International Affairs

Biweekly Washington, D.C. Updates for the Week Ending September 30, 2022

Written by: Elizabeth Anderson

This Week in Washington

The Senate confirmed Lt Gen Chance Saltzman as the next Chief of Space Operations. Majority Leader Schumer indicated the National Defense Authorization Act will not be voted on prior to midterm elections, and a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) has passed the Senate, likely to pass the House and to be signed by the President today. Hurricane Ian delays NASA’s Artemis 1 and Crew-5 launches.

Space Foundation Events

Faga Forum

The Faga Forum on Space Intelligence brings together senior leaders from  agencies  including the Office of the Secretary of Defense, National Reconnaissance Office, United States Air Force and Space Force, National Security Council, Defense Intelligence Agency, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency together with industry executives for robust discussions on a number of issues confronting the space and intelligence community.

The FAGA Forum is a unique opportunity for government and industry decision makers versed in national security, space, and intelligence issues to discuss current challenges, opportunities and solutions. The Forum will be conducted on October 27th at the TS/SCI level (US only) and will feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, and networking opportunities.

Space Matters

Space Foundation’s second season of “Space Matters” convenes well-known policy influencers for monthly high level space policy conversations on emerging topics and trends within the global space economy.

This month’s episode will cover topics on space sustainability.

This episode will be available here on October 6th at 1 PM.

United States Space Policy Updates

  • Space Systems Command (SSC) announced a new tri-agency office with the Space Development Agency (SDA) and Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to coordinate U.S. missile-defense satellite programs (Space Systems Command, September 15)
  • House lawmakers urged the Intelligence Community to provide additional transparency on commercial satellite imagery acquisition (Breaking Defense, September 16)
  • Space Force shared plans to bolster US satellite cybersecurity defenses (Space News, September 19)
  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced a new Entrepreneurial Fellowship for scientists and engineers (NSF, September 19)
  • Space Force conducted its first “Black Skies” electronic warfare exercises that provided space operators an opportunity to practice real-world satellite jamming (Breaking Defense, September 19)
  • Space Force is in talks with the Army to take over the service’s Joint Tactical Ground Station (JTAGS) missile warning system (Breaking Defense, September 19)
  • Frank Calvelli, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Space Acquisitions and Integration, stated that the SDA’s rapid acquisition approach should serve as a ‘model’ for the rest of the SSC (Breaking Defense, September 20)
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released an expanded list of 63 objectives that will guide its lunar and Mars exploration following public comment (NASA, September 20)
  • The Senate moved to advance the bicameral, bipartisan Advanced Air Mobility Coordination and Leadership Act (U.S. Senate)
  • Space Force announced plans to shift its missile tracking capabilities to LEO and MEO constellations, while phasing out current satellites in GEO (Breaking Defense, September 21)
  • The NASA DART mission successfully hit the Dimorphic asteroid in the first-ever planetary defense test (NASA, September 26)
  • Colorado Senators reiterated calls that Peterson Space Force Base is the preferred choice for USSPACECOM’s permanent HQ, ahead of a final decision (U.S. Senate, September 27)
  • Hurricane Ian pushes the Crew-5 launch to October 5th at the earliest (, September 29)
  • House Science Space and Technology (HSST) bipartisan leadership clashed with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ahead of satellite regulation vote (SpaceNews, September 29)
  • National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) moves forward through procedural items, but will not be voted on prior to the midterm elections (Politico, September 30)

International Space Policy Updates

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China to cooperate on future lunar missions including landing rovers (SpacePolicyOnline, September 17)
  • France announced an increase its funding for their space agency and the European Space Agency (ESA) (SpaceNews, September 19)
  • In light of the war in Ukraine, Europe looks to tighten its cybersecurity (Satellite Today, September 21)
  • The 21 countries who signed the Artemis Accords met for the first time on the sidelines of the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) (SpaceNews, September 21)
  • Russia to continue International Space Station (ISS) partnership until 2028 (Tass, September 21)
  • Starlink to be activated in response to Iran’s protest crackdown, providing internet to the region (Reuters, September 23)
  • Axiom announced agreements to fly Turkish, UAE and Saudi Arabian astronauts to the ISS, while also partnering with Canada for future missions in lunar orbit (SpaceNews, September 23)
  • ESA and NASA sign an agreement to coordinate on lunar exploration, opening the door for future cooperation on Artemis missions (SpaceNews, September 26)

