Tag Archives: National Space Council

Viewing options for first National Space Council meeting

Keith Cowing of NASAWatch has located details about the time and video viewing opportunities for Thursday’s first public meeting of the National Space Council.

The event will be streamed online on NASA TV and via Whiteouse.gov starting around 10:00 am. The event itself is only 2 to 2.5 hours long (not mentioned on the advisory).

…There is nothing online anywhere to suggest that the public can attend this event so it looks like it is going to be an expensive photo op with only a select few actually in attendance listening to pre-written statements being read before the cameras. The expense of taking over a large portion of a busy museum seems to be for the purpose of providing impressive backdrops for a meeting that is mostly show and little substance.

The advisory still provides no details about speakers.


First meeting of National Space Council announced

A Potemkin Village: The White House has announced the date of the first public meeting of the National Space Council, set for October 5 at the Air & Space Museum.

Today, Vice President Mike Pence announced the first meeting of the National Space Council is scheduled for October 5, 2017 at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. The meeting, titled “Leading the Next Frontier: An Event with the National Space Council,” will include testimonials from expert witnesses who represent the sectors of the space industry: Civil Space, Commercial Space, and National Security Space.

What this announcement tells me is that this council isn’t there to discuss and set space policy, but to sell that policy to the public. And right now, I am expecting that sales job will be trying to convince us that we must use SLS/Orion mission to build a new space station orbiting the Moon by 2023. They will use the council to pitch the idea, and then Trump will make the traditional Kennedy-like speech, with lots of astronauts standing behind him, committing this nation to putting a space station around the Moon by such-and-such a date. Whoopie!

Forgive me if I sound a bit cynical. I’ve seen this show many times before. For some reason, the opening act is great, but then it fades always away into nothingness before the second act begins.


White House appoints first member of National Space Council

The Trump administration today announced that Scott Pace will be the executive secretary of the National Space Council, headed by Vice-President Mike Pence.

Some might immediately think I will be upset by this choice, as Pace wrote a critical and what I consider to be a weak review of my policy paper, Capitalism in Space. This however is not true. We might have disagreed on some points, but I think that Pace might be an ideal choice. He has the ear and the support of the big government space companies, but also understands the need to let private enterprise run things more, a point he himself expressed in his review of my policy paper. As Dr. David Livingston of The Space Show wrote me today in an email,

Pace was the deputy administrator when Mike Griffin formed COTS which has turned out to be a pillar program for the emerging commercial space industry. I also know Scott is grounded well in economics, policy, and realism. He is politically savvy as well and that expertise will be needed to move policy and constructive programs forward.

Pace’s connections with the contractors who have been building SLS/Orion for decades are of course a concern, but his connections with COTS is cause for celebration. We can only wait and see where this goes.