Our Meeting Summaries
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.
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 SpacePolicyOnline.com 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.
SpacePolicyOnline.com 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 SpacePolicyOnline.com on January 30, 2013.
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 SpacePolicyOnline.com 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.
On February 13, 2012, NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) John Grunsfeld and other SMD officials answered questions from the media about SMD's FY2013 budget request. These SpacePolicyOnline.com notes from the teleconference were originally published on SpacePolicyOnline.com on February 16 under the title "NASA Science Officials: News Not Entirely Bleak for Mars, PU-238 Restart Still Needed."
On February 14, 2012, Marcia McNutt, Director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other USGS officials provided a briefing on the FY2013 budget request for USGS. That request includes funding for the Landsat land remote sensing satellite system. USGS operates the two existing Landsat satellites and will operate the next in the series, Landsat 8. NASA built and will launch Landsat 8, which it calls the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM). These SpacePolicyOnline.com notes from the USGS briefing were originally published on SpacePolicyOnline.com on February 14 under the title "USGS Director: Landsat Has Many Fans, But Affordable Solution Needed for Future."
On February 13, 2012, Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, answered questions from the media via teleconference on the budget request for his office. These SpacePolicyOnline.com meeting notes from that teleconference were originally published on SpacePolicyOnline.com under the title Gerstenmaier: Soyuz Launch Date May Advance, INKSNA Waiver Needed, Beyond LEO Destination TBD.