UPDATE 2: Events of Interest: Week of November 13-19, 2011

UPDATE 2: Events of Interest: Week of November 13-19, 2011

UPDATE 2: The House Rules Committee meeting on the “minibus” appropriations bill on Wednesday has been added, along with the opening of an exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York on Saturday.

UPDATE: USSTRATCOM’s Cyber and Space Symposium on Tuesday-Thursday has been added.

The following events may be of interest in the coming week. For more information, check our calendar on the right menu or click the links below. The House and Senate both are in session this week.

During the Week

This is another “government-shutdown watch” week. The FY2012 Continuing Resolution (CR) that has been keeping the government operating since October 1 expires on Friday. Funding for NASA, NOAA and the FAA (including the Office of Commercial Space Transportation) is included in a package of three appropriations bills (H.R. 2112) that passed the Senate two weeks ago. If agreement can be reached with the House before Friday, those agencies, and the others included in that package, will know their FY2012 funding levels for the rest of the year. Another CR will be needed for all the other agencies (including DOD) in any case.

The November 23 deadline for the supercommittee is fast approaching. How much progress they will make this week is up in the air. Opinions among Washington pundits vary widely as to their chances of success in reaching agreement on how to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years. If they do not, automatic spending cuts are supposed to go into effect, an outcome so dire that it was included in the deal as a deterrent against partisan bickering preventing agreement. Some Members of Congress already are suggesting that the deal be changed if the supercommittee fails, but President Obama said that he would not accept any changes.

Russia’s effort to contact the Phobos-Grunt (Phobos-soil) spacecraft stranded in Earth orbit are expected to continue. The window to Mars closes on November 21. They have that long to determine what went awry shortly after the spacecraft and its Fregat upper stage successfully separated from the Zenit booster last Tuesday. The spacecraft has been silent since. If they cannot resurrect it, the fully fueled Phobos-Grunt would make an uncontrolled reentry sometime in December.

Everyone is hoping for a nominal launch TONIGHT (Sunday) at 11:14 pm EST (Monday morning local time at the launch site in Baikonur) of the next International Space Station crew. The launch of the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft with two Russians and one American aboard a Soyuz rocket was delayed by an August 24 launch failure of a similar Soyuz rocket, but Russian and American space program managers appear confident that the rocket is fit for duty.

Sunday, November 13

Monday, November 14

  • Space Transportation Association seminar on China Space & Cyber Challenges, 2318 Rayburn House Office Building, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm EST (RSVP required — check our calender for more details)
  • ABC TV interview with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly, 10:00 pm EST

Monday-Wednesday, November 14-16

Tuesday, November 15

Tuesday-Wednesday, November 15-16

Tuesday-Thursday, November 15-17

Wednesday, November 16

Thursday, November 17

Friday, November 18

Friday-Saturday, November 18-19

  • National Air & Space Museum (NASM) symposium “Moving Beyond Earth: Innovations in Space,” NASM, 600 Independence Ave., SW, Washington DC
    • Friday night, November 18, 8:00 – 9:00 pm EST, movie “Orphans of Apollo”
    • Saturday, November 19, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm, panel discussions and family activities

Saturday, November 19

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