What’s Happening in Space Policy June 11-17, 2023

What’s Happening in Space Policy June 11-17, 2023

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of June 11-17, 2023 and any insight we can offer about them. The House and Senate are in session this week.

During the Week

With the Fiscal Responsibility Act now in law (P.L. 118-5) suspending the debt limit until after next year’s elections and capping federal spending for the next two years, Congress is moving on to other business. At least trying to. Ultra-conservative House Republicans unhappy with the deal Speaker Kevin McCarthy cut with President Biden held up action on the House floor last week by voting against the Rule to bring several bills before the House for a vote. We’ll see what happens on the House floor this week, but committees are still holding hearings and marking up legislation.

HASC Strategic Forces Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-CO). The subcommittee will markup its portion of the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act on Tuesday.

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) will hold subcommittee markups this week with full committee markup next week on June 21. These markups were supposed to happen last month, but House leadership told the committee to wait until after the Fiscal Responsibility Act was done. SASC also had to delay their markups, which now are scheduled for June 20-21. So both HASC and SASC will be holding their full committee markups on the same day. HASC’s markups are open and full committee markup usually lasts all day and sometimes into the next. SASC’s markups are closed (except for the Personnel Subcommittee). A lot of HASC and SASC Republicans and Democrats — and some who aren’t on the committees — think President Biden’s $886 billion FY2024 request for defense is too low, but the Fiscal Responsibility Act caps it at that amount. Could lead to some interesting debates. HASC’s Strategic Forces subcommittee has jurisdiction over most space issues. That markup is this Tuesday morning, June 13.

Gen. David Thompson, U.S. Space Force Vice Chief of Space Operations, will speak at a Mitchell Institute webinar tomorrow (Monday).

We note that the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Defense Subcommittee will receive a briefing on Tuesday morning about the FY2024 budget request for space capabilities of DOD and the Intelligence Community, but it’s closed. U.S. Space Force’s Vice Chief of Space Operations Gen. David Thompson will be one of the briefers. He’ll also speak at a Mitchell Institute Schriever Spacepower Series webinar tomorrow (Monday).

This is a big week for reauthorizing the FAA, which needs to be done every 5 years. The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation regulates, promotes and facilitates the commercial space launch and reentry business. It’s a small part of FAA’s responsibilities, but crucial for the space program. Except for NASA’s government-owned Space Launch System, every space launch vehicle that lifts off from the United States needs an FAA license.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will mark up its version of the FAA reauthorization bill on Tuesday. The 773-page Securing Growth and Robust Leadership in American Aviation Act (H.R. 3935) doesn’t have a lot about to say about commercial space, but there are sections on spaceports, commercial space transportation statistics, and commercial space transportation accident investigations. The House Science, Space, and Technology (SS&T) Committee has jurisdiction over FAA R&D and will mark up the FAA Research and Development Act (H.R. 3559) on Wednesday. It doesn’t appear to have anything directly related to FAA’s commercial space activities. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee will mark up its version of the FAA reauthorization bill on Thursday. The text is not available yet, so we’ll have to wait to see what it says.

House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-OK). The committee will mark up three bills on Wednesday including a DOE/NASA coordination act.

House SS&T will mark up two other bills on Wednesday including the DOE and NASA Interagency Research Coordination Act (H.R. 2988). The 6-page DOE/NASA bill seems to simply codify into law authority for the two agencies to work together on either a reimbursable or non-reimbursable basis.

Off the Hill, the BIG EVENT this week is the Secure World Foundation’s 5th Summit for Space Sustainability in New York City and online on Tuesday and Wednesday.  It has a really top-notch agenda with speakers including key U.S. and international policymakers like United Nations Under Secretary for Policy Guy Ryder, White House National Security Council Director for Space Policy Audrey Schaffer, Deputy Commander of U.S. Space Command Lt. Gen. John Shaw,  NOAA’s Office of Space Commerce Director Richard DalBello, and a closing spotlight talk by Eric Desautels from the State Department.

The Secure World Foundation’s 5th Summit for Space Sustainability will take place in New York City and online Tuesday-Wednesday, including sessions not only about sustainabiltiy in Earth orbit, but on and around the Moon.

The agenda includes familiar topics like space debris, especially that from antisatellite tests and efforts to get countries to agree to a moratorium on debris-producing ASAT tests, but there is also a strong focus on the financial sector. Maureen Haverty from Seraphim Space will talk about the “Investment Landscape for Space” followed by Erin Smith from Bank of America on “An Introduction to ESG” and a panel — including former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, now with JB Solutions, Inc — on “ESG Innnnn Spaaaace.” Yes, that’s the exact title of the panel.

Space sustainability issues don’t stop at Earth. Wednesday afternoon is all about the Moon with spotlight talks by Matt Daniels from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on “What’s Happening on the Moon in the Next Decade?” and Holly Ridings from NASA on “Space Sustainability & NASA’s Gateway Program” and  panel sessions on “It’s Still Not a Lunar Space Race” and “The Artemis Accords and the Moon Agreement: Living in Harmony?” Sounds really interesting.

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 changes to these.

Monday, June 12

Monday-Friday, June 12-16

Tuesday, June 13

Tuesday-Wednesday, June 13-14

Wednesday, June 14

Wednesday-Friday, June 14-16

Thursday, June 15

Friday, June 16


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.