It’s a little quiet on the policy front right now, although that will change tomorrow when the House Science and Technology Committee holds a hearing on NASA’s proposed human spaceflight plans. The hearing is very similar to the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the topic earlier this month, including repeat appearances by Charles Bolden, Neil Armstrong, and Gene Cernan; also appearing will be Tom Young. It’ll be interesting to see if this hearing covers any new ground compared to the Senate hearing two weeks ago.
One difference is that the hearing will coincide with the second day of the two-day NASA Exploration Enterprise Workshop in Galveston, Texas. Today will feature a number of presentations from NASA officials on studies performed to date within NASA on various aspects of the new plan, some of which have already led to the release of RFIs, such as one for commercial crew released on Friday. Today’s sessions will be webcast, and the slides for those presentations are already available.
Later this week the International Space Development Conference, the annual conference of the National Space Society, kicks off in Chicago. Notable speakers include Charles Bolden (the dinner speaker Friday night) and NASA deputy administrator (and former NSS executive director) Lori Garver at Saturday’s luncheon. Jeff Greason will be speaking about “The Augustine Committee and U.S. Space Policy” on Friday as well. Saturday afternoon features what conference organizers are calling, perhaps a bit hyperbolically, “The Great Debate”: after a presentation by Scott Pace of GWU’s Space Policy Institute on the president’s new NASA policy, Rusty Schweickart and Bob Zubrin will debate it, taking the pro and con positions, respectively.