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WEEKEND UPDATE

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An Intro and Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Jun 27, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 4.5 mins... 1216 words

Team Space,

I don’t know if I have told you - but we use AxiosHQ for our newsletters (including this update). It is a really nice tool that has a bunch of features aimed at keeping things brief and to the point.

The tool is not the point though (see what I did there?).

The tool has a prompt here in the first section saying, “Type your intro here”.

Why do we need an intro? I know there isn’t a functional reason why we can’t just jump right into the details of each weekly update.

But there is something about introductions - even in one-on-one emails - that makes them necessary.

Oh, sure I understand that social niceties are a feature (not a bug) of our species. They are what help us accomplish great things. But are introductions a requirement for that?

Don’t get me wrong - I love a good story (and an introduction is just a way to turn an informational exchange into a story).

Well, that isn’t exactly true, I love stories that I tell. And good ones that I can control (e.g., books, shows, movies…etc).

A few weeks back I was joking with a new friend about how the price for telling stories is that we have to appear to listen to other people’s stories. Since we both are people who like telling stories we agreed that we would take turns pretending to listen to the other’s stories.

I think this is what symbiosis looks like.

Or maybe synergy.

Oh right - introductions - that’s what we were talking about. Well - I guess the bottom-line way down here at the bottom is that I value the efficient delivery of information at work. And then the rest of the time I want to very inefficiently deliver my stories.

I think that makes sense.

Well - I’ll ponder that while you move on to the rest of this week’s update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: This week the House of Representatives began marking up the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) budget

More Details: This week the various sub-committees in the House of Representatives released the draft budgets for their respective agencies. The big news is that the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee included language mandating that the Space Force do a better job interacting with and buying from the commercial space sector. We’ll be following this and continuing to advocate that both the entire Federal government should be doing this.

Future Outreach: Next week we’ll have a couple meetings with Congressional staffers to chat about the FY23 budget process. We are also starting the groundwork to advocate for FY24 appropriations to support Workforce for the Future’s expansion.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: It doesn’t look like the National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Engines program is for us.

More Details: This week we attended an NSF workshop on their Engines program (a new grant program that allocates up to $140M over 10 years for innovation hubs). The general premise of the program is aligned with W4F - however they really only want organizations to work localized projects. So rather than applying for the grant to lead an innovation hub we are going to be supporting other groups as they build their own.

Other Operations: In other operations news we had meetings with four new potential members, met with a handful of other nonprofits to discuss how we can partner with them (for the Engines program among other things).

Future Operations: Next week we will be following up with Indeed on our proposed joint research project; will be planning for our ASCEND segments and working C4F.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: We are another step closer to broadening the appeal of the California Aerospace Caucus Reception (CACR).

More Details: This week we met with the California Manufacturing and Technology Association (CMTA) to talk about bringing them in as a co-host for the CACR. Since CMTA has over 30k member companies and has been around for over 100 years this would be a huge win (since the goal is to get more California companies to the reception). We should find out more this week about whether the CMTA will get involved. So, stay tuned.

 

That should just about do it. I’m going to go check on my little minions (oh the new Minions movie comes out this Friday) and see what fresh hell they have cooked up.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

Juneteenth's Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Jun 20, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 4 mins... 1073 words

Team SPACE

A happy Juneteenth to all of you!

I figure that having already done at least one Father’s Day weekend update - it was about time for me to jump on the newest Federal Holiday and write a Juneteenth one.

Some of you have heard me talk about how space offers us as Americans a chance to get things right the first go around.

What do I mean?

Well - from our first settlers to landing on the Moon, we are a nation that has sought out each new frontier and molded it in our image. But we have done that through the suffering and pain of

In the 18th century we conquered the North American land. Riding in wagons and on horses, we expanded. Building off the labor of slaves, our economy developed.

In the 19th century we conquered the world’s oceans. Our trading ships visited at every port on the planet, enabling new exports. This success was enabled through the work of child labor and exploited populations.

In the 20th century America took to the skies. Our planes won two world wars, resupplied starving cities, and ultimately made travel to anywhere accessible to the masses. This was possible because our planes also carried soldiers, bombs, and nuclear weapons.

Now, in the 21st century space is open to us. And for the first time in our country’s history we can explore, exploit, and expand without harming anyone or anything.

As we commemorate Juneteenth - the day that commemorates the freeing of the slaves after the civil war - let’s all make sure that this new frontier is one where we get it right.

Now let’s get over to this week’s update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: The FY23 Budget is being built - and we are still in it

More Details: This week Congress began ‘marking up’ the fiscal year 2023 (FY23) budget. As a refresher - this means Congress is editing their draft budgets for the next fiscal year, with a lot of jockeying back and forth to get budget items added or taken away.

This year is important for us because we have a line item (a direct grant) in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. And as of the latest edition of that bill - our grant is still there.

I know saying that something hasn’t changed is not a terribly exciting ‘update’ - but when it is the first time you have money appropriated in the federal budget, everything seems like a huge update.

Future Outreach: With this week being a short one - and Congress largely tied up with gun / budget negotiations - we are going to be focused on the California Aerospace Caucus Reception - well that and monitoring the budget negotiations.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: Another week - another set of partners / sponsors for the California Aerospace Caucus Reception

More Details: This week we met with six potential sponsors, talked with two potential media partners and scheduled a meeting with a potential co-host. All in all, not a bad week’s worth of work. Especially since we are converting 25% of invited companies into sponsors / partners.

Interested attending? You can apply to attend here.

Your company interested in sponsoring? Email me and we can chat about our different sponsorship packages.

Future Operations: This week we will be scheduling July C4F speakers, meeting with more reception sponsors/partners and working on the design of our workforce development program submission for National Science Foundation’s Engines grant.

Ok - with that I’ll wish you all a happy Juneteenth.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

A Weekend Update from the skies over New Orleans

By Tim Chrisman●Jun 13, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 4 mins... 1124 words

Team SPACE,   

I am writing this on a flight back from New Orleans where my wife and I were for a few days to be with some of her family.

Because of that - it would make sense for me to have awesome thoughts from walking around New Orleans this morning.

I do not

Not because we didn’t walk around New Orleans (we did) - but because when we did it was about 95 degrees, the sewers were boiling, and we basically felt like we were walking through the steam of a city’s worth of toilet flushes from the last 24 hours.

Could I have just said that I don’t think well in the heat?

Yes

But now you are going to remember it better

So - now that you understand the experience I had - you will forgive me for assuming that my heat-addled thoughts are not going to be what I would want to write out here.

Instead - I’ll just keep this short - and get us right to this week’s update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: Space Corporation Act got some attention this week

More Details: Rep Garcia’s (D-TX) office reached out to us this week with some questions about the Space Corporation Act and who in the Houston area supported the bill (in advance of the Congresswoman deciding whether or not she will support the bill). We are compiling a list of the people / companies in the area who do – and if you are one of them, then please let me know.

Future Outreach: Next week we will be meeting with several lobbyists from other industries to chat about synergies between their work/priorities and that of the space sector.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: We landed three five more partners and sponsors for the California Aerospace Caucus Reception (CACR)

More Details: This week we expanded our outreach for sponsors of the CACR – adding five new companies, with the largest being ABL Space. We are now two weeks into our sponsorship hunt and have over a dozen companies sponsoring (whether with cash or in-kind contributions).

