Todd May Speaks to Space Transportation Association, October 2017

Todd May Speaks to Space Transportation Association, October 2017

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Director Todd May spoke to the Space Transportation Association on Capitol Hill on October 12, 2017.  He provided an update on development of the Space Launch System (SLS) and said NASA will “soon” set a date for the first launch.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of his remarks on October 12.

National Space Council First Meeting, October 2017

National Space Council First Meeting, October 2017

The White House National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, held its first meeting at the Smithsonian Institution’s Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA on October 5, 2017.  The Council heard from three panels of experts on civil, commercial and national security space.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published two summaries of the meeting:

Wilson Center Panel on the 60th Anniversary of the Space Age, October 2017

Wilson Center Panel on the 60th Anniversary of the Space Age, October 2017

The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (the Wilson Center) held a panel discussion on October 4, 2017, the 60th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik 1, the world’ first artificial satellite, and the dawn of the Space Age.

The Space Race and the Origins of the Space Age featured the following speakers:

  • Christian Davenport, Washington Post (moderator)
  • Asif Siddiqi, Professor, Fordham University (and author of “Challenge to Apollo: The Soviet Union and the Space Race”)
  • Michael Neufeld, Senior Curator, National Air and Space Museum (and author of “Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War”)
  • Clay Mowry, Vice President, Sales, Marketing & Customer Experience, Blue Origin (and former President of Arianespace, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of the French launch services company)
  • Robert Curbeam, Vice President and Deputy of Space Systems, Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (and former astronaut)

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a brief synopsis of the meeting on October 4, 2017.

Sen. Ben Cardin Speaks to Maryland Space Business Roundtable, May 2017

Sen. Ben Cardin Speaks to Maryland Space Business Roundtable, May 2017

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) made his debut speech to the Maryland Space Business Roundtable (MSBR) on May 15, 2017.  With the retirement of Sen. Barbara Mikulski last year, he is now the state’s senior Senator and head of the Maryland congressional delegation.  Mikulski was an ardent champion of NASA and NOAA space activities in Maryland and fought especially for funding for earth science programs.  Cardin does not serve on any of the Senate committees that oversee NASA or NOAA, but vowed to continue her advocacy for those agencies.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of his remarks on May 15.

Culberson Talk to Space Transportation Association, February 2017

Culberson Talk to Space Transportation Association, February 2017

Rep. John Culberson (R-TX), chair of the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee, spoke to the Space Transportation Association (STA) on February 7, 2017.  He discussed a wide range of NASA issues, expressing strong support for the agency — calling it a strategic national asset — and the full range of its programs, including earth science.  He is particularly supportive of robotic missions to Jupiter’s moon Europa because he believes life exists there.   SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of his remarks on February 7.

FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference, February 2017

FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference, February 2017

The 20th FAA Commercial Space Transportation conference was held February 7-8, 2017 in Washington, DC.  On February 8, SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of remarks by four of the speakers:

  • Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)
  • Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX)
  • Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations
  • Alan Stern, Chairman of the Board, Commercial Spaceflight Federation
Galloway Space Law Symposium, December 2016

Galloway Space Law Symposium, December 2016

The International Institute of Space Law (IISL) held the 11th Eilene M. Galloway Symposium on Critical Issues in Space Law on December 7, 2016 at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC.  The day-long event focused on issues related to innovative commercial space activities that require U.S. government approval to comply with U.S. obligations under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST).  The OST is about to turn 50 years old, and State Department Legal Advisor Brian Egan spoke about the relevant of the Treaty today and the outlook for the next 50 years.   SpacePolicyOnline.com published two articles summarizing the 2016 Galloway Space Law Symposium:

JAXA-NASA Space Science Cooperation, June 2016

JAXA-NASA Space Science Cooperation, June 2016

A day-long symposium on “U.S.-Japan Collaboration in Space Science–Past, Present and Future” was held in Washington, DC on June 10, 2016.  The meeting was sponsored by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.  Officials from NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and its Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) discussed cooperation in astrophysics, heliophysics and planetary exploration.  A major portion of the meeting was devoted to an explanation by ISAS Director General Saku Tsuneta of the failure of the Astro-H (Hitomi) x-ray astronomy spacecraft, a joint JAXA-NASA project.  He expressed hope that the two agencies could find a way to recover the science that was intended to be collected by the spacecraft.  Cooperation in asteroid sample return missions — JAXA’s Hayabusa2 and NASA’s OSIRIS-REx — was another highlight.  JAXA also discussed a Phobos sample return mission — Martian Moons Explorer or MMS — that it is considering as a future mission.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the meeting on June 12, 2016.

Luxembourg Announces Plans to Invest in Space Resources Utilization, June 2016

Luxembourg Announces Plans to Invest in Space Resources Utilization, June 2016

The Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel and Etienne Schneider, held a press conference on June 3, 2016 to announce plans to pass a law and invest in companies that want to mine asteroids and other solar system bodies.   Schneider, who is also the Minister of Economy, said the country has opened a 200 million Euro line of credit and more money will be provided if necessary.  It already has an agreement with the U.S. asteroid mining company Deep Space Industries and will soon sign an agreement with the other U.S. asteroid mining company Planetary Resources Inc.  Former ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and former NASA Ames Center Director Pete Worden serve on Luxembourg’s advisory board for its spaceresources.lu initiative and joined Bettel and Schneider at the press conference.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the press conference, with a link to the archived webcast, on June 5, 2016.

SLS/Orion Update to the Space Transportation Association, May 2016

SLS/Orion Update to the Space Transportation Association, May 2016

On May 10, 2016, the program managers for the three components of NASA’s future human spaceflight program — the Space Launch System (SLS), Orion spacecraft, and associated ground systems (Ground Systems Development and Operations or GSDO) — provided an update to the Space Transportation Association (STA) at a meeting on Capitol Hill.   John Honeycutt (SLS), Mark Kirasich (Orion), and Mike Bolger (GSDO) were optimistic that the system will be ready for the first launch, Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), in the fall of 2018.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the meeting on May 10, 2016.

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