Today’s Tidbits: September 15, 2017

Today’s Tidbits: September 15, 2017

Here are Today’s Tidbits for September 15, 2017.  Enjoy!

National Space Council Staffing

Mike Mineiro. Photo Credit: Mineiro’s LinkedIn page.

Mike Mineiro has joined the staff of the White House National Space Council.  He had been Counsel for the Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.

He joins Executive Secretary Scott Pace and, we hear, Jared Stout, who had been in the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (and on the Space Subcommittee staff before that).

We hear that the permanent staff of the Space Council is capped at five people, with additional personnel to be detailed from various agencies.

SASC Rejects Rogers-Cooper Space Corps Proposal

The Senate has been debating the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The House passed its version, H.R 2810,  in July including a provision that would create a Space Corps within the Air Force analogous to the Marine Corps within the Department of the Navy. Though strongly supported by the bipartisan leadership of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Strategic Forces subcommittee, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), and HASC full committee chairman Mac Thornberry (R-TX), it is very controversial.  Among its opponents are the Air Force and the White House.

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) can now be added to the list of opponents.  SASC has its own idea on how to reorganize DOD to better manage its space portfolio — create a Chief Information Warfare Officer (CIWO) with authority over DOD space programs and reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense. That language is in the SASC version of the NDAA (S. 1519) already, but the word today is that SASC has decided to specifically prohibit the use of any funds to create a Space Corps. Rumors are that the language will be sent to the Senate floor on Monday as part of a package of amendments when debate resumes. Expectations are the bill will clear the Senate that day.  The House and Senate then will have to reach a compromise on a final bill.  Should be interesting.

ULA Vandenberg Launch Back on Track

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) has rescheduled the NROL-42 launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA for September 21.  The launch was delayed from its original launch date of September 14 because of Hurricane Irma.  Although Irma was on the East Coast and Vandenberg is on the West Coast, some of ULA’s launch team members were from Florida and needed to be home to help their families prepare for the storm. The classified satellite is being launched for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).

New Publications of Interest

For your weekend reading pleasure:

  • Science Advice to NASA: Conflict, Consensus, Partnership, Leadership, by Joseph K. Alexander.   NASA Monographs in Space History No. 57. NASA-SP-2017-4557.  Available for download from the NASA History office website []. Joe knows a LOT about science advice to NASA from both the inside and the outside.  For many years he led strategic planning for what is now the Science Mission Directorate and later was Director of the Space Studies Board at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
  • Foreign Space Capabilities: Implications for U.S. National Security, by Steve Lambakis, National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP).  Available for download from NIPP.

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