Public Policy and Government Affairs

Biweekly Washington, D.C., Update for the Week Ending September 4, 2020

Written by: Hanh Le

This week Space Foundation announced the launch of “Space Symposium 365,” providing a digital platform that builds upon the spirit of the traditional annual gathering. Programming will debut in October, offering exclusive digital content to the global space community leading up to the next in-person Symposium, set for August 2021.

Introducing Space Symposium 365

  • “Space Symposium 365” is a new initiative that will premiere this October, offering expanded programming and collaborative opportunities that will continue to bring the global space community together.
  • The initiative will showcase exclusive interviews, panels, discussions, and roundtables with newsmakers, investors, experts, and other space professionals; bridge the conversations between Civil, Commercial, Military, and International Space; and, examine emerging priorities, missions, and policies driving the global space economy.
  • Register here to learn more, and to follow all the key events and discussion from industry professionals, 365 days a year.

Other Space Foundation Highlights

Space Policy Pod: Episode 9 – Kevin O’Connell

  • Our latest episode features Kevin O’Connell, Director of the Office of Space Commerce at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
  • He leads an office tasked with the responsibility of being a space industry advocate within the Executive Branch of the U.S. government.
  • O’Connell discusses the National Academy of Public Administration’s assessment of the Office of Space Commerce and Space Traffic Management.

 Space Industry Updates

  • NASA and Northrop Grumman successfully performed a static-fire test for the Space Launch System (SLS) that lasted more than two minutes. (SpaceNews, Sept. 2)
  • The Air Force Research Laboratory announced that it will pursue two new experiments to study low Earth orbit and pursue sensor technologies for cislunar space. (SpaceNews, Sept. 2)
  • Made In Space Europe is partnering with Momentus to develop a robotic spaceflight mission planned for 2022. (Via Satellite, Sept. 1)
  • NASA astronaut Jeanette Epps will become the first black woman to join an International Space Station crew. (CNBC, Aug. 27)
  • The investigation into an air leak on the International Space Station continues. (, Aug. 25)

Space Policy Updates

  • China launched an experimental reusable spacecraft today from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. (SpaceNews, Sept. 4)
  • Lisa Campbell will succeed Sylvain Laporte to head the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). (CBC, Sept. 3)
  • The United States Space Force will add more than 2,400 new members. (SpaceNews, Sept. 1)
  • The cost for the NASA SLS will be 30% more than previously estimated, and new ground infrastructure at Kennedy Space Center to accommodate it will cost an additional $2.4 million. (Bloomberg, Aug. 27)
  • Dan Crenshaw’s (R-TX) “Starfleet” proposal to use Naval ranks for the Space Force has become a “polarizing issue.” (SpaceNews, Aug. 27)
  • A report released by the American Astronomical Society recommends various strategies to mitigate the impacts of large satellite constellations on astronomy visibility. (AAS, Aug. 25)

Additional Space Foundation Resources

  • The latest Space4U Podcast episode features Aaron Shepard, NASA Robotics Intern and Founder of Cogito.
  • The Space Report Quarter 2 is available here.
  • Online learning, lesson plans, and video lessons for students grades K–12 are available at the Discovery Center website.

Further Reading

The Gazette | Space Foundation making a crucial pivot by Tom Zelibor

  • Space Foundation CEO Tom Zelibor discusses the difficult decision of rescheduling the 36th Space Symposium, and details how organizational changes must be made in order to adapt to a post-COVID environment.

Space Trivia

On Sept. 11, 1985, NASA’s International Cometary Explorer (ICE) performed a flyby of Comet Giacobini-Zinner and encountered Halley’s Comet. It was the first spacecraft to directly investigate two comets. (Source: NASA)