Reopening the Moon-vs.-Mars question

Aviation Week has a letter in its July 30th issue (summarized in a blog post on Aviation Week’s web site) from Apollo lunar module manager Joseph P. Gavin who is critical of the current direction of the Vision for Space Exploration: not because of the choice of architectures, but because of the decision to go [...]

House plans hearings on astronaut health study

With Friday’s release of reports on astronaut health care issues, which included the bombshell allegations of intoxicated astronauts, the House Science and Technology Committee is planning a hearing on the studies and claims immediately after the August recess. Committee chairman Bart Gordon said that his interest lies beyond just the claims of alcohol usage: “you [...]

House approves NASA budget

On a day that was pretty awful on space topics in general—be the news embarrassing, bizarre, or horribly tragic—there was a one positive development. The full House passed the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill, which would give NASA $17.6 billion in FY2008, $300 million more than what the Bush Administration requested. There were no [...]

Nuzzling Nussle on NASA funding

The Senate Budget Committee is holding a confirmation hearing today on the nomination of former congressman Jim Nussle as the director of the Office of Management and Budget. In an effort to get Nussle’s opinion on NASA funding, Rep. Mark Udall, chairman of the space subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee, sent a [...]

Shuttle/ISS hearing today

The space and aeronautics subcommittee of the House Science Committee will hold a hearing today about the shuttle and station programs at 10 am in Rayburn 2318. Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for space operations, will be among the witnesses, along with former NASA official Tommy Holloway, who chairs the ISS Independent Safety Task Force; [...]

NASA and the next administration

In today’s issue of The Space Review I have an article about what the future may hold in store for NASA when the next president takes office in about 18 months. The article is based on a panel session during the NewSpace 2007 conference on Friday. (Rand Simberg has his liveblogged summary of the session [...]

A headline Huckabee doesn’t want to see yet

Last Thursday Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and a Republican candidate for president who has been trailing in the polls, held a conference call with reports and bloggers to discuss a wide range of issues. One of the participants, who runs a Colorado-based pro-Huckabee blog, asked the candidate a rare question about space [...]

Shameless self-promotion

If you are looking for something to do this Sunday afternoon, you can tune into The Space Show at 3:00 pm EDT, where I will be Dr. David Livingston’s guest for the 90-minute show. One thing we will be talking about during the show will be the NewSpace 2007 conference, which wraps up Saturday, but [...]

Executive branch action on ITAR?

In his luncheon speech Thursday at the NewSpace 2007 conference, Ed Morris, director of the Office of Space Commercialization within the Department of Commerce, was asked about what could be done about the export control problems facing the domestic space industry. ITAR, like the weather, is a topic everyone in the industry loves to gripe [...]

Spaceplanes vs. lunar footprints

Often here, such as with this post from earlier this week, the comments evolve (or, perhaps, devolve) into a discussion about whether the US will be perceived as falling behind other countries, China in particular, should they send humans to the Moon before the US returns there. In that theme I offer the following comments [...]