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tv   Experts Testify on Managing Space Traffic  CSPAN  July 23, 2021 8:01pm-9:34pm EDT

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♪♪ c-span is your unfiltered view of government funded by these television companies and more including comcast. >> you think it's just a community center? no, it's more than that. >> comcast dot partnering with 1000 pretty centrist to create wi-fi enabled systems to families can get the tools they need to be ready for anything. comcast supports c-span as a public service along with these other television providers giving a front row seat to democracy. >> the subcommittee on space and science held a hearing on how to manage space traffic and debris. witnesses were asked about space collisions and the role of private industry in space travel. this is an hour and a half. [background noises]
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[background noises] office meeting to order. in my opinion, it should be outstanding for you. you should all be aware several things, one that even though there is not a full committee,
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we are assuming this to the majority which is all working and i think every committee and a number of other senators not to mention lanes at home. onaughter] i also should give warning that this is my first committee hearing that i get to chair as the chair of the site committee so you have to take your own wrists with that. when they told me iha was goingo get to chair this committee, my communication staff, i should not say it but i was over the moon. [laughter] this is something that's important not only to colorado, it's something i've had a passion and interest in for a
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long time. it's ironic the first meeting is on space trash, his hands somewhat dismissive and you as you all know it's one of the most important things we are facing and i think by necessity and what i hope comes out of this meeting is around. it is a pivotal time and potential for catastrophic accidents, we continue with the status quote is real. this discussion today is going to examine situational awareness, ssa, i'll try to go back between situational awareness and ssa so we do. space traffic management and managing debris. situational awareness of course, protects valuable federal and commercial assets it allows
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track and notify operators in orbit when there are issues. we need situational awareness to ornate space traffic management to coordinate satellite activities exactly what they are doing and make sure we avoid collisions with appropriate notification. a number of reports estimate over 4000 active satellites in orbit but i think the more perplexing numbers be roughly or well over 100 million pieces of debris factoring the entire space ecosystem. i could goth down a long list bt gps whether cap forecasting telecommunications, all manner of scientific research relying on satellites in orbit, environment and bow orbit is critical to almost every facet
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of the space industry and potential growth and as activity in space is increasing from a satellite launches we see increased satelliteel launches, scientific research and congress. this committee has little oversight role in space product management, situational awareness ssa and mitigating debris. we have numerous s examples of collisions space which have been catastrophic the chinese weapons and demonstration satellite and hundred means since 1999 space station 29 debris avoidance
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maneuvers thereon were three in 2020 alone but certainly i think you will understand we can'twe wait for the next collision to occur before taking action. the groundworkct has begun, 2018 space policy directed three dd three if you're taking notes at home. a few things are clear on who's possible for what in addressing this problem. it was to assume all civil situational awareness from the department of defense, nasa was to update corporal debris transportation, as et to update their licensing processes for satellite launches and 21 appropriations from congress taking further action" the budget the office of space commerce. i use that word double the
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budget with a certain amount of significance reflecting the urgency and the critical nature of what we are talking about today requiring private programs for database. the work of ranking member with will be here, not here yet but i am sure his staff is watching and chairwoman cantwell will be here eventually as well. on the space act, it qualifies the department. the centers to advance scientific policy and research in ssa as well. the space act passed the committee twice, past the full senate in the u.s. innovation competition act also called endless frontier act, my referred name. clearly demonstrating we need swift action and part of a immediately is to enact it in
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the space act into law. the biden administration is implementing aspects so the committee oversight is appropriate and important. we need to maintain our leadership in space, every one of you understands that. a big part of this must conclude space traffic management and lack of international rules of the road. it's a serious problem. regulatory regimes demand attentiond, serious attention. european union, russia, china all developing their own frameworks which again how we are able to lead on this and set up appropriate frameworks so our interests aren't overruled i think is quickly important and need to recognize the importance
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of our interest in this but we need to make sure these relations are from the outset. others off the international liability law, negligence but not necessarily apply to lack of response to an alert is a significant amount of necessary modernizing space situational awareness. it brings back the urgency of tracking constant tracking for all objects. limited ability of maneuvering and underscores the importance of ssa and noticeably based activity to ssa and rnd. also part of the subcommittee to carry out duties swiftly and
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certainly we look forward to hearing testimony from witness, issues how to advance u.s. leadership in space, how to protect federal and commercial interests with space traffic management. i have reemphasized how grateful we are for your time here today. we have witnesses say i take parochial privilege to recognize first professor from the university of colorado in boulder and he has been a devout leader on ssa and all manners of space related topics. he let the 2019 office and space workshop of ssa the missed campus in boulder. also therese -- commercial space companies are represented by the federation, a number of these in
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colorado but these companies arm all over the united states, it is probably a national issue and she can speak on industry activity with federal agencies in space servicing satellites the society of space act, safe access in that recent base andn then kevin o'connell, space economy rising, the office of space commerce under the previous administration on u.s. leadership, focusing on space safety and sustainability and paul comstock, com st -- threats and challenges in the space environment and lastly the president of the satellite industry association representing satellite companies.
