Early lunar return and sustainability for the VSE

At last year’s Return to the Moon conference in Las Vegas, Constellation Services International (CSI) unveiled “Lunar Express”, a proposal for a lunar exploration architecture using Soyuz spacecraft that could permit human circumlunar missions within just a few years. CSI also discussed Lunar Express during a session yesterday of this year’s RTM conference. The technical […]

Authorization update

Wouldn’t you know that just after I write up a long-overdue summary of NASA authorization activities in the House that there’s some activity on the legislation. Aerospace Daily reports Thursday that the full House is set to consider the bill on Friday. One issue that will have to be dealt with is a proposed amendment […]

Authorization update

Missed in all the attention given last week to the impending, only to be scrubbed, launch of the shuttle Discovery was progress on the House version of a NASA authorization bill. In late June the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee approved a proposed bill, HR 3070, but all but one of the Democrats […]

Lessons from international cooperation

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz mission, a time when the surviving members of that crew have been reflecting on the mission and the role of international cooperation in space endeavors. International cooperation is generally perceived as a good thing, with benefits for all involved as well as for foreign policy in […]

Coin of the space realm

A bill that passed the House last week would result in some commemorative coins for NASA. The “NASA and JPL 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act” (HR 68), introduced back in January by Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) and with 290 co-sponsors, passed the House on a voice vote July 12. The bill would require the Treasury […]

Gallup-ing in different directions

How strongly does the American public support the Vision for Space Exploration? It depends on who you ask, and how. Last week the Coalition for Space Exploration released the results of a Gallup survey that suggested strong support for the public. When asked if they supported a “stepping-stone approach” to space exploration that included the […]

Shuttle, the Vision, and the White House

At the tail end of yesterday’s White House press briefing by press secretary Scott McClellan (dominated, as usual the last few days, by topics like Karl Rove), the issue of the shuttle’s return to flight and the status of the Vision for Space Exploration came up:

Q Scott, is the President going to watch the […]

On the trail of a trillion

[A bit long, but worth reading.] You might remember that, about a month ago, Citizens Against Government Waster (CAGW) issued a press release decrying the Vision for Space Exploration because of “an impending record deficit, chronic management problems at NASA, and unresolved questions about the missions’ cost and feasibility.” (That first point now seems contradicted […]

The couple that legislates together…

A husband-and-wife pair of politicians are asking California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to find ways to lure development of the CEV to the state. State Senator George Runner and his wife, Assemblywoman Sharon Runner, both represent the Antelope Valley region of southern California in the California Legislature. They believe the governor should create a “high-level team” […]

Congress at the launch

Several members of Congress will be in Florida today to witness the launch of Discovery on the first shuttle mission since the Columbia accident. The Elmira (NY) Star-Gazette reports that Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), chairman of the House Science Committee, will lead a Congressional delegation that will include House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) and […]