Capitol Hill Policy Update for March 2nd to March 17th

Capitol Hill Policy Update for March 2nd to March 17th

March 19, 2015 Space Policy News
Space Policy Update: Issue #15
                                                                                        March 17, 2015

Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), a very avid supporter of space, announced that she will not be pursuing reelection in 2016. Mikulski has been heavily involved with Senate appropriations and consequently has been a key player in forwarding NASA financially. Among strong competitors is Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD) who has exhibited a passion for NewSpace on the Hill through a new found support of commercial space operations. She also found time to engage with the space community by speaking at NewSpace2014. Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) will be running for the position as well and Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is still deciding on pursuing the position.

At a recent Senate hearing, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and NASA Administrator Bolden disagreed on the “core mission” of NASA. Sen. Cruz stated the mission of NASA was to solely explore space, while Administrator Bolden stated the mission was “to investigate and explore spaceand the Earth environment, and to help us make this place a better place.” The Foundation is a partner in the Alliance for SpaceDevelopment, an organization currently heading an advocacy effort on Capitol Hill called March Storm. One of the requests being made to members of Congress by March Storm this week is to add “development and settlement” to the official mission of NASA.

Spaceport AmericaUpdate 

The anchor tenant Virgin Galactic intends to begin test flights out of Spaceport America this year, and then begin commercial flights in 2016. The New Mexico SpaceAgency (NMSA) is looking to add more tenants to the spaceport. They are also looking to spend $14.2 million to upgrade the southern entrance road to make it more accessible for tour busses and trucks delivering materials.

NASA’s ISS and Commercial Station Plans 

At a recent congressional NASA budget hearing, Administrator Bolden stated that NASA does not currently have plans to keep the ISS flying if Russia ended their involvement. The Foundation encourages the creation of a gapless transition plan to commercial space stations, and a contingency plan for a possible post-Russia ISS.


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 “Focused on Settlement Policy for the NewSpace Citizens of the Universe.”


Newsletter Editors:

Joshua Jenkins

Andrew Newman

Calvin Baker

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