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What's Happening in Space Policy February 6-10, 2017 - UPDATE 2

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 05-Feb-2017
Updated: 06-Feb-2017 08:16 AM

Here's our list of space policy events for the week of February 6-10, 2017 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session part of the week.

During the Week

The big event this week is the FAA's annual Commercial Space Transportation conference in Washington, DC on Tuesday afternoon and all day Wednesday.  This year it is being organized by the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) and held at the Ronald Reagan Building.  As usual it has top notch keynote speakers and panel sessions.  One keynote many will be watching is Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), who is speaking at 12:30 pm ET on Wednesday.   He is widely rumored to be seeking the NASA Administrator job and, in any case, is a prominent congressional advocate for commercial space, especially broadening the role of the FAA's Office of Commercial Space Transportation.  The agenda says nothing about webcasting.  If we learn anything about a webcast, we'll add the link to our calendar item for this event. [UPDATE: A CSF spokeswoman says there will NOT be a webcast this year.]

The Senate will continue to consider nominations, some more contentious than others.  No date seems to be set for confirming Wilbur Ross for Secretary of Commerce, but he was easily approved by the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.  A Senate vote could come at any time.

Over on the House side, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold its 115th Congress organizational meeting on Tuesday at 10:00 ET according to National Journal's Daybook, although it is not posted on the committee's website (as of Sunday morning, at least). The committee is holding its first hearing of the year (on EPA) at 11:00 that morning, so an organizational meeting in advance makes sense.  The Republican committee leadership identified its key priorities for this Congress and announced subcommittee leadership and membership positions last week.   "Constancy of Purpose Within NASA" is the fifth of the committee's top five priorities.  Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) will continue to chair the Space Subcommittee and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) takes over as chair of the Environment Subcommittee (which oversees NOAA's satellite programs).

On a completely different topic, the Washington Space Business Roundtable (WSBR) will have a panel discussion on Spectrum Traffic Jams on Friday.  The battle for spectrum -- especially freeing spectrum for use by the commercial sector by taking it away from government users, and satellite versus terrestrial needs  -- wages on.  Al Wissman from NOAA, Victoria Samson from the Secure World Foundation, and Valerie Green from Ligado join Caleb Henry of Space News for the lunchtime discussion.  Note that the meeting is at the City Club of Washington (555 13th Street, NW), not the University Club where WSBR often holds its luncheon meetings.

Those and other events we know about as of Sunday morning are shown below.   Check back throughout the week for others we learn about later and add to our Events of Interest list.

Monday-Friday (February 6-10) (second week of meeting)

Tuesday, February 7

Tuesday-Wednesday, February 7-8

Tuesday-Thursday, February 7-9

Wednesday, February 8

Friday, February 10

 Note:  This article has been updated.


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