House committee reexamines EELV

The House Appropriations Committee is having second thoughts about the Defense Department’s decision to fund two EELV providers, Space News reported Friday. (subscription required) According to a committee report accompanying the Defense Department appropriations bill, “the Committee believes fully funding one contractor may be a wiser approach to assured access than the current approach of […]

NASA authorization bill introduced in the Senate

At this afternoon’s hearing of the space subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee, subcommittee chairman Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) announced that he was introducing today NASA authorization legislation for FY 2005. (The legislation hasn’t yet shown up on Thomas.) Brownback said the legislation “would provide the necessary authority for NASA to implement the exploration commission’s […]

Senate hearing on Aldridge report

The science subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee has a hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon at 2:30 pm (room SR-253) regarding the final report of the Aldridge Commission, with Pete Aldridge himself scheduled to testify. (I did not see this hearing on the committee’s web site earlier this week, so either it is a late […]

CSMonitor on tax breaks for private spacecraft

Lost in all the media attention surrounding the Aldridge Commission’s final report was this short editorial in Wednesday’s edition of the Christian Science Monitor. The editorial comes out in favor of incentives like tax breaks for commercial space ventures, something that was recommended by the commission. It was interesting, and pleasantly surprising, that the Monitor […]

Kerry and the space vision has published an “exclusive” report on what Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry thinks about the Vision for Space Exploration and other space policy issues. The answers are somewhat predictable: while strongly supportive of NASA (calling it “an invaluable asset to the American people”), he is skeptical of the exploration plan, saying Bush has not […]

Moon Society joins the Alliance

Another organization has jointed the Space Exploration Alliance. The Moon Society joins the 13 other organizations that are part of SEA, according to a Moon Society press release (which curiously is not on their web site but is available at Rocketforge.) You can be excused if you haven’t heard of the Moon Society—they’re a small […]

Scientists and the exploration vision

Over at The Space Review I have an article this week about how some scientists perceive the Vision for Space Exploration, based on comments made at a forum on Capitol Hill last month. Most of the responses are fairly predictable—they’re interested in the vision but are concerned about what it might to do astronomy and […]

The AP on the Aldridge Commission report

The Associated Press has an article this morning about the Aldridge Commission’s final report, scheduled to be released Wednesday. The AP article largely focuses on the commission’s apparent recommendation that NASA hand over as many duties as possible to the private sector, including access to low Earth orbit (of course, the private sector already handles, […]

An early peek at the Aldridge Commission report

Space News got a sneak peek at the final report of the Aldridge Commission (which would have been released yesterday were it not for the delay caused by Ronald Reagan’s funeral) and offers a few details:

At least some of the NASA field centers should be turned into federally-funded research and development centers (FFRDCs), much […]

Could LRO weigh down the exploration plan?

Wednesday’s issue of Aerospace Daily had an interesting article about the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), the first in a series of robotic lunar missions under the Vision for Space Exploration designed as precursors for human expeditions. What was most surprising is the proposed budget for the mission:

Funding for the LRO begins with $70 million […]