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
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: