Towards a Canadian space policy

The CBC talked this week with Marc Garneau, the first Canadian in space, former president of the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), and newly-elected member of Parliament. Garneau, the “science and technology critic” for the minority Liberal party, was asked what a Canadian space policy should be, given that he advocated for one prior to being [...]

European space policy and budgets

Ministers of the European Space Agency’s member nations are meeting this week to grapple with a number of issues associated with the agency, including funding levels and plans for future programs. An ESA press release last week outlines those issues, ranging from Earth observation programs to proposals to develop a new upper stage for the [...]

Job interview questions for the next NASA administrator

The GAO released a report Monday on “eliciting nominees’ views” on various management challenges facing government agencies, including NASA. The NASA section, which starts on page 96 (p. 101 of the PDF document), features 13 questions divided into five themes the GAO had previously identified facing the agency in the transition: retirement of the shuttle, [...]

A double dose of Stern commentary about NASA

Today’s New York Times features an op-ed by former NASA associate administrator Alan Stern on NASA’s cost overrun problems. Using Mars Science Laboratory (at least $2 billion now, triple original cost projections) and the James Webb Space Telescope (about a fivefold increase over original projections of around $1 billion) as examples, Stern argues that NASA [...]

Transition notes

A few notes and updates about the Congressional and Presidential transition processes:

Politico.com reported Sunday morning that Bill Richardson “has passed final vetting” and is expected to be named Commerce Secretary, although no date has been set for the formal announcement. As noted here earlier, Richardson, governor of New Mexico, has been an advocate of [...]

Commerce, Richardson, and space

The Washington Post reported today that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson is a leading candidate to become the Secretary of Commerce in the Obama Administration. This has relevance to space policy given his recent comments on the topic of commercial space. As reported here last month, Richardson vowed to make sure “that the Obama Administration [...]

Examining alternatives to the Vision

In an article in this week’s issue of The Space Review, I look at a couple new alternatives to the current exploration plan, both the exploration roadmap by The Planetary Society announced last week as well as a brief paper by Neal Lane and George Abbey released last week by a progressive think tank, the [...]

Morris leaving Office of Space Commercialization

Ed Morris, the director of the Office of Space Commercialization within the Commerce Department, will be leaving that post at the end of this month. Morris made the announcement during a speech in an otherwise off-the-record panel session at a space law and policy conference Friday in Washington organized by the University of Nebraska law [...]

Griffin (and others) contemplate his future

At an all-hands meeting at the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday in advance of tonight’s shuttle launch, NASA administrator Mike Griffin said he doesn’t expect to be retained by the next administration. “[I]f the next president wants to ask me to continue, I’d be happy to do it. I doubt that that will happen. It [...]

TPS exploration roadmap defers the Moon

The Planetary Society, which announced its guiding principles for a “Roadmap to Space” a few weeks ago, followed that this morning with the release of its full-fledged exploration roadmap at a press conference in downtown Washington. The biggest change the society made in NASA’s current exploration plan is to defer the goal of a 2020 [...]