Mixed messages on commercial space

Earlier this week the Houston Chronicle ran an op-ed by former congressman Nick Lampson, who sings the virtues of commercial spaceflight. In particular, he called on the Augustine committee to recognize the role commercial space can play in NASA’s future human spaceflight plans:

The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, the blue [...]

Hutchison announces her plans to step down

It had been widely assumed for some time that Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) would resign from the Senate later this year to devote herself full-time to running against incumbent Gov. Rick Perry in the Texas GOP gubernatorial primary next year. Yesterday Hutchison confirmed those plans, saying that she would step down in the “October, [...]

The Great Mars Blitz

Later today dozens of Mars advocates will be swarming Capitol Hill for the 2009 Great Mars Blitz, an afternoon of lobbying in the same vein as March Storm, the NSS Space Blitz, and related events. The purpose of the blitz, according to the site, is “to tell members of Congress and their staff why the [...]

Augustine Committee’s southern tour starts today

Three days! Three cities! It’s not a rock band tour but the Review of US Human Space Flight Plans Committee (aka Augustine Committee) schedule this week: they are holding public meetings today in Houston, tomorrow in Huntsville, and Thursday in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Today’s meeting starts at 10 am CDT (11 am EDT), according to [...]

You don’t have to land on the Moon to merit a resolution

Earlier this week the House of Representatives passed a resolution honoring the crew of Apollo 11 on the 40th anniversary of that historic landing. Well, a little later this week two senators introduced a resolution of their own, S.Res. 222, to honor an astronaut: not any members of the Apollo 11 crew, but Chris Cassidy, [...]

The next step in US-India space cooperation

While Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got a lot of attention this week about her remarks on North Korea (and the North Koreans’… odd reaction) she also visited India and signed several agreements between the two countries. One of them, as described in a State Department press release, is a Technology Safeguards Agreement and “associated [...]

NASA and the administration’s space policy review

It’s been known for some time that the administration is embarking on an overall review of national space policy, one that goes beyond the current Augustine committee review of NASA’s human spaceflight plans. That’s not unprecedented: previous administrations have done similar reviews and updates of national space policy, which can last for several years (in [...]

Gold medals: yes. Autographs: no.

This week the House and the Senate passed HR 2245, the “New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act”, which awards Congressional gold medals to the Apollo 11 astronauts and, for good measure, John Glenn. (The legislation passed in the House on a 390-0 vote, and by unanimous consent in the Senate.) The House also passed on [...]

Augustine’s scenarios

Late Sunday the Review of US Human Space Flight Plans (aka the Augustine committee) issued a call for comments for a document called “Exploration Beyond LEO: Process and Progress”. (I had separately heard about this a little earlier Sunday from an alert reader.) The short document—just over two pages—is key because it hints at what [...]

On the job

While there hasn’t been a formal release by NASA, multiple reports state that Charles Bolden and Lori Garver were officially sworn in this morning as NASA administrator and deputy administrator. (NASA does have an image of Bolden arriving at his new office.) There will apparently be a more formal ceremony or other event to welcome [...]