What’s Happening in Space Policy June 14-20, 2020

What’s Happening in Space Policy June 14-20, 2020

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of June 14-20, 2020 and any insight we can offer about them.  The Senate is in session this week.  The House is in a Committee Work Day period.

During the Week

Action on Capitol Hill remains pretty quiet as far as the space program goes.  The Senate Armed Services Committee marked up its version of the FY2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) last week, and its House counterpart, HASC, will begin the process next week, but the hearings that are taking place are on other topics.  The Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government has a hearing this week on FCC Spectrum Auctions that could touch on satellite issues, but there’s no guarantee.  We’ve listed it just in case.

For those of you keeping track of the House schedule, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer amended the calendar for June to add more days in session so the House can consider the Justice in Policing Act. The House will return for legislative action on June 25 instead of June 30, adding three days (June 25, 26 and 29) for debate and votes.  It will continue to meet on July 1 and 2 as planned.  Some appropriations bills might be ready by then. HASC will hold full committee markup of the NDAA on July 1 and it MIGHT go quickly to the floor.  These are unprecedented times so history is no guide. (The NDAA likely will see Senate floor action first. A vote to begin that process is expected this week.)

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) will give a virtual talk to the Maryland Space Business Roundtable (MSBR) tomorrow (Monday) at lunchtime (12:00-12:30 pm ET).  It had been scheduled as an in-person meeting months ago, but MSBR changed it to a virtual event in keeping with the times.  It will be livestreamed on NASA/Goddard’s website. Perhaps he will offer some insight as to what to expect, and when, in Congress.

The NSF-NASA-DOE Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee is meeting via teleconference at the same time, though that runs all afternoon.  NASA’s Paul Hertz speaks at 2:00 pm ET and the co-chairs of the Astro2020 Decadal Survey, Fiona Harrison and Rob Kennicutt, will give an update at 3:00 pm ET.

Other virtual events this week include two where former National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) Director Robert Cardillo will discuss the intelligence community’s use of commercial satellite imagery. He’ll talk with Robbie Schingler of Planet on Tuesday and Jamie Morin of the Aerospace Corporation on Thursday.

The National Academies will hold a two-day Space Weather Operations and Research Infrastructure workshop, the first of a two-part event to consider options for continuity and future enhancements of the U.S. space weather operational and research infrastructure.  Part II of the workshop is scheduled for September 10-11. Note that times on the agenda are in Mountain Daylight Time (add two for EDT), probably because NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center is in Boulder, CO and several of the speakers are there.   The workshop is chock full of top level speakers from U.S. government agencies and companies, as well as the European Space Agency, the UK Met Office, and Japan’s Space Weather Forecast Center.  The list is far too long to summarize here, but notably includes sessions on the Moon/Mars human spaceflight program and on space traffic management and space situational awareness.  So it’s not just about the power grid, as critically important as that is.

According to the NASA TV schedule, NASA will hold a media briefing on the Mars Perseverance mission on Wednesday afternoon.  The launch is currently scheduled for July 20.

SSPI’s Mid-Atlantic (SSPI-MA) chapter is holding a webinar on Thursday on the impact of COVID-19 on the space industry.  Speakers are David Liddle of Liddle International Group and The Deondo Company, Brad Grady of Northern Sky Research, and Jing Li from SES, with SES’s Arnie Christianson as moderator.

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, June 15

Tuesday, June 16

Tuesday-Wednesday, June 16-17

  • Space Weather Operations and Infrastructure Workshop, Part I (National Academies), virtual (times on the agenda are in Mountain Time)
    • Tuesday, 10:15 am – 6:30 pm ET (8:15 am – 4:30 pm Mountain Time)
    • Wednesday, 10:00 am – 6:30 pm ET (8:00 am – 4:30 pm Mountain Time)

Wednesday, June 17

Thursday, June 18

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