Biden Space: January 2021 Archives

Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking

"Because science, facts, and evidence are vital to addressing policy and programmatic issues across the Federal Government, the heads of all agencies (not only those that fund, conduct, or oversee scientific research) shall designate expeditiously a senior career employee as the agency's lead scientific-integrity official ("Scientific Integrity Official") to oversee implementation and iterative improvement of scientific-integrity policies and processes consistent with the provisions of this memorandum, including implementation of the administrative and dispute resolution processes described in section (3)(c)(iii) of this memorandum. For agencies with a Chief Science Officer, the Scientific Integrity Official shall report to the Chief Science Officer on all matters involving scientific-integrity policies."

Executive Order on the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

"The PCAST shall advise the President on matters involving policy affecting science, technology, and innovation, as well as on matters involving scientific and technological information that is needed to inform public policy relating to the economy, worker empowerment, education, energy, the environment, public health, national and homeland security, racial equity, and other topics."

Keith's note: It will be interesting to see what happens to the National Space Council since OSTP has been elevated to cabinet-level ranking and the PCAST is being established as the nation's focal point for generating scientific advice, policy etc. The National Space Council and its Users Advisory Group would seem to be duplicative and a needless layer of government. These directives will require NASA's Chief Scientist and Chief Information Officer to dramatically dial up their activities. Given that the NASA Chief Scientist's office has traditionally been mostly outreach oriented and out of the loop on many things - and that the NASA CIO's office has dropped the ball in almost every imaginable way for more than a decade - this is going to be a challenge for the agency. And the NASA Advisory Council often exists only as a forum for civil servant powerpoint presentations. Add in a "whole of government" approach to climate change and NASA is going to be drinking from a bunch of new firehoses very soon. Science is back, y'all.

Keith's note: Surprise surprise: the Coalition for Deep Space Exploration (whose executive director departs tomorrow) - an organization made up of all of the Big Aerospace companies who absolutely depend on the continuation of the SLS/Orion program - has put this postion paper out. One of the first absurd statements - about SLS - a rocket that is years behind schedule and billions over budget - and can't even do a engine test right - is to claim that no one else can send humans into deep space. This not only ignores Falcon Heavy but also SpaceX's Starship and Blue Origin's New Glenn:

"As the world's only human exploration systems destined for deep space, SLS and Orion provide the U.S. with an important tool for diplomacy and a means to engage international partners in these historic missions."

And they want to keep the entire Trump space infrastructure in place:

"The new administration should continue the National Space Council, while coordinating its efforts as closely as possible with Congress to ensure continued and timely investments in space and informed deliberations on appropriate regulatory regimes and reform, and legislation."

And they want every possible big ticket item from the Trump Administration - and then some - funded at 100% no matteer what:

"... By making full use of the SLS, including the Exploration Upper Stage, the Orion spacecraft, and the Exploration Ground Systems that support them; as well as the lunar Gateway and Human Landing System currently under development with international and commercial partners ..."

The Advanced Space Architectures Program (ASAP): Championing American Innovation through
Next Generation In-Space Operations
, Day One Project

"The Biden-Harris administration should launch a new Advanced Space Architectures Program (ASAP) to enable a new generation of in-space operations that will renew American leadership in space operations of all kinds. ASAP would improve the cost-effectiveness, productivity, and resiliency of our space systems through a series of inter-related missions. The program would operate through a public-private consortium in order to effectively leverage direct government investment while facilitating the space economy through a healthy space industrial base and a variety of partnerships. On the federal side, ASAP should be jointly led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Defense (DOD, including the Space Force, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU)). Additional federal support would come from agencies such as the Department of Commerce (DOC, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)) and the Department of Transportation (DOT, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA))."

Day One Council Members

"Co-chaired by John Holdren and Susan Eisenhower, the Science & Technology Leadership Council is comprised of leaders from across the science, technology, and innovation community who share deep experience in S&T policymaking. The Council guides and advises the Day One Project in its work to identify and advance key S&T priorities and engage the S&T community ahead of the next presidential term."

