Union versus NASA

The Washington Post’s “Federal Diary” column looks at the resistance potential NASA job cuts is facing from one union. Gregory Junemann, president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, wrote a letter to the House Science Committee on Friday asking for “increased oversight” of the agency in light of reports that over 2,000 [...]

Problems for Kepler?

In a column in Sunday’s Naples (Fla.) Daily News (free registration required), Ben Bova covers familiar ground regarding the Hubble Space Telescope. However, he adds that Kepler, a Discovery-class mission to search for extrasolar planets, may also be endangered. He notes that between $35 and $50 million will be cut from the program in NASA’s [...]

US-Russian space cooperation

The “U.S.-Russia Joint Fact Sheet: Bratislava Initiatives” released by the White House today after the meeting between President Bush and President Putin includes a single sentence about space cooperation:

In the area of space cooperation, the Presidents called for enhanced cooperation, focusing on the International Space Station and other projects, including those related to possible [...]

Appropriations subcommittee Democrats

The minority leadership of the House Appropriations Committee has announced its assignments of Democratic members to the new subcommittee structure. (This assignment took place last week; I had missed it before now.) The Democratic members of the Science, State, Justice, and Commerce subcommittee, the new subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes NASA, are:

Alan Mollohan (WV) José [...]

More from Newt

The Christian Science Monitor has an article today about Newt Gingrich, former House speaker and potential 2008 Presidential candidate (although Gingrich plays down the latter in the article.) When asked what government programs he would like to see cut, Gingrich responded:

Why is NASA running the space shuttle? Just ask yourself, why would you have [...]

Scientists and exploration

A session of the recent AAAS conference in Washington dealt with scientists’ reactions to the Bush Administration’s science policy and budget. The end of an AP article about the session discusses what two of the panelists, Rosina Bierbaum, dean of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment; and Neal Lane of Rice [...]

Another NASA administrator candidate

The AP reports that another candidate has emerged for the NASA administrator position: Edward Markle, a Loyola Law School graduate and commercial pilot. Markle has the backing of three Louisiana Congressmen; one of them, Richard Baker (R-LA), said that Markle’s “litigation strategies and leadership skills” qualified him to lead the space agency. Yes, folks, that’s [...]

Of budgets and regulations

In this week’s issue of The Space Review, Taylor Dinerman looks at the recent House Science Committee hearing on the NASA FY2006 budget proposal. There weren’t too many revelations from that hearing, but Dinerman points out the elephant in the room nearly everyone seems to be ignoring: the need to come up with a way [...]

Presidential post-its

NPR carried a story last week about NASA’s space nuclear power efforts. The article included an interesting vignette about President Clinton’s interest in the Cassini mission and the protests of some who opposed the use of RTGs on that spacecraft:

Opponents countered with a video called “Nukes in Space”. NASA manager Reed Wilcox said that [...]

Prometheus bound?

According to a Congressional source, NASA is planning to transfer $150 million in FY05 funding out of Project Prometheus to other, unidentified programs. This decision is apparently linked to NASA’s decision to indefinitely defer (or, effectively, cancel) the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) mission. NASA hasn’t yet determined what the pilot mission of its nuclear [...]