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Guest: Marcia Smith: Topics: We reviewed space activities for the year 2021 and looked at space, both NASA and commercial space, for 2022.
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We welcomed Marcia Smith of SpacePolicyOnline back to the show to talk about space policy and developments during 2021, what space looks like so far for 2022 and of course the budget impacting space, among other things with the government, that is stalled and on CR once again. I wonder when this story will end? We started out with a review of space last year. Again, referring to our key words and tags will give you most of the topics discussed during our visit with Ms. Smith and in the order we discussed. Here are those tags and key words:
Tags: "Marcia Smith, SpacePolicyOnline, Space review for the year 2021, commercial space, space tourism, JWST, NASA. the new National Space Council, Biden Administration, NASA Administrator Nelson, fiscal 2022 budget concerns, congress and space, space infrastructure, Norms of Behavior, Russian ASAT Demo, anti-space tourism sentiment, new space regulations for 2023, ISS extension, Russian space behavior, commercial space and space policy, the gap in the value of space between general public and space community, congressional continuing resolution, ASAT test was a surprise, Russia and space debris, space tourism regulations, Congress and China on space, space settlement, SpaceX and Mars, stability needed, Starship and the FAA delays, SLS, Tic Tac and UAP, Starlink and sustainability issues, the NASA authorization, space situational awareness."
Much of our discussion dealt with congress and the budget. For the listeners not that familiar with how the U.S. budget process works and what congress does and does not do, our guest went over all of that for us as we talked about bottlenecks, what was needed such as infrastructure, what the Democrats wanted and what the Republicans were doing. In addition, we talked about key 2021 accomplishments which included space tourism finally getting a start, the JWST launching and working - so far, the National Space Council under the new Biden Administration holding the first meeting and putting forth a type of roadmap for how this administration sees space, plus we spent time talking about the Russian ASAT demo, Russian behavior in space, our view of the Russians and why they did the ASAT demo, plus the need for there m, to finally be a set of Norms of Behavior for space actors. The U.S. intends to pursue Norms of Behavior as does the United Nations. Marcia explained the UN process to us which was the source of lots of discussion given a possible Russian or Chinese veto.
Other topics that came up focused on SpaceX with the Musk plans to go to Mars and would it be possible given current laws and regulations. Caller John also asked about the Musk idea of getting rid of old regs on the books when putting new regs in motion. John asked our guest for her thoughts on the regulation issue. Marcia suggested that business folks and investors were after stability more than this or that type of regulation. What do you think about this matter? Post your thoughts on our blog. Share your opinions with us. Our guest was asked about Tic Tac and UAPs but she said she did not follow the story so we moved on to talking about space sustainability issues with Musk, other players and customers.
For 2022, we returned to budgets and appropriations which were still stuck. Marcia added some comments here and there about their being a congressional log jam leading to our remaining on CR despite new budgets being needed. She explained the needs to us , the need for added space infrastructure to support many of the commercial space projects on the drawing board but there was no movement. There was no hint of when the stalemate in congress would lighten up or be cleared.
Before we ended our 60 minute discussion, we briefly touched on NASA authorizations, the appropriations bill, space situational awareness for docking at the ISS and the extension of the ISS which has some confusion surrounding it. Listen to what our guest said about that possible extension.