What's Happening in Space Policy February 7-12, 2016

What's Happening in Space Policy February 7-12, 2016

Here is our list of space policy events for the week of February 7-12, 2016 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

During the Week

North Korea’s satellite launch last evening (February 6) Eastern Standard Time (today, February 7, local time in North Korea) certainly will be the international space-related story of the week.  The United Nations Security Council will meet in emergency session today to discuss whether additional sanctions should be levied.  The launch violates two U.N. Security Council resolutions —  Resolution 1718 adopted in 2006 and Resolution 1874 adopted in 2009 — designed to discourage North Korea from developing ballistic missiles.

Meanwhile back in D.C., President Obama will submit the final budget request of his Administration to Congress on Tuesday.   The document will be released by the Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) at 11:00 am EST and should be posted on their websites at that time.   DOD, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and NASA are all holding budget briefings during the day.  NASA is using the entire day to showcase its activities at all of its centers around the country.  Called “State of NASA'” day, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden will deliver a State of NASA speech at 1:30 pm EST that will be carried on NASA TV (it is separate from the NASA budget briefing at 5:00 pm EST with NASA Chief Financial Officer Dave Radzanowski).

The release of the budget kicks off congressional hearings on the President’s request.  From a space policy perspective, first up is the Air Force.  SecAF Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh III will appear before the defense subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.

The House Armed Services Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday as well, but it is not budget related.  Instead, it will discuss “Understanding and Deterring Russia.”  There is no way to know in advance whether any of the government or commercial space arrangements we have with Russia or DOD’s space protection efforts will come up (the witnesses are not from the space community), but it is quite possible.  A growing number of U.S. officials cite Russia as the current biggest threat to the United States and its allies both on Earth and in space.

It is shaping up to be an intense week, so it’s good that on Thursday evening there’s something a little more fun to do (other than watching the next Democratic presidential primary debate).  NASA Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green will speak at an AIAA-Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) event at the British Embassy in Washington on the science fiction and science fact in the movie The Martian.

Those and other events we know about as of Sunday morning are listed below.  Check back throughout the week for additions to our Events of Interest list as we learn about others.

Tuesday, February 9

Wednesday, February 10

Wednesday-Thursday, February 10-11

Thursday, February 11

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