What's Happening in Space Policy July 6-10, 2015

What's Happening in Space Policy July 6-10, 2015

Here is our list of space policy related events for the week of July 6-10, 2015 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week (starting on Tuesday).

During the Week

NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto went into safe mode yesterday, just 10 days away from its closest encounter with Pluto after a nearly 10 year journey.  Keeping up to date on efforts to remedy that situation and on SpaceX’s progress in determining the cause of its Falcon 9 failure on June 28 certainly will be key topics to follow this week.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 was taking supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) crew and the good news is that a Russian Progress cargo spacecraft safely docked very early this morning Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).  Still, ensuring effective operations on ISS to achieve the scientific research that is its raison d’être is a hot topic that will be addressed at a major conference in Boston and on Capitol Hill this week.

From Tuesday-Thursday, the American Astronautical Society (AAS) will hold its fourth annual conference on ISS R&D in collaboration with NASA and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS).  This year’s conference is in Boston. (A pre-conference user workshop featuring NASA astronaut Cady Coleman and an opening reception will be held tomorrow). 

The  morning sessions each day will be webcast.   Of the conference’s many sessions, those likely of most interest to the policy community that will be webcast are the following:

  • Tuesday
    • Mike Suffredini, NASA ISS Program Manager  (8:15-8:30 am ET)
    • Elon Musk, SpaceX founder, CEO and Lead Designer (8:30 – 9:30 am ET)
    • Panel with Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA AA for Human Exploration and Operations; Mark Sirangelo, Sierra Nevada Space Systems Corporate Vice President; Rob Ferl, University of Florida Director of Interdisciplinary Center for Biotechnology Research; and Mary Lynne Dittmar, CASIS Senior Policy Advisor, moderator  (9:45 – 11:00 am ET)
  • Wednesday
    • Panel with Jeff Bingham, former Senate staffer; Sam Scimemi, NASA ISS Program Director; John Shannon, Boeing ISS Program Manager; Frank Culbertson, Orbital ATK Space Systems Group President; Jeff Manber, NanoRacks Managing Director; and Janice Hess, Teledyne Brown Engineering Segment, President, Engineered Systems (9:30-11:00 am ET)
  • Thursday
    • Panel with Dava Newman, NASA Deputy Administrator; Ellen Stofan, NASA Chief Scientist; David Miller, NASA Chief Technologist; and Mary Lynne Dittmar, CASIS Senior Policy Advisor, moderator (8:15-9:45 am ET)

On Friday, action shifts to Washington where the Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing at 9:00 am ET on “International Space Station:  Addressing Operational Challenges.”  Witnesses include Gerstenmaier, Boeing’s John Elbon, NASA Inspector General Paul Martin, and GAO’s Shelby Oakley.

Those and other events we know about as of Sunday morning are listed below.

Tuesday-Thursday, July 7-9  (with pre-conference activities on Monday, July 6)

Friday, July 10



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