What’s Happening in Space Policy November 26-December 1, 2017

What’s Happening in Space Policy November 26-December 1, 2017

Here is our list of space policy events for the week of November 26 – December 1, 2017 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

During the Week

Congress returns to work this week from its Thanksgiving break.  Just two weeks remain before the Continuing Resolution (CR) currently funding the government expires on December 8.  House Speaker Paul Ryan has indicated that he expects Congress to pass a second CR pushing the expiration date further into December, but not into next year.  Next year isn’t that far away either and congressional Republicans are intent on passing a tax reform bill in that same period of time.  Right now, the House and Senate are scheduled to recess for the year on December 14, though obviously they can decide to stay longer.  They certainly have their work cut out for them.

In addition to funding the government and tax reform, the Senate has more nominations to consider for positions in the Trump Administration.  On Wednesday, the Senate Commerce Committee will hold the nomination hearing for Barry Myers to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of NOAA.  The nomination is controversial because Myers is a lawyer and a businessman, not a scientist, and has spent most of his career at AccuWeather, which his brother owns.  He is said to have tried in the past to prevent the National Weather Service (which is part of NOAA) from distributing weather information on the Internet for free, presumably because it competes with sites like his.  Democratic Senators Bill Nelson (FL) and Brian Schatz (Hawai’i) have publicly expressed skepticism that he is the right person for the job.  Should be an interesting hearing.

Rep. Steve Knight will speak at a Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) Executive Leadership Forum on Thursday morning.  His district is near Edwards Air Force Base, NASA’s Armstrong Research Center, and the Mojave Air and Space Port.  He is a member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and is almost as well known as a Congressman as he is for being the son of famed aviator William “Pete” Knight.

Two NASA Advisory Council committees are meeting this week — Science (at NASA HQ in DC), and Human Exploration and Operations (at Kennedy Space Center). The Science Committee’s agenda is not posted yet, but the HEO Committee’s is online.  Among the speakers are Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for HEO, on Wednesday morning, and Jason Crusan will provide an update on the Deep Space Gateway concept Thursday morning.  The meeting is available remotely by WebEx and telecon.   The NASA Heliophysics Advisory Committee is also meeting this week at NASA HQ.  It was a subcommittee of the NAC Science committee in the past, but is now a separate committee reporting directly to the Heliophysics Division Director (Peg Luce is currently the Acting Director) following NAC’s recent restructuring.

The annual Dupont Summit on Science, Technology and Environmental Policy will be held on Friday.  It has two space-related sessions.

One is entitled “An Examination of Presidential Leadership in Space Policy” and features Chris Beauregard from the Space Policy Institute; Ben Roberts, formerly with OSTP and now at Moon Express; Tommy Sanford of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation; Jason Callahan from The Planetary Society; and Teasel Muir-Harmony from the National Air & Space Museum.   Speaking of Moon Express, Kenneth Chang profiles the company in a New York Times article today about the Outer Space Treaty and property rights in space.

The other is “Escalation and Deterrence in the Second Space Age.”  Thomas Roberts and Kaitlyn Johnson will discuss their recently released report by that name from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).

Those and other events we know about as of Sunday morning are listed below.  Check back throughout the week for others we learn about later and add to our Calendar.

Sunday-Friday, November 26-December 1

Tuesday-Wednesday, November 28-29

Wednesday, November 29

Wednesday-Thursday, November 29-30

Wednesday-Friday, November 29 – December 1

Thursday, November 30

Thursday-Friday, November 30-December 1

Friday, December 1



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