Keith's note: Sources report that 50 or more NASA employees will be attending the IAC (International Astronautical Congress) meeting from 1-5 October in tourist-friendly Naples, Italy. Attention is paid on the official website to things to see outside the event that have nothing to do with the intent of the meeting. Registration is between 730-900 euros ($900 - $1,100). Add in airfare and hotel and you are looking at $3,000 per person - or around $150,000 for NASA's participation. Of course you know that lots of the NASA attendees will add on extra days and bring a spouse for a mini-vacation.
The number of actual presenters from "NASA" seems to be rather small. I checked 30 sessions at random and I did not find a single presenter who is listed as being from "NASA". There must be NASA speakers, right? I wonder how many attendees will file a trip report (an interesting FOIA topic)? Of course, professional meetings are important - no doubt about it - and more real work often gets done in the hallways and bars than in the sessions. I think Congress is overly sanctimonious and often goes overboard about most routine Federal agency meeting costs (there are glaring exceptions of course) when they allow their own members to go on luxury junkets around the world.
But given that there are several recent large meetings at NASA with questionable costs currently under investigation, you'd think that NASA would at least have a few more people listed as actually presenting at the meeting. So ... how many of these 50+ NASA attendees are presenting? Oh yes, there seem to be a fair number of speakers representing CNSA and other Chinese government entitites. I am certain that Rep. Wolf will want a detailed list of every interaction.