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« Spaceports | Main | Space Law »

Office of Space Commercialization

Mike Beavin describing the resurrection of this office, which has languished throughout much of the Bush administration. Office is at the Department of Commerce, next to the White House. Beavin worked on the Hill in the House Aeronautics Subcommittee, sat next to Jim Muncy (still deaf in one ear from that). Then went to AIAA and Satellite Industry Association.

Office is the principal unit for coordination of space activities within the Department of Commerce. Originally "Office of Space Commerce," which he prefered--wants to nurture actual commerce in space. Originally supported National Space Council (which no longer exists--Clinton dismantled it). Office ended up in Technology Division in 1996, but funding was moved to NOAA in 2004, and didn't get presidential appointee director until this year (Ed Morris, from Orbital Sciences Corporation). Charter is policy development, market analysis, and outreach and education. (Lot of discussion about GPS and space-based positioning, which is one of the things that the office was given responsibility for in 2005.) Listing some recent accomplishments, few of which have any relationship to getting humans into space. Supporting development of new national space policy document.

Ed Morris only there since January, and he's only been there a month and a half, so still in the process of resurrecting the office. Has Aerospace Corporation on contract to help with outreach to stakeholders to see what they should be doing. Just testified to Congress on economic impacts of space--discussed GPS and remote sensing/NOAA. There may be hearings this fall on COTS, and if so, they hope to play an advocacy role for that. They recognize that they haven't done much for the entrepreneurs lately, but they had a workshop in 2001 on space commerce, and hope to do something similar to make a new roadmap of market oppotunities in space. Want to hear ideas hear. One issue they do want to deal with is ITAR. There needs to be a voice for the commercial side in the government ITAR debates, and they want to serve that role.

Question from Joe Carrol: If Centennial Challenges is successful, do you think that Commerce could get involved in their own prizes? Answer: they're interested in that, if there are departmental precedents.

Break for lunch.

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 22, 2006 12:33 PM
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