Cernan on the Vision: familiar arguments

In an op-ed in the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill this week, Apollo 17 astronaut Eugene Cernan talks up the Vision for Space Exploration. Cernan strongly supports the Vision, but the arguments are hardly original: “job security for thousands of skilled aerospace workers”, “benefits coming in the form of new technology, medical advances, consumer products”, […]

New staff director for space subcommittee

The House Science Committee announced this week that Johannes Loschnigg will be the new staff director of the space and aeronautics subcommittee, replacing Bill Adkins. Loschnigg came to Capitol Hill as an AAAS fellow in 2002 and joined the professional staff of the committee in 2004.

Hastert congratulates STS-115

The successful landing this morning of the space shuttle Atlantis prompted a congratulatory press release from Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert. The first sentence of his statement: “Once again the American space program has forged new heights in space exploration through its commitment to diligence, innovation, and entrepreneurship.” Diligence? Most definitely, to assure the […]

Orion grumbling in Texas

On Wednesday the state of Texas awarded a $7.5-million grant to Lockheed Martin to help the company establish operations in the state for work on the Orion (formerly CEV) program. The award isn’t surprising, since prior to winning the contract last month the company had won incentives from the state in exchange for putting some […]

US-China space cooperation: the Chinese perspective

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has posted a transcript of a press conference Tuesday with ministry spokesman Qin Gang. One of the reporters at the press conference asked about NASA administrator Mike Griffin’s upcoming trip to China:

Q: The Administrator of NASA will visit China next week. Please brief on his agenda. What does […]

Some questionable commentary

A couple of new commentaries have taken some swings at NASA’s exploration program and NASA in general, but they arguably stand on shaky ground. First up is a piece by Alexander Villacampa on LewRockwell.com. Villacampa, speaking with all the experience of a college sophomore (which he is), argues that NASA should be abolished and space […]

A couple of space policy events this week

All the cool kids, it seems, are in San Jose this week for the AIAA Space 2006 conference. If you, like me, are not one of them and are spending the week in the DC area instead, there are a couple of potential consolation prizes:

On Wednesday at 6 pm John Logsdon will be speaking on “Outer Space: The Next Frontier for International Affairs?” at George Washington University. An an email announcing the talk describes, “This talk will cover the full range of international activities associated with humanity’s push into space, from today’s practical issues to the more speculative question of what lies ahead.”

On Thursday Ed Morris, director of the Office of Space Commercialization, will be speaking at a free luncheon at the US Chamber of Commerce organized by the Washington Space Business Roundtable. The topic, though, may not be the most titillating subject matter: “Continuity of Business: Planning to Survive Natural and Man-Made Disasters”.

A busy week upcoming for the House Science Committee

Next week is going to be a busy week for the House Science Committee, with two hearings by the full committee on space issues and another hearing by the space and aeronautics subcommittee.

On Thursday the 28th at 2 pm the full committee plans to hold a hearing titled “Implementing the Vision for Space Exploration: […]

Beyond Einstein, not beyond politics

Steinn Sigurðsson, an astronomer at Penn State, wrote a long entry on his blog Friday night about some potential changes to NASA’s Beyond Einstein program, a series of missions designed to study issues like the Big Bang and dark energy. The most recent plan, according to Sigurðsson, was to make a decision around 2010 on […]

Some movement on ULA?

Reuters reported Friday afternoon that the Federal Trade Commission may finally be ready in the next few weeks to make a decision on the United Launch Alliance. According to the Reuters article, the Pentagon continues to push for the formation of the ULA (although how hard it’s been lobbying for it is unclear). The FTC […]