What's Happening in Space Policy June 29-July 3, 2015

What's Happening in Space Policy June 29-July 3, 2015

Here is our list of space policy events for the week of June 29-July 3, 2015.  Congress is in recess this week for the July 4 holiday.

During the Week

Today’s SpaceX launch failure of its CRS-7 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) is likely to continue to resonate this week, especially as NASA awaits Friday’s return-to-flight of Russia’s Progress cargo spacecraft.   Although the ISS has a lot of redundancy for cargo resupply, the failure of three of the four existing systems within eight months is certainly something that could not be anticipated.   Orbital ATK is still recovering from the October 2014 Antares/Cygnus launch failure.  Russia hopes its diagnosis is correct that the April Soyuz/Progress failure was the result of a one-time “design peculiarity” and the system will work this time, just two months after the failure.  How long it will take for SpaceX to recover from today’s failure is an unknown, though SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell confidently predicted it would be less than a year.  In any case, the space commuity will be on pins and needles for the 12:55 am ET launch of Progress M-28M on July 3.

Apart from that high drama, NASA’s Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) is meeting Monday-Wednesday.   On Tuesday, it will hold a special one-hour panel on progress in finding, tracking and characterizing Near Earth Objects (NEOs) — asteroids and comets — and planning for planetary defense.  The SBAG sessions and the panel will be webcast.   Tuesday actually is “Asteroid Day” with events around the globe.  Two are “premier events” in London and San Francisco and some may have their own webcasts.

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

Monday-Wednesday, June 29-July 1

Tuesday, June 30

Tuesday-Wednesday, June 30-July 1

Friday, July 3

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