What’s Happening in Space Policy September 1-7, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy September 1-7, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of September 1-7, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in recess (except for pro forma sessions) until September 9.

During the Week

Tomorrow (Monday) is Labor Day, a federal holiday and the unofficial end of summer.  Congress will still be in recess, but this week the space policy scene will start easing us back into a normal work regimen so we’re ready when they return on September 9 to face a very full agenda — including passing budgets to ensure the government keeps operating after September 30.

Two NASA advisory committees are meeting this week. The NASA Advisory Council’s Regulatory and Policy Committee meets on Thursday at NASA HQ to discuss the extraction and utilization of extraterrestrial resources.  It will be available via WebEx and telecon for those who can’t be there in person.  NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) meets in public session on Friday at Johnson Space Center from 12:30-1:45 pm ET.  The audio of that meeting will be available remotely.

Chris Scolese will make his debut on the public stage as the new Director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) at the 2019 Intelligence and National Security Summit at National Harbor, MD (Wednesday-Thursday).  He will be on a panel Thursday afternoon with top officials from the FBI, DIA, Cyber Command/NSA, and NGA, moderated by David Ignatius from the Washington Post, to discuss Strategic Threats & National Collection Priorities.  The summit also has a panel devoted to Challenges and Opportunities in Space with representatives of NGA, NRO, AFSC and Hawkeye 360, moderated by former NGA Director Letitia Long, on Thursday morning.

The Secure World Foundation, George Washington University’s (GWU’s) Space Policy Institute and Italy’s SDA Bocconi School of Management-Space Economy Evolution (SEE)-Lab will host a workshop on “Exploring the Hidden Economic Value of Space Applications” at GWU on Thursday afternoon.  Kevin O’Connell, Director of NOAA’s Office of Space Commerce, is the keynote speaker followed by panels with U.S. and international speakers on agriculture, transportation and logistics, and assessing the productivity contribution of space applications.  Looks really interesting.  The event is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is required. It’s part of a series of workshops “analyzing the evolution of a sustainable space environment and economy.”

Also this week, India is expected to become only the fourth nation to successfully land a robotic spacecraft on the Moon.  Its Chandrayaan-2 orbiter/lander/rover is already in lunar orbit.  The lander (Vikram, after Vikram Sarabhai, father of India’s space program) and rover (Pragyan, meaning wisdom in Sanskrit) will separate from the orbiter tomorrow and after two deorbit burns this week, hopefully make a soft landing near the Moon’s South Pole at 5:20 pm EDT on Friday (which is Saturday, September 7, 2:50 am in India).  Landing is difficult, as Israel’s SpaceIL discovered earlier this year, so keep those fingers crossed.

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, September 2

Tuesday-Friday, September 3-6

Wednesday, September 4

Wednesday-Thursday, September 4-5

Thursday, September 5

Friday, September 6


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