Considering space-based missile defense

Tucked away in the Missile Defense Agency’s 2008 budget request is a small amount of money dedicated to beginning study of space-based missile defense component. Air Force Lt. General Henry “Trey” Obering III, director of the MDA, included this passage in his opening statement before the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee [...]

Senate spaceflight transition hearing today

The space subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing this afternoon about “Transitioning to a Next Generation Human Space Flight System”. Speakers include William Gerstenmaier of NASA, Ron Dittemore of ATK, John Karas of Lockheed Martin, Allen Li of the GAO, Johnny Walker of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, [...]

Lampson recuperating from heart surgery

Congressman Nick Lampson (D-TX) is recovering well from quadruple bypass surgery he underwent on Sunday. The surgery, performed in Houston, took place after he reported experiencing chest pains last week; tests found a blockage in a key coronary artery. Lampson is expected to remain in the hospital for nearly a week and be away from [...]

It’s all fun and games until someone mentions ITAR

The Space Access ’07 conference is filled with talks from a variety of individuals and companies involved in the development of new space transportation systems. However, like seemingly every other space industry meeting these days, there was also a session about export control (aka ITAR). Export control is a major issue for many of these [...]

Ares vs. EELV

I’m at the Space Access ’07 conference in Phoenix, a meeting popular with the entrepreneurial (aka NewSpace) space transportation community. One person who stood out was someone who is at the other end of the spectrum: Steve Cook, director of the Exploration Launch Projects Office at NASA Marshall, who talked about the status of the [...]

Space lobbying in Tallahassee

Pity the poor Florida state legislator who ventured outside his or her office at the wrong time Wednesday, the Tallahassee Democrat reported, as “representatives from NASA, Lockheed-Martin and the city of Titusville, among others, focused on tracking down and buttonholing the Legislature’s newest lawmakers.” It was “Space Day” in the Florida Legislature, and about 60 [...]

When an earmark isn’t an earmark

When the House Appropriations Committee approved a supplemental appropriations bill last week to cover spending on Iraq and Afghanistan, it declared the bill to be free of earmarks. Yet, as the New York Times reported late last week, it does have some provisions that look an awfully lot like earmarks, including $35 million for NASA’s [...]

Sensenbrenner and space

Back in the late 1990s, when he was chairman of the House Science Committee, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) was a staunch critic of Russian involvement in the International Space Station, saying that their inclusion had failed to yield the promised cost savings and had delayed the overall effort. Sensenbrenner, who left the committee after the [...]

C’mon, you were hoping for a headline like this

From the Zanesville (Ohio) Times Recorder: “Space co-sponsors resolution honoring John Glenn”. This is, of course, freshman Rep. Zach Space (D-Ohio), and the resolution referred to is H.Res. 252, designed to honor the 45th anniversary of John Glenn’s historic orbital flight. Why Rep. Space and his colleagues (the resolution has 10 cosponsors) waited nearly a [...]

Dissecting Orion delays

Yesterday’s hearings by the House Science and Technology Committee and the CJS subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee covered a lot of the issues that had already been covered in previous hearings this week, including plenty of hand-wringing by both Democrats and Republicans about the lack of money to meet all of NASA’s priorities. There [...]