What's Happening in Space Policy November 23-December 4, 2015

What's Happening in Space Policy November 23-December 4, 2015

Here is our list of upcoming space policy events.  This edition covers two weeks instead of one since the coming week includes the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday and not much is scheduled.   The House and Senate are in recess for the holiday week.  The Senate returns on November 30; the House on December 1.

During the Weeks

As of Sunday morning, we are not aware of any space policy events on tap for Thanksgiving week, but President Obama has two space-related bills on his desk that could be signed into law once he returns to the States:  the FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act.

The following week, Congress gets back to work on, among other things, finalizing a FY2016 budget.  The Continuing Resolution (CR) currently funding the government expires on December 11.   Despite the budget deal agreed to earlier this month, there are enough controversial policy issues at stake that laying odds on getting full-year appropriations passed by then remains risky.

Apart from that, the NASA Advisory Council meets at Johnson Space Center on December 1-3, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James will speak at the National Press Club on December 2, and Orbital ATK will return its Cygnus capsule (though not its Antares rocket) to flight on December 3.  Cygnus will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V from Cape Canaveral, FL.  Orbital ATK hopes to resume Antares launches from Wallops Island, VA in May 2016.

Also on December 1, NASA’s Mars Exploration Program Scientist, Michael Meyer, will give an update on NASA’s Mars program at the next Space Policy & History Forum.  This one is being held at the Applied Physics Lab (APL) in Laurel, MD, rather than at the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in D.C.   APL and NASM co-sponsor this quarterly lecture series. 

Those and other events we know about as of Sunday morning are listed below.   Check back to see any additions to our Events of Interest list that we learn about later.

Thursday, November 26


Tuesday, December 1

Tuesday-Thursday, December 1-3

Wednesday, December 2

Thursday, December 3

Friday, December 4


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