Last week’s news

As you might expect in the doldrums of August, there wasn’t much news on the space policy front last week; good news for me while I spent the week on vacation. A few items of note:

NASA is looking for more money in its FY2007 budget proposal for the Mars Scout program, an effort to [...]

August lobbying push

The member organizations of the Space Exploration Alliance, including such activist groups such as the National Space Society and the Mars Society, kicked off this week an effort to organize visits to Congressional district offices during the August recess. The primary purpose, according to NSS and Mars Society documents, is to urge their support for [...]

Australian space policy

I don’t talk much about Australian space policy because, well, there’s not much to talk about. However, this AAP article caught my eye: Australian-born NASA astronaut Andy Thomas, fresh from his STS-114 shuttle mission, is calling on Australia to invest more money on space efforts. Thomas called on Australia to work in particular on small [...]

The fate of the shuttle, and NASA

On the heels of its extended editorial Sunday about the future of the ISS, the New York Times published another space-related editorial Friday, this time on the space shuttle. The editorial cites NASA’s decision to delay the STS-121 launch to next March, as well as the release of the Stafford-Covey final report and the much-discussed [...]

Bob Barr: high-tech NASA or none at all

In an op-ed piece in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution, former Congressman Bob Barr sounds off on the current state of NASA. In short, he’s not too happy:

The glorious space dreams of the 1960s have become penny-pinching exercises in bureaucracy in the 21st century. Bureaucracy and budget cuts have held back needed funding for new programs, [...]

ITAR can be overcome

One of the biggest complaints in the space business community, particularly among entrepreneurs, is the headaches created by export control regulations, specifically International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). There is an existence proof now, however, demonstrating that these hurdles can be overcome: SPACE.com reports that the State Department has issued an agreement—presumably a technical assistance [...]

Couple of notes

A couple of items from this week’s issue of The Space Review:

Reporting on the just-completed Mars Society Conference in Colorado, Tom Hill notes that NASA’s Chris Shank had little new to say about the upcoming exploration architecture. The Mars Society is planning to hold next year’s conference in the Washington, DC area featuring a [...]

NY Times on the ISS

Over the last couple of weeks there have been plenty of newspaper editorials about the space shuttle, ISS, and space policy in general. In some respects watching these editorials has been entertaining, as they shift from congratulating the shuttle one day to criticizing it the next when news of the foam shedding came to light. [...]

Roadmaps review

You may recall earlier this year the on-again, off-again strategic “roadmaps” review of NASA programs initiated by former administrator Sean O’Keefe, but sharply curtailed by Michael Griffin shortly after taking office. While some of the roadmaps were curtailed or dropped altogether, the science ones (with the exception of lunar exploration) were completed in May and [...]

Shuttle-derived: a done deal

Space News reported this afternoon that the Defense Department has signed off on a NASA proposal to develop shuttle-derived CEV and heavy-lift launch vehicles. In an August 5 letter to White House officials NASA administrator Michael Griffin and Air Force undersecretary Ronald Sega said that they had agreed that NASA will use shuttle-derived technology to [...]