Determining the space program’s goals

In an op-ed piece in Monday’s edition of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, astronomer and author Adam Frank describes the tug of war going on among various NASA programs for funding. After describing the benefits provided by NASA science programs, Hubble in particular, and the current funding problems for science programs, he concludes, “With this […]

Post-launch shuttle commentary

Not surprisingly, Tuesday’s launch of the shuttle Discovery triggered some editorials and columns about the shuttle program and space exploration in general. Some highlights (or lowlights, as the case may be):

USA Today founder Al Neuharth, in his weekly column, still thinks we’re racing the Russians in space because they, historically, have launched more satellites […]

Preserving the Onizuka name

After the Challenger accident in 1986, the Air Force renamed its classified satellite control center, Sunnyvale Air Force Station (whose main building is known informally as the “Blue Cube”), after Challenger astronaut and Air Force officer Ellison Onizuka. However, in the latest BRAC round the Onizuka Air Force Station was slated for closure by 2011. […]

A case of “Mars fever”

The Hill, the Capitol Hill newspaper, summarizes a portion of last week’s appropriations floor debate when members introduced amendments to either divert funding from NASA or prevent it from being spent on “a manned mission to Mars”. The post’s title, as well as The Hill headline, comes from a comment by Rep. David Obey:

“Some […]

Two Congressmen on US-China space cooperation

CSIS is hosting an event Tuesday, July 11 titled “The U.S., China, and International Cooperation on Space Exploration”. The featured speakers are the co-chairs of US-China Working Group in the House, Congressmen Rick Larsen (D-WA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL). They traveled to China in January, including a making a rare visit to the Jiuquan launch […]

Misinterpreting poll results

There wasn’t too much media reaction to the USA Today/Gallup Poll results on support for NASA and the shuttle program (the document is now behind a subscriber firewall; see this earlier summary of the poll results.) One outlet that did cover it was WILX-TV of Lansing, Michigan, although one might wish they hadn’t, since they […]

Update on NASA emergency funding

An article in this week’s Space News (freely accessible online) provides an update on efforts to win “emergency” funding for NASA to overcome some of fiscal constraints the agency has been experiencing. As previously noted, Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) have advocated an emergency spending measure that would give NASA up […]

Breaking up is hard to do

bridges, a quarterly publication of the Office of Science & Technology at the Embassy of Austria in Washington, has several articles in its new issue on space policy. A couple of them deal with European and transatlantic policy issues, such as a discussion of Europe’s Galileo and GMES programs and a review of US-European space […]

Balancing science and exploration funding

In an essay in this week’s issue of The Space Review, Taylor Dinerman argues that the exploration program budget should not be raided to pay for science programs. He is concerned that steps like this in the early stages in the development of the CEV and the newly-named Ares launch vehicles could jeopardize their long-term […]

Calvert supports NASA shuttle decision

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), chairman of the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee, has announced his public support for NASA’s decision to proceed with the launch of the space shuttle, speaking out in opposition to a Los Angeles Times editorial Thursday which argued that NASA should ground the shuttle:

Human space flight is an […]