Today’s Tidbits: November 22, 2021

Today’s Tidbits: November 22, 2021

Here are’s tidbits for November 22, 2021: GWU Space Policy Institute seeks Assistant Professor; Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson to retire; a great view of Ingenuity on Mars.  Be sure to check our website for feature stories and follow us on Twitter (@SpcPlcyOnline) for more news and live tweeting of events.

GWU Space Policy Institute Seeks Assistant Professor

Scott Pace, Director, Space Policy Institute, George Washington University.

The Space Policy Institute (SPI) at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs is seeking a tenure track Assistant Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs to join the faculty. Review of applications will begin on December 13 and the start date for the position is August 2022.

SPI was established in 1987 under the leadership of John Logsdon, whom many consider to be the unofficial “dean” of space policy having written the seminal space policy book “Decision to Go to the Moon” in 1970 early in his career at GWU (he’s written several others since). Logsdon is now Professor Emeritus and this position essentially is for his replacement.

Scott Pace took over as Director of SPI in 2008. He took a leave of absence from 2017-2020 to serve as Executive Secretary of the Trump White House’s National Space Council and returned to SPI in January 2021. During his absence, Henry Hertzfeld was SPI Director. This new Assistant Professor will join them.

A Ph.D. or equivalent degree in a field relevant to space policy, including a social science, natural or physical science, engineering, business, law, public policy, or other field is required.  More information is on GWU’s website.

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson To Retire

Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas)

House Science, Space, and Technology Committe Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) has announced that she will not run for reelection next year. She has represented her Dallas, TX district for almost 30 years and is the first woman and the first African-American to chair the House SS&T Committee.

Johnson, 85,  is a strong NASA supporter, calling the agency “one of the crown jewels of the nation’s R&D enterprise, and equally importantly, it is a source of inspiration for our young people.”  But she does not always agree with the direction the agency is taking. An advocate for human spaceflight, she nonetheless is skeptical of Administration claims (first Trump, now Biden) that humans can return to the Moon as quickly as they are saying and she is less enthuasiastic than they are about Public-Private Partnerships, especially for the Human Landing System (HLS). She reportedly believes such an essential component of the effort to return to the Moon should be owned by the government.

She also is advocate for NOAA’s satellite programs and many other areas of science, especially STEM education.

She will remain in Congress and chairwoman of the committee through the end of the 117th Congress on January 3, 2023.  She is the 16th Democrat to announce a decision not to run for reelection.

A Great View of Ingenuity on Mars

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter continues to make flights on Mars as a scout for the Perseverance rover.  Designed for just five test flights, the tiny (1.8 kilogram/4 pound) helicopter did so well it was given a new operational mission and has tripled that number.

On its 13th flight, Perservance recorded the best video of Ingenuity in flight that we’ve seen so far because it such a long flight — 160.5 seconds. NASA just released the video on November 18 even though the flight took place on September 4 and two more flights have taken place since.

On the flight in the video, Ingenuity rose to an altitude of 26 feet (8 meters). Perseverance was 300 meters (328 yards) away.

NASA said in the November 18 press release that Ingenuity was getting ready for its next flight on a date no earlier than November 20. As of midnight November 21, NASA had not posted any information about whether Flight 16 has taken place yet, but here is the log for the first 15 flights.



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