International Affairs

Biweekly Washington, D.C. Updates for the Week Ending October 14, 2022

Written by: Elizabeth Anderson

This Week in Washington

Congress is in recess until mid-November, though the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was debated in the Senate this week, the Biden Administration released its National Security Strategy, and NASA continues to hold dates for launching Artemis 1.

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.

Confirmed speakers include: The Honorable Frank Calvelli, Department of the Air Force, The Honorable Dr. John Plumb, Department of Defense, General John E. Hyten, USAF (Ret.), Kristina “Tina” Harrington, NRO.

This year’s forum will touch on themes including: norms of operations between the intelligence community and the military; the role of the commercial space industry in Ukraine and implications for the future of warfare.

The Faga Forum will be conducted on October 27th at the TS/SCI level (US only)and will feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, and networking opportunities.

United States Space Policy Updates

  • A Continuing Resolution (CR) has been passed and signed by President Biden to keep the federal government funded through December 16 (NPR, September 30)
  • The House of Representatives is in recess until mid-November. The Senate is in recess until mid-November, with the exception of October 11, where the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was formally brought up for debate (Space Policy Online, October 2)
  • NASA has funded a SpaceX research project to examine using a Dragon mission to boost the Hubble Space Telescope (Via Satellite, September 30)
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a new five-year deorbit rule for satellite operators (FCC, September 30)
  • The Space Development Agency (SDA) has been officially transferred to the US Space Force (Space Force, October 1)
  • The Congressional Research Service (CRS) called for a revision of US patent statutory standards to ensure the patentability of critical and emerging technologies (CRS, October 3)
  • The Biden Administration released its National Strategy for the Arctic Region, which includes heightened satellite coverage and domain awareness abilities (White House, October 7)
  • The Biden Administration released its National Security Strategy, emphasizing cross-domain integration, maintaining American leadership in space, and establishing a space traffic and debris mitigation system (White House, October 12)

International Space Policy Updates

  • According to the US Space Force’s Space Defense Squadron, a majority of the debris tracked from last year’s Russian ASAT test has deorbited (Space News, September 29)
  • South Korea plans to set aside 47.2 billion won (USD$32.9 million) in its 2023 budget to launch two satellites grounded by Russia sanctions (Space News, September 30)
  • Thailand’s House Panel on Communications announces plans to develop a national policy for space commercial activities (Bangkok Post, October 1)
  • African Space Leadership Institute (ASLI) officially launched to support the development of African capabilities in space policy, strategy, law and governance (ASLI, October 4)
  • The UK and South Korea pledge not to conduct direct-ascent ASAT missile testing, joining 5 other countries committed to the US-led initiative announced in April (Space News, October 5)
  • A Roscosmos official voiced support for long-term cooperation with NASA on the International Space Station (Space News, October 6)
  • French Satellite Operator Eutelsat issued a warning to Iranian authorities following evidence that 2 of its satellites are being jammed by an entity inside Iran (Eutelsat, October 7)
  • Slovakia has been approved for Associate Membership with the European Space Agency (ESA, October 13)

Space Industry Updates

  • John Deere issued a request for proposals for a satellite service and terminal that will enhance the satellite connectivity of their agricultural machines and tools (John Deere, September 29)
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a partnership with SpaceX to provide Starlink internet services for Floridians impacted by Hurricane Ian (Tampa Bay Times, October 2)
  • SpaceX began preparations to upgrade the Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station for cargo and crew launches (Space News, October 3)
  • Firefly Aerospace successfully reached orbit and deployed customer payloads with its Alpha Rocket (Firefly Aerospace, October 3)
  • SpinLaunch successfully completed its tenth test flight, launching NASA payload with its Suborbital Accelerator (Interesting Engineering, October 4)
  • AE Industrial Partners announced plans to acquire a majority stake in York Space Systems, an independent satellite manufacturer and turnkey mission operator based in Denver (AEI, October 4)
  • Space Development Agency (SDA) awards Ball Aerospace a $176 million fixed-price contract to build, operate and secure launch services for 10 space vehicles and mission-enabling ground systems (SDA, October 4)
  • United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launches a pair of SES commercial C-band satellites to support the FCC’s national 5G objective (ULA, October 5)
  • Solestial, an Arizona-based startup focused on solar energy for space applications, closes a $10 million funding round led by Airbus Ventures (Space News, October 11)
  • The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) awarded Inmarsat Government a $980 million contract to provide broadband satellite and terrestrial communications services to the US Navy for over 10 years (Inmarsat Government, October 11)
  • SpaceX’s Starlink called for the Pentagon to take over funding Starlink satellite capabilities in Ukraine (CNN, October 14)

Space Leader Spotlight

Mr. Edward Reynolds

This week’s Space Leader Spotlight goes to Mr. Edward Reynolds, DART Project Manager at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (APL). In his position at APL, Mr. Reynolds has overseen projects such as the STEREO mission, Comet Nucleus Tour (CONTOUR), and the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR). His most recent project and success was the DART mission, which successfully impacted the Dimorphos asteroid target in the world’s first planetary defense technology demonstration on September 26.

Mr. Reynolds is a DMV local from Laurel, Maryland. He received his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1985, and his Master of Science in Project Management at the George Washington University in 2013. He has over 28 years of experience in the space industry and has been a Project Manager at John Hopkins University APL since 2002. His roles have varied from Spacecraft Integration to Mission System Engineering, to project management. His experience at APL began in 1985 as a Spacecraft Integration Engineer where he worked on the PolarBEAR Spacecraft, SALT Miniature Radar Altimeter Payload, and the AGRE Joint U.S.-Russian Sounding Rocket Program. In 1991, Mr. Reynolds became a Spacecraft and Mission Systems Engineer until 2002 when he assumed his current position.

Reading Corner

Air and Space Forces Magazine | DC’s Air and Space Museum to Reopen with T-38 Exhibit Honoring ‘Jackie” Cochran

The Air and Space Museum will feature a plane that once belonged to Jackie Cochran, a female trailblazer in aviation. Cochran was a world-record pilot who helped develop the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program, which played a crucial role in the Second World War.

Written by Elizabeth Anderson, Megan Wenrich,  Amanda Nguyen, and Dana Kenow

Image credits to NASA and Air and Space Forces Magazine