Other notes from Tuesday’s hearing

One interesting comment by NASA administrator Charles Bolden that got lost in the broader debate was his comments about developing a “common crew module” that could be launched on multiple vehicles, rather than have each potential commercial crew provider develop their own spacecraft. “One of the things I would like to do is to help [...]

More talk (and denials) of a Plan B at NASA

The Wall Street Journal published an article earlier today claiming that NASA is “scrambling to come up with a new budget proposal” because of congressional criticism of the existing one. The article, first published just before today’s budget hearing and updated afterwards, includes comments by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), ranking member of the Commerce, Justice, [...]

Briefly noted: closing down Constellation, Mitchell’s support, other commentary

One can expect the appropriations hearings this week to touch upon concerns from some members that NASA is already taking steps to shut down Constellation, contrary to language in the FY2010 appropriations bill for the agency. The Orlando Sentinel examines the issue and finds that while NASA is terminating some planned procurements, it is continuing [...]

A busy week for hearings

NASA will be the subject of three hearings this week on Capitol Hill, including two by important appropriations subcommittees:

Tuesday at 2 pm the Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing on the NASA budget proposal, with administrator Charles Bolden as the sole witness. Wednesday at 2 pm [...]

Houston’s delegation optimistic about Constellation

On Thursday morning eight members of the House from the greater Houston area held a press conference with Houston mayor Annise Parker (at the podium above, flanked by the House members), who was visiting Washington in part to lobby to project jobs at the Johnson Space Center that might be jeopardized by NASA’s plans [...]

Defending Constellation via the FAA

Supporters of NASA’s Constellation program are fighting for the program wherever they can, including in legislation that has nothing to do with NASA. On Thursday Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL) announced that he was introducing an amendment to an FAA reauthorization bill that would reiterate an existing provision in the FY2010 appropriations legislation for NASA that [...]

Constellation, solid rocket motors, and the military

One of the less-obvious impacts of NASA’s plan to cancel Constellation is on the US military. NASA is the largest customer for solid rocket motors (SRMs), subsidizing to a considerable degree the costs needed to produce SRMs for a variety of missiles. However, with the shuttle scheduled for retirement at the end of this year, [...]

Congressional delegations rally for Constellation

While NASA administrator Charles Bolden might not think that Constellation is “the symbol of American leadership in space”, some members of Congress disagree—or at least see Constellation as a symbol of economic concerns for their states if it’s canceled. Yesterday Utah’s five-member congressional delegation submitted a letter to President Obama asking him to reverse his [...]

Witnesses for Senate commercial space hearing

The Senate Commerce Committee has released the list of witnesses for Thursday afternoon’s hearing by its space subcommittee on “Assessing Commercial Space Capabilities”. And it’s a pretty full panel:

Lieutenant General Thomas P. Stafford

United States Air Force, (Ret.)

Astronaut (Ret.)

Mr. Bryan D. O’Connor

Chief, Safety and Mission Assurance

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

[...]

Bolden attacks the “myths” about NASA’s new plan

NASA administrator Charles Bolden spoke Tuesday at the Washington Space Business Roundtable (WSBR) flagship luncheon, held as part of the Satellite 2010 trade show just outside Washington, giving perhaps his strongest defense to date of the agency’s new plan announced a month and a half ago. While part of his speech was a generic overview [...]