Endings vs. beginnings

At the Space Access ’08 conference in Phoenix on Friday, Charles Miller, a member of the board of directors of the Space Frontier Foundation, gave a presentation with a provocative title: “The Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) and the Retirement of the Baby Boomers: Is this the Beginning of the End? or The End of [...]

Who’s the boss of the chicken farm?

As a counterpoint to the recent Houston Chronicle op-ed about the need to “stay the course” on the exploration program or else lose out to the Chinese, among other recent statements that have suggested that the US is in danger of falling behind to the Chinese in human spaceflight, a reader passed along this China [...]

Upcoming hearings

As Congress returns from recess next week, the House Science and Technology Committee has a couple of relevant hearings scheduled. On Wednesday morning, April 2, the research and education subcommittee is holding a hearing on “International Science and Technology Cooperation” with the following witnesses scheduled:

Dr. John Marburger, Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy [...]

More on Stern’s departure and his replacement

While it’s been mentioned in the comments in the earlier post on the subject, it’s worth a post itself. Space News scored the first interview with Ed Weiler, the director of the Goddard Space Flight Center and the interim replacement for Alan Stern as head of the Science Mission Directorate. The interview makes it clear [...]

Stern resigns

NASA officially announced this morning that Alan Stern, the associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, was resigning. He will be replaced on an intermin basis, at least, by Ed Weiler, the director of NASA Goddard. Stern will leave in “a few weeks”, Stern announced in an email memo cited by Space News/SPACE.com.

“While I [...]

Planetary Society holding space policy town hall meetings

The Planetary Society announced this week that it is holding the first in a series of “town hall” meetings on space policy this Saturday in Brookline, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. The society is billing this event as the “public follow-up” to the Stanford University exploration workshop last month, which endorsed human exploration with the [...]

Mars rover funding cuts: will there be a backlash?

In last week’s issue of The Space Review, I reported on some Mars scientists were concerned about the long-term future of the exploration of the Red Planet, given shifting NASA priorities and funding. While the near-term picture looks promising, with the arrival of the Phoenix lander in two months and the planned 2009 launch of [...]

Stay the course – or else

“Because of the 2008 presidential election, our nation’s human spaceflight program is at a perilous crossroad,” claims Douglas MacKinnon in an op-ed Sunday in the Houston Chronicle. MacKinnon, a former White House and Pentagon official who is now director of federal affairs and communications for a K Street law firm, believes none of the three [...]

Canada delays decision on MDA sale

The Canadian government on Thursday delayed for 30 days a decision on approving the sale of the space business of MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) to US company Alliant Techsystems (ATK). The $1.3-billion deal was announced in January, and Industry Canada had until Saturday to approve the deal, but exercised its right to extend that [...]

Editorials go begging for NASA money

Houston has a big interest in the fortunes of NASA, given the presence of the Johnson Space Center. The Hampton Roads area of Virginia also has a similar interest because of the Langley Research Center. So it’s not surprising that newspapers in both areas are pleading for more money for NASA—although taking somewhat different angles [...]