Does your company want to join? Email me and we can chat.

What to apply to attend (yep, we are only allowing a pre-screened list of people to attend)? You can apply here.

Other Operations: We had a follow-up call with Indeed this week to chat about our workforce development data and the potential for Indeed to have a space focused program. They are still very interested and want us to work with their research arm to categorize the number, types and pay of space jobs throughout the country.

  • In case I haven’t mentioned this before – that sort of research project is exactly what we have been working to design for most of the year. So, this offers us the resources and data of one of the largest job boards in the country – a pretty exciting prospect!

Future Operations: We have meetings with three more potential sponsors scheduled for next week. Additionally we will be meeting with Coursera to chat about some potential new space certifications / courses to help upskill workers from non-space professions. We are also going to be working on our submission for the National Science Foundation’s Engines program (an up to $135M grant to develop regional innovation hubs).

  • Our initial submission looks to focus this on workforce development – but there is an opportunity to expand that in partnership with local orgs. Think your org / region would be a good one for us to partner with? Let me know and let’s chat.

Other Stuff:

The Catch-all Other Stuff: It was a slow week – but we still managed to fit in an interview with the Observer, being awarded a micro-grant to hire a research intern, meetings with four potential member companies and pitching an op-ed to several news outlets.

 

  

And here we are at the end - I’ll leave you all to the rest of your weekend.

And I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

Starcraft II, Nostalgia and a Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Jun 06, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 4.5 mins... 1244 words

Team SPACE,

I am beginning to understand nostalgia.

Oh, don’t get me wrong - I still fight it. I still think that my childhood was just a training program / audition for adulthood (and I thought that as a kid too).

But I am starting to understand the appeal nostalgia has.

This week I rediscovered a video game (Starcraft II) that was one of the top 3 video games I played as a kid/teenager.

I’ll not get specific about why this game was (and I guess still is) so great. I have accepted that my taste in video games, which was set really early in life, isn’t universal (it's ok - I won’t know basically anything about movies / music from the 90s - so we are even).

Ok back on topic - as I rediscovered this game, which happened in the aftermath of the great gifting of 2022 (see last week’s update for the story on that), I found all of these warm and happy feelings coming back. Memories of playing for hours (and at one point actually being pretty good) - memories that showed me that not all of childhood is a journey to becoming an adult.

These memories are so free and innocent (or as innocent as you can get while playing a game rated mature for violence and language). And for a moment they transported me to a time when playing these games was all that mattered (school was easy so that didn’t really matter).

That was a good feeling.

A feeling that would be easy to chase.

Maybe I’ll chase it just a little…but not yet. We have an update to get through.

Outreach

One Big Outreach Thing: We submitted our comments on NASA’s Moon to Mars Strategy

More Details: Last week we submitted our comments to NASA’s Moon to Mars Strategy RFI. In many ways our comments echo many of the themes that other organizations, like the Commercial Spaceflight Federation had in theirs. Ultimately our priority is having NASA explicitly outline how they will partner with the private sector (and the private capital markets) to facilitate their efforts.

Future Outreach: Next week is going to be a relatively slow week for Congressional outreach as many Members are fully occupied with budget negotiations. We are continuing to keep our pulse on where those negotiations are going to see if there will be ‘targets of opportunity’ where we can help shift the course of legislation.

Operations

One Big Operations Thing: We are moving ahead with negotiations with major workforce partners for our Workforce for the Future (W4F) hub.

More Details: This week we had a call with Indeed’s Director of Partnerships to discuss a space-centered jobs site. They are very interested in exploring this idea and were interested in including their certification program . We sent them our research on the size and composition of the current and future space jobs landscape (this is for their due diligence to make sure there is in fact a market for them).

Future Operations: This week one of Coursera’s Partnerships leads reached out and wanted to explore building a partnership similar to what we are talking to Indeed about (well - at least the certification side). We’ll be meeting with them next week to chat more - and I think that having one of the top 10 online certification providers would be a huge win for W4F.

Other Stuff

One Big Other Thing: Invites have started going out for September's CAC Reception.

More Details: Ok technically they are ‘save the dates’ - but still - Congressional offices have officially started being invited - which is pretty cool.

In other CAC Reception news - we interviewed a bunch of venues and have narrowed it down to a rooftop venue about 5 minutes away from the Capitol and a handful of venues within walking distance of Capitol Hill. The closer we can get it to the Capitol the longer Congresspeople will stay - but the rooftop venue is pretty awesome. We are waiting for feedback from Rep Calvert’s office on the options we sent over and should have a firm answer in the next week or two.

  • What's next: As I mentioned in previous updates - we already have seven sponsors/host partners and are looking to add to that list. Is your company interested? More details are attached.

  • Let me know if you have questions. Oh, and if your company isn’t a member of the Foundation yet - ask me about the special we have where you can get both membership and sponsorship of this event.

Let’s call it. I think we can wrap things up here…after all I need to get back to Starcraft II.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

A Memorial Day Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●May 31, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 6.5 mins... 1675 words

Team SPACE,  

A good Memorial Day weekend to you (is the “w” supposed to be capitalized there?). I’ve spent the weekend with my daughters up here in Minnesota (it is my daughter’s 8th birthday. So far it has been a great time - we have enjoyed a pool party on her actual birthday - and as is most important for kids (and me) there were plenty of presents.

I know I am supposed to talk about what Memorial Day means to me when I am writing a newsletter this weekend - but I’m not big on convention. So, I’m going to talk about how I felt giving my daughter her present.

Spoiler - I wasn’t at my best 

I’m a big believer in being open about the good and bad feelings associated with parenting. Too much talk about how children are amazing and wonderful tends to give the impression that everything is all good all the time. It also makes those of us who have icky feelings sometimes feel all the worse because we are supposed to be more supportive/kind/patient…etc.

Back to the story - so I have a thing where every other year I replace my daughters’ computers (I alternate between them). I do this because (this list is in rank order of how I think about it):

  1. I love computers and always want to have the best possible - so I assume they must too. After all - they share my DNA - isn’t that how that works?

  2. I figure if I do this then they will know I really love them because these are fairly expensive presents - again - I think that is how presents work

  3. They use their computers a LOT. So, it would seem like this is something they will appreciate more

  4. They are hard on their computers - so they wear out faster

As you can see - I do this as much for me as for them. Maybe not a great reason to give presents - but I’m told the first step is admitting I have a problem (not sure what the rest are).

So, this year it was my youngest (Arya’s) turn to get a computer and as the youngest she always gets hand-me-downs. Her old computer was a hand-me-down from me. But the oldest's (autocorrect is trying to make me say ‘eldest’ here - but I’m not about to do that) two computers she has gotten have both been new (technically we built the first together and there were some used parts from my desktop).

This year I wanted to rectify the situation and I figured I would give my daughter my gaming laptop (a VERY high-end Alienware). It was still a used computer - but she would have the most capable and expensive computer of any of us. Because it was so high end, I figured it would make up for the injustice that she must feel (clearly).

When I was getting ready to come up for her birthday, I realized that I was beginning to resent the idea of giving the laptop to her. I didn’t like that I would have to give up the best computer I ever owned. I didn’t like knowing that she was almost certain to rough up a computer I spent a fortune on. And I just wanted to keep it.

I was feeling really bad about these feelings - after all as a parent I’m supposed to always sacrifice for the kids - right? Or at least that is the paradigm in my head.

