Public Policy and Government Affairs

Biweekly Washington, D.C., Update for the Week Ending May 13, 2022

Written by: Elizabeth Anderson

This week in Washington: Senator Bernie Sanders’ effort to remove a $10 billion provision for a second Human Landing System was defeated on the Senate floor, Frank Calvelli was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration, and a Department of Defense Inspector General released a report finding US Space Command’s request move to Alabama was reasonable.

Congressional Hearings

May 3, 2022, Senate Armed Services Committee 

Defense Authorization Request for FY2023 and the Future Years Defense Program; Department of the Air Force


  • Frank Kendall, Secretary of the Air Force
  • General Charles Brown, Chief of Staff of the Air Force
  • General John Raymond, Chief of Space Operations

Notes on May 3rd Department of the Air Force Hearing


May 11, 2022, Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces

Defense Authorization Request for FY2023 and the Future Years Defense Program; United States Space Force


  • John Plumb, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy
  • Frank Calvelli, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration
  • General David Thompson, Vice Chief of Space Operations

Notes on May 11th United States Space Force Hearing

May 12, 2022, House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

Space Situational Awareness: Guiding the Transition to a Civil Capability


  • Dr. Matthew Hejduk, Senior Project Leader, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Dr. Moriba Jah, Associate Professor, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Mr. Andrew D’Uva, Senior Policy Advisor, Space Data Association
  • Mr. Kevin M. O’Connell, Founder, Space Economy Rising, LLC
  • Dr. Mariel Borowitz, Associate Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology

Notes on May 12th Space Situational Awareness Hearing

US Space Policy Updates

  • National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA) lunar CubeSat CAPSTONE set to launch as soon as May 27th on an Electron rocket (NASA via Twitter, April 29)
  • Russia is not a big ASAT threat, says Senator Mark Kelly (Space News, May 2)
  • Space Force’s technology arm, SpaceWERX, selected 125 teams to each receive $250,000 to develop on-orbit servicing advancements (Space News, May 2)
  • NASA Administrator Nelson put forth his support for fixed-price contracts and called cost-plus contracts a ‘plague’ (Space Policy Online, May 3)
  • Senator Bernie Sanders’ effort to remove a $10 billion provision for a second Human Landing System (HLS) was defeated on the Senate floor (Space Policy Online, May 4)
  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) issued a solicitation for nuclear-powered space rocket-engines (DARPA, May 4)
  • Frank Calvelli was sworn in as Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisition and Integration (Air Force, May 5)
  • The Space Landing System countdown rehearsal was pushed back to mid-June, delaying the launch from July (Orlando Sentinel, May 6).
  • The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and the U.K.’s Ministry of Defense will team up to launch the first satellite from Cornwall, U.K. (Breaking Defense, May 10).
  • Space Force released “Space Test Enterprise Vision”, calling for evolving technologies and capabilities to match innovation of competitors (Space Force, May 10)
  • Department of Defense Inspector General report says US Space Command’s request move to Alabama was reasonable (Breaking Defense, May 11)

International Space Policy Updates

  • The UAE will send an Emirati astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) for six months, in a partnership between Axiom Space and the Mohammed bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) (The National News, May 1)
  • South Korea’s Innospace signed an agreement with Brazil to launch a military satellite payload (Innospace, May 3)
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron reaffirmed cooperation between their nations in space and defense affairs (Modern Diplomacy, May 4)
  • China launched additional Jilin-1 commercial sensing satellites (Space News, May 5)
  • Canada joined the US in agreement to not conduct ASAT tests (Space News, May 9).
  • Colombia has signed the Artemis Accords, making it the 3rd Latin American nation and 19th nation to join (NASA, May 10)
  • A Tianzhou-4 cargo craft docked with the Chinese Space Station (Space News, May 10)

Space Industry Updates

  • Rocket Lab successfully caught an Electron rocket returning to Earth with a helicopter (TechCrunch, May 3)
  • Satellogic signed a multi-launch agreement for 68 additional satellites in a partnership with SpaceX (Satellite Today, May 4)
  • Ursa Major landed an order for 200 rocket engines from Phantom Space (Sat News, May 4)
  • NaraSpace Technology closed a $7.88 million Series A funding round (Tech Crunch, May 4)
  • Virgin Galactic pushed its first commercial suborbital flight to 2023 (, May 6)
  • Astra will begin launches from a U.K. Spaceport in 2023 (Astra, May 10)

Space Leader Spotlight

Richard DalBello

On Monday, May 9th, Richard DalBello assumed the position of Director of NOAA’s Office of Space Commerce (OSC). OSC is responsible for space traffic management and managing commercial space licenses for remote imaging.

DalBello began the climb to his position as an undergraduate at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. After graduation, he attended the University of San Francisco Law School and McGill University, where he, respectively, acquired his J.D. and Masters. DalBello brings a unique background to the industry as a space leader with a non-military or engineering background and an international education.

Throughout his career, DalBello spent time in both the private sector and government. DalBello began his career in government during the Clinton Administration and held positions of Assistant Director of Aeronautics and Space, and Assistant Director of the Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP). In the private sector, DalBello notably worked as Intelsat General’s Vice President of Government Affairs and Virgin Galactic’s Vice President of Business Development.

DalBello, with over 30 years of space industry experience, received strong support from industry professionals in response to his new role. In this position, he strives to work to better space safety and sustainability.

Reading Corner

Event Horizon Telescope | Astronomers reveal first image of the black hole at the heart of our galaxy

Event Horizon Telescope provides the first direct visual evidence of Sagittarius A*, the massive object that sits at the center of our galaxy.

Written by Elizabeth Anderson and Gabriel Flouret. Thank you to Gabriel, who has co-authored Washington Updates throughout the duration of his internship with Space Foundation.

Image credits to Event Horizon Telescope and NOAA