What's Happening in Space Policy August 11-15, 2014

What's Happening in Space Policy August 11-15, 2014

Here is our list of space policy-related events for August 11-15, 2014 and any insight we can offer about them.  Congress will return on September 8.

During the Week

Lots going on this week, even though it’s August and everyone should be on vacation or getting the kids ready to go back to school (smile)!  Tough to say what’s of greatest interest.  The Comet Siding Spring (C/2013 A1) workshop is definitely on the list.   (Siding Spring is the name of the observatory in Australia where the comet was discovered.)Thanks to the organizers for arranging for it to be livestreamed so anyone can tune in.  The comet will fly within 130,000 kilometers of the Martian surface on October 19 and spacecraft in orbit around or on the surface of Mars should be able to get a close look and  the workshop is to discuss those opportunities. Not TOO close of course!  There’s a bit of concern that systems on orbiting spacecraft could potentially be damaged by the comet’s dust.  NASA’s Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter are in orbit already along with ESA’s Mars Express.  NASA’s newest Mars probe, MAVEN, will arrive just before the comet, as will India’s Mars Orbiting Mission (MOM).  NASA already has been adjusting the orbits of its spacecraft so they will be on the opposite side of Mars during the 20 minute period when the dust is expected to be most intense. 

Michael Lopez-Alegria’s talk at the ISU-DC Space Café on Tuesday evening also should be good.   A former astronaut, he has been President of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) for the past two years and is about to move on to new horizons.  His insights comparing the commercial and government space sectors and dealing with the White House and Congress should be thought provoking.

Those and other events we know about as of Sunday afternoon are listed below.

Monday, August 11

Monday-Tuesday, August 11-12

Monday-Thursday, August 11-14

Tuesday, August 12

Wednesday-Thursday, August 13-14

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