Groups still pushing for big NASA budget increase

Even though House and Senate appropriators are moving ahead with bills that provide modest funding increases for NASA, some organizations are still pressing Congress for a much larger budget increase. Yesterday a group of organizations led by the AIAA formally asked Congress to increase NASA’s budget by $1.4 billion, about five to ten times the [...]

Full committee approves NASA budget bill; still no miracle

The full Senate Appropriations Committee today approved an appropriations bill that includes $17.45 billion for NASA. The press release doesn’t offer many details about the NASA portion of the bill, although at first glance it appears that the committee made few, if any, major changes to what the subcommittee approved on Tuesday. Space News reports [...]

Mars Society continues its counterattack

As you may recall, last week The Mars Society went to battle stations in response to a provision in a House appropriations bill that would prevent NASA from spending any money on programs directly associated with the human exploration of Mars. In a less hyperbolic followup this week, the organization reports that its members have [...]

Senate boosts NASA funding, but no miracle yet

The Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee marked up an FY208 appropriations bill this afternoon that includes $17.45 billion for NASA, according to Space News (subscription required), about $150 million more than what the administration requested but about $150 million less than what their House counterparts approved earlier this month. Full [...]

Martinez and the gap

To follow up on Sen. Mel Martinez’s visit to KSC, Florida Today reports today that the senator will work to “minimize” the gap between the shuttle and Orion. It’s a little unclear at first whether this means he’ll try to shorten the existing period between the two programs (currently projected to run from late 2010 [...]

NASA’s new strategic communications plan

Today NASA plans to officially release a long-awaited new strategic communications plan. I was able yesterday to preview a copy of the plan, which goes over the market research NASA performed to see how the agency is perceived by the general public, how the agency plans to tailor its message to address weaknesses uncovered in [...]

Events this week

A few events this week related to space policy:

The Marshall Institute is hosting a “Forum on National Security Space: Examining Codes and Rules for Space” this Wednesday on Capitol Hill. The all-morning event features three panels of speakers discussing “ongoing efforts, established rules, and options for the future with respect to collision avoidance, debris [...]

Sen. Martinez to talk about space policy

Despite representing Florida, Sen. Mel Martinez (R) has been far less vocal on space policy issues than his fellow Floridian, Sen. Bill Nelson (D), who chairs the space subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee. However, Central Florida News 13 reports that Sen. Martinez will visit the Kennedy Space Center on Monday, meeting with NASA officials [...]

“Mars is under attack!”

They’re manning the battlestations at the Mars Society, which issued a statement with that title to protest the inclusion of language in the House appropriations bill that would prohibit any spending on human exploration of Mars. “THIS ANTI-MARS LANGUAGE MUST BE REMOVED!” the society argues (emphasis in original.) “Otherwise, the program may turn into [a] [...]

House Democrats side with Mikulski

Key leaders of the House Science and Technology Committee issued a press release criticizing the White House for its lack of interest in Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s “space summit” proposal. The statement, by full committee chairman Bart Gordon and subcommittee chairmen Mark Udall and Nick Lampson, said they were “deeply disappointed” in the response by the [...]