Today’s Tidbits: October 6, 2017

Today’s Tidbits: October 6, 2017

Here are our tidbits for today, October 6, 2017:  a new GAO report on FAA’s space office; JAXA and MEXT invite applications for ISEF-2 side event; and a new CSIS report on the 2nd space age and deterrence.  Be sure to check our website for feature stories and follow us on Twitter (@SpcPlcyOnline) for more news and live tweeting of events.

GAO Report on Stakeholder Views of FAA’s Space Office

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report on “Federal Aviation Administration: Stakeholders’ Perspectives on Potentially Moving the Office of Commercial Space Transportation” (GAO-18-96).  The Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) is currently part of the FAA, which is part of the Department of Transportation (DOT).   Created in 1984, originally AST was part of the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, the top rung of the ladder in DOT.  In 1995, however, it was reassigned to be part of the FAA.   AST advocates argue that AST cannot successfully compete with the rest of the FAA to get the resources it needs to fulfill its mandate of facilitating, promoting and regulating commercial space launch and reentries.  They want AST restored to the Secretary’s office where they expect it to get more attention and, hopefully, more resources.

GAO did not make any recommendations.  The report is just a summary of what it learned by interviewing AST’s stakeholders (commercial launch companies and spaceports) and DOT and FAA officials.   Bottom line — the stakeholders think the office should be moved back to the Secretary’s office, while the DOT and FAA officials (outside of AST) think it should stay where it is.

JAXA and MEXT Open Application Period for Y-ISEF Side Event

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) are offering young professionals and students age 18-35 an opportunity to participate in activities associated with the International Space Exploration Forum-2 (ISEF-2).  Called Y-ISEF, it is a side event to ISEF-2, which will take place on March 3, 2018 in Japan.

The first ISEF was held in Washington, DC in 2014.  The forums bring together Ministers, other high-level officials and the heads of space agencies from around the world to discuss the importance of space and global collaboration.

Y-ISEF is a 4-day (February 28-March 3) side-event to ISEF-2 that will provide a platform for approximately 80 participants to “exchange ideas with visionaries, entrepreneurs and policy makers from around the world in charge of making space policies and forming opinions.”

Applications are due by November 10, 2017,  5:00 pm local time in Japan.  For more information: [].  Note that one must pay for one’s own travel and accommodations.

Escalation and Deterrence in the Second Space Age

That’s the title of a new report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  Authors Todd Harrison, Zack Cooper, Kaitlyn Johnson, and Thomas Roberts posit that the “second space age” began in 1991 with the transition from the Cold War era in space to one marked by growing commercial uses of space and a changed geopolitical landscape on Earth.

They identify its “defining characteristics” as “more diverse, disruptive, disordered and dangerous than the first space age.”

The report  concludes that the United States must work with allies and partners to develop tailored deterrence options appropriate for this era and makes a number of findings in that regard.  Download the report at: [].

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