What’s Happening in Space Policy August 21-29, 2022 – SpacePolicyOnline.com

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week plus two days of August 21-29, 2022 and any insight we can offer about them. The House and Senate are in recess except for pro forma sessions.

During the Week

Lazy, hazy days of summer? Not in the space business and certainly not THIS week.

With the Artemis I launch fast approaching, it’s busy, busy, busy at NASA and the rest of the space community hasn’t slowed down either.

This edition of What’s Happening covers two more days than usual, through Monday, August 29, because that’s the currently planned launch date for Artemis I. There are many events this week leading up to it and it seemed logical just to keep it all together.

The Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for the Artemis I uncrewed test flight waiting at Launch Complex-39B for liftoff, currently scheduled for August 29, 2022. The orange segment is the core stage (Boeing). Two white Solid Rocket boosters are on the sides (Northrop Grumman). The white Interim Cryogenic Upper Stage (Boeing/United Launch Alliance) and white Orion spacecraft (Lockheed Martin) with its Launch Abort System are on top. Photo credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Bear in mind the launch well could slip for any number of reasons. August 29 is the first of three launch opportunities in this window. The backup dates are September 2 and 5. After that they need to wait a couple of weeks before the next window opens.

As of this morning (Sunday, August 21), however, here’s the plan. All the NASA briefings will air on NASA TV, NASA Live, and the NASA app. ESA’s briefing on Tuesday will be on ESA TV (ESA provides Orion’s Service Module).

  • Monday, August 22: NASA briefing following the Launch Readiness Review (LRR), 7:00 pm ET
  • Tuesday, August 23: ESA briefing on its role in Artemis, 5:00 am ET (11:00 CEST)
  • Friday, August 26: NASA briefing on the role of industry in advancing human space exploration, 10:00 am ET
  • Saturday, August 27: NASA briefing following the Mission Management Team (MMT) meeting, 11:00 am ET
  • Saturday, August 27: NASA briefing on Moon to Mars exploration plans, 2:30 pm ET
  • Sunday, August 28: NASA briefing with countdown update, 9:00 am ET
  • Monday, August 29:
    • 12:00 am (midnight): coverage of fueling starts
    • 6:30 am ET: full launch coverage begins in English on NASA TV and continues through launch, translunar injection, and spacecraft separation
    • 7:30 am ET: full launch coverage begins in Spanish on NASA’s Spanish-language social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) and continues through 15 minutes after launch
    • 8:33 – 10:33 am ET: two hour launch window
    • Post-launch event times could vary depending on when launch occurs
      • 12:00 p.m. ET: post-launch briefing
      • 4:00 p.m. ET: coverage of Orion’s first out-bound trajectory burn
      • 5:30 p.m. ET: coverage of first views of Earth from Orion

If all goes well, NASA hopes to send four crew members around the Moon on Artemis II in 2024, and return humans to the lunar surface late in 2025, the first human lunar landing since Apollo 17 in 1972.

That’s quite a ways off, but NASA is already in the process of choosing sites where two Artemis III astronauts will land, one of whom will be the first woman to walk on the Moon. On Friday, NASA revealed 13 regions, each with at least 10 individual landing sites, at the Moon’s South Pole that are candidate locations. This week (Tuesday-Thursday), NASA’s Lunar Exploration Analysis Group (LEAG) will meet at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD to discuss those sites and other topics. According to the agenda, there’s an Artemis Update session on Tuesday afternoon that includes an update on Starship by SpaceX’s Nick Cummings. Lots of other good sessions, too. It’s a hybrid meeting, so there’s a virtual option for those who can’t be there in person.

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio will participate in a pre-launch briefing tomorrow (Monday).

Artemis isn’t the only thing on NASA’s mind, either. It’s almost time for another crew exchange on the International Space Station.

NASA astronaut Frank Rubio will launch on Russia’s Soyuz MS-22 with two Russian cosmonauts on September 21. Rubio will hold a virtual pre-launch press conference tomorrow morning (Monday). His flight is the first as part of the crew exchange agreement the United States and Russia signed last month. Shortly after Soyuz MS-22 launches, Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina will be the first Russian to launch on a US spacecraft — Crew Dragon — since the shuttle era as a member of Crew-5. There were a couple of Crew-5 pre-launch briefings already, but there may be more closer to the launch.

