Coming soon: Son of ESAS?

The New York Times reports late today that NASA will embark on a “major evaluation of its human spaceflight program” in the coming months. The Times compares the planned “multimonth” study with the Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS) performed by NASA in mid-2005 that led to the current Constellation architecture. One unidentified person said the [...]

Budget freezes, watchdogs, and more

As expected, the FY2011 budget proposal for NASA will be released next Monday, with a press conference planned for Monday morning, according to Space News. That may be followed by a separate press conference the next day at the National Press Club; what the difference in topics between the two press conferences isn’t clear. The [...]

Parker Griffith can’t lose?

In a lengthy article about Congressman Parker Griffith’s party switch published today by the Huntsville Times, Griffith says that a lack of “enthusiasm” from the Obama Administration on human spaceflight was one of the reasons he decided to switch from the Democratic to the Republican Party. “Missile defense has been on the back burner; there [...]

Prospects for commercial crew growing

A couple of recent reports suggest that it’s increasingly likely that the new space exploration policy to be released in the near future by the White House will include a provision for funding a commercial crew development program. Space News reported Friday that the FY2011 budget proposal “would fund a multibillion-dollar effort to foster development [...]

On posture and policy

Last week Defense News reported that the Defense Department’s 2010 Space Posture Review would be delayed by at least several months, and perhaps by up to a year. That has also been reported by DoD Buzz, which added an interesting item: the review may recommend that the US scrap building several additional GPS satellites in [...]

“A fairly lonely crusade”

The Orlando Sentinel provided an update earlier this week on efforts to extend the shuttle program beyond its currently remaining five flights. As you might expect, there wasn’t much to update: there’s been little recent progress, and even advocates like Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL), who has introduced legislation to extend (HR 1962) to authorize funding [...]

Florida caucuses, Ohio letters, Texas challengers, Virginia debates

A special space state report:

A new Florida Space Caucus met this week in Tallahassee to discuss planned legislation to support the state’s space industry. The 42-member caucus plans to support a “handful” of bills this year, including incentives for companies as well as dedicated funding for Space Florida, the state space development agency. This [...]

The questions of when and how much

Besides the question of what the president’s new space exploration plan might be, the next most important (or, at least, most frequently asked) questions have been when the plan will be announced and how much additional money the White House will request for NASA, at least in the FY2011 budget. We’re starting to get some [...]

Evaluating Obama on space policy after one year

Today marks one year since Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. This marks an opportunity to examine what he has—and has not—accomplished during that time, in this case in terms of space policy. While the president himself gives himself a “good solid B-plus”, on space policy a more [...]

Another day, another state, another spaceport

For the second day in a row, a state governor mentioned a state spaceport in an address to legislators, with a request for support. On Monday Virginia governor Bob McDonnell asked for state support of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. On Tuesday, New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, in his final State of the State address (he [...]