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there are a number of colorado companies but companies all over the country represented by the satellite industry association so with that, i'll resume my position of being over the moon and the opportunity to kick this off and promise never to make that plan again.r i'd like to recognize the senator from wyoming wyoming for her opening o statement. >> i loved your type, i think it is absolutely appropriate. he has wanted for the special occasion, our first hearing and looking forward to working with you on those topic. it's going to be a fun committee because of the bipartisan nature space, because of the developments we are seeing just in the last week and we are very excited to join you in addressing some of the issues wh are going to begin discussing
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today so welcome, panelists. i am so pleased this is our first hearing topic. it's timely and important. space traffic management situational awareness and/or portable debris i have no problem being identified as the space junk lady or the trash lady, space trash lady, it's an important topic for our time and it's great to be ranking member of the subcommittee, the space sector is evolving so quickly. the civilians to the edges of space that occurred this week satellites and spaces increased dramatically as companies have becomes to launch major constellations, and wonderful and exciting time for me to be involved in topics and it's becoming congested the problem is only going to there are more than 4000 satellites in orbit right now.
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1200 relaunched in 2020 and regarding surpass that in 2021. it's estimated 6000 satellites could be launched in the next few years. in addition to working satellites, the department of defense is tracking 27000 pieces of space junk. the junk poses huge risks to our assets in space. even the smallest pieces of orbital debris i've learned that even paint colors -- each collision creates even more debris so the problem that compounds on itself. more than just tracking and managing orbital debris, we must look for ways to prevent it in the first. place and for companies launching satellite and mega constellations to help with solutions to take out the trash and get rid of the junk. the innovation creating this
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problem is exciting but the government must take the lead on ssa, s tm and policy to prevent and remove orbital debris. the previous administration understood the importance of this a mission and how the changing nature of the spaceed industry necessitated moving some of this responsibility away from the department of defense. in 2018, the trump administration published space policy directive three to put the responsibility of fsa and sgm in the hands of the office of space commerce. congress appropriated funds to the office of space to create an open architecture data repository to improve in 2020, national academy of public the fenestration released a study recommended the office of space commerce to be selected to conduct the ssa mission.
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i am concerned we are now three years after sbd three was published in the department has been slow to develop the architecture repository desperately needed. instead, it's commissioned more to re-examine the already answered question of which u.s. government agency is best suited to take on the task. i would at that i am concerned the administration has not announced a director to take over the office of space commerce. i hope that our hearing today with our distinguished panelists will help illuminate the urgency y of getting the data repository up and running and provide us with information and ideas how to work with the private sector to tackle this growing issue so thank you, mr. chairman andyo thank you panelists for being here and i go back.
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>> thank you, appreciate your comments but also your time and effort. now we can go to, i know that -- well, let's go with your opening statements to start with. >> thank you. distinguished members of the committee, thank you for inviting commercial space flight federation csf present a space situational awareness and importance of space safety to a sustainable future for the united states in orbit and beyond. this is the leading national trade association for commercial space industry with more than 85 companies and organizations creating tens of thousands of high-tech u.s. jobs focus on building a growing space economy to bring science, academia, business and government.
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u.s. commercial space industryer leads the world today thanks in part to the public-private partnerships this committee repeatedly has supported over the years and continues to support. as a result of private sector innovation, u.s. sees an increase in both the.s number of watches and satellites employed in orbit dividing critical capabilities including broadband internet, earth mapping andnd environmental monitoring entering a global commitment to space safety space sustainability has never been more important. situational awareness represents the most pressing issue to address today is access tos accurate and timely tracking data is essential to ensure continued safe operation and space for all users. this recommendations by both the spaceports and nasser to transition unclassified ssa activities to the department of commerce technologist the committee has long supported
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this mission. commenced in developing the open architecture repository or zero eight dr to collect and integrate commercial data into a new database and widely distributed space users. it's a great first step. recommended the od staff in the space commerce with experts in the field to iterate the system from a prototype for successful operational system. this implementation could create additional uncertainty for both government and commercial users. we encouragert congress to prove necessary financial resources to the office of space commerce to implement this and recommend the governmentnt offer three data while ensuring not competing with the private sector for more advanced analytical services. this approach represents safety while providing commercial companies the opportunity to develop innovative tools that will advance understanding and space operations. distinct from ssa, manager
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encompassing regulatory policies designed to attract responsible behavior in space. today the primary driver of these requirements for u.s. satellite systems. the report recommends thef leading the largest consumer of commercial space data in the world, progress remains a unique position with reasonable s tm and orbital standards but only if it applies this requirement equally to all companies seeking to serve the domestic a market. in addition, newly developed rules must continue to encourage those operations. this balance is critical to prevent satellite systems simply shop, license and foreign administrations were about the same rules these regulations leaving an incomplete picture of orbital operation and producing transparencyra.
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modifying rules to require any company that serves the market fully comply with u.s. orbital debris rules while leveling the playing field for companies licensed in the it further recommends the partner with nasser to leverage expertise developing more technical standards particularly for mitigation. thank you for the opportunity to testify today and look forward to your questions. >> thank you. >> good morning and thank you for the invitation to return to the subcommittee to talk about the critical issue of space debris. in my prepared statement, i have updated the committee on some of the most exciting departments in the space bar economy. we seek the space economy separating and diversifying equipment. space activity has intruded an
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estimated $5 trillion annually to the u.s. economy and that number is growing. second, our appreciation of the value of space in our lives is changing, increasingly recognized space as a key element of, if not the backbone of the 21st century economy so space will fuel and protect, tech and other innovations while deepening our understanding of changes on this planet, enabling exploration and outer space. many states and other countries are exploring how to leverage space bar economic growth, talent, it innovation. i offer this only to describe what's really at risk to not deal with this charge. as i have testified before, space debris the international space station, billions of dollars in space investment and growth spacena commerce. it was flawless near miss of space debris.
