Congress, Pentagon, States

Briefly noted

A few brief items of interest:

A planned review of the nation’s military space programs and policy could be delayed by several months. Defense News reports that the 2010 Space Posture Review may be delayed by several months and possibly up to a year. The review was scheduled for release next month, along with the Quadrennial Defense Review and the FY11 budget proposal. The Congressionally-mandated review is designed to examine “the definition, policy, requirements, and objectives” for a variety of military space issues.

A Republican challenger to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), chair of the space subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee, hinted that he would make an issue of her position during the campaign. Arizona state senator Jonathan Paton told the Arizona Daily Star that becoming chair was an example of “political missteps” made by Giffords. “She has raised her profile, and some eyebrows, as chairwoman of the House space subcommittee, even though her husband is an astronaut,” according to the article. “Giffords’ camp notes her role was approved by the ethics committee, in part because her husband actually works for the Navy, assigned to NASA’s space shuttle program.”

Despite a budget shortfall of $4.2 billion over the next two years, new Virginia governor Bob McDonnell reiterated his support for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island. “Governor Kaine committed to invest $1.3 million in the Virginia Spaceport,” McDonnell said in a speech before the General Assembly Monday, referring to his predecessor, Tim Kaine. “We can make Wallops Island the top commercial Spaceport in America, and I ask you to keep that money in place so that we can aggressively recruit aerospace companies and promote space tourism initiatives.” McDonnell supported continued development of MARS during last year’s campaign.

Virginia might be facing some spaceport competition though, from… Indiana? Legislation introduced in the state’s House of Representatives last week would designate two municipal airports as the state’s “primary” and “secondary” airports, and also provide some tax incentives for space transportation research and development, including “a deduction from the adjusted gross income tax equal to the amount of casualty loss deducted from the taxpayer’s federal adjusted gross income with respect to the loss of a space vehicle owned by the taxpayer.” Nothing like thinking positive…

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