This Week at NASA | This Week At NASA: President Re-Establishes National Space Council
President Reestablishes National Space Council
President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order on June 30 to reestablish the National Space Council. Vice President Mike Pence – who will chair the council – was on hand for the signing – along with members of Congress, NASA representatives, commercial space company officials and others. Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot, called the establishment of the council, “Another demonstration of the Trump Administration’s deep interest in our work, and a testament to the importance of space exploration to our economy, our nation, and the planet as a whole.”
International Asteroid Day
June 30 marked International Asteroid Day. Our Planetary Defense Coordination Office and other NASA-funded programs find, track and characterize Near Earth Objects. These are asteroids and comets in the vicinity of Earth’s orbit that could pose an impact threat to our planet. The Planetary Defense Coordination Office also issues alerts and helps coordinate any U.S. government response to an impact threat.
NASA Testifies at Congressional Hearings
Our Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot and other NASA officials testified at Congressional subcommittee hearings on June 29. Lightfoot responded to questions during a Senate Appropriations hearing about the president’s $19.1 billion Fiscal Year 2018 budget proposal for NASA. Meanwhile, Bill Gerstenmaier, the Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, and Steve Jurczyk – Associate Administrator for Space Technology – testified during a House Science hearing about in-space propulsion.
Colorful Clouds in Space
On June 30, we launched a sounding rocket from our Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, to test a new multi-canister ejection system designed to help study the ionosphere and aurora. The system produces blue-green and red artificial clouds or vapor tracers that enable scientists on the ground to visually track particle motions in space. The colorful clouds from this launch were expected to be visible from New York to North Carolina.
And that’s what’s up this week @NASA …(c)2017 NASA | SCVTV