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canada was punctured by debris and make. these calls were too close. policy discussions date back to the reagan administration and an increasing priority for the last four administrations. an increasing number of organizations on the problem in need for action. space policy directive three assessment mentioned recognize the urgency of his problem and erected a whole government approach clearing a path for safety. the department of defense and need to shift with physical civil management system given growing interior security concerns in space and parallel growth in commercial space activities and it recognizes critical and parts of our international space partners, a key tenet of was the need to modernize nations ssa architecture and leverage commercial capabilities that already exist in the market. communications, cloud -based, data management other
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technologies that have helped innovate many other industries can be leveraged here immediately. meanwhile, entrepreneurs developed new tools to mitigate risk and space systems and promote continuing investment in innovation. detection and new ways of characterizing are key while others are working machine learning, active debris removal and others to improve space safety. the open architecture approach has already been discussed will allow new tools to be corporative very quickly. beyond improved collision, firms are arctic developing new services as part of the emerging space safety industry. one comforting factor is how quickly the debris threat is changing given projections from new space objects and more complex missions of the next decade. u.s. government efforts should focus on how to quickly acquire, validate and implement these services. we are not alone in our space pursuits nor the need to deal
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with the problem. united states and allies routinely discuss these issues in many different forms. not everyone is on board. uncontrolled reentry of a chinese long march market in may, second touch of our current how the world on edge whether it might damage property and kill people. russia held her progress in the united nations on the long-term sustainability guidelines. until they were finallys passed consensus in 2018. there is no doubt long-standing american leadership in space safety authors, these n countris will step in. space component of china's road initiative is already designed to lock up emerging space partners memphis will be no exception. i was asked to speak specifically in the role of the department on this matter based on my recent roles. since is a growing role in the 21st century, economy, commerce department is uniquely positioned to play key roles on space commerce. a report has already mentioned
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endorsed roles of commerce in the space managing a variety of product and partnerships against the challenge of orbital debris. as the committee may recall, we established over 30 years ago at the executive branch advocate to the u.s. commercial space industry given that mission and the importance of the commercial space industry to our economy and national security, i believe the office must be elevated to the office of the secretary where it can fully engage in leadership. finally, i want to express my personal thanks to the committee for the space preservation and conduction emergency act 2020, 221 typically recognize complexity and urgency of space debris problem and need for intense focus action. provision to create a center centers are especially welcome given the importance of additional research in this area and i'll look forward to your nequestions.
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>> thank you. >> thank you, chairman. english members of the subcommittee, i'd like tomb thak you again for the honor to come here talking ruckus. university of colorado is a top institution in researching related to space and ssa. we have observational cap abilities, and from that, we are involved in all elements of research related to race traffic and as. exponential commercial utilization, simultaneously inspiring and terrifying. properly occurring services and resource exploration, meaningful economic and increased danger. our present situation is much like being in heavy traffic without a right of way. we stand at a thrilling precipice.
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countless opportunities to promise economic prosperity, innovation and rules -based international leadership. i have three central points of like to communicate to the subcommittee today. number one. united states government and industries have historic opportunity to lead the international community in developing ssa and norms of behavior and rules of the road. in the strongest term, i recommend these international leaves and industry consultants records on the rules of the road and behavior. i further recommend tittering the nobel prize-winning framework by doctor eleanor and championed by the late doctor for governing shared resources such as space. the leadership reinforces continuity of rules -based systems of international cooperation and commerce in the
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u.s. has endeavored to support for nearly a century. further as a principal user of space, industry must heavily participate in determining fees rules of the road and the behavior. united states should lead and inspire in civil space. never to -- now is the right time to articulate their vision of authority domains of responsibly for all relevant government agencies. authorization for the department of commerce is necessary to maintain and widen leading technical and space industry position. number three. we have a chance to streamline civil ssa and stm research and development enterprise this can produce transformative research, economically impact technology development and develop future
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workforce necessary to realize prosperity in space. additionally, the coronation between research agencies and consistent funding and support to academia perhaps in the form of centers of excellence will help develop the workforce necessary and produce research we need. finally, government industry and academia graduates to periodic service identifying high basic research and technology development for civil ssa management. it allows the united states to meet this historiclo opportunity with operation. this potential to enter -based united states leadership at ssa and stm amongst the international clearly. improve relevance of efficacy basic research and technology, research will produce thriving i
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think the opportunity to testify on our challenges and opportunities. i'd be pleased to answer any questions you might have. >> distinguished members of the committee, thank you for inviting me here and my company that i represent in the commercial space operations center before you on this critical issue of space situational awareness and management different. while i am here representing my company, one 100% focused on this problem i want to know this testimony represents all commercialom he have the inceptn
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inviting all to have relationships invested to say most of space. i do. have some personal testimony so the first one and a role. i will let this run the whole time, i think it's well understood what i think without space would be like this and
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then jump to the next chart is more interesting video so this video coming up here will detect the growth of the track objects so what you will see your is graphic condition in a craft that will show how the population increases dramatically so there is i a you takeaways that come from this if you notice flat-out dramatic growth in most of these objects are debris and not controllable. and you will see some big spikes so the first one in 2007 and these objects were on back. in 2009 you see a place you
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mentioned condition satellite and russians communication but what that says is when those collisions happen either intentional or unintentional, it increases this and that something to go on. the next chart will show a better way to look at this so what you seek are spatial density british representative and you see the weapon there and you see what happened there. and then what you see is the growth happening because of the dramatic increase in business very early in the process. if you go to the next chart, the key take away and 700,000
