International Affairs

Biweekly Washington, D.C. Updates for the Week Ending March 10, 2023

Written by: Elizabeth Anderson

This Week in Washington

This Week in Washington, the President’s Budget Request was released, requesting $842 billion for the Department of Defense and $27.2 billion for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology unanimously approved five bills related to satellite service. The National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group met for the first time under the Biden Administration.

Space Matters

Space Foundation’s third season of “Space Matters” convenes well-known policy influencers for high-level conversations on emerging topics and trends within the global space economy. Watch General Lester Lyles (Ret.) as he shares on his role as the Chair of the National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group (NSpC UAG). Our panel of experts will continue the discussion on the NSpC UAG and other space developments in this episode.

Next month’s timely and important episode will drop on March 22 at 1:00 PM ET here.

United States Space Policy Updates

  • The National Space Council (NSpC) Users’ Advisory Group (UAG) formally met for the first time under the Biden Administration (NSpC UAG, February 23)
  • Dr. Nicola Fox was appointed to serve as NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate (NASA, February 27)
  • The Biden Administration released its National Cybersecurity Strategy (The White House, March 2)
  • The Crew-6 mission launched March 2nd and successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) (SpaceX, March 3)
  • The Department of Defense released its Tenants of Responsible Behavior in Space (U.S. Space Command, March 3)
  • Negotiations between NASA and Roscosmos are in progress for finalizing seat swaps for Crew-7 and Crew-8 (NASA, March 2)
  • NASA submitted a procurement notice to extend its Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contracts with Northrop Grumman, Sierra Nevada Corp, and SpaceX through 2030 (, March 2)
  • The White House released a new national cybersecurity strategy (The White House, March 2)
  • U.S. Space Command (SPACECOM) announced that it would create a unified ‘Commercial Integration Office’ to further cooperate with the commercial space sector (Breaking Defense, March 3)
  • Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall reported that the decision on Space Command HQ will come “fairly soon” following additional analysis (, March 8)
  • The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released its Annual Threat Assessment, highling the Chinese commercial space sector as a major global competitor (ODNI, March 8)
  • The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology unanimously approved five bills related to satellite services (Energy and Commerce, March 8)
  • The White House released its FY24 President’s Budget Request (The White House, March 9)

International Space Policy Updates

  • The National Space Council’s (NSpC) User Advisory Group (UAG) formally met for the first time under the Biden Administration. (NSpC UAG, February 23)
  • The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) announced that it would finish construction on its first commercial launch site by the end of 2023 (Space News, February 24)
  • Soyuz MS-23 successfully docked with the ISS (Reuters, February 26)
  • China has unveiled a concept for a new lunar lander, with plans to put astronauts on the moon by the end of the decade (Space News, February 27)
  • The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) selected two astronaut candidates to train for future missions aboard the ISS and as part of the Artemis Program (JAXA, February 28)
  • China Manned Space announced that it would send a new module to the Tiangong Space Station to allow for further module expansion (Space News, February 28)
  • The UK Competition and Markets Authority provisionally cleared Viasat’s acquisition of Inmarsat (Inmarsat, March 1)
  • Chinese astronauts onboard the Tiangong space station performed a second spacewalk (Space News, March 2)
  • The ISS performed a maneuver to avoid an Earth observation satellite (NASA, March 6)
  • JAXA’s H3 rocket failed to reach orbit after a second stage malfunction (JAXA, March 7)

Space Industry Updates

  • Jacobs Technology was awarded a $3.2 billion contract by NASA to manage launch infrastructure and operate flight spacecraft processing ground systems (NASA, February 23)
  • The Spaceport Company, a Launch pad solutions startup, plan to demonstrate the feasibility of its sea-based launch platform in May (Space News, February 26)
  • ispace’s first mission HAKUTO-R lunar lander is on trajectory to the Moon with a scheduled landing at the end of April (ispace, February 28)
  • Globalstar was lent $252 million by Apple to fund 17 new LEO satellites as part of the company’s satellite communications constellation (Satellite Today, March 1)
  • Astra released findings from the investigation into the TROPICS-1 failure (Astra, March 1)
  • SpaceX successfully launched NASA’s Crew-6 to the ISS (SpaceX, March 2)
  • Raytheon was awarded a $250 million contract by the Space Development Agency (SDA) to develop a seven-vehicle missile tracking satellite constellation (Raytheon, March 2)
  • CesiumAstro was awarded a $5 million contract from SDA to develop active electronically scanned array (AESA) antennas (CesiumAstro, March 2)
  • Viasat, Ligado, and Skylo announced a joint collaboration to bring Direct-to-Device satellite service to consumers (Ligado, March 2)
  • Lonestar Data Holdings raised $5 million in seed funding to develop and deploy small data centers on the lunar surface (Data Center Dynamics, March 6)
  • Boeing successfully demonstrated their Protected Tactical Enterprise Service (PTES), a satellite anti-jamming system, for the U.S. Space Force (USSF) (Boeing, March 7)
  • Maxar awarded L3Harris a contract to design and build reflector antennas for two geostationary communications satellites (L3Harris, March 8)
  • The USSF plan to offer launch pads to ABL Space, Stoke Space, Phantom Space and Vaya Space within the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (Satellite Today, March 8)

Space Leader Spotlight

Dr. Nicola Fox

This week’s space leader spotlight recognizes Dr. Nicola Fox, the newly appointed Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. Prior to her appointment, she served as Director of the NASA Heliophysics Division for four years, as well as, the Chief Scientist for Heliophysics and Project Scientist for the Parker Solar Probe at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab.

Dr. Fox has been a leader in the science field for many years, authoring articles, papers, and presentations on solar system plasma physics and magnetopause. She completed her Ph.D. in Space and Atmospheric Physics at Imperial College London with a dissertation on geomagnetic storms. Additionally, Dr. Fox has served as an editor for two scientific journals and has twice received the NASA Group Achievement Award.

The mission of the SMD is to facilitate the sharing of knowledge between different areas of scientific study and allow for discoveries in one discipline to directly influence others. Her extensive background in space science, past leadership of diverse teams, and focus on science education provide unique perspectives on how to accomplish this mission.

Reading Corner | NASA to measure forest health from above

Christian S. Elliott details the use of hyperspectral satellite imaging to monitor and maintain Earth’s forests from space.

Written by Elizabeth Anderson, Amanda Nguyen, Jake Sell, and Catherine Rodriguez

Image credits to NASA and