I don’t think that is ultimately a healthy mindset - and this experience is helping me realize that. Me feeling icky about her getting something of mine that I really like/want doesn’t make me a bad person. Especially if I’m still freely giving it to her. I think it just means that I am a person who sometimes has thoughts that don’t align with who I want to be, and it is up to me to make sure my actions do align with who I want to be.

At the end of the day, she was very excited to get a new computer - and that did make me happy. It is now up to me to hold on to that feeling even when she inevitably treats the computer differently from how I would.

I’m assuming that will be the easy part.

Ok - enough about tiny people’s birthdays - let’s get to the rest of this week’s update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: Our FY23 Congressional Directed Spending request was added to the official Senate FY23 Budget

More Details: This week Senator Kaine added our request to fund our Workforce for the Future (W4F) program in Virginia to his Congressional Directed Spending request. This is huge - and represents our first grant/donation over $10k (the request is for over $800k).

  • Go Deeper: Our request will be funded when the FY23 budget is finalized. This is likely between mid-November and the end of December.

Oh - and as a note: this request is separate from our Good Jobs Challenge submission - which would be an additional $25M (and which we will find out about in July)

Future Outreach: Next week we will be reaching out to the Department of Labor to talk about more grant opportunities for W4F. We’ll also be reaching out to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to brief them on W4F and find out how we can support their workforce policies.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: The California Aerospace Caucus Reception (CACR) planning moves forward

More Details: This week was a big one for our CACR planning. We landed our first (cash) sponsor (CubeCab), an alcohol sponsor (Pernod-Ricard) and will have representation from both Barclays Investment Bank and Bank of America’s Commercial Bank team.

Is your company / organization interested in sponsoring too? Let me and / or April know. We have a nonprofit discount on sponsorship (in case that helps others like us).

Future Operations: Next week is a slow one - with it being Memorial Day week and all (turns out that is a big vacation time - who knew?). That said - we are going to be working to close a few more sponsors for the CACR (sorry for the acronym - it is an instinct not beaten out of me from the Army) -

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: We now have an Inner Circle

More Details: The Foundation’s Inner Circle is a unique grouping of visionaries and thought leaders that goes beyond the basic membership support and allows us to expand our reach and get the message out around the world. Inner Circle Members will have access to unique events, future experiences, and will have the ability to help craft our policies and programs - perks that are only available to the Inner Circle.

Similar programs are used in other space-focused nonprofits - and we have been helped in our design by the Space for Humanity team (mostly Rachel Lyons over there - thank you!!)

Interested in learning more? Email me and we can talk more.

Deep Thoughts During a Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman

May 23, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 6 mins...1593 words

Team SPACE,  💃 🎶 🥂

Yesterday my wife and I went to an event in Ballston (a neighborhood here in northern Virginia). I say it is an event, because I am not sure if it was a festival, a block party, or what. But the point is that there were multiple restaurants who each had live music going all afternoon. There were also little booths with stuff in them, but I don’t know what they were selling (other than the one that had mocktails…which is another story).

This event was way better than we thought (it was something like 95 here yesterday - and we went with very low expectations for how comfortable we were going to be). The food was good, the music was fun, and it was just nice to be out and about (working from your basement all week gets old).

I'm bringing this event up because when we first got there was a trio of ladies who were dressed like several of the sisters from the new Disney movie Encanto who were singing songs from the movie. These ladies were REALLY into their act. They had the mannerisms down (yes I have seen the movie more than once - I have two young girls), they were dancing and the singing sounded pretty close to the original.

But the real stars of the show were a pair of little kids.

There are tons of poems, stories and even songs about people getting lost in the music. And to be honest - while I like songs - I didn’t really understand what ‘getting lost in the music’ was.

I now do.

This pair of little girls had become lost in the music. They sang with abandon, danced knowing that they were the greatest dancers in the world, and looked at these trio of actors/singers with an adoration normally reserved for gazing upon a deity.

I’ll be honest - it made me a little uncomfortable. Not because they were having fun. But because I wondered if I was supposed to be like them. I want to believe that what I am doing - being all ‘adulty’ is the correct thing. Afterall - ‘growing up’ is the culmination of childhood. So, wouldn’t being an adult be the better state of being?

I don’t have an answer to that question - I will continue wrestling with it - but I suppose wrestling with these sorts of things is what prompts emotional growth (hopefully).

While I continue to ponder these deep thoughts - let’s get you all to the rest of this week’s update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: It is time to comment on NASA’s Moon to Mars strategy

More Details: This week we began to craft comments on NASA’s Moon-to-Mars strategy (or is it their objectives - I suppose it is the same for our purposes - we still have comments). Specifically, we have comments related to advantage of commercial partnerships and acquisition models which will make sure that the Moon-to-Mars program is sustainable. Our full response is here, and if you have thoughts / comments on it - please feel free to send them my way and we will incorporate them into our final letter to NASA.

Other Outreach: In other outreach news - we met with a handful of lobbyists and local leaders to discuss how space could be a key enabler for what they are doing. At least one of these conversations is going to lead to a bigger project that we will update you on in the coming weeks / months.

Future Outreach: Next week we are finalizing our response to NASA’s Moon-to-Mars strategy, we’ll be meeting with a couple Congressional staffers to talk about the FY2023 budget, and will be working with Space PAC to formalize Congressional engagement plans.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: May’s C4F was one of our best events yet

More Details: Last week’s Conversation’s for the Future was a great time. How great? Well 4,400 people tuned in on Thursday. Our speakers included executives from Sierra Nevada, the Space Force Association, and directors from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Great work @April and thank you to all our speakers!

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: We are planning three in-person events for the fall.

More Details: After two years of being exclusively virtual - we are stacking events this fall. As of this week we are now up to one event a month from September to November (and will probably add one in December too - just to round the year out). We’ll be live in D.C., Vegas and Austin.

All of these events are opportunities for companies to get visibility to a different crowd.

  • Go deeper: Here in D.C. we will have upwards of 30 Congresspeople planning on coming. In Vegas we will be with the ASCEND team. In Austin it is going to be leading space thinkers.

  • Interested in hearing more (since I’m being intentionally vague here)? Let me know. Sponsorship options start at $850 (no need to avoid talking about that)

Other Other Stuff: We are continuing our spring membership drive - and this week we added a couple more companies to the list of pending members, bringing our total current and pending members to 56. Just to put that in context - the Commercial Spaceflight Federation has just over 100 - so we are on a roll!

Thanks for sticking it out all the way to the end. I know it may take you less time to read this than it takes me to write it (yes I am making an assumption about your reading speed - apologies if it is wrong) - but I am still grateful for each of you taking the time to keep up with what we are doing.

See you all back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

How Many Has This Been? A Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●May 16, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 8 mins... 2143 words

Team SPACE,   

I really should have done some math before I started this update - but as I am wont? want? (I'm not sure which one) - but as I am apt to do (there we go) - I did not.

This will be something like my 90th Weekend Update - or 100th - like I said - I should have done some math. And in the lead up to writing this I was talking with Katie (for you who are new here - she is my wife) - about how I am going to need to figure out a plan for when we are in France later this year.

A few weeks back I wrote one a Weekend Update from the Bahamas - and that was…. frustrating. Not because it was interrupting something - but because the internet was so bad. I have become completely spoiled by my gigabit internet here in D.C. and when I was stuck with DSL on the cruise ship - that might as well have been hell on Earth.

