Today’s Tidbits: May 14, 2018

Today’s Tidbits: May 14, 2018

Here are’s tidbits for May 14, 2018: Johnson Space Center gets a new Director; Australia gets a new space agency and interim head.  Be sure to check our website for feature stories and follow us on Twitter (@SpcPlcyOnline) for more news and live tweeting of events.

Johnson Space Center Gets a New Director

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine  announced today that Mark Geyer will become the new Director of Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas as of May 25.  He succeeds Ellen Ochoa, who is retiring.

Geyer was JSC’s Deputy Director until September 30, 2017 when he moved to NASA Headquarters as acting deputy associate administrator for Technical in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.  Geyer has a B.S. in aeronautics engineering and an M.S. in aeronautics from Purdue University.

Australia’s New Space Agency

On May 8, 2018, Australia formalized its decision to establish its own space agency. The Australian Space Agency will open its doors on July 1, 2018.

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull had announced his intent to create a space agency last September as part of a long term plan to grow its domestic space industry.  The Ministry of Industry, Innovation and Science had established an Expert Reference Group to review Australia’s space industry capability and the issue of whether to create a space agency was one of its tasks.

The Reference Group was chaired by Megan Clark, a former head of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and its report was officially released today by the Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator the Hon Michaella Cash.

Today Cash also announced that Clark will be the space agency’s interim head and it will be funded at $26 million over the next four years and able to draw on a pool of $15 million from 2019-2020 to invest in specific international space projects.

The announcement said the Australian Space Agency will have four core responsibilities:

  • support the development of Australia’s space industry so that it can compete effectively in the global space sector
  • coordinate domestic activities in Australia’s space sector
  • engage closely with key stakeholders, including state and territory governments, to identify opportunities to harness industry advantages and create a globally competitive space industry in Australia
  • facilitate international space engagement, both in policy and industry forums, to build the networks needed to develop Australia’s space capability and ensure our industry players can access global supply chains

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