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satellites so we have a big problem. we better start dealing with it you happen so one must graphic a lot of people say this but if you look at this chart there, a green line showing your scene more than 10% so i think we've got a lot of all with recommendation, it isen critical companies. they fully embrace commercial as
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as a politest resource huntington's space commerce and it could happen. third there needs to be clear must deliver ready to deliver this. numeral numeral numeral last, we certainly strongly support the space act. so thank you for holding this hearing and thank you for inviting us and that. >> ranking member, distinguished numbers of the subcommittee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. i'm president of the satellite industry association which represents the commercial industry. space innovation driving a need
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for more precise orbital tracking ssa and in the future space traffic coordination regime. losing environment is critical to all operated, debris field from satellites to operate on orbital lanes and best practices. operational satellite to change substantially in five to ten years. to accommodate this on the framework of regulations and policies requiring a you and in some cases revision. for six most important issuesta today are number one, timeliness. the owner has increased dramatically over 1200 satellites launched in 2020. operators rely to characterize and anticipate and avoid collision. more advanced services are needed toic support future operations and establish safety and sustainability. there is a need for information sharing and coordination amongng
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satellite operators as well as u.s. and foreign administrations given the safety aspect and ssa st mta, government and government revision of the services are critical. number two, orbital accuracies, today's free as as a servicesur for suitable for accuracies to support safety is urgent orbital relations that will fall short of this activity to increase. for the operators appointed and properties should be on improving accuracy. number three, continuedcc department of operant versions of commercial on the government systems and adoption of both government and commercial
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services in this system is great information for operators. number four, advanced nations from the first, but program. satellite operators contribute orbit and recently model must be extended availability on the information data on latest government regardless of this recommends the following number
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one action and from the earth need not look like u.s. leadership in place, u.s. must act now to implement modern ssa, as he environment to support innovation including leveraging commercial and government capabilities to yield a u.s. develop cutting edge service model number two, the framework should be established for specific technologies to meet requirements should not be dictated. space companies renowned for ingenuity, allowing innovativean ways to meet requirements of a modern space safety framework and ensure cost efficient technologies utilized. number three, encourage best practices. the space industry responsible operations in space caps on a safe environment to undertake ongoing future. participation in support of industry when short widespread
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adoption in space safety practices is critical and reduce the need for unnecessary and often bothersome representation. number four, any effective solutions must. be full of spaco endeavor to meet global a successful modern sustainable ftc wisdom will include categories of space activities. u.s. and international. this cannot be a compass on its own and if regulation's are not appropriate, satellite operators license systems and foreign administrations rather than this. this will require the relationships and leadership of the u.s. government commercial stakeholders and like-minded nations to achieve space sustainability. i appreciate the opportunity to appear before you today i am happy to answer any questions. thank you. >> i apologize about the name mike hicken the work, i
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apologize. we will go to questions now. stm requires not just international cooperation but some level of enforcement rules with feasibility as we have other nations developing theirir own rules and consequences. where do you think it is, how do we demonstrate global leadership on this issue and make sure people recognize that we are still a leader? >> thank you for that question. the united states demonstrates this leadership through consensus -based, he looked at the framework for governing comments, it's necessary to have a level of bias from all the
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operating place and still do exactly as other members of the panel have said and it will circumvent this so there is a level of these agencies to be done by the united states. if we don't do this, if we don't have this then other individuals will and they will not necessarily form rules or regulations that are insistent with this. >> part of this is the level of the awareness of the american people but it needs to be both in terms of the number of the debris in space but also the speed traveling and what happens, how small thee debris can be in significant damage. what steps did you take while in
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the office to not only maintain international leadership get the word out to the people interests. what advice did you give to your successor? >> thank you for the question and i wouldmr say from the first day ironically my appointment was announced at the white house the same day they were announced at the white house. my life has never been the same. what we did do spend literally every day some major on the topic trying to work the many sodifferent dimensions supportig interagency discussions withup nasa, faa state department entertainer working on rules of the road to encourage the message we are having here, the role in growing in the private sector, working on the technical architecture, we put a collie out to work hand-in-hand with the department of defense and they were tremendousef partners because they want to get out of this nice of the mission as much
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as we want the opportunity to take on so thatt partnership was continuous throughout the work, the technical issues, how is it done today and how can it be done better? industry engagement appreciating all the companies represented here and well beyond, we held an industry back with over 200 organizations that participated virtually to talk about one another of this activity. the words from my successor, this is one piece of the responsibly and space commerce advocacy migratory reform and others as well. this is absolutely the most important mission at this time given what isat at stake and gin the need to make rapid progress and we can do it using the commercial capabilities for this particular. >> thank you for your service, that sounds like good advice and it doesn't always have two cooperating agencies
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transferring responsibly that some reflection of your hard work as well. i've only got a minute here but i want to ask you each to discuss how the commercial space initiative has ever stood good, other federal missions. >> the satellite industry providing so many benefits but the truth that come to mind are broadband internet so we have initiatives underway with this administration. the climate effort and this is where commercial industry provides a lot of value and we are ready to come and address these issues. internet access to tens of millions of americans to receive
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the access. >> you want to add to any of that? >> everybody uses these virtually every day and it sought to be led by example. best practices and encouraging the development.lo >> it's impossible to answer in the time allotted i will turn over to ranking member -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. my first question is for mr. o'connell. one of my major concerns and several of my colleagues major concerns is that it is taking a lot of time for the department of commerce to set up architectures data repository so it's been three years since the space policy directive was published, what you think is altering up the process? what needs to be done to pick up the pace?
