Public Policy and Government Affairs

Biweekly Washington, D.C., Update for the Week Ending October 30, 2020

Written by: Hanh Le

The Senate took recess this week following the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, as Washington and the country await the results of the 2020 elections next week. Meanwhile, it was reported that NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover had made it to the halfway point in its journey to the Red Planet, and preparations were taking place to celebrate the 20th anniversary of humans continuously living and working in space aboard the International
Space Station.

Sign Up for Space Symposium 365

  • Space Foundation has launched Space Symposium 365, a year-round digital platform for learning, collaborating, and conducting business within the global space community.
  • The series will showcase exclusive interviews, panels, discussions, and roundtables with newsmakers, investors, experts, and other space professionals; bridge conversations between civil, commercial, military, and international space; and, examine emerging priorities, missions, and policies driving the global space economy.
  • Videos of interviews that took place earlier this week with NASA Administrator Bridenstine, Space Force CSO Gen. “Jay” Raymond and USAF Sec. Barbara Barrett, as well as NRO Director Scolese are available to view on demand for Space Symposium 365 subscribers.
  • More speakers to come:
    – Panel conversation with the International Space Station’s “Expedition One” crew — Nov. 2, at 2 p.m. ET
    – James Dickinson, Commander, United States Space Command — Nov. 5, at 11 a.m. ET
  • Register here to learn more, and to follow all the key events and discussions with industry professionals, 365 days a year.

Space Foundation Highlights

The Space Report Quarter 3 finds Commercial Space Revenue Climbed to $336.89 billion in 2019

  • The Space Report 2020 Q3 includes an analysis of 2019 commercial space revenue, and the annual data shows gains over the prior year, and strong 10-year performance.
  • Commercial space revenue, which represents about 80% of the global space economy, climbed 6.3% compared to 2018, growing to $336.89 billion. Over the last 10 years, the increase was 77.8% overall.
  • Additionally, this edition of the Space Report covers human spaceflight programs, commercial space products, and commercial space infrastructure.
  • To read more findings, please visit; the Q3 Takeaways document is available for free download.

Other Highlights

Space Policy Pod: Episode 13 – Kelvin Coleman

  • Our latest episode features Kelvin Coleman, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation.
  • In his current role, Mr. Coleman is responsible for licensing commercial operators for space launch and reentry.
  • In this episode, Mr. Coleman discusses the recently announced final regulations on commercial space launch and reentry license requirements.

Space Industry Updates

  • Ansys has acquired Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) for $700 million. (SpaceNews, Oct. 26)
  • The NASA/SpaceX Crew-1 launch has been rescheduled for Nov. 14. (NASA, Oct. 26)
  • NASA’s OSIRIS-REx collected such a large sample from asteroid Bennu that the container was unable to close, potentially allowing sample material to leak out. (SpaceNews, Oct. 23)
  • Virgin Galactic hired two new pilots for its Pilots Corps. (Virgin Galactic, Oct. 27)
  • Catalonia will invest in creating its own space agency as part of a plan to become a producer and consumer of digital technology. The agency’s work is projected to create 1,200 jobs and generate an income of €300 million within four years. (The Guardian, Oct. 27)
  • For Halloween, NASA shared some “sinister” sounds from outer space. (Soundcloud, Oct. 28)
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved $9 billion to the 5G Fund for Rural America, to extend 5G wireless broadband connectivity to rural communities. (Engadget, Oct. 27)
  • The Space Development Agency is preparing for its next big procurement of up to 150 satellites, to be launched in 2024. (SpaceNews, Oct. 25)

Space Policy Updates

  • NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) finalized an agreement to collaborate on the Artemis Gateway. (NASA, Oct. 27)
  • The discovery of water beneath the lunar surface appears unlikely to have a long-term effect on NASA’s exploration plans for the Moon. (SpaceNews, Oct. 27)
  • President Trump signed the PROSWIFT space weather bill with a number of caveats, those being that he feels certain sections limit his discretion to conduct foreign affairs, and that the bill fails to address the resilience of national security assets or critical infrastructure. (Space Policy Online, Oct. 22)
  • Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) of the Senate Commerce Committee introduced the Space Preservation and Conjunction Emergency (SPACE) Act to direct space traffic management responsibilities to the Department of Commerce. (, Oct. 21)

Additional Space Foundation Resources

  • The latest Space4U Podcast episode features Dr. Katharine Forth, who took the insights she gained from working with astronauts in microgravity to create the Zibrio SmartScale for balance.
  • The Space Report Quarter 3 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 Space Review | Russia gears up for electronic warfare in space (part 1), by Bart Hendrickx

  • Russia is building up its capabilities to conduct electronic warfare (EW) against foreign satellites.
  • EW has taken on an increasingly prominent role for Russia’s armed forces since their Electronic Warfare Troops were established in 2009.
  • The article outlines targets for Russian EW complexes, such as radar reconnaissance satellites, spoofing communications user terminals, and downlink jamming.

Space Trivia

Sixty-three years ago, on November 3, 1957, the Soviet Union launched “Laika,” the first dog (and living creature) to go to space. (Source: BBC)