The point is - I don’t know what the internet situation is going to be in France - and so I’m trying to figure out what I should plan on doing.

Katie asked why I didn’t just skip writing the update one weekend.

Now my first reaction was shock that someone was suggesting that I not do something that I have done for 90 (or 100) weeks in a row - just because I was going to be on vacation. However, I quickly realized it was a legitimately good question.

Why do I feel like I have to do these updates every weekend? Oh sure - there is a utility to doing them. And most weeks I really enjoy writing them. But if I am out of the country on a vacation - is that not a good enough excuse to skip a week?

The voice in my head that is normally associated with pride and self-worth suggested it was not - but maybe - just maybe I should not be listening to that voice here.

Maybe - instead of writing the 100th or 110th update in a row one week in August - I will let the streak lapse - and start over. Maybe then, with that new streak I can relook how I do this - and what should change.

Or maybe I can just enjoy a single week’s break for the sake of taking a break.

Or maybe I’ll just keep doing what I am doing and write this regardless of rain, sleet or snow.

I guess we will have to see. And by then I will have to figure out how many of these I have written.

But that is then - for now let’s get to the rest of this update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: A big new plan is taking shape

More Details: This week - in talks with some of our partners - the idea of building a partnership with the Committee on Foreign Investment in U.S (CFIUS) began taking shape. This would take the form of us assisting them in their efforts to screen foreign investment in the U.S. We have begun initial outreach to the leadership of the Committee to determine their appetite for a public-private partnership that will help speed their evaluation process along.

  • Go deeper: This would work through the creation of a 'CFIUS Whitelist Certification’ whereby we conduct the due diligence of investment funds to determine the level of foreign involvement, and mirroring CFIUS’ guidelines, then certify that the investors are ‘clean’ (or whatever term you want to use). This wouldn't be an official designation - it would be done in partnership with CFIUS so as to ensure credibility - and also meant that when/if there was an investigation by the Committee - a lot of the due diligence would already be available.

Other Outreach:

In other news - we got tentative approval for our Fiscal Year 2023 Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) request for ~¾ of a million dollars. While this request still needs to be approved by the full Congress - it was approved by Senator Kaine and is being added to his list of projects that he wants funded.

  • What's next: Our request now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee for final eligibility review. After that it will be added to the bucket of CDS requests from all of the other Senators and added to the FY2023 funding bill(s) this fall. We expect that none of those will pass until after the election - so we won’t see any of the money until next winter/spring - but it still represents a huge win.

Future Outreach: Next week we will be continuing our ‘drip’ campaign with Congressional staffs - keeping them as ‘warm’ leads for our long-term legislative priorities and seeking avenues to support our members with their projects. We will also be connecting with some friendly lobbyist groups from other industries (including the group that lobbies for Grey Goose and other liquor brands) to find ways to coordinate our efforts and expand the base of companies interested in space.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: You can do a lot with 90 minutes of Board time.

More Details: We had a working session of our Board of Directors this week, focused on adapting our messaging and value proposition to better reflect what our target members need. We also worked through a potential menu of fundraising ideas that are different from the traditional donor appeals. Whether that looks like contests or a pivot to endowment hunting, there were a ton of useful ideas, at least some of which are going to be built out over the next few months.

Other Operations: Also this week - we finalized our Conversations for the Future schedule (yep that is next week) - if you haven’t registered you should do that here. We also had calls with a couple local communities about supporting their workforce development programs

Future Operations: As I mentioned - next week is C4F that we are co-hosting with the Space Force Association. We also have a handful of workforce planning calls. But mostly just C4F.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: Yep - Barclays is officially a member of the Foundation.

More Details: This week we are excited to welcome two new members Barclays and Galactiv. Barclays Corporate and Investment Bank joining is the culmination of months of talks - and they really don’t need any introduction. Galactiv on the other hand is a relatively new is in-space services company that has initial missions offering servicing and salvage operations for satellites in geosynchronous orbit helping mitigate the risk and increasing the efficiency of operating high-value orbital assets. They already have a ton of service contracts in place - and look set to be hugely successful in the coming months / years.

Other Other Stuff: In a final bit of news - I’m excited to welcome Teddy Gabrielli as our new graphic design intern. Teddy is an undergraduate student at my alma mater - American University - and already has a really striking portfolio of work under his belt. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do - and no doubt you all will be seeing his work sooner rather than later.

Well - that should do it. I’m off to see the Running of the Chihuahuas - so really can’t dawdle any more.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

Kentucky Derby and Chihuahuas, a Weekend Update

Team SPACE,   

A good spring afternoon to you. It is fairly brisk here and I’m a little weirded out by the fact that my daughters in St Paul are enjoying 75 degree sun while I’m here in a long sleeve shirt in my house.

Ah well - I know it is nearly summer because of two key events, the Kentucky Derby and the Running of the Chihuahuas. Both of which were supposed to happen yesterday. While the Chihuahua run was rained out (and rescheduled to next weekend) - the Derby went ahead - and as only the second Derby I have paid attention to - it was simultaneously more and less than I expected.

It was more fun being at a Derby watch party with a bunch of people I’ve worked with. After all - it is hard to lose when you mix alcohol, betting and animals. But at the same time - there are SO many different bets you can place on the races - all I care about is betting who is going to win - but there are so many options and I know nothing about any of them.

I read a four-page Washington Post article about how to bet on the Derby - and by the end I was more confused than when I started.

Oh, and the races are really short - so if you are waiting over 90 minutes for a single race - it is a tad anticlimactic when after 45 seconds the race is over and you are wondering how long it will take to get to the nearest Shake Shack (21 minutes, and only a 3 minute detour from the route home - is case you were wondering).

I’m pretty sure there is a lesson in all this about tempering my expectations or being content in the present. But I think the moral of my weekend adventures is to always know where the nearest Shake Shack is, oh and be sure to always be the best dressed at parties.

Well - moral lesson over - let’s get to this week’s update

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: NASA’s plan to find a second Human Landing System (which could ride on a rocket like the one above) survived its first hurdle

More Details: This week the Senate defeated an amendment put forward by Senator Bernie Sanders, which would have prevented NASA from adding a second commercial Human Landing System (HLS) for the Artemis program. We opposed this amendment (which was flawed from the outset) - and we are pleased that an attempt by populist factions on both sides of the aisle to message their base about ‘government handouts to billionaires’ failed. In reality, NASA having a backup option for HLS is exactly the sort of long-term investment that the Agency should be making.

Future Outreach: We are beginning to design a regular space policy analysis product which we will produce for our members and that will go into new policy proposals which will impact the sector, and outline the cost/benefits of them, concluding with our (the Foundation’s) position. If you have thoughts on what you would like to see in these - please let me know.

We also have meetings scheduled with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to finalize details about their involvement in this month’s Conversations for the Future. We will be keeping a close eye on the Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee (that is a mouthful) as they hold their FY 2023 budget hearing with the Department of Commerce. We are going to be particularly interested in whether the funding for the Office of Space Commerce is discussed.

Operations: 

One Big Operations Thing: It is already almost C4F time again!

More Details: We are 10 days out from May’s Conversations for the Future - and I’m excited we are going to be bringing in a mix of old and new friends to talk as we look at the needs and current state of national security space. Register to join us here.

