What’s Happening in Space Policy October 15-20, 2017 – UPDATE

What’s Happening in Space Policy October 15-20, 2017 – UPDATE

Here is our list of space policy events for the week of October 15-20, 2017 and any insight we can offer about them.  The Senate is in session this week.  The House is in recess (except for pro forma sessions).

During the Week

The week-long DPS17 meeting starts today in Provo, Utah — that’s the Division on Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS).  This is the premier planetary science meeting each year where scientists reveal their latest findings and discuss future plans.  The agenda is chock-full of interesting topics. Live webcasts are available only to accredited media, but archived webcasts will not require a password to access.  For live coverage, it looks like the best bet is via Twitter.  People will be live tweeting with the #DPS17 hashtag and one can follow the thread on the meeting’s website.

The Women in Aerospace (WIA) awards dinner is on Thursday night at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City in Arlington, VA.   Award recipients this year are:

  • Achievement Award: Joan Robinson-Berry, Boeing, Charleston, NC
  • Aerospace Awareness Award: Robyn N. Gordon, NASA Glenn Research Center
  • Aerospace Educator Award: Barbara Gordon, U.S. Naval Test Pilot School
  • Initiative, Inspiration, Impact Award: Emily Stump, Naval Air Systems Command
  • Leadership Award:  Dava Newman, MIT (and former NASA Deputy Administrator)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award:  Peggy Whitson, NASA astronaut

Presenting the awards will be Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and NASA Associate Administrator for Science Thomas Zurbuchen.

Up in space, Russia’s Progress MS-07 cargo spacecraft will dock at the International Space Station (ISS) tomorrow (Monday) morning after lifting off from its launch pad on the second try yesterday, and NASA astronauts Randy Bresnik and Joe Acaba will make a spacewalk on Friday (postponed from Wednesday).  One of the science instruments attached to the ISS is the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) and on Tuesday at lunchtime, down here on Earth (at the Library of Congress in Washington to be precise), NASA Goddard’s Zaven Arzoumanian will provide early results from NICER in a talk tantalizingly entitled “The Star That Ate Manhattan.”

And while it’s not a “space” event, of great interest nonetheless is the National Science Foundation’s announcement tomorrow of new findings about gravitational waves from the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave (LIGO), VIRGO and other observatories.  Two panels will discuss the findings at the National Press Club in Washington at 10:00 and 11:15 am ET.  The event will be webcast.  Three U.S. physicists just won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of gravitational waves, confirming a theory by Albert Einstein.  The European Space Agency (ESA), with NASA participation, is planning to build a space-based gravitational wave observatory, LISA, and just completed tests with LISA Pathfinder, a spacecraft that demonstrated critical technologies for such a mission.

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, October 15-20

Monday, October 16

Tuesday, October 17

Wednesday, October 18

Wednesday-Thursday, October 18-19

Wednesday-Friday, October 18-20

Thursday, October 19

Friday, October 20


Note:  This article was updated with additional events on Sunday, October 15, 6:20 pm ET.



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