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Committee for the Assessment of NASA’s Orbital Debris Programs
Workshop to Identify Gaps and Possible Directions for NASA’s Meteoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) Programs


The National Research Council, under the auspices of the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board, established the ad hoc Committee for the Assessment of NASA’s Orbital Debris Programs to assess and provide recommendations on potential opportunities for enhancing their benefit to the nation's space program. Read the Statement of Task and view committee membership.

The Statement of Task asks the Committee to hold a workshop on the subject that brings together the micrometeoroid and orbital debris community both inside and outside of NASA and U.S. Government to identify programmatic gaps and possible directions for NASA’s MMOD Program.

The workshop will be broken into five panels (see below). Following panel speaker presentations, the Committee and audience members will have the opportunity to engage the speakers and one another in a question and answer session. Lunch will also be provided both days for participants.

This is a unique opportunity to interact with and listen to vested stakeholders in the MMOD field, and we hope you will join us for an exciting discussion on the future of NASA’s MMOD efforts.

Please check back often for agenda and speaker updates. Because of limited seating, registration is necessary, and a registration link will be provided shortly.  If you have questions about the workshop, please contact us at

Meeting Location

March 9-10, 2010
Mason Inn Conference Center and Hotel
4352 Mason Pond Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

NOTE: There is also a free shuttle to transport people between the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU metro stop (Orange Line) and the Mason Inn.  For more information, visit

Free Registration

Register for the workshop with our ONLINE REGISTRATION FORM

(updated 2/24/11)

Day 1, 10:30AM to 4:30PM (all times are Eastern Standard Time)

10:30AM -- Opening Remarks, Don Kessler, Chair, Committee for the Assessment of NASA's Orbital Debris Programs

10:35AM -- Session 1: NASA Leads Panel

The leads for NASA’s Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris programs (Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, Orbital Debris Program Office, Meteoroid Environment Office, Hypervelocity Impact Technology Group, Robotic Conjunction Assessment Risk Analysis) will speak about program goals, issues, gaps, and opportunities.

  • John Lyver, Manager of NASA's Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Program Offices, Office of Safety and Mission Assurance, NASA HQ
  • Gene Stansbery, NASA Orbital Debris Program Office, NASA Johnson Space Center
  • William Cooke, Meteoroid Environment Office, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Eric Christiansen, Hypervelocity Impact Technology (HVIT) Group, NASA Johnson Space Center / Human Exploration Science Office
  • Lauri Newman, NASA Robotic Conjunction Assessment Risk Analysis (CARA), NASA Goddard Space Flight Center 

12:00PM -- Lunch

12:45PM -- Session 2: Panel on NASA Mission Operators

Project managers and system engineers from various NASA robotic missions will discuss MMOD issues from an operations standpoint. What MMOD-related problems do missions encounter throughout the lifetime of a spacecraft? How do NASA’s MMOD programs meet mission planners’ and operators’ needs? What information are mission managers using to make decisions related to the operations of a spacecraft, and how do mission managers make MMOD-related decisions?

  • Michael Rhee, Systems Engineer, Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Mission, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Mark Woodard, Flight Dynamics Team, ARTEMIS Mission
  • Patrick Crouse, Operations Project Manager, Hubble Space Telescope
  • Glenn Shirtliffe, Project Manager, Jason-1 and OSTM/Jason-2 Mission
  • Richard Burns, Director, Space Science Mission Operations, Goddard Space Flight Center

2:00PM -- Break

2:15PM -- Session 3: Panel on the Role and Relationship of NASA’s MMOD Programs to Other Federal Agencies

Representatives of U.S. Government agencies involved in space policy, space and Earth science, and MMOD issues discuss challenges they face from the space environment, interagency issues and opportunities for collaboration, and how & to what extent they engage NASA’s MMOD programs. Representatives from the Department of Defense, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of State, and the Federal Communications Commission will speak on this panel.

  • Andrew Palowitch, Director, Space Protection Program, U.S. Air Force Space Command / National Reconnaissance Office (NRO)
  • Phil Brinkman, Program Lead for Licenses, Office of Commercial Space Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • Mark Mulholland, Senior Advisor, Office of Systems Development, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Kenneth Hodgkins, Director, Space and Advanced Technology, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State
  • Karl Kensinger, Associate Division Chief, Satellite Division, International Bureau, Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Day 2, 9:00AM to 2:00PM

9:00AM -- Session 4: Panel on MMOD and the Commercial Industry Perspective

Members of the aerospace and space insurance industries talk about how MMOD affects business operations, from the manufacturing of spacecraft to making on-orbit decisions about a possible collision. What tools does industry use to make decisions affecting their space assets, what is their relationship with NASA’s MMOD programs, and what opportunities for collaboration are there between industry and NASA?

  • John Campbell, Lt. Gen. (Ret.), USAF, Executive Vice President of Government Programs, Iridium
  • Larry Price, Orion Deputy Program Manager, Lockheed Martin Space Systems
  • Chris Kunstadter, Senior Vice President, XL Insurance

10:30AM -- Break

10:45AM -- Session 5: Panel on Orbital Debris Retrieval and Removal

The 2010 National Space Policy calls for U.S. Government efforts to be made to retrieve and remove orbital debris, but how will that policy be turned into action? Representatives of NASA’s technology development programs and the Department of Defense talk about these efforts and what it will take to help engineer a safer space environment.

  • Wilson Harkins, NASA Deputy Chief, Safety and Mission Assurance
  • Steven Meier, Director of Crosscutting Capability Demonstration Division, NASA Office of the Chief Technologist
  • Damon Wells, Senior Advisor, Office of Science and Technology Policy

12:30PM -- Lunch



1:30PM -- Discussion of Observations and Conclusions from Workshop

2:00PM -- Workshop Adjourns