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>> thank you for that question, we have worked on it with the office literally every day. i would say one aspect is we need to get our heads around the different partnerships and technical opportunities available in the commercial industry. second, this was a resource question. the extent to which we had a small budget in the office. when i arrived to the office in 2018, no one left the office for ten years and accordingly, small tiny budget that's very small staff. some of our early days were built up bringing in people who could help out with many different responsibilities. very much a resource issue that needs to be resourced now in the report, there is actually a set of budget attachments had prepared during my time in congress and the internal commerce department management but also by napa.
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>> the biden administration has not yet been announced. i get. i have a lot on their plate right now but could you talk about the importance of having someone at osc? >> absolutely, think of a question. the office at the number of admissions while we were there, and advocacy not cheerleading. and advocacy is identifying investment entrance coming forward in the market. a it's about helping companies break, companies going overseas. want to avoid that. he did that with the economic analysis and so on and so forth. advocacy is our legally mandated position work on regulatory reform many of the space policyw activities that are high speeds
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policy activities during trump administration including the review of national space policy to encourage the use ofin commercial capabilities and obviously response bodies associated with this self we'ven made progress on all of those fronts and obviously we need to pick up the pace. >> thank you. in your testimony he both talked about the possibility of non- u.s. entities standing up as essay regimes. can you y elaborate on the. consequences of non-us entities taking on the lead in this area? the purposes of people that might be listening on c-span, the acronyms to where we don't even know what we are talking about.t. it refers to detecting, tracking and identifying all objects in earth's orbit so obviously this
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is really important, as we march more and more so this is an important topic. >> absolutely, many nations throughout the world want to take a key role in this space traffic management and there's a lot of reasons for there certainly are national sovereignty being able to control and understand what is going on using your own assets. this domain what you do for space management and situationad awareness and application to have that he will look different to an adversary of oursry like china or russia and what to an ally of ours be at japan for your pre-european union. we certainly feel the u.s. has
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the vent in the lead in this for a long time if we don't maintain that lead, there will be consequences to holidays our companies play in the apple. >> thank you. >> thank you for the question. i agree it is imperative that the united states we endeavor, if other countries lead those efforts they are going to make the rules and regulations and those will not reapon the beneft of our own international. fundamentally, it's national interest for us. we lead this effort to gain as much consistent with the international as much as possible. >> thank you. mr. -- did i pronounce that right? thanks. i would like to address you
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both. thank you. you mentioned in your testimony that is as a tracking data is not only precise enough fore space assets to make safety decisions and as a result, operators on conservative assumptions. is this lack of precision a technology problem or deficit of information? how can the accuracy of the data be improved? >> partially technology and result sensors added to spacecraft will be able to add to the information available. >> thank you. >> at this time the technology has come pretty far along in its mostly in accuracy of information problem at this time just having the ability to attract everything in real time
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to where companies are often coordinating with each other so that is one thing we see has a definite need to fast-track the effort. >> i could add to that from a commercial perspective which is that there are two things happening. one, we are not collecting the right amount of data we should not processing it in the right way so that thing that needs to happen you can either process the data we have already much more in a much better data way and the capabilities are standing ready to do that andal you can provide a more collections of the data out there especially in areas not welcome today. >> i want to thank our witnesses and i call on senator blumenthal for his question.
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>> there has been an effort to develop some kind of law that relates to this, and effort to develop. let me ask you, to what extent with clearer norms or laws have? >> i think it's a little bit of a fine line. when it comes to favorable policies, there is a growing a need in the united states for policies to keep the united states sort of on the top of the space regime, if you will. second, maybe a close relative to that is the regulatory toenvironment where there is soe
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concern not having regulation having the right regulation at the right time so we don't prevent innovation from a lot of these companies have the flexibility today so that is one concern but i think it is imperative first we take thean position we want as a nation, we want to be able to have control over the process and set the standard for the rest of the world. >> normally in the united states one of our great ways, we have norms and rules and laws enforceable and in fact we believe in the rule of law which gives web credibility when youes enter into this it's enforceable and you know -- [inaudible] demanding a bribe or whatever so which side do you think we are airing right now, too little or too much?