What's next: As we look further out - we have solidified the C4F topics for the second half of the year. Here is the lineup:

June: Launch infrastructure
July: Debris / Garbage
August: Break (Congress is out of session most of the month)
September: Policy / Media
October: Next 3-5 years (in person @ASCEND in Las Vegas)
November: Industrial Base / Workforce (potentially in person in Austin)
December: Blue Marble Night

Future Operations: Next week we will have another three membership recruitment calls, we’ll be participating in an In-space manufacturing and servicing task force with the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, and will be meeting with Midland leaders to chat about a potential Workforce for the Future hub there.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: Our membership drive is currently batting .250, and looks to break .500 in the next few days

More Details: This week we had calls with four potential new members as part of our spring membership drive. Our first four pitches may have up to a 75% success rate. One was a no for now (they are going through a funding round), one was a yes, and the other two look likely to finalize their decisions this week.

Is your company one that has been thinking about joining but was held back by costs? Well, this is the time to jump in - we aren’t going to be lowering our prices below what they are now (see below)

Silver: $2k (normally $5k)
Gold: $4k (normally $10k)
Platinum: $9k (normally $15k)
Diamond: $12.5k (normally $25k)

Alright - thanks for sticking with me this whole update - lets close this out so we can all get back to our regularly scheduled events.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

A Shorter Than Normal Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●May 02, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 5.5 mins... 1394 words

Team SPACE,  

So, I know that normally this section of the Weekend Update is where I talk about a profound thought I am having, a good book I just read, or some experience that I can then tie back into what we are doing here at the Foundation.

I’m not going to be able to do that this week. Oh, I guess I could. But in the interest of time I am not going to, because I have been getting over a a head cold (2 x COVID tests indicate it is not that), and it is surprisingly hard to focus on things.

Without further ado - here is this week’s update.

Outreach: 

One Big Outreach Thing: We have our first sponsor for the 2022 California Aerospace Caucus Reception in September.

More Details: This week I had meetings / calls with four different potential sponsors for the Reception (it seems easier / quicker to just call it that). At least one has committed to sponsoring so we are going to work formalizing that and locking down the venue.

Did I not mention the venue yet? Oh well it will be at the JW Marriott Washington DC. A pretty nice hotel and more importantly, it is close to the Capitol so our Congressional attendees will have more time to spend at the event.

Other Outreach: This week we also had meetings with a couple Congressional staffers on the sidelines of the Houston ASCEND event (more on that below). We talked with a couple people tied in with the City of London and European Council about the need to establish a version of the Foundation (or possibly a chapter - more on that below as well) there in Europe.

Future Outreach: Next week we are going to be reaching out to several staffers on the National Space Council to get a sense of what their priorities are going into the second half of the year. We are also going to be having meetings with a couple lobbyists who have the potential to be great allies for us and Space PAC.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: The ASCENDxTexas Event in Houston was fantastic.

More Details: This week I was in Houston to attend the AIAA ASCENDxTexas event. This is one of the small-format, conversational events that AIAA has started producing, and I have to say - it was really impressive. The small size (about 200 people) of the event was what ended up being its best part (for the Foundation anyway). This size meant that it was possible to talk to most everyone at least once, and most people you would have a chance to talk with multiple times.

  • Since I’m told it takes 8-10 ‘touches’ in order to convert someone from stranger to supporter, any event that lets me get multiple ‘touches’ in is a good event in my book

Other Operations: This week we also got soft commitments for another couple members. These companies are either waiting for funding rounds to close, or to get approval from their leadership - so we hope to be able to announce their names soon. We have also launched a prototype version of membership for our Workforce for the Future partners. This membership only has limited perks - but is at a price point that most schools can afford (free).

Future Operations: Well after three straight weeks of getting soft commitments for corporate memberships - we will be spending next week working to firm these up and actually get to the business of integrating these new companies into the fold. We won’t be letting up on our spring membership drive though - it runs through the end of May - so there is still time for more companies to get in on our discounted rates.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: F4F chapter design is moving ahead.

More Details: This week we had several calls with potential partners (announcements pending) to discuss how to structure the Foundation’s emerging chapters, where to place them, and how they will interact with the chapters of other organizations. All told - I’m very excited to see where this goes. After all - bringing more people into the F4F family is a recipe for new ideas - which is what keeps us on the cutting edge.

So 

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

Weekend Update: A Lifeboat Hunt

By Tim Chrisman●Apr 25, 2022

Smart Brevity™ count: 6 mins... 1558 words

Team SPACE,  

So I’ll say upfront that I haven’t seen Titanic but I’m pretty sure I understand how the movie ends. Well and what happens in the middle - blah blah blah - an unpredictable couple falls in love and that love is cut short in tragedy. A tragedy that could have been avoided if the dude had realized that the little piece of wood could hold two people OR there had been enough lifeboats (I suppose the third option would have been for the pair to have elbowed their way onto a lifeboat).

But the whole lesson from the Titanic (the real one) - was that cruise ships needed to have more lifeboats. Having just enough to be decorative wasn’t enough. So, as I was sitting here on a cruise ship in the Caribbean (celebrating my wife and I’s wedding anniversary), I began counting the lifeboats on the cruise ship across the harbor.

I got to 28. Now I understand that I keep a more than average amount of random knowledge about ships in my head, so I get that it may not be common knowledge that the ship I was looking at could hold over 4,300 passengers and had a staff of 781. Over 5,000 people…for 28 lifeboats. I’m no math wiz - but I understand that almost 200 people per lifeboat would be a lot. In fact more than 40 was going to be pushing it. So where were the dozens of extra lifeboats kept?

I’m a little ashamed to admit that it took me a couple days to figure out the answer. I could blame the fact that I was day drinking when I first noticed. Or that I was on my anniversary trip, so I was being very attentive to my wife. Or that we were doing fun shore excursions. But the real answer was that I didn’t go look around. Once I did, I found out that there were a bunch of small inflatable lifeboats at each end of the boat that could be filled and then lowered into the water from on deck. I probably could have figured out that the small pod looking things near the lifeboats were related - but I guess my intuition was off.

What’s my whole point with this story?

Well - for me it was a reminder that when you expect to see something a certain way you become blind to other forms it could take. Whether that be solutions to speaker cancellations during Conversations for the Future, or methods of reaching Congressional Members and staff. Just because things normally look / are done one way doesn’t mean there aren’t alternatives to be found…if we just look a little.

Ok - there - done with my lesson of the day. I am now off to put A LOT of sunscreen on to prevent a lethal sunburn (which happens if there is even a little bit of sun - so it isn’t a commentary on how sunny it is here)

So let's get to this update.

Outreach: 

One Big Outreach Thing: We are re-engaging with the White House on both workforce development and the SPACE Corporation Act

More Details: This week we reached out to several of the portfolio leads on the National Space Council and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). OSTP recently brought on a new staffer who is helping coordinate the administration’s approach to sciency/techy workforce; so this was an initial outreach to them.

Other Outreach: While it was a relatively slow week for Congressional work - we were able to support one of our members in some outreach they needed for one of their DoD related issues (sorry to be vague - I realized as I was writing this that I didn’t ask permission to share more). This is one of the first times we tested our advocacy inroads to Defense-focused staffers on Capitol Hill - and it was a quick success.

