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Our Meeting Summaries

Target NEO 2 Workshop, July 2013

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 13-Jul-2013 (Updated: 13-Jul-2013 11:37 PM)
On July 9, 2013, Ball Aerospace sponsored the Target NEO 2 workshop.   It was a follow-on to the 2011 Target NEO workshop that discussed the technical aspects of achieving President Obama's 2010 goal of sending astronauts to an asteroid by 2025.  The 2013 workshop discussed the technical challenges of the latest iteration of that goal -- NASA's Asteroid Retrieval Mission (ARM) to send a robotic probe to capture an asteroid, redirect it to lunar orbit, and send astronauts there to study it and possibly return a sample to Earth. published a summary of the Target NEO 2 workshop by correspondent Gabriele Martinez-Betancourt on July 13, 2013.

The Space Program in the Nixon and Ford Administrations, June 2013

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 15-Jun-2013 (Updated: 15-Jun-2013 03:38 PM)
On June 13, 2013, a seminar was held at the National Archives on the roles Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford played in the space program as part of a centennial celebration of both presidents. published a summary of the seminar on June 15, 2013.  Speakers were John Logsdon, George Washington University; Bill Barry, NASA; and Roger Launius, National Air and Space Museum.

Gerstenmaier Elucidates Asteroid Return Strategy

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 21-Apr-2013 (Updated: 21-Apr-2013 10:06 AM)
NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Bill Gerstenmaier spoke at two meetings during the week of April 15, 2013 explaining the agency's new plan to capture an asteroid, bring it into an orbit around the Moon, and send astronauts to obtain a sample.  On April 20, 2013, published a summary of Gerstenmaier's comments at those meetings.  The article also provides a analysis of the challenges the agency faces in convincing stakeholders to support the idea.

Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy 10 Years Later: Lessons Learned and Unlearned

Laura M. Delgado
Posted: 10-Mar-2013 (Updated: 10-Mar-2013 10:09 PM)
On March 8, 2013, George Washington University's Space Policy Institute and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics held a day-long seminar to look back at the 2003 space shuttle Columbia (STS-107) tragedy and what lessons were learned, unlearned, or forgotten in its aftermath.   Speakers included Adm. Harold (Hal) Gehman, who chaired the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) and fellow CAIB member John Logsdon, along with many of the former astronauts and NASA officials who were on the frontline of recovering the remains of the crew and fragments of the space shuttle and helping CAIB determine the causes of the disaster.   This summary of the seminar by Laura Delgado and Marcia Smith was published on March 10.

Threats to U.S. Space Investments

Laura M. Delgado
Posted: 21-Feb-2013 (Updated: 21-Feb-2013 12:33 PM)
On February 20, 2013, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Space Foundation, and the Secure World Foundation (SWF) held a panel discussion on Capitol Hill on Threats to U.S. Space Investments. published a summary of the meeting on February 21, 2013.  The meeting was held under the Chatham House rule of non-attribution where speakers cannot be quoted by name.

AIA and NDD United Warn Against Sequester

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 11-Feb-2013 (Updated: 11-Feb-2013 10:56 PM)

On February 11, 2013, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and NDD United, a group of organizations opposed to cuts to Non-Defense Discretionary (NDD) funding, held a joint press conference to warn against dramatic cuts to federal spending -- the "sequester" --  that will take effect on March 1, 2013 if Congress does not act to stop them.  The sequester would cut $85 billion from defense and non-defense discretionary spending in FY2013.  Because FY2013 already is underway (the government's fiscal year is October 1-September 30), those cuts would have to be absorbed in 7 months instead of 12.  Participants in the press conference agreed that the deficit must be cut, but not only by cutting discretionary spending.   There must be a balance between cuts to discretionary spending (defense, NASA, NOAA etc), cuts to mandatory spending (Social Security, Medicare etc) and increases in revenues to solve the deficit problem, they argued.

This SpacePolicyOnline summary of the press conference was published later that day.

FAA 2013 Commercial Space Transportation Conference

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 07-Feb-2013 (Updated: 07-Feb-2013 10:15 PM) published two articles summarizing the FAA's 2013 Commercial Space Transportation Conference, held February 6-7, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

Caution and Risk: Balancing Risk in Spaceflight

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 03-Feb-2013 (Updated: 03-Feb-2013 05:11 PM)

On February 1, 2013, the NASA Day of Remembrance 2013 honoring the crews of Apollo 1 (AS-204), Challenger (STS-51-L), Columbia (STS-107) and other astronauts who lost their lives, the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum (NASM) held a panel discussion on Caution and Risk:  Balancing Risk in Spaceflight at the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.  That day was the 10th anniversary of the loss of Columbia and her crew.

This summary of the panel discussion was published the next day.   The panel, moderated by NASM space historian Roger Launius, featured June Scobee Rogers, widow of Challenger commander Dick Scobee, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator for NASA Public Outreach Alan Ladwig, Apollo and Shuttle astronaut Ken Mattingly, and space historian Steve Dicks.   Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin made a surprise appearance as well.

Disaggregation in Military Space Systems

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 31-Jan-2013 (Updated: 31-Jan-2013 07:05 PM) correspondent Laura Delgado reports on a January 30, 2013 meeting sponsored by the Marshall institute and TechAmerica Space Enterprise Council on "Disaggregration in an Era of Austerity: A Path Forward." Disaggregation refers to launching many small satellites with one or two (or a few) sensors instead of large, expensive satellites with many sensors.  Speakers at the meeting included Peter Marquez of Orbital Sciences Corp. and the Marshall Institute, Bill Reiner of Boeing, Josh Hartman of the Horizons Strategy Group, and Marc Berkowitz of Lockheed Martin.  Her summary was originally published on on January 30, 2013.

FY2013 Budget Briefing by NOAA Officials

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 18-Feb-2012 (Updated: 18-Feb-2012 01:55 PM)

On February 16, 2012, the administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Jane Lubchenco and other NOAA officials, including Deputy Administrator Kathy Sullivan, provided a briefing on NOAA's FY2013 budget request.   These meeting notes were originally published as an article on February 16 under the title "NOAA Administrator:  Weather Satellites Vital, but "Loom Large" in Budget.  The budget request includes funding for JPSS, GOES-R, DSCOVR and Jason-3 satellites.