What’s Happening in Space Policy June 16-22, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy June 16-22, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of June 16-22, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

During the Week

Lots of space-related floor action is on tap in Congress this week.  The House will continue consideration of the first “minibus” of appropriations bills, which includes Defense, and then take up the second, which includes the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) bill that funds NASA and NOAA and the Transportation-HUD bill that includes the FAA and its Office of Commercial Space Transportation. (The other three bills in the second minibus are Agriculture, Interior-Environment, and MilCon-VA).

House leadership wants to pass all 12 regular appropriations bills by the end of this month, but that will be a challenge under current circumstances. Republicans are requiring recorded votes instead of voice votes on every amendment. Voice votes are typically used for relatively non-controversial amendments because the goal is to get the bill passed as expeditiously as possible and roll call votes take time.  One of the reasons it took the House Armed Services Committee 21 hours (from 10:00 am Wednesday to 6:54 am Thursday) to mark up the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is because it had to keep recessing to allow members to go to the floor to vote on amendments.

Speaking of the NDAA, the Senate Armed Services Committee completed its markup in May and last week released the texts of the bill and accompanying explanatory report (read about the Space Force provisions in our article posted on Thursday.)   The Senate plans to take up the bill this week, probably starting on Wednesday.

While we haven’t heard of any space-related hearings, there are several interesting events that will take place on the Hill this week including a discussion hosted by the Potomac Institute of Policy Studies on Friday afternoon.   Moderated by former NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, the panel will discuss low Earth orbit commercialization — “The Next Space Industry.”  Panelists are Mike Beavin from the National Space Council, Doug Comstock from NASA, Jeff Manber from Nanoracks, and Kerry Timmons from Lockheed Martin.  RSVP is required.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the U.S. pavilion at the Paris Air Show will be showcasing American aerospace goods with a lot of focus on space, not just aviation.  Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and others from government and industry held a press conference on June 6 at the National Press Club to call attention to the importance of aerospace exports and growing interest in commercial space.  Bridenstine will hold a media availability  at the Show on Tuesday at 8:30 am CEST (2:30 am EDT).   The NASA press release did not indicate that there will be a webcast.  Bridenstine said at the June 6 press conference he will be meeting with heads of other space agencies who will be at the Show to discuss potential cooperation in the Artemis Moon-by-2024 program.  He wasn’t specific about who would be there, but, when asked, said it would not include Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin because he is under sanctions and not allowed to travel to Europe.

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-Wednesday, June 17-19

Monday-Friday, June 17-21 (continued from June 12)

Monday-Sunday, June 17-23

Tuesday, June 18

Wednesday, June 19

Thursday, June 20

Friday, June 21


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