Report from Washington, D.C.
2008 is already proving to be an eventful year in Washington. In January, the Space Foundation’s Washington, D.C., office hosted the first Space Foundation Correspondents Group of the year with featured speaker Brig. Gen. C. Donald Alston, USAF, director, Space and Nuclear Operations, deputy chief of staff for Air, Space and Information Operations, Plans and Requirements.
The second session of the 110th Congress is in full swing, with movement on new issues, such as the economic stimulus package, and remaining legislation from 2007 including the fiscal year (FY) 2008 Defense Authorization bill, which the President initially vetoed. Upon their return to Washington, congressional leadership worked with the White House on a compromise and both the House and Senate passed the new version of the bill.
On February 4, the President will release his budget request for FY 2009 with congressional budget hearings soon following. Many congressional committees have oversight for U.S. government space activities, so a wide range of space issues are likely to be discussed, including missile defense, civil and military Earth observation systems, space situational awareness, operationally responsive space, and NASA’s exploration efforts and mission priorities. Additionally, 2008 promises movement on legislation such as the reauthorizations of NASA, the Department of Defense, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as the standard appropriations bills.
In April, the Space Foundation will release The Space Report 2008: The Guide to the Global Space Industry in conjunction with the 24th National Space Symposium. This year’s edition, which covers 2007 data, will contain information on global space budgets and revenues, a yearly summary and analysis of the Space Foundation Index, and, for the first time, will address workforce issues. The early April release will provide timely and useful information throughout the calendar year. Individuals may reserve a copy by pre-ordering at www.TheSpaceReport.org.