NASA administrator delay and the battle for the Ares 1

Today’s Houston Chronicle offers a possible explanation regarding why it’s taken the Obama Administration so long to select a new NASA administrator: a battle among businesses and politicians for the future of the Ares 1. On one side are supporters of the Ares 1, including ATK, Boeing, and Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, as well as [...]

NASA funding details in final version of stimulus bill

Late last night the House Rules Committee published the text of the version of HR 1, the stimulus bill, that emerged from the House-Senate conference this week. The best place to look for details is the “Joint Explanatory Statement”, which includes both the funding amounts for NASA and how the money is to be used [...]

And then there were four

Members of Florida’s Congressional delegation who met with President Obama during his trip to the state to help sell the stimulus package tell the Orlando Sentinel and Florida Today that the president has narrowed down his list of candidates to be the next NASA administrator. The Sentinel says that Obama is down to four names, [...]

Stimulus compromise: $1 billion for NASA?

That’s what the Orlando Sentinel is reporting this evening, based on a message from an aide to Sen. Bill Nelson. Of that $1 billion, $400 million would go to exploration, only slightly less than what the Senate approved earlier this week (and a major victory for spaceflight supporters given the House version contained nothing.) The [...]

SpaceX makes a big push for COTS-D

SpaceX has made clear to anyone who would listen its interest in Capability D of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program—usually simply called COTS-D—for crew transportation to and from the ISS. SpaceX has a COTS-D option in its existing Space Act Agreement with NASA, but that option is not funded. Now, as the House [...]

House loyalties

With the Senate approving today its version of the stimulus bill, featuring $1.3 billion for NASA, more than double what the House version of the bill provides, you’d think Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL), whose district includes NASA/KSC, would be pleased. And she is, but only up to a point, the Orlando Sentinel reports. “I am [...]

Is it time to take another shot at Invest in Space?

In The Space Review this week, Taylor Dinerman calls for another attempt at an “Invest in Space Now” bill to promote the development of RLVs. The bill, also known as the Calvert-Ortiz bill after primary sponsors Ken Calvert (R-CA) and Solomon Ortiz (D-TX), was introduced in 2001 to provide tax credits for investors in launch [...]

A curious interview with Bill Nelson

I noticed on the English-language version of the Interfax web site today an interview with Sen. Bill Nelson about US-Russia space policy issues. There’s no date on the interview, but it just appeared on the Interfax web site within the last few days. The Russian news service’s reporter asked a curious set of questions, including [...]

NASA stimulus funding update

As Space News [subscription required] noted late today, there’s a slight tweak in the compromise stimulus package in the Senate. While the topline figure remains the same as the previous compromise version, $1.3 billion, the $200 million cut from the original bill has since been distributed evenly across science, aeronautics, human spaceflight, and NASA facility [...]

From the mouths of astronauts

Last week the Baker Institute in Houston issued a report on space policy recommendations for the Obama Administration. Since two of the lead authors were George Abbey and Neal Lane, the conclusions they suggested should not be surprising for those who have followed their previous work: extend the shuttle to continue support of the ISS, [...]