Obama: cut Constellation to pay for education

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama released today the education plan he would enact if elected. The full 15-page plan includes a variety of proposals, including reforming early education programs. The last section of the plan, titled “A Commitment to Fiscal Responsibility” explains how he would pay for these initiatives. The passage of relevance here: “The [...]

Boring but important

It doesn’t necessarily have the drama of, say, a Mike Griffin appearance on Capitol Hill (which says something right there) but to a significant (and lucrative) part of the overall space industry, it is important: international regulators decided late last week to preserve a key spectrum band for satellite services. There was a proposal going [...]

Jefferson and NASA

Sunday’s Washington Post reports that new allegations have linked Congressman William Jefferson, albeit tenuously, with NASA. Jefferson, a Democrat from Louisiana, was indicted this summer by a federal grand jury for soliciting bribes and reporting trips to Africa as official business. According to the report, in 2005 “Jefferson allegedly agreed to urge NASA in a [...]

An engineer, not an encourager

Yesterday’s Senate hearing wasn’t exactly a lovefest for Griffin: there were a number of tough questions from the two senators in attendance, Bill Nelson and Kay Bailey Hutchison, touching on everything from shuttle retirement plans to the impending US reliance on Russian spacecraft for ISS access to potential layoffs at KSC after the shuttle retirement [...]

So exactly when are we retiring the shuttle?

During yesterday’s Senate hearing on the impending retirement of the space shuttle, NASA administrator Mike Griffin and space subcommittee chairman Sen. Bill Nelson got into a debate regarding exactly when the space shuttle would be retired. Griffin’s opening statement stated the following: “I would like to give you an update on our plans to ensure [...]

“Mikulski Miracle” dead in conference?

There has been a lot of speculation (okay, rumors) the last couple of days about the fate of the so-called “Mikulski Miracle”, the $1 billion the Senate added to NASA’s FY08 appropriations, as the conference committee works out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bills. This [...]

The future of COTS

Right now a number of companies are busy working on their proposals for funded Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) agreements as part of the new round (officially designated JSC-COTS-2) that opened up when NASA terminated its existing funded Space Act agreement with Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) last month. While NASA is proceeding with the competition, with [...]

Galileo funding follies continue

The latest proposal to scrape up the billions of euros needed to fund Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation system “fell on deaf ears” yesterday, the AP reported. Germany had proposed getting the European Space Agency to pay some of the additional costs of the Galileo system, but no other European Union finance ministers supported the proposal [...]

Senate hearing on shuttle retirement

The space subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee will be holding a hearing this Thursday morning (10 am, SR-253) on “Issues Facing the U.S. Space Program after Retirement of the Space Shuttle”. The purpose of the hearing, according to the subcommittee, will be to “address issues related to the retirement of the Space Shuttle, its [...]

On Clinton space policy and saving Mars

A couple of space policy pieces in today’s issue of The Space Review:

Chris Carberry explains why it’s so critical for space advocates to ask Congress to strike the language in the House version of the NASA budget that prohibits funding of human Mars exploration projects. His concern: that if the language was left in [...]