What’s Happening in Space Policy June 3-9, 2018 – UPDATED

What’s Happening in Space Policy June 3-9, 2018 – UPDATED

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of June 3-9, 2018 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

During the Week

Three International Space Station (ISS) crew members landed safely on the steppes of Kazakhstan this morning in their Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft at 8:39 am ET (one minute early).  NASA’s Scott Tingle, JAXA’s Norishige Kanai and Roscosmos’s Anton Shklaperov are back on Earth after 168 days in space.  Their replacements will launch on Soyuz MS-09 on Wednesday morning at 7:11 am ET.  They arrive at ISS on Friday to join the three crew members still aboard, returning the ISS crew complement to six:  three Americans (Ricky Arnold, Drew Feustel, and Serena Auñón-Chancellor), two Russians (Oleg Artemyev and Sergey Prokopyev), and one ESA/German (Alexander Gerst).

Back here on Earth, the Senate Commerce space subcommittee, chaired by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), will hold a hearing to discuss the future of ISS on Wednesday.  It’s the second in a series.  The first, on May 16, featured the Administration’s point of view.  This one will focus on stakeholders.  As of right now, there are four witnesses representing CASIS, Boeing, the Bay Area Houston Partnership, and Axiom Space (one of the companies planning to build a private space station, which is led by former NASA ISS program manager Mike Suffredini).

Also on the Hill this week, the Senate Appropriations Committee will be marking up the FY2019 Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) bill (subcommittee on Tuesday, full committee on Thursday).  It funds the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA/AST).  The House Appropriations Committee gave FAA/AST more than requested when it approved its version of the bill.  We’ll see if the Senate follows suit.

The House is actually getting ready to bring some of the FY2019 appropriations bills to the floor this week.  Three of them are being bundled into a “mini-bus.”  None are space-related, but at least it’s a start on the 12 bills that need to be enacted.  The three this week are Military Construction & Veterans Affairs, Energy & Water Development, and Legislative Branch.

On Tuesday, from 4:30-5:30 pm ET, CSIS and Secure World Foundation (SWF) experts will publicly compare notes on their respective counterspace studies.  SWF’s “Global Counterspace Capabilities” was published on April 11 and CSIS’s “Space Threat Assessment 2018” a week later.  For those who can’t be there in person, CSIS will webcast it.

On Thursday, the American Bar Association (ABA) will hold its Space Law Symposium at Jenner & Block in Washington, DC.  It has a top notch set of speakers from the space law, space policy, space agency and commercial space sectors.  NASA Associate Administrator for Strategy and Plans (and acting Chief of Staff) Tom Cremins is the keynote speaker at 8:10 am ET and former FAA/AST Associate Administrator George Nield will speak at lunchtime. [CORRECTION:  We mistakenly listed this for Tuesday in the original version of this article.  It is on Thursday, June 7.]

The Aerospace Corporation is holding a very interesting seminar on the Hill in 2325 Rayburn on Friday from 10:00-12:00 ET.  The topic is “Emerging Issues in Space Technology” and features a terrific set of speakers including Kelvin Coleman, Acting FAA/AST Associate Administrator. Coleman has a long history at FAA/AST and was George Nield’s Deputy.  Earl Comstock from the Department of Commerce will also be there along with representatives of Lockheed Martin, Planet,  Vector Launch, and Aerospace itself.

The Space Transportation Association (STA) is having a luncheon that unfortunately overlaps with the end of the Aerospace event.  Choices, choices!  It also is on the Hill — in the Capitol Visitor Center, not Rayburn or Russell this time — and features Rep. John Culberson (R-Texas), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA, and NASA science head Thomas Zurbuchen.  Culberson will begin speaking at 11:40 am ET. Zurbuchen will give an update on the Science Mission Directorate after Culberson has finished.

NASA is holding a media briefing on Monday about its Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission at Goddard Space Flight Center, MD (webcast).  Its Applied Sciences Advisory Committee meets Tuesday-Wednesday at NASA HQ (available by WebEx).

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.

Sunday, June 3

Monday, June 4

Tuesday, June 5

Tuesday-Wednesday, June 5-6

Wednesday, June 6

Wednesday-Thursday, June 6-7

Thursday, June 7

Friday, June 8


Correction and Update: The ABA Space Law Symposium is on Thursday, not Tuesday. We also have added the SSPI-MA event on Thursday.

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