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i will open up that question. >> thank you. i wouldn't look at it as a too much or too little perspective, it's still in the early days. operators pretty much have had freedom of action if they have chosen to move because of a near collision. we won't have the opportunity in the very near future so i think two things are happening in parallel. one, properly, diplomats defense organizations around the world have discussions about norms and behavior just like we would have discussion about norms and any other domain. at the same time, and so much of this is about the speed of the problem and how much it is changing. industry is likely to set practical standards by which we make these decisions so fortunately in the united states required by law to actually stae connected to industry standards. that is not the case with a lot of other countries developing
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similar systems for space traffic management over their own so i thinkge we are where we have to pay careful attention to how industry iss dealing withs this as the basis for the rules of the road as they progress in the law and regulation. >> that's an excellent question and as an engineering professor i feel compelled to say many elements of the radiation should have physics races for these spaces for the rules of the road regulation imposed on. for example, space is different and its is different also from missions we sent to the moon so whatever rules and regulations we choose to propose should be physics. >> i would add i think we all talk about space awareness as being the first step in space
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traffic, management which i think we feel is the appropriate process to be taken. thank you. >> i want to respond. we talk about data repository and perhaps grant change maybe it's, you understand what it does. ... data from the department of defense unclassified and add an incredible amount of civil, partner, and commercial data and apply modern data management analytics tools. second >> goingng to enable the emergei of a space safety industry only improve the precision and accure understand the placeo to be in space too many companies that did this was thinking about new services and finally to answer your question senator, he also becomes in the openn world, plae
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we start have much better much more rigorous scientific data from which for example, our insurance industry will now have a home source of state about how to calculate risks and different orbits in different constellations and things like that. as part of the moving it from the largely national security and moving it to the modern-day of science techniques and foreign policy. [inaudible]. thank you. i'm in the middle of a book called mercury rising. i don't know if you've rented about the very earliest days in the space programs. [inaudible]. is a culture shock kind of book that goes forward into today's age. from the time when they thought
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maybe. [inaudible]. because of the weightlessness of the geforce of going into space. we learned a lot. and even more humorous with the access and the height and their environment decades ago. [inaudible].yo [inaudible]. >> thank you senator. next up, hearing from florida one of our most significant states in space. the gentleman from florida mr. scott. >> thank you for hosting this hearing today no one thank you to be for being here.
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very important and many jobs and so we put a lot of effort into revitalizing our space industry a lot of money into it. in the private sector showed up and it's really going to change the kennedy space center that whole area of the state now. it is difficult to find engineers because all of the there.happened i want too thank all of you for what you have done. >> so i want to talk about what you all can do with regarding to what is going on in cuba. >> i don't know if you are following what is happening in cuba but, that showed up for the protest and what is happening now is the impressive cuban regime is protesters, they were
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arrested unbelievable numbers of people, these people being tortured. for speaking about simple things like freedom. and when barack obama was president, he did the plan there and i'll tell you it worked. and when she hundred hinge chop off after the appeasement, second month, and she would die of infection her atrocity when she complained that the school was being closed. this was going on down there's was horrible and we need to get the internet back on and people are going to show up and continue to tell the times of the report is either in demand. [inaudible]. so, what can the satellite industry help us tea the internet back onto the human
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population can communicate with themselves. and continue. >> one of the great things about the satellite industry is coverage in the fastest growing segment in the broadband industry so the ability to bed able to comply like broadband service giving people information access to the outside of the world as well as what is happening in cuba is one example. another is the remote-sensing capability the ability to provide data and observational data something the industry is doing to refresh the data everyday so the government is not capable of lying to them what is happening and elsewhere throughout the country so those are two of these examples when the obama administration had discussed normalizing relationsh with opening up relations with cuba there were discussions
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about making a direct consumer television services available and again giving them additional informationn they otherwise woud not of had. thank you senator pretty. >> and mechanic satellite industry do right now predict is there any technology that in our federal government can do for the private sector can do to get the internet back on and give people information where they have information to where they can communicate with each other. >> i think probably to the extent of the ability to make the receivers available to members of the public, i don't know the challenges that would be associated with that given the coverage of the service, and the ability to provide broadband service to them in getting the receivers them, that may be the bigger challenge. >> i nothing is happening works with phone pretty can you repeat
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the question place predict. >> so what they all have a cell phones over that's what they should have come they can't on the ability to communicate data with cell phones and is there any way that satellite industry can get information to the cell phones. or is having to be a significant size - >> companies are developing technology to beua able to connt directly from satellites to cell phones. the satellites also used for but there are two companies working on the ability to connect directly to the mobile phones from satellites pretty they have lunch the first satellites and not commercially available yet. >> can you name the companies pretty. >> data science the others like. [inaudible]. >> i will reach out to them predict guys, we have to figure
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out how to do this. now the thing is concerning me is how much communist china is involved in cuba how their shutting back communications. what can the satellite industry do to help make sure that communist china is god continuing to do what they're doing to try to have the communications is there anything pretty. >> working that satellite industry do to stop the communist china rated. [inaudible]. i think certainly making sure there are signals available and think short of jamming the signals across multiple different service providers, i don't know it is congress can do other than to continue to make sure thee satellite industry hs the access to spectrum to be able to continue services. >> if you come up with anything, is the biggest issue right now a study of the internet back on, and you've seen the videos come
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there is a lady that human they shot her son. in the protesters and it was disgusting. if you have any ideas predict. [inaudible]. >> thank you. >> thank you for those important questions and senator scott. i want to give the senator a chance to return and so i'm going to complete my line of questioning while we wait for him certainly with gratitude for senators who are participating today to our panel. as i mentioned in my opening remarks more than just tracking orbital debris, there must be a bigger push to prevent debris in the first place. and a more importantly in my opinion to take out the trash or deorbit space talk.