Future Outreach: Next week we will be following up with the White House staffers I mentioned above, will be checking in with several Houston-based Congresspeople and holding a strategy session with SPACE Pac and several members at the Capitol Hill club. Oh, and we will also have a meeting with a rep from the City of London to chat about European space finance.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: Another Conversations for the Future (C4F) is in the books - on to the next C4F

More Details: We had a fun last-minute scramble with this month’s C4F, as some speakers couldn’t make it. Rather than do two short days, we condensed it down to one (which was much easier). We will be back on track for May’s event to be the full 2 days - and you can find out more info about that here.

Other Operations: Also, this week we began talks with the organizers for the SALT 2022 conference in NYC. Last year there was a panel on space - and this year we are looking to expand space’s presence and include at least one of our member investors as a speaker.

  • Go Deeper: In case you weren’t here last year - SALT is a major finance conference that features high profile speakers (and entertainment - last year Paris Hilton spoke during lunch, and the Chainsmokers headlined a party).

Future Operations: Next week I’m headed to ASCENDxTexas in Houston - if you are going to be there - hit me up and let’s schedule a time to chat. We’ll also be doing some more follow-up calls from Symposium and even managing to squeeze in a podcast recording.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: We are running a spring membership drive, complete with special pricing.

More Details: As I mentioned in my last newsletter - we are running a spring membership drive and are offering two different pricing specials.

The first is for our investors/funds/holding company members; and this special lets the primary company buy a membership and then each of its subsidiary companies gets a membership as well. It works like this

  • Gold membership ($10k/yr) - get 3 memberships (1 x Gold, 2 x Silver) - a discount of $10k.

  • Platinum membership ($15k/yr) - get a total of 5 memberships (1 x Platinum, 3 x Gold & 1 x Silver) - a discount of $30k

  • Diamond membership ($25k/yr) - get 7 memberships (1 x Diamond, 3 x Platinum & 3 x Gold) - A discount of $60k

We are also offering discounts on individual company memberships at the following prices.

  • Silver: $2k - a discount of $3k

  • Gold: $4k - a discount of $6k

  • Platinum: $9k - a discount of $6k

  • Diamond: $12.5k - a discount of $12.5k

Is your company interested in one of these? Reply to this email and we can chat more.

Well - here we are at the end of another newsletter, and we have avoided any disasters, emergencies or me having to use one of those lifeboats I was talking about.

So in short - a great success.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

A Weekend Update Marking the Beginning of Spring

By Tim Chrisman, April 18, 2022

Smart Brevity™ count: 7 mins... 1790 words

Team SPACE, 

I’m told this is one of those weekends that can be a minefield for people trying to navigate the polite way to greet people without offending them. Being that it is Passover + Easter + Ramadan - I’m told that it is safer to just wish people a happy spring holiday season.

That seems a little silly - I’m not a big holiday person - but I understand people are. But regardless of what holiday you celebrate - it doesn’t take anything away from your holiday if I celebrate something different…does it?

I don’t think it does - but maybe I’m being too clinical / detached. 

I’ll just celebrate the fact that the majority of the world is having a holiday this weekend.

Well, that and I’ll watch my kids do an Easter egg hunt - the other three holidays don’t feature a ton of candy, so the kids are kind of into Easter.

I better get this update done quick - since I think I hear them agitating to start…. let’s get to it

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: Congressional reception invite about to go live

More Details: The California Aerospace Caucus reception will be held on September 21st on the sidelines of the Air, Space and Cyber conference, from 5-8pm at a hotel near Capitol Hill (the closer it is to the Capitol the more congressional attendance is likely). So far, we have Representatives Calvert Lieu confirmed to attend, 37 other California Representatives and 2 Senators invited. We also expect a minimum of 1 staffer from each California Congressional office. 

What’s Next: This event is going to be a curated reception - and as such we will be building a site for people to apply to attend. We are also beginning to look for sponsors, media partners and other partners who are interested in attending (if that is you - email me or April).

Other Outreach: Also this week we worked with Senator Kaine’s office here in Virgina to submit a request for an earmark (they aren’t called that anymore - but the new name is weird) that will help fund the Virginia portion of the Workforce for the Future program.

Future Outreach: Next week we will be reaching out to some of the new staff on the National Space Council to introduce ourselves and see what we can do to support their work. We will also be following up with several Congresspeople who last week indicated they were interested in supporting the SPACE Corporation Act.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: W4F and A4F are looking to add new programs.

More Details: This week - the Economic Development Administration (you might remember them from the Good Jobs Challenge) opened applications for a pair of programs - both of which might be interesting additions to what we are doing here at the Foundation. One of them, the Capital Challenge, would fund the Association for the Future in creating the capacity to vet space startups for space investors. The other, the Venture Challenge, would support Workforce for the Future by allowing us to fund companies working on advanced training tools.

  • What’s Next: Since this challenge requires us to be focused on a single region - we are going to start reaching out to some of our Good Jobs Challenge partners to see if their regions are interested in joining forces with us. If you think your region would be a good fit for either of these - let me / Ashley know.

Other Operations: This was a week for podcast recordings - I had 3 scheduled this week (normally it is only 1). Even though that is more than normal - it was a great time being able to chat with these thought leaders.

Future Operations: Next week is Conversations for the Future - you can register here. We will also be finishing up more post-Symposium follow-ups and adding at least one more podcast to the queue for April to process (sorry April!)

One Big Other Thing: 

Our Spring Membership drive is heating up

More Details: Last week we had a handful of meetings with prospective members, and at least two are tentative yes’s pending the vetting / approval process ahead of formally agreeing. This, combined with the one already working their way through their approval processes put the total number of pending members at 17. And we have meetings with another 6 companies this coming week.

  • Why it matters: Corporate members are the main source of funding for us here at the Foundation. Right now, we need the equivalent of 23 Gold members to break even for the year and are nearly 70% there.

  • Is your company looking to network with space investors? Then you might want to look at joining. Reach out to me for more info.

 

Alright - that only took 38 minutes - and I am done just in time to go outside and watch the girls do their Easter egg hunt.

I’ll see you all back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

Symposium's Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Apr 11, 2022

Smart Brevity™ count: 5 mins... 1345 words

Team SPACE, 

Follow-ups…

I don’t usually think of myself as one of those people who is good at following up.

But I was told multiple times last week that I was the only person who consistently follows up after events.

This is very jarring for me, because I have a sense that I am bad at following up with people.

The more I thought about it - the more I realized that I am bad at STAYING in touch with people. Follow-ups after conferences are something I systematize and will take care of within 24-48 hours of getting back.

But keeping engaged with people over months or years…that is something I am not so good at.

I haven’t figured out why - but I am sure part of it is that I just don’t have the same sort of system I do for follow-ups.

Do you have a good system for keeping in touch with people? Send me a note about how your system works and I’ll make sure I write about the one that works best.

Alright - I need to get a move on - since I ordered a pizza and need to get this finished up before it gets here.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: We have some Democrat interest in the SPACE Corporation Act.

More Details: This week we had a call with a senior staffer for Representative Garcia from Houston who was very interested in the SPACE Corporation Act. They were specifically interested in how it could help grow the number of commercial space jobs there in Houston. We have a follow-up here soon and hope to be able to show some movement.

  • Our thought bubble: This confirms something we have been thinking for a while - leading with how the SPACE Corporation Act will help employment is much more appealing to Democrats than most other types of appeals.

