What's Happening in Space Policy January 3-8, 2016

What's Happening in Space Policy January 3-8, 2016

Here is our list of space policy related events for the week of January 3-8, 2016 and any insight we can offer about them.  The 114th Congress 2nd session convenes this week and the House meets for legislative business (the Senate returns to work next week).

During the Week

Washington gets back to work this week with the President returning from his Christmas vacation in Hawaii and the House and Senate officially convening for the 2nd session of the 114th Congress tomorrow (Monday).  The “official” convening is only in pro forma session, though.  The real work begins for the House on Tuesday and for the Senate on January 11.  No space-related hearings are on the committee schedules posted as of now.

Outside of Washington, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) annual meeting in Kissimmee, FL and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) SciTech 2016 conference in San Diego promise to be full of interesting sessions on space science, engineering and policy.   The AAS offers real-time webcasts only of press conferences and those are only for registered journalists, so the Town Hall meetings with NASA and NSF, for example, will not be available remotely from AAS at least.  If we hear of any other organization providing livestreaming, we’ll post it on our Events of Interest list.

AIAA, on the other hand, generously offers livestreaming for many of its key sessions, including one tomorrow (Monday) that features former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin along with a stellar panel of other government, former government, and non-government experts.  The topic is “Aerospace Science and Technology Policy in the 2016 Political Arena” and two of the other panelists — Courtney Stadd and Mark Albrecht — are veterans of the White House National Space Council during the Bush/Quayle years (among their many other government and non-government positions).   It wouldn’t be surprising if someone asks the perennial question of whether whoever becomes the next president should reinstate the Space Council, which still exists in law, but has not been staffed or funded since the end of the Bush/Quayle term.

Remember that all the times posted on the AIAA livestream list are in Pacific Standard Time (PST).  Add three for Eastern Standard Time (EST).  That panel is at 8:00 am PST/11:00 am EST. 

Two other especially interesting sessions tomorrow are the Durand Lecture for Public Service by Ron Sega at 12:30 pm PST/3:30 pm EST and a panel moderated by Michael Moloney of the Space Studies Board and Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. (What a mouthful!  It sure was easier when we could say National Research Council.)  That panel is on “Research Enabling and Enabled by a Cis-Lunar One-Year Mission” and begins at 2:00 pm PST/5:00 pm EST.  Several other interesting lectures and sessions also will be webcast throughout the week.

Those and other events we know about as of Sunday morning are listed below.  Check back throughout the week for anything we learn about later and add to our Events of Interest list on our main page.

Sunday-Monday, January 3-4

  • ExoPAG, Kissimmee, FL (in conjunction with the AAS meeting)

Monday-Friday, January 4-8

  • American Astronomical Society annual meeting, Kissimmee, FL, includes meetings of NASA’s three astrophysics Program Analysis Groups (PAGs) – ExoPAG, COPAG, PhysPAG
  • AIAA SciTech 2016, San Diego, CA (key sessions will be livestreamed)

Tuesday, January 5

  • First legislative business day for the House of Representatives, 114th Congress, 2nd session

Thursday, January 7

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