Hearings hearings hearings

If you like Congressional hearings (and who doesn’t?), then today’s your day. The most obvious space-related hearing is the one by the Senate Commerce Committee’s space subcommittee on the NASA budget. NASA administrator Mike Griffin is the sole witness scheduled to testify; it will be his first opportunity to discuss the FY08 budget request, and [...]

A billion dollars for space weapons? Kinda.

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A window of opportunity for export control reform

One of the biggest complaints that the space industry has about policy is the current state of export control regulations, which place satellite and launch vehicles, and their key components, on the Munitions List, requiring companies to go through a licensing process that is lengthy, cumbersome, and expensive. As I note in an article in [...]

Cheney on China’s ASAT test

During his visit to Australia late last week, Vice President Dick Cheney briefly mentioned China’s ASAT test last month:

Last month’s anti-satellite test, and China’s continued fast-paced military buildup are less constructive and are not consistent with China’s stated goal of a “peaceful rise.” For our part, the United States and Australia have the same [...]

Mars Society lobbies for NASA budget increase

The Mars Society is asking its members to contact their Congressional representatives and request that they either approve FY2007 supplemental funding for NASA and/or support a budget increase for the space agency in FY08. A key passage from the email sent out by the organization earlier this week:

The Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) is [...]

Glenn stumps for the ISS

On the 45th anniversary of his historic orbital space flight, John Glenn was speaking out about space, in particular his concern that the US is abandoning the ISS. “To not utilize that station the way I think it ought to be utilized is just wrong,” the former senator said, reiterating previous concerns he’s expressed about [...]

McCain says something about space

But not too much. From an AP article about a Florida appearance by the Arizona senator and likely 2008 presidential candidate:

He also said he strongly supports missions to Mars and that Florida should continue to play a major role in space exploration.

“There’s too much invested there. There’s infrastructure that’s very expensive and very [...]

Heavy lift and space science

Yesterday’s New York Times had an op-ed by planetary scientist Carolyn Porco about space exploration. Unlike many planetary scientists, who are skeptical at best about the Vision for Space Exploration out of concerns that the program will suck up more money from science programs, Porco is supportive of the effort. Much of that support stems [...]

This probably won’t help NASA win more money

Bloomberg News reports that a GAO report scheduled for release today finds that NASA has approved nearly the maximum amount of bonus payments on cost-plus contracts, even for those programs that fell far behind schedule and/or suffered cost overruns. “NASA paid most of the available fee on all of the contracts we reviewed – including [...]

Competitiveness and competing for funding

Yesterday the House Science and Technology Committee held a hearing on the proposed overall FY2008 R&D budget, with OSTP director John Marburger as the sole witness. Neither the official committee press release about the hearing, nor the release by the committee’s Republican office, made any mention of NASA funding, but a GovExec.com article noted that [...]