What’s Happening in Space Policy August 5-31, 2018

What’s Happening in Space Policy August 5-31, 2018

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the next FOUR weeks, August 5-31, 2018, and any insight we can offer about them.  The House is in recess throughout this period.  The Senate is in recess until August 15. (Except for pro forma sessions, of course.)

During the Weeks

The dog days of August have finally arrived in Washington, DC, with the House in recess until after Labor Day, the Senate taking an abbreviated break until August 15, and the usual heat and humidity replacing the abnormally rainy skies.

The action this week is out in Logan, Utah at the 32nd annual SmallSat Confererence.  Pre-conference workshops started yesterday, but the main conference begins tomorrow (Monday) and runs through Thursday.  The conference will be livestreamed.   There are many “side meetings” — including all of Monday morning — on a broad variety of fascinating topics.  Remember that times on the agenda are in Mountain Time (two hours behind Eastern).

Not that everyone else can go on vacation.  The “GPS” advisory board — formally the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Advisory Board — meets via telecon tomorrow; the Lunar Polar Volatiles conference takes place Tuesday-Thursday in Laurel, MD; and on Friday, the Mitchell Institute will have a breakfast meeting in D.C. with Gen. Paul Selva talking about  “Nuclear Deterrence, Missile Defense, and Space: Paths Forward.”

Also, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine will release the mid-term review of the planetary science Decadal Survey on Tuesday.  We haven’t seen that there is an event associated with it, but the report will be made available publicly that day.  Decadal Surveys are produced by expert committees under the auspices of the Academies every 10 years (a decade) for each of NASA’s science disciplines.  Half way through each decade the Academies perform a mid-term review to assess the progress NASA is or is not making in implementing its recommendations.

If all goes according to plan, NASA will launch the Parker Solar Probe on Saturday, August 11.  NASA just extended the launch window for four more days, to August 23, so stay tuned in case there are further launch delays. The launch time on August 11 is 3:48 am ET, a bit early on the East Coast, but it’s riding a Delta IV Heavy so should be quite a show for anyone able to be near Cape Canaveral in person or even just watching it on NASA TV.

Coming up later in the month (August 23-26) is the Mars Society’s annual convention.  This year it is in Pasadena, CA.  The theme is Mars and the Space Revolution. The Thursday evening (August 23) debate on “Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway: Breakthrough or Boondoggle” looks especially provocative. Unfortunately the online program doesn’t indicate who will be debating the issue.  These debates are usually webcast, though the convention’s website does not explicitly say so.

That’s at 8:30 pm Pacific Time, or 11:30 pm Eastern, a little late, but that’s good because August 23 seems to be a popular date with two other interesting events that afternoon and evening in D.C.  The National Air and Space Museum and IDA’s Science and Technology Policy Institute will hold the next Space Policy and History Forum from 4:00-5:30 pm ET with a terrific panel discussing “The Space Force in Historical Context.” Then from 6:00-8:00 pm ET, the Secure World Foundation and the Young Professionals in Foreign Policy will have a reception where space policy professionals from many walks of life will share career experiences and advice on a panel entitled “It’s Not Just Rocket Science: Careers in Space Policy.”  And then, assuming it’s webcast, everyone can watch the Mars Society debate!

Those and other events we know about as Sunday, August 5, are shown below.  Check back throughout the weeks for others we learn about and add to our Calendar.

Sunday-Thursday, August 5-9

Monday, August 6

Tuesday-Thursday, August 7-9

Friday, August 10

Saturday, August 11

Thursday-Friday, August 16-17

Monday, August 20 – Friday August 31

Tuesday, August 21

Thursday, August 23

August 23-26


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