Keith's 28 January update: this is the letter (pdf) that the usual suspects sent to the White House. The wording is mostly the same. These organizations signed the letter:

Aerospace Industries Association, Aerospace States Association, American Astronautical Society, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Commercial Spaceflight Federation, CompTIA, Explore Mars, Inc., GPS Innovation Alliance, Intelligence and National Security Alliance, National Security Space Association, Satellite Industry Association, SmallSat Alliance, Space Florida, Space & Satellite Professionals International, The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, Universities Space Research Association, U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Keith's 27 January update: Mike French at AIA sent this note out to the ususal suspects on 26 January:

"Hello all - I wanted to provide an update and proposed way forward. I have heard from a diverse set of nearly all the groups here as supportive or initially supportive but need to run an internal check. If you know others in the space community that are supportive of the space council framework, I want to make sure we include all of those voices if they are interested in joining. Please feel free to reach out to other groups you think would be interested or let me know and I can do so. I will set up a call for later today or tomorrow morning (depending on response timing) to discuss the way forward with interested groups. Please feel free to reach out to me directly in the meantime."

There was a group call scheduled for today (27 January) at noon to discuss this memo.

Keith's 25 January note: Yet another effort is being undertaken by Big Aerospace to preserve the status quo. This time its an effort to keep the National Space Council and its utterly useless Users Advisory Group in place. As you may recall the UAG was not comprised of actual "users" of space but rather was stocked full of political appointees and representatives from Big Aerospace companies who sell things to the Federal Government. This group never did anything other than to have meetings with powerpoint presentations when in fact the big decisions had already been made by National Space Council staff. After a while many members never bothered to attend - even before COVID. But it was fun for the members to brag about being on it.

This draft statement supporting the UAG was sent out today to all the usual suspects by Mike French at the Aerospace Industries Association. Many of the recipients were in on a Big Aerospace White Paper that was circulating as a drafted right after the election which was a shopping list of things that the community wanted from Congress and the incoming Biden Administration. That white paper seems to have evaporated since it was featured on NASAWatch. As for the National Space Council itself, while it did do some interesting work, from what I have been hearing its future is in doubt since last week's announcement of a revitalized and elevated Office of Science and Technology Policy and PCAST leadership. With the elevation of science as a national priority many think that space should be discussed at the highest level in an "all of government" perspective - and not as a disconnected side discussion. Given the challenges facing our nation right now, space policy needs to have the best possible seat at the big table where these things are discussed - lest it be ignored.

"National Space Council Support Letter
DRAFT FOR ASSOCIATION REVIEW 1/25/21

For over 60 years, U.S. government and private sector investments in space programs have showcased American innovation, ambition, and accomplishment on the worldwide stage. Space is inextricably linked to our economic prosperity, U.S. national security, understanding of our planet, and everyday American life. As our nation becomes increasingly reliant on space for these endeavors and future technological challenges, the interconnectivity of our three space sectors - civil, commercial, and national security - requires public policies and investment rooted in a whole of government approach.

The National Space Council and its Users' Advisory Group provide that approach, coordinating across the entire government to shape our national space program with critical stakeholder input. Maintaining a White House-level focus on space will provide stability and continuity to the United States' space endeavors, enabling historic exploration and scientific achievement, continued U.S. space industry global leadership, and enhanced national security. Harnessing the space sector's capabilities will help fuel our economic recovery, help solve the climate crisis, and build the diverse 21st century education system and workforce that America needs and deserves. We strongly encourage the Biden Administration to continue the National Space Council and Users' Advisory Group."

Stay tuned. The usual suspects in the DC space policy echo chamber are relentless.

- Uh Oh: The Space Community Is Writing A White Paper - Again, earlier post
- Biden Elevates OSTP And Announces Science Team, earlier post
- Biden NASA Transition Team, earlier post
- Space Council Users' Advisory Group Meets Without Any Users, earlier post
- National Space Council UAG Goes Through The Motions Of Being Interested, earlier post

Message from NASA Acting Administrator Steve Jurczyk and Senior White House Appointee Bhavya Lal

"We have some initial appointments from the new administration: Alicia Brown has been named NASA's Associate Administrator for Legislative Affairs and Intergovernmental Affairs (OLIA), and Marc Etkind will be the Associate Administrator for Communications. Please join us in giving them a warm welcome to the NASA family. There will be other new faces arriving at Headquarters, and we will communicate these developments with you."

- Bhavya Lal, LinkedIn Twitter
- Alicia Brown, LinkedIn Twitter
- Marc Etkind, IMDb - Twitter

President-elect Biden Announces Key Members of his White House Science Team

"Today, President-elect Joe Biden announced his White House science team -- a deeply respected group of diverse and eminently qualified scientists who will marshal the force of science to drive meaningful progress in the lives of people. They will help the Biden-Harris administration confront some of the biggest crises and challenges of our time, from climate change and the impact of technology on society to pandemics, racial inequity and the current historic economic downturn."

Keith's note: Science is back!


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This page is an archive of entries in the Biden Space category from January 2021.

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