The pre-history of the Vision for Space Exploration

In some respects, it can seem like the Vision for Space Exploration sprung forth in January 2004 with little advance notice: other than rumblings and rumors that a new space policy was in the works in the months and weeks leading up to the announcement, there was little substantial indication that NASA and the administration […]

Making the case for space funding

It’s an argument we have all heard many times: why should we spend money on space when we can spend it on X (where X is education, health care, medical research, etc.) That’s an issue that Eric Hedman tackles in this week’s issue of The Space Review, looking at the struggles for funding NASA versus […]

Too many cooks?

Florida Today reports Monday that the state of Florida is considering merging several of its space-related organizations into a single entity dubbed “Space Florida”. These organizations include the Florida Space Authority, Florida Space Research Institute, and the Florida Aerospace Finance Corp., which would continue as departments within Space Florida. This move was not unexpected, since […]

NASA authorization update

The full House approved the conference report on S.1281, the NASA authorization bill, late Saturday on a voice vote. SpaceRef reports that the Senate has yet to approve the conference report because Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) has put a hold on the bill in an effort to convince NASA to spend much of the $25 […]

Spaceport angst

Everyone’s in favor a new spaceport, until someone mentions the T word. Taxes. The Albuquerque Tribune, following up on this week’s announcement of Virgin Galactic setting up operations as a to-be-built New Mexico spaceport, tracks down how the spaceport will be paid for. The majority of the money, including $100 million in capital outlays and […]

More on shuttle lobbying

Florida Today follows up on the report earlier this week that some members of Congress are lobbying the OMB to increase NASA’s budget to fully fund the shuttle program, saying that without full funding one shuttle orbiter, Atlantis, will have to be mothballed. (Why Atlantis, which is slightly younger than Discovery? The article doesn’t say.) […]

NASA authorization bill out of conference

A House-Senate conference committee met Thursday afternoon and approved a final version of the NASA authorization bill (using the Senate bill number, S.1281) which will go to the full House and Senate for approval, perhaps by the end of the year. While the conference report has not been published online yet, some details of the […]

State support for New Mexico spaceport

The announcement this week that Virgin Galactic will establish operations at a new spaceport in New Mexico raises a question: just who is going to pay for building the spaceport, estimated to cost between $200 and $250 million? The state is expected to provide at least $100 million towards its construction (the rest to come […]

Fightin’ for remote sensing

The Strategic Research Institute announced yesterday that the 3rd Annual Commercial Remote Sensing Industry Conference, to be held in Washington DC in February, will focus on “new initiatives and legislation authorizing appropriations to the remote sensing industry”. Among the speakers will be Congressman Mark Udall “from the District of Colorado”. District of Colorado? I hadn’t […]

Fightin’ for Europa

Backers of a NASA mission to the Jovian moon Europa got some good news in the final version of 2006 budget, which included report language calling on NASA to begin work on a Europa mission to replace the cancellation of the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO), and to include a new start for that mission […]