Take that, Mike

On Friday NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver spoke at NASA Ames. Her prepared remarks aren’t on the NASA web site, but highlights of the speech and answers to questions were live-tweeted by one attendee, Matthew F. Reyes. Some of those highlights include praising NASA’s COTS program for doing “a good job letting private enterprise learn [...]

Still trying to close the gap

For many months one of the mantras in the space community was to “close the gap”: find money to extend the life of the shuttle, accelerate Constellation, or both, to minimize the gap in US human spaceflight access (at least by government vehicles). That battle cry has died down in recent months, particularly as the [...]

When health care and space meet

At first, space would be one of the least likely areas to get tangled into the shoutfest, er, debate about health care that’s been raging the last few weeks in town hall meetings, the Internet, and cable TV. (In space, no one can hear you scream, right?) No such luck. On Wednesday, White House press [...]

Seeking “adequate” budgets that are matched to “a worthy mission”

While Congress is on summer recess this month, some members are keeping an eye on the Augustine committee’s deliberations and making public comments about them. On Monday Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), chair of the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee, issued a statement on “threats to NASA’s budget”, citing the comments by the Augustine [...]

Virginia is (still) for spaceport lovers

This week Bob McDonnell, the Republican candidate for governor of Virginia, toured the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), the commercial spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia. He used the visit to release his plans to support the continued development of MARS to make it “America’s top commercial Spaceport”.

The biggest part of the plan is a pledge [...]

Show exploration the money

I missed the final, extended public meeting of the Review of US Human Space Flight Plans (aka Augustine) committee on Wednesday, unfortunately (I’m at the annual smallsat conference at Utah State University this week). So instead here’s a brief summary of the reports that came out of the hearing:

If there was a central theme, [...]

All cyber, no space?

The Defense Department announced yesterday the appointment of Robert Butler as deputy assistant secretary of defense for cyber and space policy. This job is a new position, part of a reorganization of the DOD’s policy office led by new Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy that paired space and cyberspace issues.

Butler’s background, [...]

Space issues in the House DOD appropriations report

The report accompanying the House version of the 2010 defense appropriations bill approved by the full House shortly before it went on summer recess includes several space-related ; of interest:

Perhaps the biggest item in the bill is language that blocks the Defense Department from spending any money appropriated for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental [...]

A call for reviving NIAC

In 2007 a little-known organization, the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC), was quietly terminated by NASA. For nine years the organization spent about $4 million a year supporing the earliest stages of development of technologies that could, in decades’ time, have a “significant impact” on future NASA missions. NIAC died because it had been [...]

Sen. Martinez to resign

According to news reports, Mel Martinez will announce today plans to resign later this month from the US Senate. Martinez, a Florida Republican, has previously announced plans not to seek re-election in 2010, but his decision to step down this month for “personal reasons” took many by surprise. He has not been that active on [...]