Future Outreach: Next week we are going to circle back around with some other staffers who have shown interest in the SPACE Corporation Act to see if we can nudge them along. We’ll also be following up with a couple of the White House staff that were at Symposium to chat with them about how the National Space Council can help kick the space economy into a higher gear.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: We have started designing the jobs side of the Workforce for the Future program

More Details: When we started the Workforce for the Future (W4F) program, we intended it to be a Kindergarten to Orbit pipeline for job training and placement. It was going to be a one-stop shop for everything from where all of the space-related training was to job listings across the country.

Last week we started the process of standing up the job listing side of the program. We are looking to partner with one of the major job boards so we can leverage their national reach to build a space-centric job site. The initial feedback we got from execs at Symposium was very favorable - so that is a great sign.

Future Operations: Next week we are going to be chatting with a couple of our W4F partner communities, preparing for what happens if we are awarded the Good Jobs Challenge grant. We’ll also be networking our job board concept around industry more and look to survey the full extent of what the industry needs.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: Space Symposium 2022 was another hit

More Details: As I mentioned in the intro - I have a lot of follow-ups to do from last week at Symposium, but more importantly - I was able to meet quite a few of you in person. And as we have all learned over the last couple years - that is not something we should ever take for granted.

The results of those in-person meetings remain to be seen - I have learned to get excited AFTER results, not before. But between happy hours with Bank of America, introductions to 8 investors, and multiple positive membership discussions - I think there is going to be some good momentum coming out of Symposium.

 

  

Ok - time for me to sign off here - my pizza is about to be delivered - and if I am not at the door when it shows up then the dogs will lose their minds…and calming them down requires me to give up some of my pizza…which is unacceptable for obvious reasons.

So, I’ll see you back here next week - unless I catch you out there sooner

-T

An Update on April's Fool Weekend

One fun thing: Yes, it’s Wednesday, not the usual Monday update…. with Symposium and spring breaks, every day is something different this week 😆

 

Team SPACE, 

I was thinking that today would have been a good day for it to be April Fools.

Why?

Well - I just drove back to my house from Orlando and am now packing up to leave for Space Symposium in Colorado Springs tomorrow morning. So, things are a little busy here.

It would have been really handy to be able to just send out a joke email about April Fools and then get back to figuring out why I don’t have enough socks clean.

But ah well - I cannot help what day it is - so I shall do my duty.

Hmm - that sounded a little more serious that what this normally is.

I shall now take you through this week’s update.

There we go

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: The proposed FY23 Federal Budget needs some work.

More Details: On March 28th President Biden released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 (starting in October), and it has a couple key gaps in requested funding and authorities. This week we prepared our response and sent our corporate members the drafts of letters to the relevant Congressional committees for them to provide their feedback. We will be incorporating their feedback before sending the letters in mid-April.

  • The most notable gaps was the complete lack of funding for long-term space infrastructure / workforce development programs.

  • Other gaps include a lack of funding for several developmental in-space manufacturing programs and any new authorities for DoD to use in speeding up their space acquisition processes.

Future Outreach: Next week we’ll have calls with Rep Calvert’s office to outline how the fall California Aerospace Caucus event is going to go. I’ll also be chatting with a couple National Space Council staff on the sidelines of Symposium, working in the talking points that I mentioned above.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: F4F chapters are getting closer

More Details: This week we had meetings with potential F4F chapter organizers. Added on to the ones we are talking to in Puerto Rico, Texas, and Mississippi, it looks like we will be able to formally launch this program with at least a half dozen chapters.

Other Operations: We signed on a pair of new regular contributors to the Conversations for the Future series. I’ll leave the formal announcements for later (better to drip out content like that) - but it is going to be great to add these to our ‘What’s Going On’ segment.

Future Operations: Next week I’ll be at Symposium and have meetings lined up with 9 potential new members, and at least four receptions to attend. In between all that fun I promise we will still be doing work…ok maybe April will be the one still doing work.

And with that - this week is a wrap. I’ll get back to packing and figuring out where I put that charger for my laptop.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

A Question-Filled Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman  Mar 28, 2022

Smart Brevity® count: 5.5 mins...1500 words

Team Space,

Questions are fun - well - I suppose they can be. My wife Katie and I frequently go on walks with little cards that have questions on them. Why? Oh - they are great conversation starters - sometimes we will only have to ask one question on a 45 min walk, and just debate the answer the whole walk.

These questions range from asking about food preferences all the way to who is one person’s reputation we would ruin if given a chance. 

Today there was a particularly good question - it was:

  • What, if any, fruits of our culture are worth more than even a million lives?

The answer to that question is one that those of us who play a part in the political process of America should regularly remind ourselves of. Because in essence this question is asking what are those core pieces of our culture that MUST survive at all costs. Those pieces that are worth sending our young men to die in their defense.

It should probably be self-evident that a list of these ‘fruits of our culture’ should be fairly short, since we don’t want to send a million people to die for some piece of art. That said I would be fascinated to hear the answers of a representative cross section of America; but I think any list should include the following:

  • Individual liberty. Or put less succinctly “The right to believe, act and express oneself freely”

  • Rule of law. This is best defined by Alexander Hamilton as “a principle under which all persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws that are: Publicly promulgated. Equally enforced. Independently adjudicated. And consistent with international human rights principles”

  • Philosophy. Specifically, the branch of philosophy known as Western philosophy, which is individualist and at its core strives to find and prove "the truth" rather than accepting that truth is a given.

It is my belief that these three ‘fruits of our culture’ may be the only one’s worth millions of lives, and it is from them that all of our freedoms and prosperity have grown.

Wow - that was kind of a serious introduction - I should really plan these out before I start - Eh - maybe next week.

Well - no matter - let’s get to this week’s update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: Congress continues to be consumed by Russia…well and to a lesser extent the Supreme Court nomination hearings going on.

More Details: In case you haven’t noticed - Russia is continuing to dominate the news. Since against all odds the Ukrainians are more than holding their own, many Members of Congress are wanting to do even more to help. This means that the window of possible action I mentioned a couple weeks back is likely to close before we are able to make headway.

The bottom line: Don’t worry - we aren’t going anywhere - and are laying the groundwork for 2023 and beyond. Whether it is helping the California Aerospace Caucus or working with Space PAC, we have the pieces in place to be much more successful in the next Congress.

Future Outreach: This week we will be re-engaging the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Management and Budget. We are pivoting to these offices because we recognize the limits of legislative action for the next few months. Working with these two offices will help us get further inroads into the Administration and help shape their policies.

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: Barclays looks like it is nearing membership with us

More Details: We’ve been talking with Barclays about them joining the Association for the Future as a corporate member; and have agreed to have an in-person meeting with their aerospace department principal. We’ll have this meeting on the sidelines of Symposium next month - and this is an exciting development that will allow the Association to take a huge step forward in influence and reach.

Other Operations: We had a number of other meetings this week with prospective members for the Foundation, including a couple space technology companies and a pair of investor shops. Look for some announcements on those here in the near future.

