What’s Happening in Space Policy February 3-9, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy February 3-9, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of February 3-9, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate will be in session this week.

During the Week

From a national standpoint, the highlight of the week may be the rescheduled State of the Union address by President Trump on Tuesday night.  Not sure if anything will come up about space (though Space Force is one of the President’s favorite topics), but the high stakes political drama over the just-ended shutdown and the possibility of a new one come February 15 should make this interesting.

Another event that was postponed by the shutdown was NASA’s annual Day of Remembrance for fallen astronauts including the Apollo 1, space shuttle Challenger and space shuttle Columbia crews.  It has been rescheduled for Thursday.  Top NASA officials including Administrator Jim Bridenstine will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery, and the Astronauts Memorial Foundation and Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at the Space Mirror Memorial.

The House and Senate committees that oversee NASA and NOAA and set space policy continue their organizational activities to get ready for the 116th Congress.  The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee each meet Wednesday morning.

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and the House Appropriations Defense (HAC-D) Subcommittee are off and running already.  Each will hold hearings on Wednesday on broad issues about worldwide threats.  Space capabilities may get a mention.  We won’t know what’s said at HAC-D, though — it’s a closed hearing.  At SASC, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and and DIA Director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, Jr. will testify.

Also on Wednesday, Iridium will make a “major announcement” at a livestreamed press conference at the National Press Club.  The company just completed a total replacement of its 66-satellite (plus spares) constellation and will offer a new L-band broadband service, Iridium Certus.

Outside of D.C., the 4th SmallSat Symposium takes place in Mountain View, CA and Women in Space 2019 in Scottsdale, AZ.  The former (Monday-Thursday) features industry leaders who will “gather to share the latest trends and collaborate on new developments.” The latter (Thursday-Friday) is an expansion of the Women in Planetary Science 2018 conference held last year in Toronto and will “highlight the achievements of women and non-binary researchers.”

Those and other events we know about as of Sunday morning are shown below.  Check back throughout the week for others we learn about later and add to our calendar.

Monday-Thursday. February 4-7

Tuesday, February 5

Wednesday, February 6

Thursday, February 7

Thursday-Friday, February 7-8

Friday, February 8


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