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Our Meeting Summaries

NASA Small Bodies Assessment Group Debates Asteroid Redirect Mission, July 2014

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 01-Aug-2014 (Updated: 01-Aug-2014 06:13 PM)
NASA's Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) met July 29-31, 2014 in Washington, DC.   It received a number of briefings from NASA officials on the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) and other aspects of the "Evolvable Mars Campaign."   A significant portion of the meeting was devoted to debate about ARM, particularly a presentation by MIT's Richard Binzel, a planetary scientist who was sharply critical of the mission. summarized the SBAG meeting in an article published on August 1 entitled "Asteroid Expert Richard Binzel:  ARM is "Emperor With No Clothes."   (Planetary scientists use the term "small bodies" to refer to asteroids, comets, interplanetary dust, small satellitles, and Trans-Neptunian objects.)

NASA Advisory Council Adopts Recommendations on Human Spaceflight Program, July 2014

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 31-Jul-2014 (Updated: 31-Jul-2014 10:46 PM)

The full NASA Advisory Council (NAC) met July 30-31, 2014 at NASA's Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA.  Over the course of the two-day meeting, the NAC adopted three recommendations and one finding about NASA's human spaceflight program after long and lively debate. published two articles summarizing the meeting:

NASA Advisory Council's Human Exploration and Operations Committee, July 2014

Len Ly
Posted: 29-Jul-2014 (Updated: 29-Jul-2014 04:40 PM)
The Human Exploration and Operations committee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) met on July 28-29, 2014 at NASA's Langley Research Center.   During the afternoon of July 28, NASA deputy space station program manager Dan Hartman discussed the status of the International Space Station (ISS) and plans for the future. published a summary of Hartman's comments on July 29, entitled "Hartman: U.S. and Russian Crews to Fly Both Soyuz and U.S. Commercial Vehicles."

National Security Space Launch and the Industrial Base: Issues and Opportunities. July 2014

Laura M. Delgado
Posted: 29-Jul-2014 (Updated: 29-Jul-2014 04:35 PM)
The George C. Marshall Institute held a panel discussion on July 23, 2014 on "National Security Space Launch and the Industrial Base: Issues and Opportunities."   Panelists were Josh Hartman, CEO of Horizon Strategies Group, and Scott Pace of George Washington University's Space Policy Institute.  Hartman was a member of the "Mitchell Panel" headed by Maj. Gen. Howard "Mitch" Mitchell (Ret) that reviewed alternatives to Russia's RD-180 rocket engines. published a summary of the meeting on July 24, 2014 entitled "RD-180 Decision Will Not Be Made by Space Community Says Member of Mitchell Panel."

Hidden Benefits of NRO Spy Technology, July 2014

Laura M. Delgado
Posted: 29-Jul-2014 (Updated: 29-Jul-2014 04:27 PM)
On July 11, 2014, the Space Foundation held a panel discussion highlighting the benefits derived by society from intelligence-gathering technology developed by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).  NRO designs, builds and operates the nation's spy satellites. published a summary of the discussion on July 12, 2014.  Panelists at the event were Dr. Robert McDonald and Dr. James Outzen from the Center for the Study of National Reconnaissance.

Satellites and Maritime Domain Awareness, June 2014

Marcia S. Smith and Len Ly
Posted: 19-Jun-2014 (Updated: 19-Jun-2014 03:12 PM)

The Secure World Foundation held a seminar on "Monitoring the High Seas:  The Increasing Role of Space In Maritime Domain Awareness" on June 16, 2014.  Five experts on MDA discussed the role that satellites play in the multi-layered approach to providing MDA, including optical and imaging satellites as well as Satellite-AIS (S-AIS) based on the International Maritime Organization's Automatic Identification System (AIS). published a summary of the meeting on June 19, 2014.   The speakers were:

  • Guy Thomas, co-founder, C-SIGMA Centre
  • John Mittleman, Naval Research Laboratory
  • Maj. Charity Weeden, Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Jon Huggins, Oceans Beyond Piracy project of the One Earth Future Foundation
  • Bharath Gopalaswamy, South Asia Center, the Atlantic Council

Rep. Frank Wolf Speaks to Space Policy Institute on Future of NASA, April 2014

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 29-Apr-2014 (Updated: 17-Aug-2014 07:01 PM)
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), who chairs the House Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee that funds NASA, spoke to George Washington University's Space Policy Institute on April 28, 2014.   One focus of his remarks was his belief that the next step in the U.S. human spaceflight program should be a return to the Moon, not a mission to an asteroid as proposed by President Obama.   He also stressed his objections to any space cooperation between the United States and China because of China's human rights violations. summarized his remarks in an article published that day.

Senator Barbara Mikulski Speech to Maryland Space Business Roundtable, April 2014

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 07-Apr-2014 (Updated: 17-Aug-2014 07:02 PM)
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and ardent NASA supporter, spoke to the Maryland Space Business Roundtable on April 7, 2014.  She vowed to "work her earrings off" to fund NASA at least at the same level as FY2014 even though President Obama requested less money for FY2015. published a summary of her remarks the same day. 

Easing the Burden: Reducing the Cost of National Security Space Capabilities, March 2014

Laura M. Delgado
Posted: 24-Mar-2014 (Updated: 17-Aug-2014 06:57 PM)

On March 24, 2014, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) held a panel discussion to release its report "Easing the Burden:  Reducing the Cost of National Security Space Capabilities." published a summary of the meeting that day.  Panelists were:

  • Frank Slazer, AIA
  • Keith Robertson, National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
  • Jeff Trauberman, Boeing
  • David Barnhart, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)
  • Rick Skinner, Northrop Grumman Aerospace

NASA Advisory Council ISS Research Subcommittee, February 2014

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 24-Feb-2014 (Updated: 17-Aug-2014 07:00 PM)
The Research Subcommittee of the Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NASA Advisory Council met on February 24, 2014 in Washington, DC to discuss research conducted aboard the International Space Station (ISS).   Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, and Sam Scimemi, ISS Director at NASA Headquarters, were among the officials who briefed the subcommittee. published a summary of the remarks made by Gerstenmaier and Scimemi on February 24, especially Gerstenmaier's comments about the desirability of the private sector building commercial space stations as successors to ISS because he does not believe the government will build future space stations of that magnitude.