A call for an Australian space agency

Australia is one of the few major industrialized countries without a space agency. And now a report by an Australian Senate committee recommends changing that. The report, “Lost in Space? Setting a new direction for Lost in Space? Setting a new direction for Australia’s space science and industry sector”, was released this week by the [...]

Same problem, different challenges

Transition is in the air on Florida’s Space Coast these days. In addition to the impending Shuttle-Constellation transition, as well as the presidential transition, is the transition in the region’s Congressional delegation. Rep. Dave Weldon retired and his seat was won by fellow Republican Bill Posey, while Rep. Tom Feeney was defeated last week by [...]

Preparing for the transition

An article in this week’s Space News, republished on SPACE.com, notes that President-Elect Barack Obama “offered more specifics about his plans for NASA than any U.S. presidential candidate in history.” Those specifics include the six-page policy paper published by the campaign in August as well as a promise of an additional $2 billion for NASA [...]

More post-election reaction

In an editorial in Sunday’s Florida Today, the paper calls on the new administration to focus on Constellation, not extending the shuttle despite calls for the latter. The editorial notes the recent GAO report that identified the shuttle retirement decision as one of 13 immediate issues facing the Obama Administration. “[F]lying the aging orbiters longer [...]

Space, Huntsville, and the election

Sunday’s Huntsville Times includes a package of stories about the effect last week’s general election—including not just the presidential campaign but changes in Alabama’s Congressional delegation—will have on key issues for the area, principally missile defense and space. Some in the region are concerned that the transition to a Democratic administration, coupled with the retirement [...]

Nelson: Keep Griffin, for now

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) has a little bit of space advice for President-Elect Barack Obama: keep NASA administrator Mike Griffin in his post, at least for the time being. A Nelson spokesman told the Orlando Sentinel that Nelson wants Obama to wait until the new administration has a “surefire” replacement for Griffin before asking him [...]

Hand off the panic button, please

A ripple of concern, bordering on panic, has been going through the commercial space community this afternoon. It started with a post on National Review Online today that named Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, as a potential candidate to become Secretary of Transportation in the Obama Administration. This [...]

Shuttle retirement an urgent transition issue

What does the impending retirement of the space shuttle have in common with US efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, oversight of food safety, the 2010 Census, and the transition to digital TV? They’re all issues the Government Accountability Office has identified as “urgent policy concerns” that, they believe, “require prioritized federal action”. Regarding the shuttle [...]

Post-election roundup

Some news and notes from the aftermath of Tuesday’s election:

In Florida, Congresswoman-elect Suzanne Kosmas is seeking a seat on the House Science and Technology Committee, an assignment the man she defeated for the job, Tom Feeney, also had. Congressman-elect Bill Posey, who won the seat vacated by Dave Weldon, apparently is not interested in [...]

Will space’s influence in the House be diminished?

The outcome of the 2008 Congressional elections had little influence on the standing of space in the Senate. The most prominent advocates of NASA and space policy, including Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Bill Nelson (D-FL) were not up for reelection this year. One senator with a strong interest in military [...]