International Affairs

Biweekly Washington, D.C. Updates for the Week Ending October 28, 2022

Written by: Elizabeth Anderson

This Week in Washington

This Week in Washington, election cycle is in full swing, Congress remains out of session, NASA announced a study on unidentified aerial phenomena, and Lockheed Martin won three additional contracts to provide Orion crew capsules for Artemis Missions VI-VIII.

The 38th Space Symposium


Space Symposium is the premier assembly for the global space ecosystem, hosted by Space Foundation since 1984. The live event is widely attended by commercial and government leaders, young professionals, entrepreneurs, and educators in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Registration is now open for the 38th Space Symposium, which will be held April 17-20, 2023, at The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. The event will include in-person and virtual attendance offerings.

The annual event with over 11,000 attendees will convene leaders from around the world representing government, industry, military, intelligence, research, and investment communities. As one of the largest and most notable gatherings of members of the global space community, Space Symposium brings all these diverse interests together to inform, engage, and connect with one another.

United States Space Policy Updates

  • The Arecibo Observatory telescope in Puerto Rico will not be rebuilt, per recent development guidelines from the National Space Foundation (Nature, October 14)
  • The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) expressed its appreciation for the exclusion of a Space National Guard in the Senate NDAA markups (White House, October 18)
  • Apollo 9 Commander James McDivitt passed away at 93 (USA Today, October 19)
  • SpaceX called for the Department of Defense to financially support Starlink systems in Ukraine but rescinded its requests days later (Yahoo Finance, October 24)
  • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced its independent study team on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP). This team will run for nine months, study unclassified data, and will release a report to the public in 2023 (NASA, October 21)
  • The US Space Force and Johns Hopkins University announced a joint interdisciplinary graduate program for Guardians (Johns Hopkins, October 26)
  • NASA released its Economic Impact Report, detailing the $71.2 billion economic output generated by the agency in FY21 (NASA, October 27)
  • NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) reopened a recommendation urging NASA to develop controlled reentry plans for the International Space Station (ISS) (Space Policy Online, October 27)

International Space Policy Updates

  • China announced plans to launch the final missions to complete its three-module Tiangong space station by the end of October (Space News, October 15)
  • The UK Defense Committee called for a through review of the planned merger between OneWeb and Eutelsat (U.K Parliament, October 19)
  • Ukraine’s national science agency officially discredited a recent report that describe various unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) traveling over Ukraine (, October 19)
  • The European Space Agency (ESA)  announced plans to launch its Euclid and Hera missions on a Falcon 9 rocket due to the loss of Soyuz vehicles and delays in the introduction of Ariane 6 (Reuters, October 20)
  • China’s primary satellite control facility examined the viability of placing a satellite into a retrograde orbit out at the geostationary belt to improve its space situational awareness capabilities (Space News, October 20)
  • ESA is finalizing its set of proposals for the November ministerial meeting where its member states will vote on budgets and programs for the next three years (ESA, October 20)
  • 36 OneWeb satellites are successfully launched by ISRO and NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), marking the first commercial launch of the LVM3 rocket (OneWeb, October 23)
  • The Northern Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA), a radio telescope in the French Alps, became the most powerful millimeter radio telescope in the Northern Hemisphere (, October 25)
  • Russia warned of their capability to target satellites to deter more efforts in Ukraine (Reuters, Oct 27)

Space Industry Updates

  • Commercial space station developers, including Blue Origin and Axiom Space, called for additional clarity and predictability from the federal government on the commercial space regulatory framework (Space News, October 14)
  • Relativity Space announced plans to expand its engine test facilitates at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, to support its Aeon R engine and Terran R stage testing (Relativity Space, October 18)
  • SpaceX is accepting preorders for Starlink Aviation, a full in-flight internet service for aviation customers (SpaceX, October 18)
  • NASA awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.99 billion contract to provide three more Orion crew capsules for the Artemis VI-VIII missions (Lockheed Martin, October 20)
  • Planet launched a Nonprofit Program that provides nonprofits and non-governmental organizations access to its satellite imagery and support service (Planet, October 24)
  • BlackSky won a one-year $10 million contract to provide imagery services to an international ministry of defense customer in Asia (BlackSky, October 25)
  • SpaceX announced that it will expand Starlink services to RVs and other moving vehicles in December (Via Satellite, October 26)
  • FCC Commissioners and U.S. industry leaders met to discuss the future regulation of satellite spectrum sharing (Via Satellite, October 26)

Space Leader Spotlight

Dr. Jonny Kim

Navy Lieutenant Commander Jonny Kim is this week’s space leader and the epitome of a well-rounded and extraordinary citizen. Lieutenant Commander Kim holds a Doctor of Medicine from Harvard, is a US Navy SEAL, and joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in 2017. At only 38 years old, Kim has an impressive list of accomplishments and qualifications that make him a role model for many.

Kim was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, to Korean American immigrants and enlisted in the Navy after graduating high school in 2002. He went on to receive his Bachelor’s in Mathematics at the University of San Diego and his Doctor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in 2016. During his time in the Navy, Kim was assigned as a Special Warfare Operator to SEAL Team 3 Charlie Platoon, where he obtained various qualifications including Military Freefall Parachutist, Combatant Diver, Naval Special Warfare Special Reconnaissance Scout and Sniper, and Advanced Special Operations Techniques. He has served on more than 100 combat operations spanning two deployments in the Middle East. Kim is also a recipient of the Silver Star and Bronze Star with Combat “V”.

In 2017, Kim was selected to join the NASA Astronaut Candidate Class and reported for duty where he completed two years of training. In 2020, Kim began support of Mission Control Center Houston operations as Capsule Communicator (CapCom). In April 2021, Kim was selected to serve as the International Space Station’s Increment Lead for Expedition 65. He is currently awaiting assignment in the Artemis Program after being announced as a member of the original cadre of Moon Landing astronauts.

Reading Corner

The Space Review | The Space Investment Crunch

Jeff Foust examines space industry stock listings and space startups at risk of delisting in the face of an upcoming recession.

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

Image credits to NBC and The Space Review