What's Happening in Space Policy March 28-April 1, 2016

What's Happening in Space Policy March 28-April 1, 2016

Here is our list of space policy events for the week of March 28-April 1, 2016.  The House and Senate are in recess this week.

During the Week

Congress may be in recess, but there’s still plenty going on in the world of space policy.

The Space Studies Board (SSB) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine holds its annual Space Science Week Tuesday through Thursday.  The “week” brings together the five SSB standing committees, some of which are joint with other boards:  astrobiology and planetary science, astronomy and astrophysics, biological and physical science in space, earth science and applications from space, and solar and space physics.   The committees meet in plenary session on Tuesday afternoon.  A free public lecture will take place on Wednesday featuring Alan Stern, principal investigator of the New Horizons mission to Pluto.  The lecture begins at 6:45 pm ET and will be webcast.  All of the activities are at the National Academy of Sciences building on Constitution Avenue in Washington, D.C.

The NASA Advisory Council (NAC) meets at NASA headquarters in Washington on Thursday and Friday (its Technology, Innovation and Engineering Committee meets on Tuesday, too).  The NAC agenda has not been posted yet, but these meetings typically are an excellent way to get updated on many of NASA’s programs and the budget and policy issues surrounding them.  The meeting is available via WebEx and telecon for those who cannot attend in person.

Activities aboard the International Space Station (ISS) continue at a blistering pace.  Orbital ATK’s Cygnus just arrived yesterday, NASA will hold a teleconference tomorrow (Monday) to discuss the science experiments that will be aboard SpaceX’s Dragon cargo mission to ISS next week (April 8), and on Thursday Russia will launch its next Progress cargo craft (arriving at ISS on April 2).  All three systems suffered failures in the October 2014-July 2015 period and NASA and its partners are still catching up on supplies, although there have been a number of cargo missions since then. 

The first of two upcoming space weather seminars will be held on Thursday afternoon in Washington.  This one is sponsored by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University.  Its focus is the “emerging opportunities for science and practical applications” and includes Tammy Dickinson from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Dan Baker from the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), and Lou Lanzerotti from the New Jersey Institute of Technology among its very distinguished speaker lineup.  The other seminar is next Monday (April 4) at the State Department and is sponsored by the State Department and the Secure World Foundation (more on that in next week’s edition).

Those and other events we know about as of Sunday morning are shown below.  Check back throughout the week to learn about additional events that come to our attention and get added to our Events of Interest list.

Monday, March 28

Tuesday, March 29

Tuesday-Thursday, March 29 – 31

Wednesday, March 30

Thursday, March 31

Thursday-Friday, March 31- April 1

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