Briefly noted: Rutan’s clarification; other criticism and praise

Some people were surprised earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal reported that Burt Rutan submitted a letter to Congress critical of the administration’s move to commercialize human spaceflight. “That would be a very big mistake for America to make,” according to a brief excerpt of the letter quoted by the Journal.

However, [...]

ProSpace’s 2010 agenda

ProSpace, which will be holding its March Storm lobbying effort on Capitol Hill next week, has released its agenda of issues it plans to bring up in those meetings. The key items cover topics in export reform, exploration, and commercialization:

ITAR reform

Support the addition to the Senate version of the Foreign Relations Authorization [...]

Holdren versus the appropriators

Presidential science advisor John Holdren faced some questions about NASA’s FY11 budget proposal at a hearing of the House Science and Technology Committee on Wednesday morning, but those questions were fairly limited because the committee will be holding a hearing with NASA administrator Charles Bolden on Thursday, and most members decided to hold off until [...]

Bolden “flayed” at hearing? Not exactly.

To read some of the media accounts of yesterday’s hearing by the Senate Commerce Committee’s space subcommittee on NASA’s FY2011 budget proposal, NASA administrator Charles Bolden had a bad day. He faced “skeptical” senators who “vowed to fight” the new budget as they went on to “grill” Bolden and even “flayed” him. A closer examination, [...]

What’s scarier than the Chinese on the Moon?

One major criticism of NASA’s change in policy is that it would cause the US to fall behind China in human spaceflight, allowing them to land humans on the Moon before the US could return. An example is this AFP article from this past weekend, where one policy expert saw it as “a confirmation of [...]

Pre-hearings roundup

Today is a busy day on Capitol Hill, with presidential science advisor John Holdren appearing before the House Science and Technology Committee this morning and the Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee this afternoon to talk about the overall R&D budget, including likely some discussion of NASA. Meanwhile, NASA administrator Charles [...]

Skimming over the detailed budget

Yesterday NASA released detailed budget documents, three weeks after the release of the high-level budget documents and just before the first in a series of Congressional hearings about the budget. Some highlights of the budget after a quick skim through them:

The budget documents make it clear that, going forward, technology development will be the [...]

Is an online poll worth a committee’s time?

On Sunday afternoon, journalist Miles O’Brien sent out a note to his over 5,000 Twitter followers inviting them to fill out a survey. The survey contains this explanation:

Veteran space journalist Miles O’Brien will testify on the Hill Wednesday, Feb. 24, regarding what the public thinks of President Obama’s space plan and NASA in [...]

SEA: in search of timelines and destinations

The Space Exploration Alliance (SEA) will be conducting its annual legislative blitz next week on Capitol Hill, with plans to meet with over 100 congressional offices. In a press release the organization siad their general goal is to “strengthen” the White House’s plan for NASA. “While the new space plan has some extremely worthy goals, [...]

Still grumbling

Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) continues to remain concerned about the effects the cancellation of Constellation will have on workers in his district who planned to build the solid rocket motors for Ares 1 and Ares 5. However, in comments to the Davis County Clipper, his arguments at least stretch the bounds of logic. “If measures [...]