Space policy meets space weather

USA Today reported last week about a little-publicized report by the National Research Council titled “Solar and Space Physics and Its Role in Space Exploration”. The report discusses the need for studies of the Sun, its interaction with the Earth’s magnetic field, and related topics, as part of the overall exploration program. The NRC put […]

Senate Commerce Committee and the NASA authorization bill

During an executive session Wednesday morning, the Senate Commerce Committee marked up and approved S.2541, the NASA Authorization Act of 2004. The bill was approved on a voice vote after a short discussion and adoption of a few amendments. There was some heated discussion about one amendment, proposed by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), but listening […]

Senate boosts NASA budget

As you may have already read, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday to increase NASA’s budget by about $200 million over the President’s request, for a total of $16.4 billion. However, the catch is that $800 million of that is in the form of emergency funding (and thus not subject to budget caps) devoted exclusively […]

Senate hearing and OMB luncheon

The Senate Appropriations Committee has scheduled a markup session for this afternoon (2:30 pm, Hart 216) to go over the VA-HUD-independent agencies appropriations bill. They’re also considering an appropriations bill for DC; they didn’t announce which they’ll consider first. You should be able to listen to an audio webcast of the hearing at CapitolHearings.org.

As […]

Budget roundup

A few items of note about the efforts to get NASA’s budget approved in Congress:

Writing for UPI, Frank Sietzen describes the current budget situation with a baseball analogy, with the game tied in the bottom of the 8th inning and Congress at bat. He expects the Senate to take up the VA-HUD-independent agencies bill […]

Space and polling

Anyone who still doubts that space is a relatively unimportant topic in Presidential politics should read this Philadelphia Inquirer article that follows a Gallup pollster, Jeffrey Jones, as he works on the latest poll questionnaire:

Jones and his colleagues wrote many good questions, but research has shown that people won’t stay on the phone more […]

HR 3752 update

MSNBC’s Alan Boyle has an update on his weblog about the status of HR 3752/S 2772. Right now the bill is bogged down in talks between House and Senate staffers about coordinating changes in the legislation, with an emphasis on liability concerns. This aligns with what I have heard from second- and third-hand sources about […]

Bush and Kerry in Nature: Nothing new

This week’s issue of the journal Nature features a special report on the science policies of President Bush and Senator Kerry. One of the 15 questions asked of the two Presidential candidates was the following:

Do you think the United States should send astronauts to the Moon or Mars in the next 10 to 15 […]

Moderating the NASA budget cut

While NASA’s supporters in the House seek to restore full funding for the agency’s FY2005 budget, there are some indications that a smaller cut might be considered acceptable. Aviation Week reported last week that the Senate Appropriations Committee is looking to cut $600 million from the President’s request, a significant amount but still smaller than what the House Appropriations Committee approved in July. (That report indicated the VA-HUD-independent agencies subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee would take action last week, but there’s no sign that they did, and the full Appropriations Committee is busy this week with other appropriations measures.)

Aerospace Daily reported Friday that Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA), co-chair of the House Aerospace Caucus, said that the House’s cuts in NASA’s budget were required to fund veterans programs, but that some moderation of the cuts are possible. However, he cautioned, “Space exploration is sure to suffer until we get our budgetary house in order.” In the same article, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) is quoted as saying that he would try to get key members of the House and Senate together to compromise on a NASA budget figure for FY05 that “not everybody’s completely satisfied with, but that’s workable on this year.”

HR 3752 vs. S 2772

In late July Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced S. 2772, the Space CHASE Act, in essence the Senate version of HR3752 with some changes in the wording to assuage the concerns of one suborbital vehicle company. However, Clark Lindsey reports on HobbySpace that the Senate doesn’t plan to consider S. 2772; instead, it will consider […]