What’s Happening in Space Policy March 17-23, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy March 17-23, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of March 17-23, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in recess this week (except for pro forma sessions).

During the Week

Congress may be out of town, but there’s plenty going on in D.C. and elsewhere.

Tomorrow (Monday), OMB and GPO will release the details of the FY2020 budget request.  Everyone learned the broad outlines last week, but now we’ll get the nitty gritty.  GPO’s website says “phase two” of the release is at 11:30 am ET.

CSIS defense budget expert Todd Harrison and his team are hosting a seminar on Wednesday morning to discuss the request for national security space and associated policy issues.  It features a who’s who of officials and experts from DOD, Capitol Hill, and elsewhere, including Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan and Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Strategic Forces subcommittee.  It’s a “can’t miss” event for anyone interested in national security space and, fortunately, will be webcast.

Just outside D.C., in Silver Spring, MD, the American Astronautical Society will hold its annual Goddard Memorial Symposium on Wednesday and Thursday (with an opening reception Tuesday evening).  At the same time CSIS is hearing from national security space experts, AAS will have its own who’s who in the civil space community, starting with NASA Deputy Administrator James Morhard and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Director Chris Scolese (who has been nominated to be the next director of the National Reconnaissance Office)  on Wednesday morning.   The theme this year is “The Next Giant Leap: Earth, Moon, Mars, and Beyond.” AAS usually livestreams the Goddard Symposium or records the sessions and makes them available later, though the website does not indicate that right now.  Note that the conference is not at its usual location (the Greenbelt Marriott), but at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center in Silver Spring.

The other big space meeting in the United States this week is the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) at The Woodlands, TX, near Houston.  It promises to be a week full of fascinating news from the planetary science community.  This is a milestone year, too — the 50th LPSC — and hence is dubbed LPSC 50.  It is being preceded yesterday and today by a “microsymposium” on “Forward to the Moon to Stay — Undertaking Transformative Lunar Science with Commercial Partners” sponsored by Brown University’s Planetary Geosciences Group.

The Soyuz MS-12 crew is now aboard ISS, returning the space station to its usual 6-person complement.  The four non-Russian crew members will conduct three spacecwalks over the next couple of weeks.  It will be a new experience for each of them.  The first is on Friday and features NASA’s Nick Hague, who just arrived, and Anne McClain, who has been there since December.  FYI, McClain will perform another spacewalk a week later (March 29) with NASA’s Christina Koch, the first all-female spacewalk.  The third spacewalk, on April 8, pairs Hague with Canada’s David Saint-Jacques.  NASA will hold a briefing about the first two spacewalks Tuesday at 2:00 pm ET.

Back on Earth but also on Friday, the National Space Club hosts the annual “space prom” — the Robert H. Goddard Memorial Dinner — at the Washington Hilton as usual.  It’s great fun all around, but is especially notable for the awards that are presented there.  Among them this year: former NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot will receive the 2019 Goddard Trophy; Irene Klotz of Aviation Week & Space Technology will be awarded the Press Award; and NASA ISS Program Manager Kirk Shireman will receive the Astronautics Engineer Award.  Congratulations to all the recipients, who are listed in this press release.

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, March 17 (continued from yesterday)

Monday, March 18

Monday-Friday, March 18-22

Tuesday, March 19

Tuesday-Thursday, March 19-21

Wednesday, March 20

Friday, March 22


Correction:  the date of the NASA briefing on upcoming spacewalks is March 19, not March 18.  

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