And that’s not all. On Thursday, NASA and Boeing will provide an update on Boeing’s Starliner commercial crew program, the competitor to SpaceX’s Crew Dragon. Boeing finally successfully completed Starliner’s uncrewed flight test, OFT-2, in May. Next up is the Crewed Flight Test (CFT). They’d been hoping to launch that before the end of this year, but NASA officials have been hinting it will likely slip to early 2023. Hopefully they’ll announce the date at Thursday’s briefing.

Nicholas Maubert, CNES representative and Space Counselor for the French Embassy in Washington, will be the guest on the Space Foundation’s “Start Here for Space” on Tuesday.

Lots and lots of other events this week, too.

On Tuesday, the Space Foundation will hold the next in its Start Here for Space series highlighting international cooperation.

Each Tuesday this month and into September, the Space Foundation is holding half-hour webinars with Washington representatives of non-US space agencies to talk about what their agencies are doing and cooperation with the United States. This week’s guest is Nicholas Maubert from the French space agency CNES. Previous episodes (archived on the Space Foundation’s website) were with Sylvie Espinasse from ESA, Masami Onoda from JAXA, and Jill Smyth from CSA. Coming up are Krunal Joshi from ISRO and Marc Johemich from DLR. They are really good introductions to what those countries are doing in space.

To pick just two more from the other excellent events this week, we’ll switch to national security space. On Wednesday, the Space Policy Institute and the Aerospace Corporation are teaming up to present a hybrid seminar on “After the KE-ASAT Moratorium: What’s Next?”. Experts will discuss Vice President Kamala Harris’s announcement in April that the United States will not conduct any debris-creating direct-ascent antisatellite (ASAT) tests like Russia did last November. The United States is inviting other countries to make the same pledge. Harris chairs the White House National Space Council and its Executive Secretary, Chirag Parikh, will kick things off followed by two top-notch panels on a “whole of government approach to space norms of behavior” and the “role of the private sector in space norms of behavior.” The in-person meeting will take place at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs and a virtual option is available.

Breaking Defense reporter Theresa Hitchens will moderate an INSA webinar on the Intelligence Community’s use of commercial GEOINT on Thursday.

Then on Thursday, the Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) will have a webinar with the heads of commercial programs at the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), Pete Muend and Dave Gauthier, discussing implementation of the Intelligence Community’s commercial GEOINT strategy. Moderated by Breaking Defense’s Theresa Hitchens, this “fireside chat” should be quite illuminating about how the defense and intelligence communities are taking advantage of commercial capabilities in geospatial intelligence (GEOINT).

Those and other events we know about as of Sunday morning are shown below. Check back throughout the week for others we learn about later and add to our Calendar, or changes to these. We’ll also just mention that China’s taikonauts aboard Tiangong-3 are expected to make a spacewalk sometime soon, but as usual China hasn’t been specific about when. If we hear anything definitive, we’ll add it to the Calendar.

Monday, August 22

Monday-Tuesday, August 22-23

Tuesday, August 23

Tuesday-Thursday, August 23-25

Wednesday, August 24

  • NOAA Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES), virtual, 9:00 am-3:00 pm ET
  • After the KE-ASAT Moratorium, What’s Next? (Space Policy Institute/Aerospace Corp), George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, Washington, DC/virtual, 10:00 am-3:00 pm ET
  • NASA Space Weather Council, public participation is virtual only, 10:00 am-5:00 pm ET
  • State of the Space Industrial Base (Atlantic Council), virtual, 2:00-4:00 pm ET

Wednesday-Thursday, August 24-25

Wednesday-Friday, August 24-26

Thursday, August 25

Friday, August 26

Saturday, August 27

Sunday, August 28

Monday, August 29

  • Launch of Artemis I, KSC, 8:33 am ET
    • 12:00 am (midnight): coverage of fueling starts
    • 6:30 am ET: full launch coverage begins in English on NASA TV and continues through launch, translunar injection, and spacecraft separation
    • 7:30 am ET: full launch coverage begins in Spanish on NASA’s Spanish-language social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) and continues through 15 minutes after launch
    • 8:33 – 10:33 am ET: two hour launch window
    • Post-launch event times could vary depending on when launch occurs
      • 12:00 p.m. ET: post-launch briefing
      • 4:00 p.m. ET: coverage of Orion’s first out-bound trajectory burn
      • 5:30 p.m. ET: coverage of first views of Earth from Orion

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