Restructuring NASA? Good luck with that.

Today’s Houston Chronicle report that Houston-area congressman John Culberson wants to introduce “revolutionary change” to NASA by completely restructuring the 50-year-old agency. Culberson, a bona fide space geek (in the best sense of the term), wants to model NASA on the National Science Foundation so it can “be driven by the scientists and the engineers” […]

More on energy vs. space

As I noted here earlier this week, there is growing interest in alternative energy efforts that could end up competing with space exploration for federal funding—even as alternative energy advocates use the Apollo program as a model for their efforts. Now there are a couple more examples which demonstrate this trend.

An editorial in Wednesday’s […]

For teachers in space, political preschool

Last night several organizations co-hosted a “Teachers in Space” roundtable at George Washington University. The idea behind Teachers in Space, unlike NASA’s Teacher in Space program in the 1980s and the current group of educator astronauts, is to fly current teachers on suborbital spaceflights using any number of commercial vehicles currently under development, then get […]

Energy vs. space

That’s the topic of an article in this week’s issue of The Space Review that I wrote about the potential risk to civil space programs posed by growing concerns about energy and desires for crash programs to develop alternative energy sources. Both major presidential candidates have appropriated arguably the biggest accomplishment of the Space Age […]

Giffords on NASA, Mars, and personal spaceflight

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) has probably gotten more attention than the typical freshman representative, in large part because of who she’s married to: NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. In an interview with Politico, she discusses that as well as a few other space-related issues:

“NASA is an extension of how the United States has been a […]

Martinez: “find a way to shrink that gap”

So why was Sen. Mel Martinez brandishing a copy of the Washington Post Wednesday morning?

He was referring to a front-page article about the rise of other countries in space as he started his remarks at a Capitol Hill event organized by Women In Aerospace. “The United States needs to recommit to spaceflight, needs […]

The power of repetition

An editorial in Florida Today calling for more money for NASA isn’t exactly novel. Fortunately, in another such editorial today the paper realizes it’s treading on familiar ground:

Which brings us to a point we’ve been making repeatedly on this page and need to make again:

If America wants to remain the world’s major […]

Commemorating just about everything

Is there anything that the House didn’t honor yesterday? The House took up no fewer than four resolutions recognizing people, agencies, organizations, and even years with space-related links:

H.Res, 1315, commemorating the 50th anniversary of NASA; H.Res. 1313, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the shuttle flight of Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; […]

A gap money can’t fill

NASA officials, and the agency’s supporters in Congress, have argued that adding up to $2 billion to the agency’s budgets over the next two years would allow NASA to accelerate the introduction of the Orion crew exploration vehicle to as early as late 2013 (although noting that more money would not close the gap any […]

Would NASA face a BRAC under President McCain?

The presidential campaign of Republican Senator John McCain released its economic reform plan today, including its proposals to trim federal spending to help balance the budget by 2013. Part of the proposal would be a one-year freeze on non-defense, non-veterans discretionary spending:

A one-year pause in the growth of discretionary spending will be imposed […]