Events of Interest: Week of December 2-7, 2012 -- UPDATE 2
Marcia S. Smith
Updated: 03-Dec-2012 03:50 PM
UPDATE 2: The NRC moved the release time of its NASA Strategic Directions report on Dec. 5 from 11:00 to 11:30 am ET and added a telephone news conference with its chair, Al Carnesale. This article has been updated accordingly.
UPDATE: Adds the Golden Spike Company Debut press conference on Dec. 6.
The following events may be of interest in the coming week. The House and Senate are in session for at least part of the week.
During the Week
This is quite a busy week. Among the highlights are the following:
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting takes place in San Francisco with a number of town hall meetings, public lectures and press conferences about discoveries from space science missions, including a public lecture today (Sunday) at noon PT (3:00 pm ET) and press conference on Monday (9:00 am PT; noon ET) about Mars Curiosity. Everyone wants to know what Curiosity did or did not find -- not life, not organics, NASA's now made that clear.
The Senate is expected to complete debate on the FY2013 National Defense Authorization Act -- on which at least three important amendments affecting NASA and export control policy are pending. Debate began last Wednesday and they are hoping to wrap things up on Monday, though that depends on what deals could be made over this weekend to dispose of the hundreds of pending amendments. Senators Hutchison and Nelson each have amendments to extend launch liability indemnification and give NASA another waiver from the Iran-North Korea-Syria Nonproliferation Act (the two would deal with that issue differently). The Hutchison amendment also would require NASA to allocate money to the SLS/Orion program in FY2014 and FY2015 in the same proportion of the Exploration budget as in FY2013. The Bennet amendment would ease export control regulations for commercial satellites.
On Monday, the Secure World Foundation will hold a panel discussion on space policy issues facing the Obama Administration in the second term. (In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of the panelists.)
On Tuesday and Wednesday, two reports will be released with recommendations on NASA's future.
On Tuesday at 11:30 am ET, the Space Foundation will release its report PIONEERING: Sustaining U.S. Leadership in Space, in 253 Russell Senate Office Building (note the time change, the briefing starts at 11:30 instead of noon; doors open at 11:00).
On Wednesday at 11:30 am ET the National Research Council will publicly release thereport of its study committee on NASA's Strategic Direction. (In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of this committee and am posting this notice with NRC permission).
On Thursday, the 7th Eilene M. Galloway Symposium on Critical Issues in Space Law will be held at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. This year's topic is Regional and Global Space Organizations and Law, and the keynote speaker is NASA's Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Bill Gerstenmaier.
And those are just some of the meetings. The full list is below. Note that the House Science, Space and Technology Committee's hearing on NASA's Strategic Direction that was scheduled for December 6 has been postponed because the House leadership decided late last week that the House will not be in session on Thursday. A new date has not yet been announced.