gale Allen is Retiring

Gale Allen, Acting NASA Chief Scientist. Credit: NASA

NASA’s Acting Chief Scientist Gale Allen tells that she will retire on April 27, 2018 after 34 years of federal service.  Allen was Deputy Chief Scientist from 2011-2016.  She became Acting when then-NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan left in 2016.

Allen has a B.S. and M.S. in chemistry, an MBA, and a doctorate in business administration with an emphasis on high technology partnerships.  She began her NASA career at Kennedy Space Center as Chief of the Materials and Energy Branch and served as NASA Associate Director of Technology Programs and Commercialization.  At NASA HQ she managed the Bioastronautics Research Program, served as deputy for the Human Systems Research and Technology Program, and Director of the Strategic Integration and Management Division before moving to the Chief Scientist’s office.

No successor has been announced yet.

Lisa Porter Nominated to Be Deputy USD/R&E

Lisa J. Porter. NASA photo (2005). Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

President Trump has nominated Lisa Porter to be Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (Deputy USD/R&E).  She will be the deputy to Mike Griffin who recently became USD/R&E.

Porter was NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate for about three years of Griffin’s tenure as NASA Administrator.  She came to NASA from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  After leaving NASA, she was the first Director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency (IARPA) in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, President of Teledyne Scientific & Imaging, and most recently Executive Vice President and Director of In-Q-Tel Labs (IQT).  She has a bachelor’s in nuclear engineering from MIT and a doctorate in applied physics from Stanford.


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