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 to procure Soyuz spacecraft for the ISS once the existing agreement with Russia expires next year.
Also, I have a lengthy article about the state of commercial suborbital spaceflight regulation in the wake of the passage of HR 5382 last fall. A lot of topics in the article have been covered here previously, notably Rep. Oberstar’s introduction of HR 656, but the article ties this together with FAA/AST’s new draft guidelines and the formation of an industry group to develop safety standards. (Standard disclaimers apply.)