What’s Happening in Space Policy October 30-November 6, 2022

What’s Happening in Space Policy October 30-November 6, 2022

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week plus a day of October 30-November 6, 2022 and any insight we can offer about them. The House and Senate are in recess except for pro forma sessions.

During the Week

A couple quick things before we get started.

First, this is one of those odd weeks when some parts of the world change from summer time to standard time and others don’t. As a case in point, the United States does not change until next Sunday, November 6, but Europe and the United Kingdom made the change this morning. So be sure to double check the time difference if you’re dealing with anyone overseas.

The time change is also important for a U.S. launch taking place early next Sunday. We’re including it this week because we won’t publish the next What’s Happening until it’s over. Northrop Grumman’s NG-18 Cygnus cargo mission to the ISS is scheduled to launch at 5:50 am Eastern STANDARD Time, just after we “fall back” an hour at 2:00 am. The launch is from Wallops Island, VA. NASA will hold a pre-launch briefing on Saturday at 1:00 pm Eastern DAYLIGHT Time.

Second, anyone eagerly anticipating the launch of NOAA’s new weather satellite, JPSS-2, and NASA’s Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator (LOFTID) technology demonstration will have to wait another week. NASA and the United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced yesterday they need time to replace a battery in ULA’s Atlas V Centaur upper stage. The new date is November 9 pending availability of the range (Vandenberg Space Force Base).


Now on to the week ahead.

China still hasn’t made an official announcement, which is typical, but is expected to launch its third and final space station module, Mengtian, early tomorrow morning Eastern Daylight Time. Bob Christy (@OrbitalFocus) who follows the Chinese program closely and calculates orbital parameters tweeted this morning that he expects it at about 07:37 UTC, which is 4:37 am EDT. China usually provides live coverage of these major launches on CGTN, but we don’t have any details yet. Hopefully they will at least confirm the launch a few hours in advance via Xinhua (@XHNews).

It’s the start of a busy week. Just a few hours later, the NASA Advisory Council’s Human Exploration and Operations Committee will begin a two-day virtual meeting starting at 8:20 am ET. At 9:30 am ET, Mark Kirasich and Amit Kshatriya will give an update on Artemis I-IV that could be especially interesting. As we tweeted on Friday, it turns out plans have changed for Artemis IV — they’ve added a landing. Can’t wait to hear the details.

The rest of the meeting looks really good, too.

In addition, on Thursday at noon ET, NASA will have a media telecon to provide an update specifically on the Artemis I launch with Jim Free, the head of the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, and Cliff Lanham, NASA’s Senior Vehicle Operations Manager for Exploration Ground Systems. NASA plans to roll the Artemis I stack back to Launch Complex-39B beginning just after midnight on Friday for launch on November 14 (November 16 and 19 are backups).

For anyone who loves not just rocket launches, but rocket landings, SpaceX is getting ready for its first Falcon Heavy launch since 2019. Scheduled for Tuesday morning at 9:20 am ET, this is the rocket that is basically three Falcon 9s together arranged as a core stage and two side-boosters. The side boosters land back at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in tandem. It’s quite a sight. The launch, USSF-44, will put two payloads for the U.S. Space Force directly into geosynchronous orbit. It’s been delayed for quite some time because the payloads weren’t ready. One is a microsatellite, TETRA 1. The other is classified. SpaceX will provide live coverage beginning about 10 minutes before launch through booster landing.

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) will hold the 2022 Outer Space Security Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s in-person in Geneva, Switzerland and will be livestreamed (remember what we said about the time change disconnect this week where we’re still on summer time and Europe is not). The conference features a top notch group of international speakers including from China and Russia.  Panels include “Why is Space Security Not Just in Space: The Intersection between Outer Space and Other Domains,” “What Threatens Space Security: Space Systems and the Threat Vectors,” and “What is Space Security: Striving Towards Common Understanding.” Looks terrific.

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, or changes to these.

Sunday, October 30

  • Some parts of the world, including Europe and the United Kingdom, change from summer time to standard time (CEST to CET, BST to GMT, for example). The United States makes the change on November 6.

Monday, October 31

Monday-Tuesday, October 31-November 1

Tuesday, November 1

Tuesday-Wednesday, November 1-2

Tuesday-Thursday, November 1-3

Wednesday, November 2

Wednesday-Thursday, November 2-3

Wednesday-Friday, November 2-4

Thursday, November 3

Friday, November 4

Saturday, November 5

Sunday, November 6


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