Our Meeting Summaries
The International Symposium on Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) 2013 was held October 16-17, 2013 in New Mexico. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the meeting on October 22, 2013.
The National Research Council's Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) met on October 10-11, 2013. On October 11, ASEB received briefings on the status of several space technologies including space-based additive manufacturing (better known as 3D printing); Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) technologies for spacecraft visiting other planetary bodies; and solar electric propulsion, a technological centerpiece of NASA's proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the space-related portions of the ASEB meeting on October 13, 2013 under the title "Space-Based 3D Printing Tweaks ASEB's Interest."
The George C. Marshall Institute and TechAmerica Space Enterprise Council held a panel discussion on the future of military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) on September 19, 2013. The discussion used a new report by Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments as its basis. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the meeting on September 23, 2013.
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. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the Target NEO 2 workshop by correspondent Gabriele Martinez-Betancourt on July 13, 2013.
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. SpacePolicyOnline.com 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.
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, SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of Gerstenmaier's comments at those meetings. The article also provides a SpacePolicyOnline.com analysis of the challenges the agency faces in convincing stakeholders to support the idea.
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 SpacePolicyOnline.com summary of the seminar by Laura Delgado and Marcia Smith was published on March 10.
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. SpacePolicyOnline.com 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.
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.
SpacePolicyOnline.com published two articles summarizing the FAA's 2013 Commercial Space Transportation Conference, held February 6-7, 2013 in Washington, D.C.