Steve and the generals

You may recall a couple of weeks ago reports that the Obama Administration had narrowed down its list of candidates for NASA administrator to several, perhaps four, names. This afternoon the Orlando Sentinel reported who its sources say are those four. Three of the names have already come up in previous weeks: retired generals Charles [...]

Reacting to the budget proposal

Granted, there’s not much in that FY10 NASA budget summary released yesterday, but there’s just enough—both the topline budget number and the statements that commit the agency to retiring the shuttle in 2010 and returning humans to the Moon by 2020—to warrant a variety of reactions from the space community. Some highlights:

In a brief [...]

FY10 budget details (or lack thereof)

The Obama Administration released this morning its FY10 budget outline, including a two-page section on NASA’s budget request. The document contains little additional information than what Aviationweek.com reported last night: only a topline figure of $18.7 billion is included in the document. The document emphasizes support for Earth sciences, aeronautics, ISS, and human and robotic [...]

News flash: export control reform needed

Four out of four experts agree: there need to be reforms to the nation’s export control policies in order keep the US competitive in science and technology, particularly in space. That was the theme of a hearing Wednesday by the House Science and Technology Committee that explored the issue. Based on the statements by the [...]

Administration to propose $18.7B NASA budget for FY2010

On Thursday the Obama Administration is scheduled to release the “outline” of its FY2010 budget proposal (the complete budget proposal won’t be ready until late March or early April). Aviationweek.com reports that the administration will propose $18.7 billion for NASA for FY10. That would be nearly $1 billion more than what they agency is likely [...]

Will a new space council work?

As John Holdren stated in his nomination hearing this month, the Obama Administration is committed to fulfilling a campaign pledge to re-establish the National Space Council (or National Aeronautics and Space Council). Exactly what form that council will take, and when it will be created, isn’t yet known, but the concept has the support of [...]

Blitzing and storming: is it effective?

Right now the National Space Society and the Space Exploration Alliance are wrapping up their 2009 Legislative Blitz, where groups of activists visit Congressional offices to promote space exploration. Next month the AIAA will be running its Congressional Visits Day, again with people making stops at Congressional offices. And, in a similar vein, there is [...]

NASA gets $17.8 billion in FY09 omnibus bill

Congressman David Obey, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced an omnibus FY09 appropriations bill Monday for those agencies whose FY09 budgets had not yet been passed by Congress, including NASA. Those agencies have been operating on a continuing resolution since October 1; that resolution runs through March 6, meaning that Congress is likely to [...]

Holdren, handmaidens, and the National Space Council

Last week the Senate Commerce Committee held a nomination hearing for John Holdren and Jane Lubchenco, the nominees for director of OSTP and administrator of NOAA, respectively. In his opening statement (in both written and verbal forms) Holdren mentioned space as a critical area of investment in science and engineering:

In today’s time of [...]

Lane on his report and the NASA administrator search

Last week I noted here the mixed reception from former astronauts to a the recent policy paper by George Abbey and Neal Lane, one that proposed foregoing a return to the Moon in favor of more of an emphasis on energy and environment research, as well as long-term planning for missions to near Earth objects. [...]