The Space Foundation hosted a reception and briefing in Washington, D.C., April 30, for congressional staffers, U.S. and international space agency officials, and industry representatives celebrating the release of The Space Report 2009: The Authoritative Guide to Global Space Activity. Marty Hauser, Space Foundation vice president, Washington operations, research & analysis, briefed the attendees on the contents of The Space Report 2009 – highlighting trends and growth in worldwide space budgets and commercial revenues, as well as data included in the newly expanded education and workforce section. For more information on The Space Report 2009, see related Space Watch article; for additional information or to purchase a copy; go to www.TheSpaceReport.org.
The Obama administration, which marked its first 100 days in office last week, has begun to take shape. The Senate confirmed Dr. Ashton Carter as the undersecretary of Defense for acquisitions, technology, and logistics. With major weapons and space acquisition programs and policy decisions on the horizon, this key post will have great influence on a variety of space programs. Earlier in April, Scott Large resigned as the director of the National Reconnaissance Office after 18 months in the position. Principal Deputy Director Ralph Haller will take the reins of the agency until a new director is appointed by the Secretary of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence. While many of the top science positions within the administration have been filled, the president has yet to nominate a new NASA administrator.
In late March and throughout April, various congressional committees of jurisdiction held hearings on space-related issues, ranging from export controls, to space debris and traffic management, to space systems acquisition, and the space industrial base. NASA’s programs were also the subject of recent hearings.
The White House is expected to release the full President’s budget request for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2010 early this month and formal congressional action will follow in earnest.