NASA Acting Administrator Lightfoot Remarks on New National Space Policy, December 2017

NASA Acting Administrator Lightfoot Remarks on New National Space Policy, December 2017

NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot spoke to the Space Transportation Association on December 11, 2017.  He expressed excitement about implementing the Trump Administration’s new policy to return humans to the Moon and said details would come in the FY2019 budget request.  That should be submitted to Congress in February 2018.  He also spoke about other NASA issues.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of his remarks on December 12.

President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 1, December 2017

President Trump Signs Space Policy Directive 1, December 2017

On December 11, 2017, President Donald Trump signed his Space Policy Directive 1 at a White House ceremony.  He and Vice President Mike Pence, who chairs the White House National Space Council, made remarks before he signed the document.   SpacePolicyOnline.com published five stories about the event and the policy directive.

STA Panel on Commercial Obligations Under the Outer Space Treaty, November 2017

STA Panel on Commercial Obligations Under the Outer Space Treaty, November 2017

The Space Transportation Association hosted a panel discussion on November 14, 2017 on policy issues associated with how the U.S. government will fulfill its obligations under Article VI of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty in an era when commercial companies are engaging in non-traditional space activities.  Under the Treaty, governments must authorize and continually supervise the activities of their non-governmental entities,  like companies.   SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the panel discussion on November 15.  Panelists were:

  • Moderator:  Mike Gold, Chairman, VP Regulatory, MAXAR Technologies* and COMSTAC Chair
  • Dr. George C. Nield, Associate Administer for Commercial Space Transportation, FAA
  • Jennifer Warren, Vice President, Technology Policy & Regulation, Lockheed Martin
  • Jim Armor, Staff Vice President, Orbital ATK
  • MaryLee Pollitt, Trade Compliance Analyst, Sierra Nevada Corporation
  • Dan Hendrickson, Vice President of Business Development, Astrobotics
National Academies Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, October 2017

National Academies Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics, October 2017

The Committee on Astronomy and Astrophysics (CAA) of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine met on October 24-25, 2017 at the Academies Beckman Center in Irvine, CA.

Among the topics were the recently announced delay of the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the report of an independent review of the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST).  The independent review was entitled the WFIRST Independent, External Technology-Management-Cost Review (WIETR) and was co-chaired by Peter Michelson of Stanford and former NASA officials Orlando Figueroa, both of whom briefed the CAA.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published summaries of the JWST and WIETR discussions that ensued at the CAA meeting:

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
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