What’s Happening in Space Policy July 8-14, 2018

What’s Happening in Space Policy July 8-14, 2018

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of July 8-14, 2018 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

During the Week

AIAA’s annual Propulsion and Energy Forum (#aiaaPropEnergy) takes place tomorrow (Monday) through Wednesday in Cincinnati.   It is chock full of interesting sessions, but one that may receive more attention than usual is the opening keynote by NASA Glenn Research Center Director Janet Kavandi.  A former astronaut, she is in the limelight as NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine’s first choice to become his Deputy.  No announcement along those lines has been made by the White House, but Bridenstine argues that she has all the necessary skill sets — a technical, apolitical, space professional with experience managing a large organization.  Plenary and “Forum 360” sessions will be livestreamed.  Among the other presentations that may be of special interest to the policy community are SLS and Orion-Progress Toward Flight, Energy Solutions for Surviving the Lunar Night, Future of In-Space Propulsion, and Future of Hypersonics R&D.

Late tomorrow afternoon Eastern Daylight Time (which will be Tuesday morning local time at the launch site), Russia will launch the Progress MS-09 (or 70P in NASA parlance) cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).  Once again, Russia will try to use a new two-orbit rendezvous trajectory, with docking at the ISS less than four hours later.  Launch is at 5:51 pm EDT and docking is 9:39 pm EDT.  If this new two-orbit approach works out, they plan to use it for crew and cargo in the future.  Russia has tried this twice before — in October 2017 for Progress MS-07 and in February 2018 for Progress MS-08 — but both launches scrubbed in the last seconds of the countdown when umbilicals did not retract at the correct time.  Will the third time be the charm or is it three strikes and you’re out?

Back in D.C., the annual Future Space 2018 seminar is on Thursday, sponsored by Future Space Leaders.  It kicks off at the Reserve Officers Association (across the street from the Dirksen Senate Office Building) with a speech by Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross at 8:15 am ET (breakfast begins at 7:30 am ET).  Everyone then moves across the street to the Hart Senate Office Building (adjacent to Dirksen) for the rest of the morning, with three excellent panels of experts plus congressional speakers.  Then back to the Reserve Officers Association for lunch and another keynote, that one by NOAA’s Karen St. Germain.

Also on Thursday, the House is scheduled to take up the FY2018-2019 Intelligence Authorization bill, which very recently cleared both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.  Most of what is in the bills is classified.  The National Reconnaissance Office and the National-Geospatial Intelligence Agency are two of the 17 IC agencies whose activities are authorized in the legislation.  The House Rules Committee meets Tuesday to formulate the rule for House consideration of the bill, which is named after Matthew Young Pollard, a Senate Intelligence Committee staffer who died in April.  A copy of the unclassified version of the bill (H.R. 6237) and accompanying report are posted on the Rules Committee’s website.  No hint as to what’s in there re space.

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, July 9 EDT (July 10 local time at the launch site)

Monday-Wednesday (July 9-11)

Tuesday, July 10

Thursday, July 12

Friday, July 13



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