More calls for a space summit

Last month Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) announced that it was “time for space summit with the President” to discuss the future of the exploration effort and NASA in general. There has been little overt signs of progress on such an effort, but yesterday House Science and Technology Committee chairman Bart Gordon and space subcommittee chairman [...]

Speaking of rhetoric…

Another Alabama newspaper, the Birmingham News, reported today that NASA was backing off on plans to close the robotic lunar exploration program office at MSFC. This came after Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) had some less-than-complimentary things to say about NASA administrator Mike Griffin Tuesday morning: “We have been working together up until now. We’re not [...]

Turning the rhetoric up a little too much

Today’s Huntsville Times reports on a speech given by Sen. Barbara Mikulski yesterday to a delegation of business leaders from north Alabama. Mikulski talks first about supporting the robotic lunar program office at NASA MSFC, which she and others have asked NASA not to close, as well as the other exploration-related work going on at [...]

Bipartisan nonsupport and big targets

Going through my notes from last week’s address at the National Space Symposium by Rep. Ken Calvert, I picked up a theme that relates to some recent discussions in the comments of previous posts, where some were trying to hang blame on one party or another for NASA’s FY07 funding woes. Calvert noted that one [...]

More evidence of the low public opinion of space funding

Some interesting, if not necessarily surprising, results regarding how the public ranks funding for civil space versus other programs: A Harris Interactive poll released last week asked people which programs they would cut first to reduce federal spending and close the budget deficit. On top, by a wide margin, was “space program”, with 51% of [...]

Fighting for the Moon in Alabama

The Huntsville Times reported this weekend that key members of Congress have asked NASA to retain funding for its robotic lunar exploration office, located at MSFC but slated for closure under the agency’s FY07 operating plan. The letter, written by keep appropriations subcommittee chairs Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Rep. Alan Mollohan, and endorsed by Sen. [...]

NASA, COTS, and Russia

Earlier this week NASA announced that it had extended an existing deal with Roskosmos to provide crew and cargo services to the ISS. The deal runs through 2011, and includes 15 Soyuz seats, 5.1 metric tons of cargo on Progress flights, and 1.4 metric tons of cargo that will be flown in the Russian Docking [...]

Calvert’s intriguing idea

In a speech yesterday at the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Congressman Ken Calvert (R-CA), ranking member of the space subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee said he planned to introduce soon a very interesting piece of legislation. “When I return to Congress after the recess, I will introduce legislation to authorize [...]

Limited posting this week

Just a quick note to let you know that I will be on travel all week, so I will be posting here infrequently. I’ll be in Colorado for the National Space Symposium and will try to pass along any items of interest from there as time permits.

Griffin: scientists’ claims of cuts “a political tactic”

Griffin’s interview on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” program Sunday covered a lot of familiar ground. There were a few particularly interesting points he raised, though:

Griffin made some of his strongest comments to date about claims by scientists that their funding is being taken away to support exploration and other programs. “I’ve almost gotten to the point [...]