What’s Happening in Space Policy January 13-19, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy January 13-19, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of January 13-19, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are scheduled to be in session this week.

During the Week

Not much new to say about the partial government shutdown, which affects NASA and NOAA, but not DOD.  As we said last week, it will end when the politicians who are using the immigration issue to solidify their bases as the 2020 presidential election looms determine they are losing more political points than they are winning.  Three weeks into the shutdown it still does not appear that the fate of 800,000 federal workers who are not getting paid, the programs that are suspended, or the estimated $1.2 billion per week lost in economic activity, are of sufficient import to make a difference to the key people who could solve the problem in minutes if they wished.

UPDATE:  Not all of the government is closed because of the shutdown; some have their FY2019 appropriations already.  On Monday, January 14, however, all federal offices in the Washington, DC area will be closed because of the snowstorm we had this weekend.  See OPM’s website for details and the effect on furloughed employees.

More events are being cancelled because government officials cannot participate.  We know of two in D.C. on Tuesday:  the Maryland Space Business Roundtable luncheon where Karen St. Germain of NOAA was scheduled to speak, and a JAXA seminar on U.S.-Japanese aerospace cooperation.  If you were planning to go to either — never mind.  More cancellations may be forthcoming if the shutdown doesn’t end soon.  (And that, of course, is part of the economic impact — caterers, hotels, taxis and ride-share operators, who are losing money.)

That’s not to say the calendar is empty. Events are taking place here and overseas.

In a few hours, China will hold a press conference to discuss the Chang’e-4 lander that set down on the lunar farside on January 2 Eastern Standard Time (EST).  It will be livestreamed on CGTN (China Global Television News — cgtn.com).  It’s at 3:00 pm Monday in Beijing, so 2:00 am EST.

On Tuesday night, the Space Transportation Association will start off the year with a reception on Capitol Hill featuring Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).  The Senate Commerce Committee is restructuring its subcommittee jurisdictions this year (a committee Executive Session is scheduled for Wednesday to officially approve them) and he will chair the “Aviation and Space” subcommittee.  It will have jurisdiction over NASA and the FAA and share drones with other subcommittees.  STA events are by invitation only so contact STA President Rich Coleman for more information.

On Wednesday, ESA Director General Jan Woerner will hold his annual press breakfast.  It will be livestreamed. Like the Chinese press conference, it’s in the wee overnight hours for those of us on the East Coast, 3:00 am ET, but ESA usually has the webcast available on its website in short order so one can watch at a more convenient hour.  Always a good way to catch up on what ESA is doing and its plans for the future.

Also on Wednesday, here in D.C., the Transportation Research Board (TRB) will have three sessions on commercial space transportation at its annual meeting.  If the shutdown remains ongoing, the FAA speakers probably will not be there.  FAA is part of the Department of Transportation, another affected department.  The topics are timely and most of the speakers are from industry, academia or FFRDCs, however, so the sessions should be quite interesting anyway.

The Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute has an event scheduled where Under Secretary of the Air Force Matt Donovan will talk about the Future of the Air Force.  DOD is not affected by the shutdown — it got its FY2019 appropriations in September — so presumably that will take place as scheduled on Friday, but check to be sure.

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 (or note a cancellation).

Sunday, January 13

Monday, January 14

Tuesday, January 15

Wednesday, January 16

Friday, January 18


Note: This article has been updated.



User Comments

SpacePolicyOnline.com has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.