Today’s Tidbits: September 24, 2017

Today’s Tidbits: September 24, 2017

Here are our tidbits for today, September 24, 2017.  Be sure to check our website for feature-length stories and follow us on Twitter (@SpcPlcyOnline) for more news and live tweeting of space policy events.

“Mighty Atlas” Roars Again

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched the National Reconnaissance Office’s NROL-42 satellite early this morning (or late last night for those of you on the west coast) on an Atlas V rocket.  Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, Commander of Air Force Space Command, tweeted a photo of what some affectionately call “Mighty Atlas” sending the satellite into orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA:

It was ULA’s 121st successful launch out of 121 attempts — a 100% mission success rate for ULA’s Atlas V and Delta IV rockets.  Created in 2006, ULA is owned 50/50 by Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

Gallaudet Nominated to be NOAA Deputy Administrator

RDML Timothy Gallaudet. Photo credit: U.S. Navy

On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a nomination hearing for four Trump nominees, including Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet (Ret.) to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, which would also make him Deputy Administrator of NOAA.   (A new NOAA Administrator has not been nominated yet.)

The 32-year Navy veteran was nominated on September 2 (the same day Jim Bridenstine was nominated to be NASA Administrator).  He just retired last month as Oceanographer of the Navy, Navigator of the Navy, and Commander of the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command. He has a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s and doctorate in oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Anthony Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), praised the nomination saying Gallaudet’s experience will help “advance the nation’s weather prediction capabilities” and “his knowledge of Earth system science and his ability to align that science with budget and programs” is essential. See more from Busalacchi at: []

The Senate committee has not yet posted Gallaudet’s responses to its pre-hearing questionnaire so Gallaudet’s views on NOAA’s satellite programs are TBA.


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