CSIS/SWF SEMINAR ON COUNTERSPACE THREATS, June 2018

CSIS/SWF SEMINAR ON COUNTERSPACE THREATS, June 2018

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Secure World Foundation (SWF) held a joint event on June 5, 2018 to discuss recent separate assessments they made of global counterspace threats.  SWF’s Global Counterspace Capabilities: An Open Source Assessment was published on April 11.  CSIS issued its Space Threat Assessment 2018 a week later.

SpacePolicyOnline.com live tweeted the event and published a selection of the tweets in a “Today’s Tidbits” column on June 5.

Rep. John Culberson and NASA’s Thomas Zurbuchen at STA Luncheon, June 2018

Rep. John Culberson and NASA’s Thomas Zurbuchen at STA Luncheon, June 2018

On June 8, 2018, Rep. John Culberson and NASA’s Thomas Zurbuchen spoke at a Space Transportation Association (STA) luncheon.  Culberson chairs the Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, which funds NASA.  Zurbuchen is NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate.

Culberson spoke about his passion — finding life elsewhere in the universe and sending a probe to an exoplanet where life might exist.  In that context, he talked about the two missions to Jupiter’s moon Europa that he has enacted into law that NASA must execute in the 2020s, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), and other aspects of his 51-year plan for NASA.  Zurbuchen spoke about the recently released findings from the Mars Curiosity rover that found organic molecules in ancient Martian rocks and seasonable variations in methane concentrations in the atmosphere.  He also discussed NASA’s plans for lunar lander and rovers.

SpacePolicyOnline.com summarized the discussion on June 10, 2018.

Jim Bridenstine Sworn In as NASA Administrator, April 2018

Jim Bridenstine Sworn In as NASA Administrator, April 2018

Former Congressman Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma became the 13th Administrator of NASA on April 23, 2018.  The oath of office was administered by Vice President Mike Pence at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Pence is also chairman of the White House National Space Council.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the ceremony, which included a live Q&A session with three NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station and a post-ceremony meeting with senior NASA officials, on April 23.

NASA Astrophysics Advisory Committee, April 2018

NASA Astrophysics Advisory Committee, April 2018

NASA’s Astrophysics Advisory Committee met at NASA HQ in Washington, DC on April 11-12, 2018.   SpacePolicyOnline.com published summaries of discussions that took place on April 11 with Astrophysics Division Director Paul Hertz and Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen on April 12.

Lightfoot and Van Hollen Remarks to American Astronautical Society, March 2018

Lightfoot and Van Hollen Remarks to American Astronautical Society, March 2018

The American Astronautical Society (AAS) held its annual Goddard Memorial Symposium on March 14-15, 2018 in Greenbelt, MD.  Among the speakers were Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot and Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland).  Lightfoot had announced just two days earlier that he will retire from NASA on April 30.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published two stories about their comments at the AAS conference:

Second National Space Council Meeting (Kennedy Space Center), February 2018

Second National Space Council Meeting (Kennedy Space Center), February 2018

The White House National Space Council held its second public meeting on February 21, 2018 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, FL.  The major focus of the meeting was regulatory reform for commercial space activities.  However, two witnesses focused attention whether U.S. companies should be allowed to sell their services into China or otherwise engage in commercial space activities with them.  Dean Cheng of the Heritage Foundation and Jeff Manber of Nanoracks expressed conflicting views on that point.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the meeting on February 21, 2018.

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
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