What’s Happening in Space Policy September 18-22, 2017

What’s Happening in Space Policy September 18-22, 2017

Here is our list of space policy events for the week of September 18-22, 2017 and any insight we can offer about them.  The Senate is scheduled to meet Monday-Wednesday; the House is in recess all week.

During the Week

The House is in recess all week and the Senate will have a short week to allow for observance of Rosh Hashanah, which begins Wednesday at sundown.

The Senate is expected to resume consideration of, and pass, the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) tomorrow (Monday).  Rumors are that an amendment will be offered to prohibit the use of any funds to create a Space Corps within the Air Force.  The Space Corps is required by the House version of the bill. The Air Force and the White House oppose it.  The Senate Armed Services Committee’s (SASC’s) version of the NDAA, S. 1519, calls for a completely different approach for changing how DOD manages its space activities. SASC’s proposal is to create a Chief Information Warfare Officer (CWIO) with authority over space, cyber and information programs, reporting directly to the Secretary of Defense.  As reported from committee, it is silent on the House solution.  This amendment would change that.  Will be very interesting to watch how this all plays out tomorrow and in conference.  The Senate is using the House-passed bill, H.R. 2810, as the legislative vehicle for debate. A McCain-Reed amendment (#1003), as modified, to substitute the text of the Senate bill for the text in the House-passed bill is expected to be adopted tomorrow.

Off the Hill, there are, as usual, a lot of very interesting events not just in the United States, but overseas.  The European Planetary Science Conference takes place in Riga, Latvia (all week); COSPAR’s Small Satellites for Space Research conference is in Jeju, South Korea (all week); ESA’s Deep Space Gateway and Lunar Exploration Industry Days are at ESTEC in the Netherlands (Monday-Tuesday); and the Beijing International Forum on Lunar and Deep Space Exploration is in Beijing, China (Tuesday-Friday).

Here in the States, the Air Force Association’s annual Air, Space, Cyber Conference begins tomorrow and runs through Wednesday at National Harbor, MD, just outside Washington, DC.  Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson kicks it off tomorrow morning at 10:30 am ET.  Among other things, the conference is celebrating the Air Force’s 70th birthday.  Space is the focus of two panels on Tuesday afternoon:  Breaking Barriers in Space Operations and Space as a Warfighting Domain.  The conference website does not specify whether any of the event will be livestreamed. The Twitter hashtag is #ASC17.

Almost 5,000 miles away on Maui, Hawaii, the annual AMOS (Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies) conference will take place Wednesday-Friday with pre-conference events on Tuesday. Doug Loverro, former DOD Deputy Assistant Secretary for Space Policy, keynotes the conference on Wednesday morning at 8:30 am local time.  AMOS2017 includes the sixth Space Situational Awareness (SSA) policy forum, which has sessions each of the three days.  The first, on Wednesday, is moderated by Brian Weeden of the Secure World Foundation (SWF) and focuses on Evolution of the Commercial SSA Industry.  On Thursday, the topic is Challenges and Opportunities from Large Commercial Constellations, moderated by Andrew D’Uva of Providence Access Co.  Friday’s theme is International Perspectives on the Future of Space Traffic Management, moderated by SWF’s Victoria Samson.  The conference website does not specify whether any of the event will be livestreamed.

SSA and the related issue of space debris is the topic of an event that will take place in the D.C. area, too.  The Aerospace Corporation has organized a panel discussion on Thursday on International Approaches Towards Reducing Space Debris. It will take place in 2325 Rayburn House Office Building.

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.

Sunday-Friday, September 17-22

Monday, September 18

Monday-Tuesday, September 18-19

Monday-Wednesday, September 18-20

Monday-Friday, September 18-22

Tuesday, September 19

Tuesday-Friday, September 19-22

Thursday, September 21

Friday, September 22

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