What’s Happening in Space Policy October 28-November 3, 2018

What’s Happening in Space Policy October 28-November 3, 2018

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of October 28-November 3, 2018 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in recess (except for pro forma sessions) until after the elections.

During the Week

The National Academies’ Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics meets tomorrow (Monday) in open session at the Beckman Center in Irvine, CA.  The meeting is available remotely via Zoom.  Tom Young, a member of the committee, will give a briefing at 1:00 pm Pacific (4:00 pm Eastern) on the James Webb Space Telescope Independent Review Board that he chairs.  The IRB completed its report in May (released by NASA in June) and NASA is reconvening the Board at the end of November and beginning of December to assess progress in response to its 32 recommendations. Much of the rest of the meeting is devoted to planning for the next astronomy and astrophysics Decadal Survey, which should be starting very soon.

Also tomorrow, back here in D.C., CSIS will host astronaut Jeanette Epps for a conversation about international collaboration in human spaceflight.  Epps was assigned to an International Space Station (ISS) crew and was training in Russia, but was removed from the crew for reasons that have not been publicly explained.  She has said only that health and family issues were not the reason and she does not know where the decision came from.  She would have been the first African-American on an Expedition crew.  She is now assigned to the ISS Operations Branch.  She was replaced by Serena Auñón-Chancellor, who is currently aboard ISS.  The CSIS event will be webcast.

The FAA and the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) are holding a conference tomorrow and Tuesday in D.C. on how to integrate commercial space launches and reentries into the National Airspace System (NAS), a growing issue as the amount and pace of commercial activity burgeons along with other novel uses of the NAS like drones. It’s got a terrific agenda with representatives of both the commercial space transportation and air traffic control sides of the FAA, domestic and international organizations, and industry.  Unfortunately, conference organizers tell us there will be no livestream, other remote access, or archived recordings.

That will be followed by a meeting of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) on Wednesday and Thursday. The agenda does not state if there will be a webcast, but these meetings have been livestreamed in the past.  If we get a link, we will add it to our calendar item for this event.  October 31 includes reports from Jared Stout of the White House National Space Council and Jason Crusan from NASA’s human spaceflight office, an update on the recently enacted FAA Reauthorization Act, an update from acting Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation Kelvin Coleman, and a keynote address from Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao at 11:30 am ET.  FAA Acting Administrator Daniel Elwell speaks on November 1.  Reports from COMSTAC’s working groups fill out the rest of the two days.

On a completely different topic, the 34th annual meeting of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research takes place in Bethesda, MD from Wednesday to Saturday.  Its sessions cover a broad range of biological and physical research topics that are subjects of ISS experiments and/or are important for future human space exploration, like radiation.  On Saturday, Nanoracks and Blue Origin are hosting a session on how researchers can get their payloads to space.  The agenda does not indicate if any of the sessions will be livestreamed or otherwise available remotely.

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.

Monday, October 29

Monday-Tuesday, October 29-30

Monday-Wednesday, October 29-31

Monday-Friday, October 29-November 2

Tuesday, October 30

Tuesday-Thursday, October 30 – November 1

Wednesday, October 31

Wednesday-Thursday, October 31 – November 1

  • COMSTAC, DOT HQ, 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Washington, DC

Wednesday-Saturday, October 31 – November 3

Thursday, November 1

Thursday-Friday, November 1-2

Thursday-Saturday, November 1-3

  • SpaceVision 2018 (SEDS), Town and Country San Diego, 500 Hotel Circle N, San Diego, CA

Friday, November 2

Saturday-Monday, November 3-5

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