Hutchison to remain in the Senate

It should not be that much of a surprise, but Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) announced today that she will remain in the Senate for the remainder of her current term, backing off from an earlier plan to resign at some point this year. Hutchison, who lost the Republican primary for Texas governor earlier [...]

The goal remains the same

In the eyes of many the new NASA exploration plan announced in the FY2011 budget proposal is a massive change, one that abandons the previous goal in the Vision for Space Exploration of returning humans to the Moon by 2020 and, some fear, human space exploration altogether. However, one NASA official said yesterday that the [...]

Mikulski on the importance of safety and astronaut destinations

While her subcommittee’s hearing on the NASA budget last week as postponed, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) did get an opportunity to speak briefly about the agency’s new direction at the end of an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” program yesterday. Asked by host Candy Crowley about the president’s decision “to end all funding [...]

For military launch, failure is not an option

If there was a key takeaway from Friday’s Space Transportation Association luncheon speech by Gary Payton, the deputy under secretary of the Air Force for space programs, it’s that there’s no room for error when launching key military spacecraft. “We’re at the point now where our programs are so critical to the warfighter that we [...]

If at first you don’t succeed…

Last week a group of senators led by Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL) introduced an amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill defending Constellation. That amendment reiterated an earlier provision in the FY2010 appropriations bill preventing NASA from terminating any part of Constellation and related measures. That amendment, though, was never taken up, and the FAA legislation [...]

Vince Lombardi, Jesus, and human spaceflight

In comments yesterday at a Space Transportation Association luncheon introducing Gary Payton (the subject of a separate, later post), Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) had something of a confession to make: despite living in the Houston area, his favorite NFL team is not the Houston Texans but rather the Green Bay Packers. (“It’s a long, long [...]

Multiple fronts and multiple obstacles to export control

Earlier this month, in a speech at the Ex-Im Bank in Washington, President Obama announced that an export reform proposal was in the works and would be released by Defense Secretary Robert Gates “within the next couple of weeks”. It’s been a couple of weeks since that speech and the reform proposal hasn’t been released [...]

Who needs a Plan B when you can have a Plan A?

Appearing before the space subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee yesterday, former Lockheed Martin executive Tom Young, a veteran of a number of space-related committees and reviews in the last decade, described his issues with the NASA budget proposal. During his testimony he made several references to a “plan A”. “A plan A [...]

Florida rallies for jobs; New York’s very different shuttle fight

Hoping to raise awareness and attention to their concerns, Space Coast officials are planning an April 11 rally to protest the NASA budget proposal. Organizers are working with everyone from churches to businesses and hope to get 5,000 people to attend the event, scheduled for four days before the presidential space conference at the Kennedy [...]

Senate appropriations hearing postponed

Late today the Senate Appropriations Committee announced that Thursday’s scheduled hearing of the Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee on the NASA budget proposal has been postponed. The reason for the postponement is the series of votes on the Senate floor dealing with the health care reconciliation legislation. According to Space News the hearing has been [...]