Events of Interest: Week of September 10-16, 2012
The following events may be of interest in the coming week. Congress returns to work this week and the space policy world resumes its usual busy pace.
During the Week
The public memorial service for Neil Armstrong at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC on Thursday will be a time for celebrating not only his life but the invigorating days of the Apollo program. For those who cannot attend in person, NASA will carry the event live on NASA TV.
Committees in both the House and Senate will hold hearings on the future of the human spaceflight program on the days before and after Armstrong's memorial service. The House Science, Space and Technology Committee has hearings on Wednesday and Friday. Wednesday's hearing will get an update on the Space Launch System and Orion spacecraft that NASA is building to take astronauts beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) for the first time since the end of the Apollo lunar program. Friday's will focus on the nearer term effort to build new crew transportation systems to LEO as essentially a public-private partnership though it is dubbed "commercial crew." Meanwhile, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday that looks at the future of both robotic and human space exploration, with leaders of the Mars Curiosity rover team, the chair of the NASA Advisory Council, the chair of the National Research Council's Space Studies Board, and a leader of the rocket propulsion industry.
All of that is on top of a bevy of other events, including five conferences in the United States or abroad, that will keep the space policy community hopping all week. To make it easier to use this long list, we have separated the conferences from the other events.
Last but not least, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should submit to Congress its report on the specifics of how a sequester would impact federal spending, including for DOD, NASA and NOAA. The report was due last week, but White House press secretary Jay Carney said Friday it would not be released until "late next week," but did not say exactly when. It is sure to dampen any enthusiasm about the future of the space program that arises from the Armstrong memorial service and congressional hearings, but OMB's point is to demonstrate the catastrophic impact a sequester would have if Congress does not act to avoid it.
Wednesday, September 12
Thursday, September 13
Friday, September 14
Monday-Thursday, September 10-14
Tuesday-Thursday, September 11-13
Tuesday-Sunday, September 11-16
Thursday, September 13
Thursday-Sunday, September 13-16
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