Future Operations: Next week we will finish preparing our spring membership drive where we are targeting a handful of organizations who either have long-term infrastructure-esq goals or are heavy hitting investors. These include Space Perspective, Ursa Major, Atento Capital, Fidelity, Trust Ventures and more.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: Workforce for the Future continues its march forward

More Details: This week we had planning meetings related to both the training and scholarship sides of W4F. We have found a couple partners who look like they are going to be really helpful in connecting community colleges in the program with students; and other partners who will be able to support funding at least a portion of those students. While both pieces of that are going to take a few months of planning and a few more months of setup - I’m excited to see what we are going to be able to do towards the end of this year.

And here we are at the close - rather than end as seriously as I started - I’ll let you off easy.

I’ll see you back here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

A Disney Weekend Update

By Tim Chrisman●Mar 21, 2022

Smart Brevity™ count: 6 mins... 1556 words

Team SPACE, 

Have you ever been to Disney World? Before this week I would have said that I had been - but now I can say this is the first true week I have been to Disney World.

As I mentioned last week - Katie and I are working out of Orlando for the month of March (did I mention that? hmmm maybe not…but whatever). And last week we brought my daughters here for their spring break. We figured that since we were going to be in Orlando for work - we might as well take them to Disney World.

As a retired Army officer (I wanted to say Army man) - I can get 5 days of Disney World tickets for the price of 2 days of normal tickets (but I cannot buy less than 4 days of tickets…so there is that). As someone who likes to maximize the benefit of things I buy - I figured that if we had 5 days of tickets - then we needed to use 5 days of tickets.

I was wrong.

We did not need to.

But we did.

And it was…aggressive.

By day 3 my youngest daughter was falling asleep in the living room at 7:30pm.

Today we finished our 5th park, and they are packing up to head home tomorrow. But do you know what is funny?

When I asked - they both said the best part of their trip was the pool in the backyard of the house we are renting here. Turns out we didn’t need to go big at Disney, we just needed to let them go wild in a pool and they would be the happiest kids in the world.

I think there is a lesson for me here on being content - but I’m not sure what it is - so while I think about that let’s get you to the rest of this update.

Outreach:

One Big Outreach Thing: 2022’s legislating window is about closed

More Details: At this point in an election year most Members of Congress are looking to bolster their election prospects by introducing ‘statement’ bills, leaving Washington D.C. to campaign, and fighting with other Members over their ‘statement’ bills. I suppose the short way to say this is that between now and 2023 Congress isn’t going to do much…even by their standards.

  • Go Deeper: A ‘statement’ bill is a piece of legislation that a Congressperson (this also applies at the state and local level) introduces without the expectation that it will ever become law. Instead, its sole purpose is so the Member can say that they ‘did’ something about a problem that their voters care about.

That said - last week we saw the Senate pass (unanimously) a bill that would make Daylight Savings Time permanent. This happened because Senators Rubio (R-FL) and Sinema (D-AZ) were able to slip the bill in for a vote when most Senators were out and since there were no objections it passed.

So then - it is still possible for small bills (like most of our priorities) to pass. We just aren’t counting on that and are working with the Space PAC to shape the playing field for 2023.

Future Outreach: This week we are moving ahead with the planning for our fall California Congressional Aerospace Caucus reception (let me know if you are interested in participating). We are working to nail down a date for the Rep Salazar fundraiser in Miami and then will also be doing some state and local outreach in anticipation of our Good Jobs Challenge submission being accepted

Operations:

One Big Operations Thing: Our Workforce-focused C4F was amazing this week.

More Details: April, the team and our co-hosts over at StellarModal Transportation Association put together a fantastic event. We have the full video up on our YouTube channel so you can check it out. I’m excited to see what the team puts together for April - since after all it is named after our main producer .

Other Operations: This week Ashley finished designing our Good Jobs Challenge survey. This is going out to all our partner organizations to get a sense of what they will need to have ready in order to hit the ground running. This survey is going out in the next couple weeks so we have plenty of time before early summer (when the decision is expected).

Future Operations: Next week we will be back on the C4F planning treadmill. We’ll also be building a framework for how we can support a major scholarship program that some of our partners are building. We are also helping out one of our member companies build a presentation for a local school about the potential of a space-focused workforce.

Other Stuff:

One Big Other Thing: SXSW follow-ups on top of follow-ups

More Details: Not since Space Symposium last summer did I have this many follow-ups to take care of after an event. Last week I got started on some - and have about 35-40 still to go (so if I haven’t gotten to you, then you are probably next - feel free to email me to remind me if you haven’t heard anything). I am still in awe of how Joy and her team were able to put together such a great event. And I am so grateful that we got to participate as one of the co-hosts.

That should do it. It is starting to cool off here in Orlando - which means it is almost time for my evening walk (one of the best times of the day since I get to debrief with Katie about what happened during the day).

So, I’ll see you here next week - unless I see you out there sooner.

-T

Weekend Update: Live from Austin

Team SPACE, 

Good morning from SXSW! I’m trying to get this written before I head out for another action-packed day and since last week was relatively slow - this will likely be a short email.

I know this is normally the place where I talk about what I have been seeing, reading and/or thinking about, but since last night was a late one - I don’t have many profound thoughts - mainly just ones about how good my Denny’s breakfast was.

So with that let's get to this week’s update

One Big Outreach Thing: Our event with the House California Aerospace Caucus is officially on

More Details: We have been working for the past month or two to work with the co-chairs of the House California Aerospace Caucus to develop a plan for a fall event for the Caucus allowing the members to network with industry. We will be putting out more details in the coming weeks but are looking to tie it with a major industry conference so there isn’t a need for people to travel somewhere twice.

Why it matters: Since the caucus has about 30 Members (the majority of the California House Delegation) - this is going to be a great event for companies based in / doing business in California to network with Congresspeople and their staff.

  • If your company is interested in sponsoring let me know and I’ll let you know pre-registration offerings.

  • If your company is a member company of the Foundation at the Gold level or above you will automatically be listed as a logo sponsor for the event, and any members Platinum or above will have the opportunity to contribute branded swag to the grab bags. So, if you aren’t a member already - you can register here - or email me and we can take it from there.

Future Outreach: Over the next couple weeks we are redoubling our outreach efforts to Democratic Congresspeople to revitalize progress on the Space Corporation Act. We have more or less been at a standstill with that because during the heavily partisan fights over the past six months there has been little progress on anything in Congress. We are also going to be announcing more details about the Space PAC’s fundraiser for Rep Salazar out of Miami - you can sign up over on their website to be the first to know.

One Big Operations Thing: C4F is here again!

More Details: This month’s Conversations for the Future is co-hosted with StellarModal Transportation Association and is focused on space workforce and our speaker lineup includes educators, space professionals, former politicians and blue-collar workers. A huge shout out to
@April for all her work pulling this together.

Other Operations: This week we talked with some leaders in Puerto Rico about how our Workforce for the Future program can help them in their effort to expand aerospace employment on the island. We expect to be able to build off these conversations as we stand up our first chapter there.

Future Operations: Next week - we will be in C4F mode - and scheduling speakers for April and May’s events (and finalizing the details of co-hosting one of those months with the DC chapter of the Space Force Association)

One Big Other Thing: Updates to our website are on their way.

More Details: This week we started the preliminary design work on revamping the flow / structure of our website. We will be rolling out updates in the coming weeks. The intent of this is to make the user experience easier, and the process to join / donate smoother (since it turns out people don’t like friction when they are trying to give money).

If you have thoughts about things that have bothered you about the structure / flow of the website please email me so we can add those suggestions to our list.