Report from Washington, D.C.

Space Foundation Advocates for Space in Washington, D.C.

Written by: developer

By Space Foundation Government Affairs Associate Jillianne Pierce

February has been a busy month in the District of Columbia! Here is a summary of those activities:

On Feb. 2, President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2016 budget request. For your convenience, Space Foundation staff has culled together the relevant space budget numbers for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Department of Defense (DoD). These documents will be updated throughout the year in a timely fashion as the Congressional budget process proceeds.

On Feb. 4, Space Foundation CEO Elliot Pulham addressed the FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington, D.C. Painting a positive view of the future of the commercial space industry, Pulham said that he expects 1,155 satellites to be built and launched in the next decade.

On Feb. 5, the Space Foundation hosted a widely-attended event at the Embassy of France to commemorate Franco-American cooperation in space. Space Foundation Chairman Lon Levin welcomed a diverse crowd of distinguished guests from government and industry, and introduced NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, who offered remarks about the critical role that CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) and ESA (European Space Agency) play in collaborative space exploration.

On Feb. 11, Brendan Curry, Vice President – Washington Operations, and I joined other space professionals who attended a viewing event at the Embassy of Italy for the launch and successful test flight of ESA’s IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle) spaceplane.

On Feb. 12, the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Environment and Subcommittee on Oversight held a joint hearing, entitled “Bridging the Gap: America’s Weather Satellites and Weather Forecasting.” The hearing focused on a recent GAO report concerning a likely-looming gap in polar satellite coverage and data from the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) and the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite System (GOES).

On Feb. 24, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation — Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness — held a hearing, entitled “U.S. Human Exploration Goals and Commercial Space Competitiveness.” Space Foundation Board Member John Elbon, Vice President and General Manager, Boeing Space Exploration, and Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Honorary Board member, testified as witnesses.

Also on Feb. 24, the National Air and Space Museum hosted an advanced screening of the new IMAX film, Journey to Space. Space Foundation Board of Directors Member-At-Large, The Honorable Patricia Grace Smith (pictured) offered remarks before the screening of the film, which chronicled the legacy of the Space Shuttle program and provided images of what a manned mission to Mars might look like.

In her comments, Grace said, “Journey to Space celebrates our heritage of discovery, and showcases collaborative enthusiasm about the future. Space is humanity’s last true marvel and wonder. It’s a place of dreams, of hopes, of discovery. Our burning curiosity is one of the common bonds that tie us all together — that need to explore, to know, to answer. To fulfill our dreams of traveling beyond our own planet, we need a diverse and talented workforce. To this end, we must do all we can to inspire the next generation of space workers and leaders.”

On Feb. 25, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies held a NASA oversight meeting, and U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Defense Subcommittee held a hearing entitled, “FY2016 U.S. Air Force Budget Request.”

On Feb. 26, the Space Foundation re-initiated its popular Space Power Breakfast series. Held on Capitol Hill exclusively for Space Foundation Corporate Members, Hill staff, and executive branch space officials, the briefing and update on Air Force Space Programs featured speaker Maj. Gen. Roger W. Teague, USAF, Director, Space Programs, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Acquisition (pictured). Teague was introduced by Congressman Doug Lamborn from Colorado, co-chair of the House Space Power Caucus.

Also on Feb. 26, the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces held a hearing on the President’s FY16 budget request for strategic forces.

On Feb. 27, the House Committee on Appropriations, subcommittee on Defense held a hearing on the President’s FY16 budget request for the United States Air Force. And, to round out the month, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held a hearing entitled, “The Commercial Crew Program: Challenges and Opportunities.”

This article is part of Space Watch: March 2015 (Volume: 14, Issue: 3).