Dale confirmation hearing

In the event you have not previous read about this, the Senate Commerce Committee will be holding a confirmation hearing Tuesday morning at 10 am to review the nomination of Shana Dale as deputy administrator of NASA. The hearing, in Dirksen 562, will be webcast. I won’t be able to watch the hearing, but this [...]

NASA authorization update

I talked briefly last night with someone familiar with the progress on the NASA authorization legislation. (As you may recall, the Senate and House have each passed their own authorization bills, HR 3070 and S.1281, in July and September, respectively.) A formal conference to work out the differences between the bills has not started yet, [...]

A curmudgeonly opinion on commercial human spaceflight

Last night the National Air and Space Museum hosted a screening of the upcoming PBS documentary “Race to the Moon” about the Apollo 8 mission. In attendance at the event were the three astronauts from that mission: Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders. During a Q&A session after the screening, someone asked the three [...]

Giving props to the prez

Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta apparently thinks that President Bush doesn’t get enough credit for promoting commercial spaceflight. Mineta, speaking at the COMSTAC meeting yesterday, said, “I admit that I am a bit surprised about how little is known about how the Bush Administration is enabling commercial space.” As examples, he pointed to the Vision [...]

House passes its version of INA relief

The House passed by voice vote last night legislation that would amend a provision of the Iran Nonproliferation Act that prevents NASA from purchasing Russian space hardware and services. The Iran Nonproliferation Amendments Act (S.1713), was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate last month. However, the House amended the bill slightly, as the Washington [...]

Some notes on commercial ISS transport

At Wednesday’s meeting of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC), Brant Sponberg of NASA talked about some of the agency’s commercialization efforts, including various Centennial Challenges prize programs. He also offered some details about NASA’s upcoming procurement of commercial ISS transport services, which may be of interest to readers given the rhetoric about [...]

Joint hearing on NASA finances

The space subcommittee of the House Science Committee and the subcommittee on government finances of the House Government Reform Committee are joining forces for a joint hearing Thursday morning (10 am, Rayburn 2318) on NASA’s financial management system. The hearing plans to examine how NASA’s new integrated financial management system is performing, and what else [...]

Some Monday morning reading

A few policy-related articles of note in this week’s issue of The Space Review:

I take a look at some of the opposition to the ESAS report from the space advocacy community, including comments made by Rick Tumlinson and Robert Zubrin at the Space Frontier Conference on Friday in LA. Zubrin wants the shuttle program [...]

Drugs and Mars

An article in Sunday’s edition of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at how some members of Congress from the St. Louis area plan to address potential budget cuts to pay for hurricane relief. One of those quoted in the article is Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) talks about changes in the Medicare prescription drug plan, [...]

More problems ahead for the NASA budget

Right now it appears that NASA’s supporters will have to fight hard to avoid budget cuts, if not this year then in 2007 and beyond, given the emerging fiscal environment. Now, as Florida Today reports today, NASA actually needs more money than currently planned to carry out everything: on the order of $5 billion through [...]