Waving the red flag once again

The only press coverage of Thursday’s hearing of a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee about the NASA budget request was from Florida Today, which devoted the entire article not to the budget itself but the claim by some members of the committee that “the United States and China are in an unacknowledged space race [...]

A little more on the non-endorsement endorsement

Some of the coverage about yesterday’s release of NASA’s new “information policy” (which says, in essence, that NASA employees are encouraged but not required to coordinate media interviews with public affairs officers) focused instead on NASA administrator Michael Griffin’s apparent, if not intended, endorsement of Rep. Tom DeLay last Friday night in a speech in [...]

ULA deal nearly done

The Wall Street Journal [subscription required] reports today that the federal government—both the Defense Department and the Federal Trade Commission—are wrapping up an agreement that would permit the formation of the United Launch Alliance (ULA), the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture that would combine the government launch operations of the two companies. That agreement, due to [...]

When an endorsement isn’t an endorsement

The Houston Chronicle weighs in on the comments made Friday night by NASA administrator Mike Griffin that appeared to many to be an endorsement for the campaign of Rep. Tom DeLay. According to the Chronicle, Griffin said the following at Rotary National Award for Space Achievement event Friday night: “The space program has had no [...]

Cap Weinberger and human spaceflight

Yesterday Caspar Weinberger passed away at the age of 88. Weinberger was best known as Ronald Reagan’s defense secretary, but prior to that served several roles in the Nixon Administration, including deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget. It was in that capacity, Dwayne Day recalls in an article in The Space Review [...]

The Hill takes on space policy

The Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill has a special section today on aerospace, and three of the four essays contributed by members of Congress deal with space issues:

Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) argues in support of the Vision for Space Exploration, calling it the beginning of “a new age of human space exploration.” DeLay on [...]

Japan may end milspace ban

Reuters reported yesterday that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the ruling party, “is moving to end a decades-old ban on military involvement in space development”. An LDP panel believes that getting the Japanese military more involved in space, including funding the development of military satellites, “would boost Japan’s space industry while improving the country’s ability [...]

A reprieve for Dawn and astrobiology

A couple bits of good news for space scientists yesterday: NASA reversed its earliest decision to cancel the Dawn asteroid mission, reinstating it after a review at NASA headquarters. NASA also announced Monday that it has partially restored funding cut from the agency’s astrobiology program.

Good news for scientists, right? Well, sort of. It’s definitely [...]

Campaigning? No. Endorsements? Yes.

In an interview with Orlando Sentinel space reporter Michael Cabbage in January, NASA administrator Mike Griffin said he “certainly will not be” campaigning for Congressional candidates this year, as his predecessor, Sean O’Keefe, did (or tried to do) in 2002. However, it appears to be a different story when it comes to simply endorsing candidates. [...]

Hearings and events this week

Probably the most important Congressional hearing scheduled this week with space policy relevance is a hearing Thursday morning by the House Appropriations Committee’s Science, State, Justice, and Commerce subcommittee on NASA’s FY07 budget request. Mike Griffin is scheduled to testify at the 10am hearing in room H-309 of the Capitol. Two House Science Committee hearings [...]