National Space Council 5th Public Meeting, March 2019

National Space Council 5th Public Meeting, March 2019

The White House National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence, met in public session for the fifth time at Marshall Space Flight Center, AL on March 26, 2019.   This was a seminal event — Pence announced that Trump Administration policy is to land “the next man and the first woman” at the Moon’s South Pole by 2024, just 5 years away.  He also strongly criticized NASA and the contractor building NASA’s Saturn V-class Space Launch System (SLS), for repeated delays and overruns.  Though he did not name Boeing, it was clear who he meant when he said if the current contractor could not meet the new schedule, someone else would be found.  He similarly warned NASA that if the agency could not meet the date, NASA must change, not the schedule.  Other matters were discussed at the Space Council meeting, but the Moon-by-2024 announcement stole the show.

SpacePolicyOnline.com summarized Pence’s remarks and immediate reaction to it.

The program was later named Artemis after Apollo’s twin sister in Green mythology.  SpacePolicyOnline.com provides continuing coverage of the Artemis Moon-by-2024 program.  Search “Moon 2024” or “Artemis” or similar terms to find additional articles.

 

Scott Pace Speaks to Universities Space Research Association (USRA), April 2019

Scott Pace Speaks to Universities Space Research Association (USRA), April 2019

Scott Pace, Executive Secretary of the White House National Space Council, spoke to a symposium sponsored by the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) on April 23, 2019 to commemorate its 50th anniversary.  The Trump Administration’s plan to return humans to the surface of the Moon by 2024 was the focus of his remarks.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary on April 23: Pace: Ambitious Goal, Near-Term Results Needed for Lunar Exploration.

Bridenstine Town Hall with NASA Employees, April 2019

Bridenstine Town Hall with NASA Employees, April 2019

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine held a Town Hall meeting with NASA employees on April 1, 2019 to discuss the March 26 announcement by Vice President Mike Pence directing NASA to accelerate its plans to return astronauts to the lunar surface by four years to 2024 instead of 2028.  While that was the purpose of the meeting, employees were allowed to ask questions on any topic, one of which was NASA’s response to India’s recent antisatellite (ASAT) test.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the meeting on April 1, 2019: Bridenstine Talks Moon 2024, Slams Indian ASAT Test.

NATIONAL SPACE COUNCIL USERS’ ADVISORY GROUP, April 2019

NATIONAL SPACE COUNCIL USERS’ ADVISORY GROUP, April 2019

The National Space Council’s Users’ Advisory Group (UAG) met publicly for the third time on April 8, 2019 at Colorado Springs, CO.  Two panels addressed the following issues:  the proposal to create a Space Force, and spectrum issues for space activities.  The group also discussed its potential role in providing input to NASA on the new Moon 2024 goal to return humans to the lunar surface by 2024, four years earlier than NASA had been planning.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published two articles about the meeting:

DOD’s FY2020 Budget Request for National Security Space and Policy Issues, Including the Space Force (CSIS), March 2019

DOD’s FY2020 Budget Request for National Security Space and Policy Issues, Including the Space Force (CSIS), March 2019

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) held a symposium on March 20, 2019 to discuss DOD’s FY2020 budget request for national security space activities and associated policy issues, including President Trump’s proposal to create a Space Force as part of the Air Force.   Among the speakers were

  • Patrick Shanahan, Acting Secretary of Defense
  • Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Chairman, Strategic Forces Subcommittee, House Armed Services Committee
  • Cristina Chaplain, Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management, Government Accountability Office (GAO)

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the symposium on March 20, 2019:  Cooper Optimistic Congress Will Approve Space Force, But Will It Solve the Problem?

NAC Regulatory and Policy Committee, November 2018

NAC Regulatory and Policy Committee, November 2018

The new Regulatory and Policy Committee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) met for the first time on November 16, 2018.  It adopted “observations, findings, and recommendations” on eight topics:

  • Export Controls
  • Intellectual Property
  • Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) regarding its planetary protection guidelines
  • Supporting Space-Based Commercial Development
  • Enhancing ISS and Private Sector Habitat/Stion Utilization in LEO and Beyond
  • Utilization of Logos
  • Leveraging Advertising
  • Astronaut Endorsements

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the meeting, particularly its discussion of changes it wants to planetary protection guidelines developed by COSPAR and designed to prevent contamination of other planets by Earth microbes and vice versa, on November 23, 2018.  The article includes a link to the texts of all the OFRs.

National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group, November 2018

National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group, November 2018

The National Space Council’s Users’ Advisory Group (UAG) held its second meeting on November 15, 2018 at NASA HQ in Washington, DC.  Chaired by Adm. Jim Ellis (Ret.), the UAG provides outside advice to the Space Council, which is chaired by Vice President Mike Pence.

The meeting covered a number of topics, one of which was NASA’s plans to return humans to the Moon.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of that discussion on November 15:  NASA’s Moon Plan Panned by Space Council Advisers.

National Space Council Meeting, October 2018

National Space Council Meeting, October 2018

The White House National Space Council held its fourth public meeting at Ft. McNair, Washington, DC on October 23, 2018.  The main focus was President Trump’s proposal to establish a new military department, the Department of the Space Force, but other topics also were discussed.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published two articles summarizing the meeting.

 

On October 31, the Space Council released the texts of the statements by the three witnesses at the meeting:

Space Force: VP Pence At Washington Post Live Event and Fourth National Space Council Meeting, October 2018

Space Force: VP Pence At Washington Post Live Event and Fourth National Space Council Meeting, October 2018

President Trump’s proposal to create a sixth military department, a Space Force, was the topic of back-to-back meetings on October 23, 2018.

Vice President Mike Pence first was interviewed by Washington Post political reporter Robert Costa at a Washington Post Live event, and then chaired the fourth public meeting of the White House National Space Council at Ft. McNair in Washington, D.C.  The Space Force was the primary topic of the Space Council meeting, which unanimously approved six recommendations offered by Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the two meetings on October 23:  DOD “Moving Out” on Space Force as Space Council Approves Six Recommendations to President.

Reps. Mike Rogers and Jim Cooper Speak at Aspen Institute on Space Force, September 2018

Reps. Mike Rogers and Jim Cooper Speak at Aspen Institute on Space Force, September 2018

Reps. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and Jim Cooper (D-TN) spoke at the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC on September 27, 2018 on “Making the Space Force a Reality.” The two are the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and have been trying to create a Space Corps within the Air Force analogous to the Marine Corps within the Department of the Navy.  President Trump, however, wants an entirely new military department, a Department of the Space Force.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of their remarks on September 27: Rogers, Cooper Reject Golf Plating of Space Corps.