A year-end predicament

An editorial in Saturday’s New York Times reviews the situation NASA faces in the new year, primarily the predicted funding shortfall in the shuttle program (which the Times pegs at $3 billion, at the low range of estimates that go as high as $6 billion). The editorial notes that the new authorization legislation endorses (but [...]

Authorization bill, Katrina relief signed into law

The White House announced today that President Bush has signed into law HR 2863, the DOD appropriation bill (which includes supplemental funding for hurricane relief) and S. 1281, the NASA authorization bill.

Jim Muncy passed along to me earlier today an interesting bit about HR 2863, which provides NASA with $350 million to begin repairs [...]

Some light holiday reading

If you’re bored of football games and parties this New Year’s holiday weekend and looking for some alternatives, you may want to read the new Notice for Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on crew and passenger requirements for commercial vehicles released Thursday by the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST). This NPRM was developed by AST, [...]

Russian space policy insights

I stumbled across a transcript from a press conference held Tuesday by Anatoly Perminov, head of Roskosmos. If you skim past the introduction, where Perminov goes through some launch statistics from 2005, Perminov had a few interesting things to say about Russia’s space program and its plans for the future:

Roskosmos plans to issue a [...]

Odds and ends

There were a few space policy-related items published over the holidays:

In an op-ed in Tuesday’s Washington Post, Paul Spudis restates the case for going back to the Moon. His commentary is summarized in these sentences from the introduction: “The moon is important for three reasons: science, inspiration and resources. All three are directly served [...]

Landsat lives

Space News reports online [subscription required] late Tuesday that the White House has changed course and endorsed a dedicated Landsat mission. A December 23 memo from OSTP director John Marburger (not yet available on the OSTP web site) directed the NPOESS program to remove a Landsat-type instrument and instead gave NASA responsibility for building a [...]

Senate approves NASA authorization bill

The Senate approved by unanimous consent yesterday the compromise version of the NASA authorization legislation (S. 1281) hashed out last week in conference and approved Saturday by the House. The bill had been held in the Senate for several days by Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO), reportedly over hypersonics research funding; the Reuters article linked to [...]

[Insert holiday name here] break

Postings here will be less frequent through the end of the calendar year, as I’ll be taking some time off. I’ll make note of any major developments during the next couple of weeks, but otherwise keep a lower profile until after the New Year.

NASA Katrina relief

The House passed very early Monday a defense spending bill, attached to which was $29 billion in Hurricane Katrina relief spending. That includes $350 million for NASA to begin repairs at the Michoud Assembly Facility and Stennis Space Center. The OMB had asked for $325 million for such efforts in its FY2006 reallocation package request [...]

More ULA delays

It would seem that the federal government is in no hurry to give its seal of approval to the United Launch Alliance, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin EELV joint venture. When the deal was announced in early May, the companies expected to close the deal by the end of the year, but required approvals from the Federal [...]