Impatient for change

The sense of many in the space community this year has been one of impatience, bordering on frustration: with a new administration in place, they had been hoping for change in national space policy, or at least a confirmation of existing policy. Yet earlier this year people waited for months before the White House nominated [...]

Congressional reaction to Ares 1-X

It should be little surprise that many of the same members of Congress who issued comments about the Augustine committee report last week also issued statements after the successful test flight of the Ares 1-X rocket Wednesday. Indeed, they were able in many cases to repeat the same themes as their comments last week. For [...]

Debating the Augustine committee report’s implications

The AIAA is planning an event this Monday afternoon, November 2, titled “Aerospace Industry Leaders to Debate America’s Next Steps in Space” on Capitol Hill. The half-day event will feature two panels, one discussing access to LEO and servicing of the ISS and the other focusing on heavy-lift launch vehicle development and exploration beyond LEO. [...]

Save Space: catching on or falling short?

Florida Today provides an update today on the status of Save Space, a Space Coast effort to get half a million letters in support of space exploration delivered to the White House. The article gives the impression that the movement is gaining momentum (“catching on”, as the headline puts it; “gaining steam”, as the lede [...]

More Congressional reaction

In a statement in response to the Augustine committee’s final report, Sen. Richard Shelby again emphasized his concerns regarding safety that he mentioned in a Senate floor speech earlier this week:

While I commend the Augustine Commission for their work, I find many of the options proposed in their final report to be unsatisfactory [...]

Final WH decision: wait till February?

Shortly after the Augustine committee released its final report, Alan Ladwig of NASA spoke at the luncheon of the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in New Mexico. Ladwig, filling in for deputy administrator Lori Garver (who was scheduled to speak but stayed in Washington because of the report’s release) did briefly address the [...]

A roundup of initial Congressional reaction

A statement from Reps. Bart Gordon and Gabrielle Giffords, chair of the House Science and Technology Committee and its space subcommittee, respectively. Gordon:

While I plan to review the Augustine panel’s final report, the Science and Technology Committee’s September 15th hearing to review the panel’s summary report has already provided me with important information [...]

It’s here…

The full Augustine committee report is now online.

Brief pre-Augustine notes

An op-ed in the Washington Examiner by three Republican House freshman, including Pete Olson of Texas and Bill Posey of Florida, stresses the importance of properly funding NASA and increasing its budget even though it might seem at odds with their philosophy of limited government. “We do not take spending $3 billion lightly, but [...]

Creating commercial spaceflight “centers of excellence”

Yesterday the two representatives from Florida’s Space Coast, Suzanne Kosmas and Bill Posey, introduced HR 3853, “Commercial Space Transportation Cooperative Research and Development Centers of Excellence Act of 2009″. The bill would authorize NASA to make grants to two more universities (with at least one of which within 100 miles of “an active commercial spaceport”, [...]