Space Industry Updates

  • NASA funded three university-based research projects to study orbital debris (NASA, September 13)
  • The U.S. Army awarded Raytheon and L3Harris phase-two contract to develop prototype sensors in support of the service’s next-gen airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance program known as HADES (Breaking Defense, September 13)
  • NASA requests proposals for a second human lunar lander for Artemis missions (NASA, September 16)
  • Voyager Space and Nanoracks sign MoUs with five Latin American space agencies (Yahoo Finance, September 18)
  • Redwire signs a MoU with Bradford Space and Swedish Space Corporation to develop a commercial orbital debris removal service (Redwire, September 20)
  • The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) renewed its contract with Maxar Technologies for the Global Enhanced GEOINT Delivery (G-EGD) program (Via Satellite, September 20)
  • The Orbital Reef team announces a cross-promotional deal with Centerboro Productions to portray the space station in an upcoming sci-fi movie (Orbital Reef, September 20)
  • SpinLaunch raises $71 million to fund its orbital launch system and satellite production line (Space News, September 20)
  • L3Harris to use the newly designed Maxar bus in its missile-tracking satellites for SDA (Space News, September 21)
  • Air Force selects Raytheon for the $985 million Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile (HACM) contract (DoD, September 22)
  • Arabsat selects SpaceX to launch its new Arabsat 7Asatellite (Arabsat, September 19)
  • NOAA awards nine contracts for industry and federal agencies to develop new technologies (Via Satellite, September 26)
  • The UK Space Agency (UKSA) awarded follow on contracts to Astroscale and Clearspace to remove two spacecraft in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) (SpaceNews, September 26)
  • Researchers are studying the potential use of dog-shaped robots on future lunar missions (, September 27)
  • LeoLabs releases a ‘beta version’ of its space monitoring tool to allow insurance companies accurately assess orbital collision risks (Breaking Defense, September 27)
  • Space Force’s next “Tactically Responsive Space” experiment will feature an attempt to launch a satellite within 24 hours of receiving the “go” order, a drastic reduction in turnaround time (Breaking Defense, September 28)

Space Leader Spotlight

Ms. Robin Dickey

The Space Foundation is committed to empowering the next generation of space professionals and leaders. In 2008, the Space Foundation launched our New Generation initiatives that target aerospace professionals 35 and younger. The program gives young professionals the opportunity to foster meaningful, long-term peer relationships by providing access to top space leaders through program opportunities at Space Symposium and throughout the year. To assist in this effort, this week’s space leader spotlight showcases an emerging young professional that exemplifies a future space leader.

This week’s space leader spotlight recognizes Robin Dickey, Space Policy and Strategy Analyst at the Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS). As a member of the CSPS’s technical staff, Ms. Dickey focuses on space policy and strategy issues related to national security, geopolitics, and international relations. She also serves as an adjunct associate fellow in the Defense Program at the Center for New American Security.

Earlier this year, Ms. Dickey published a thought-provoking piece that examines potential space-related security norms that would serve the interests of both commercial and military entities and analyzes how commercial actors can contribute to their development and implementation. The report, entitled Commercial Normentum: Space Security Challenges, Commercial Actors, and Norms of Behavior, presents three possible threats to commercial satellites and space activities to consider when establishing security-related norms and makea number of recommendations that the industry may wish to consider in future activities.

Ms. Dickey earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies from Johns Hopkins University and her master’s degree in international studies, concentrating in strategic studies, from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Reading Corner

ArsTechnica | The Big Bang should have made cracks in spacetime—why haven’t we found them?

This article on comic strings examines the theories behind the hypothetical leftovers from the Big Bang, physicists inability to detect their existence despite decades of searching, and how the lack of evidence shapes our understanding of the early Universe.

Written by Amanda Nguyen, Megan Wenrich, and Elizabeth Anderson

Image credits to CNAS and ArsTechnica