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so from all of you, i hope to hear about the possibilities and challenges of de- orbiting the break and some of the current private sector initiatives to do so. and this is something that i would think it has to be a priority for us so let's start nobly go down the going. it. >> thank you center for the question to make two points a number one, one of satellite is being billed today are small and have the technology essentially available to essentially bring the satellite down into a top layer of the atmosphere and burn off so at the end of its life, that's essentially the next step in the process and in order to address your question about the legacy system, the older systems that remain out there and higher
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orbit. i think the good news is there are companies coming out online and are helping to that problem either in terms of robotics or other companies that are trying to find other methods together of some of its debris and potentially destroy are burning up. >> thank you. so we talk a lot about organizations in the architecture, we really have for tools or toolkit we may have more we certainlyly have for anyone is not creating new debris as we go up and some important technical developments in that area from academia and industry that will lighten it provide light coverage for the satellite and things like that brady is improving the space situational awareness and third a space management function in the fourth is active from a full in addition to that, there's a whole merging sector of the satellite service which is going to help improve the life of satellites in space further
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space hubs will be able to move things from orbitz to graveyard and other places. so there are options and or toolkits to deal with us and the active debris removal were seeing a lot of interest in this and their number a of companiesn space would like to see this more of some of the basic technologies to do that predict we are not without the capability to deal with it many different ways read. >> thank you. >> thank you senator reid so two points i would like to make rated number one, is that most systems or methods or techniques, remove debris from orbit, they appear to sometimes one person people could have multiple interpretations. so anytime that we are looking
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towards the orbiting the objects are managing debris, i think transparency is key in terms of what it is and where were going to take down deorbit. and there a nasa study some years ago, the suggested that the d orbiting five large rocket bodies style objects each year, but it frees the current debris population. that was before many of the constellations had been proposed and then launched so i would imagine the number is higher. the final point that will briefly make and again being an academic, can see a lot of these research on this topic, just for awareness, will mentioned the graveyard orbit also largely long-term in the very few select orbitz and the graveyard orbit that will ultimately end up causing issues over the next
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time. >> thank you. >> got a question and so glad you brought this up. i will start off as the doctor just mentioned it, the graveyard orbit and the one thing that does happen now is operators getting towards the end life will renew the spacecraft and one of the things that is happening is is more and more interest in orbit between earth and the moon. and so was i, and so, that is one more of a problem having were junk up there than previously we didn't actually go to that often. and next, this was mentioned a couple of times and i agree that the large pieces of debris that are already up there to become thousands and tens of thousands of small pieces of debris is key and doable and something there are many different companies
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that are working on that and that is substantial. and then, continuing to work backwards here, there is at least one company that is proposed to launch -based technology corporation is raproposing orbiting debris catching padshi that will try to catch a very small degree that is not trackable very innovative approach and one of the companies is a us-based company is looking to partner with the doc and nasa. and the department of defense to help that become a reality for the small trackable debris and date back to the point you make of that is observant and having much better space systems and collapses know where everything is and take actions and prevent collisions from happening is also key right now we are on track to have a major collision and roughly every ten years.
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that's getting worse and worse ofof the scientist that is critical part of the answering of your question pretty. >> thank you. this iss really helpful. >> my colleagues have done a great job but i would also add that there's a set of safety principles and one element that has not been touch him on his mostly the satellites are designed to deorbit and burn up on reentry. some principles encourage addressing these issues as part of their operation. thank you predict. >> thank you all panelists and i yield back. the gentleman from colorado pretty. >> thank you rated i now would like to turn it over to the chair of the overall committee. the great senator from f washington.
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>> thank youha paul for holding this important hearing thank yor to allll of the witnesses who ae here this is a very important topic for many companies in the northwest and focusing on space. this company. [inaudible]. [inaudible]. a space hotel. [inaudible]. like come and visit like an rei up their freedom looking on the materials up there. [inaudible]. so let's just say the people are planning ahead. so when you been having this discussion about traffic and i'm a firm believer in getting all of the information you can to develop the systems but what can argue the diversity can do now. [inaudible]. what is the role of the
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institutions that can help the business. >> thank you senator cantwell, the universities have a couple of critical roles in this activity. principally, especially the hard one research numbers in our activity center around researching the fundamental basic research in developing technologies that enable us to say stm toe improve those effos and basic research and doing those things. another aspect of our endeavor is to train the workforce so that means training master students and to with these activities. nanette dudley in my offer that across the country, roughly 300 phd students are graduating your space each year but only for small fraction of those are actually in space. one senator before, the critical time to find these engineers
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sufficiently trained. and that is a challenge. and of course that relates to our previous activity in research. traditionally, the students are funded in the research for five or six years and continuity for the research is a critical element. >> what would you think the study would look like or that degree be called. >> so that degree is pretty squarely when i would imagine the aerospace engineering and turns out that the university of colorado actually has a graduate certificate on space awareness. and some of those aspects are physics and some are more information very great and some tight into it like the human factors and the operators can actually interpret what is going on in orbit. trinity. >> will now that the deputy she basically said that tuition
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expires. [inaudible]. the personal activity and what do you think. >> can you repeat that last part pretty. >> perspective commercial side of it. when people are planning activities in the deputy director and we need a reliable system. [inaudible]. pretty think about these activities and the urgency. >> so my opening statement, i will repeat the statement. it's terrifying by the commercial space industry is doing. because is an excellent thing, it's inspiring because an excellent avenue to grow our economy there's lots of future potential prosperity. we have the potential to be there in the future.
