Boehlert keeps Science Committee chairmanship

As expected, Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) will retain his chairmanship of the House Science Committee. Subcommittee assignments have not yet been announced, however.

Space transportation policy finally done

The White House is scheduled to release as early as today a new space transportation policy. This is the same policy that the administration has been working on for over two years and was reportedly nearly completed at the time of the Columbia accident, after which it was put on the back burner. Space News […]

When cartoonists attack

Just when you thought that the myth of a trillion-dollar Mars mission had died down comes this cartoon by the Washington Postís Tom Toles. I didnít see any contact information for Toles directly, but you can leave a message in a rarely-used washingtonpost.com forum on his cartoons.

Congress gets back to work

The 109th Congress convenes this week, and one of the first orders of business will be organizational matters, such as committee assignments and chairmanships. Some changes are in store for space-related committees, as Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) steps down from the chairmanship of the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee and Sen. Sam Brownback […]

2004’s legislative breakthroughs

In an article in this week’s issue of The Space Review, Jim Muncy looks back at two events that may be considered “breakthroughs for humanity’s future in space”: the approval of NASA’s 2005 budget and passage of HR 5382. Muncy sets a high standard for what he considers a breakthrough:

For this discussion, let’s define a “breakthrough” as the achievement of an outcome that not only surpasses previous results, but was actually beyond the realm of prediction. In other words, a breakthrough is when you accomplish something nobody thought was possible. And its greatest significance may be how its attainment changes, or even transforms, what people see as possible thereafter.

Muncy also reminds us that these successes set a standard that will be a challenge to top in the future:

Sometimes winning creates a lot more work than losing. But itís a nice problem to have. This should be an interesting year, thanks largely to two surprising political breakthroughs in 2004.