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Broadcast 1661 (Special Edition)Listen to the show!
Aired on November 27th, 2011
Guest: Marcia S. Smith
GuestSearch: Marcia Smith. Topics: U.S. Space Policy and budget issues. You are invited to comment, ask questions, and discuss the Space Show program/guest(s) on the Space Show blog, Comments, questions, and any discussion must be relevant and applicable to Space Show programming. Transcripts of Space Show programs are not permitted without prior written consent from The Space Show (even if for personal use) & are a violation of the Space Show copyright. The Space Show/OGLF is now engaged in its annual fundraising drive. Please see & act upon our appeal at We welcomed back Marcia Smith of to discuss the recently passed Minibus FY 2012 NASA budget as well as some of the issues for space policy as a result of the failure of the Supercommittee. Here are some specific URLs from that you will find useful for this discussion as well as understanding what is going on: 1) Re the Minibus:; 2) Re the Supercommittee:; 3) The NASA FY 2012 Budget: We started our discussion with the statement that we are in "unchartered territory." Ms. Smith described the Poison Pill which goes into effect from 2013-2021 regarding pending budget cuts which will be significant but are not clearly understood at this time. There might be a 7-8% across the board cuts. The cuts also impact discretionary spending, not just defense or some entitlement programs. Ms. Smith explained this to us so don't miss the discussion. NASA's FY 2012 budget was down about 4% from what the President sought. Commercial crew was cut by about one-half to $406 million. Marcia confirmed that thought is being given to funding only one commercial company due to the reduction in funding. We also discussed the current pricing for buying rides on the Soyuz to the ISS as compared to the current pricing quoted for the Space X Dragon. Other topics in this segment includes SLS, MPCV and crew transportation in general. We talked about funding for the SLS and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) in the FY 12 budget. Ms. Smith reported to us that NASA Administrator Bolden recently testified that the three top priorities for NASA were SLS/MPCV, ISS, and the JWST. Marcia was asked about the OMB and their role in the budget process, specifically concerning future Mars missions. In our second segment, we talked more about the Minibus bill and some of the specific funding project within the FY 12 budget. Dave called in with a most interesting perspective on the issues from within NASA, asking us to focus on more than just the budget lines. Don't miss what Dave had to say. As we approached the end of the program, we talked about DOD and National Security Space Policy using NOAA and the DOD NPOESS satellite programs as an example of the challenges ahead. Please post your comments and questions on The Space Show blog URL above. You can email Ms. Smith through

About our guest...

Marcia S. Smith
Marcia S. Smith is President of the Space and Technology Policy Group, LLC in Arlington, VA, which specializes in policy analysis of civil, military and commercial space programs, and other technology areas. She is also the founder and editor of the website From March 2006-March 2009, Ms. Smith was Director of the Space Studies Board (SSB) at the National Research Council (NRC), and from January 2007-March 2009 additionally was Director of the NRC’s Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB). The NRC is the operating arm of The National Academies, comprised of the NRC, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academies is a non-profit organization that provides advice to the nation on science, engineering and medicine. Previously, Ms. Smith was a senior level specialist in aerospace and telecommunications policy at the Congressional Research Service (CRS), Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. CRS provides objective, non-partisan research and analysis exclusively for the Members and committees of the U.S. Congress. Ms. Smith specialized in U.S. and foreign military and civilian space activities, as well as telecommunications issues (including the Internet). She worked at CRS from 1975-2006, except for a one year leave of absence from 1985-1986 while she served as Executive Director of the U.S. National Commission on Space. The Commission, created by Congress and its members appointed by the President, developed long term (50 year) goals for the civilian space program under the chairmanship of (the late) former NASA Administrator Thomas Paine. The Commission published its results in the report Pioneering the Space Frontier (Bantam Books). Before joining CRS, she worked in the Washington Office of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (then headquartered in New York). A graduate of Syracuse University, Ms. Smith is the author or co-author of more than 220 reports and articles on space, nuclear energy, and telecommunications and Internet issues. Ms. Smith is theNorth American Editor for the quarterly journal Space Policy, Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Currently member of AIAA’s International Activities Committee and has served on many other AIAA committees, was an AIAA Distinguished Lecturer (1983-1988), and a member of the AIAA National Capital Section Council (1994-1996), Fellow, Past President, and former member of the Board of Directors and of the Executive Committee of the American Astronautical Society (AAS). Co-chair of the AAS Fellows Committee (2004). Awarded the AAS “John F. Kennedy Astronautics Award” in 2006. Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society. Founder, Emeritus Member, and Past President of Women in Aerospace (WIA). Awarded the WIA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. Member, former Vice President, and former member of the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL). Member and former Trustee of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). Co-chair of IAA’s Space Activities and Society Committee (1991-1997). Member of the Advisory Committee for the Secure World Foundation. Life Member of the New York Academy of Sciences, the Washington Academy of Sciences (Board of Directors, 1988-1989), and Sigma Xi (the honorary scientific research society).

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