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terrifying assess the current standards to methodologies to be used in ultimately is in the 60s and 70s and 80s never really leverage modernni techniques that have been developed over the past couple of decades. so for my university perspective, i think that the best thing we can do is to improve the means techniques and to have transparency and information about this on the commercial front. [inaudible]. >> and then identifying the types of technology we are talking about smart objects hard to track. that what we mean. [cheering]. >> absolutely and of that in terms of infrastructure include things like more centrix better detection, the ability to collect and infuse that atinformation close real-time te ability to do that information also with current space weather
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and to be able to issue medications and essentially caring that pretty. >> thank you again for this hearing. >> thank you madam chair. and now were going to turn it over to remotely, senator young of indiana. [inaudible]. i want to think the entire panel for your presence here today. when i spoke of the administrator, during his nomination process, we discussed the gray zone of nor fair. so to combat that lies between the threshold ofwe traditional warfare common areas areas like cybersecurity artificial intelligence, robotics and more. and according to recent unbiased threat assessment, countries are attempting to capitalize on these potential vulnerabilities.
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an openness to the panel mr. o'connell first place i will start with you. what steps the department of commerce and nasa preventing other countries from interfering with or acting on the infrastructure in space. perhaps you can touch on whether or not further coordination is necessary with the national security agency to combat these threats read. >> senator, thank you very much for the question and the mention of this that we have not spoken about previously is the fact that the department of defense wanted to get out of the piece of the admission that we have been talking about, the commercial notification the private sector notification partly because of the growing security complexitiesit space. and only the commerce department has any role in combat operations obviously but we obviously will have awareness of the variety ofes activities are underway in the private sector and frankly with our allies as
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well during my time in commerce, we enjoyed discussions, not just general local once but technical ones with her, local allies and european allies in japan and many others about the importance of the civil space traffic management system to the extent of hisic many of these things wl be looked at in the open and it may actually deter people from doing things such as you speak about and so i don't think the commerce department has the roman military part of that but certainly is the reason why deities wanted to get out of this piece of the mission mailing to work on state domain awareness as it's referred to in the occasional piece we are taking over in commerce certainly fueled their ability to move inha that direction ande with more serious security threats. >> i can add to his comments. one of the things that happens
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when commercial companies are providing spacece situational awareness or space traffic management department of commerce is there system staff and similar way and imagery systems provide a full transparency out there, over and beyond what systems the united states government has provided and operatedde by the national office in thee, same way commercials space situational awareness capabilities can bring back the similar transparency to think about space. so for instance right now, some of these some light weapons that both china and russia are munching, are up there and sanitizers seen by these commercial systems and are the commercial companies on others just like they have on others and you have russian intelligence satellites are getting very close to u.s. commercial communications satellites and we have the same thing with chinese the satellite
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weapons and so the commercial has it by the nature bring it transparency that will help with that problem. >> i see. is there a roof as a relates to this topic. >> yes, i would like to address the cybersecurity aspect of it. on cybersecurity best practices a few years ago pretty and most of our members most of the emcommercial satellite companies on the self of the defense depat and coordinate with the dod to make sure their compliance with the dod security andir cybersecurity requirements so position with the industry takes very seriously. [inaudible]. >> i will just note that obviously with convergence here
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between your national security access that we have located in space and then what you might think of as an extension of our supply chain our global positioning system satellite, are space access and commercial level that are needed in this distinction between traditional national security in one hinge and commercial assets on another as wee have seen with the shutdown of the pipeline here in united states, still become bored, become a race pretty soon going to have to tear down the stovepipes and ensure that there is better coordination it with our national security agencies moving forward.
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so does anybody have any further thoughts about this moving forward, i'd welcome the opportunity to work with any of the panelists. in thank >> can i add one point of that printed the extent to which the supply chains issues are toobviously congress does play a keypl role but i will make one observation that in traditional space comedies, larger space companies, there is more ofmo te sensitivity to the orientation towards defense articles etc. so there's probably less vulnerability and supply chain and what we found that some of the smaller entrepreneurial companies was that there are more exposed in the supply chain issue so i think the balance will be as we tighten up our supply chain, we need to be careful not to choke off opportunities for american entrepreneurs to leverage friendly country technologies, that is an important issue. >> thank you. >> thank you all for your presence here today.
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obviously colorado house 500 aerospace companies and employees, is a reflection of how important this is. io think you will have contributed to that recognition that this is of significant form of congress i think this is right place to have the responsibly recited the relationship between governments and business, and how we look at best practices versus regulatory frameworks is crucial. i think this committee is open to really hearing clearly as this work goes forward, and clearly without slowing down in any way, the process and making sure that we respect that and the urgency that you have all brought to the hearing is crucial. and i want to thank the ranking member for filling in, heading into a vote, it was going to be tight so i could not be awol.
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[laughter] and appreciate all of your indulgence in the hearing records remain open for two weeks untilin august 5th period of 2021 and any other senators listening, are welcome to submit questions for the record in the witnesses should see where they should do so by july 29th. ... ...
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[background conversations]
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saturday morning the george washington university on recent flights interspaced by entrepreneurs and potential impact on space travel. barnett, magazine jupiter and assistant professor at the university of california santa barbara talking about her recent piece on how u.s. healthcare continues to improve.
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