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Post 2020 Election: Are We Headed to Mars? The Future of Space in the U.S. Under the Next Four Years

November 11, 2020

11:00am ET // 5:00pm CET
Cost: ITechLaw Members: FREE // Non-Members: $75.00

By November 11, 2020, the United States will have learned what occurred on November 3.  Although this may not be conclusive knowledge of who will be POTUS for the next four years, there hopefully will be some indication of what will come.  Assuming this to be the case, a question will loom as to the future of the space program and research in the United States.  Over the last two presidencies, Mars played a role in NASA’s future space plans.  At the moment, the U.S. looks toward the Gateway and a sustained presence on the Moon prior to heading toward Mars.  Will the next four years move us closer to the U.S. leading space exploration?  Will commercial collaboration increase?  As the world’s astronomers and astrophysicists learn new revelations about the Universe each day, will the 2021-2025 POTUS seeks increased funding for these disciplines?  And, how will the administration protect Earth’s orbital space and its use from increasing dangers of orbital debris and light pollution from satellite solar reflectivity?  The panelists will discuss these issues and more on November 11, 2020.  In the end, though answers might not be solidified, our panel will strive to provide some positive direction for the future of space.


Charles Mudd, Principal, Mudd Law, United States, Moderator
Charles Mudd Jr. is the principal of Mudd Law and represents companies in the Internet and space sectors.  Since 2017, he has substantive contributed to the development of space policy including attendance and participation at United Nations space law conferences.  This year, he testified in Washington, D.C., collaborated with the IDA in filing a regulatory comment, submitted a letter to the UNEP, and participated in SATCON1 on issues related to satellites and dark skies.  In 2020, he became elected to the International Institute of Space Law.  He also serves as a board member of ITechLaw and NewSpace Chicago.  




Martin Barstow, University of Leicester, United Kingdom

Professor Martin Barstow serves as Director of Strategic Partnerships for Space Park Leicester at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom where he also is a Professor of Astrophysics and Space Science.  He currently chairs the UK Space Agency Science Programme Advisory Committee and the Space Telescope Institute Council.  Previously, he served as President of the Royal Astronomical Society, Director of the Leicester Institute of Space & Earth Observation, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (“PVC”) of Strategic Science Projects, and PVC, Head of College of Science & Engineering.  Most recently, he served as a Working Group member for the UNOOSA Dark & Quiet Skies Conference.




Dave Hanson (Retired), NASA Johnson Space Center, United States​

Dave Hanson retired from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration after having worked at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) from 1980 to 2020 encompassing the entire Space Shuttle Program and moving into the International Space Station (ISS) and what follows. He served as the NASA Deputy Director of Operations in Star City, Russia for two years. He speaks Russian, German, a tiny bit of Japanese (up to 400 kanji) and is working on French. NASA’s international involvement started with Ulf Merbold of Germany flying on the Shuttle and greatly expanded with ISS. We have already established agreements with our partners for upcoming programs and regular TIMs (Technical Interchange Meetings) are ongoing. Dave is president of the Houston Electric Auto Association and the JSC Electric Vehicle Owners Club. He is on the Board of the Houston Renewable Energy Group as well as being a member of several technical societies.