No, they haven’t been paying attention

The proposed changes to NASA’s exploration plans have, in the last few months, generated a lot of discussion and debate (if not necessarily as much insight) among those who, by profession and/or interest, consider themselves part of the space community. But what about the general public? A new poll indicates that they haven’t been paying [...]

The Lone Star State feels a little lonely

With all the attention that Florida has gotten in recent days with President Obama’s visit to the Kennedy Space Center, as well as the promise of $40 million to support workforce transition efforts there, the folks in Texas are feeling a little left out. On Friday several Houston-area congressmen, along with Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison [...]

Additional reaction to the president’s speech

While published Congressional responses tended to be more negative than positive, the opposite was true in responses from companies and other organizations, although not without some caveats. Not surprisingly, SpaceX founder Elon Musk—who got to give the president a brief tour of the company’s facilities at Cape Canaveral prior to the speech—was pleased with the [...]

Congressional roundup: the song (mostly) remains the same

While the ultimate goal of President Obama’s speech yesterday was to secure support for his new space exploration plan, the short-term reaction from members of Congress is little different than it was prior to speech. Those who opposed the plan continue to oppose it, while those who supported it still do, perhaps with fewer reservations [...]

The speech and some “instant analysis”

While a few hundred people got to see President Obama speak in person about NASA and his new plan for the agency at the Kennedy Space Center, I sat in a far larger audience at the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs to watch a video of the speech. Some highlights:

For those who wanted [...]

Members of Congress weigh in on NASA

Although the president won’t be speaking about space policy until this afternoon, several members of Congress are getting in the two cents in advance of the speech, based in part on the details of the slightly-revised plan released late Tuesday by the White House.

In an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel today, Sen. Kay Bailey [...]

That’s no moon, it’s a (Chinese) space station

An oft-cited rationale for having NASA focus on returning astronauts to the Moon is that China is ramping up its efforts to do so and could beat us back there, with a concomitant loss of prestige for the US. There’s just one problem with this: the Chinese don’t appear to be a in particular [...]

White House responds to Armstrong criticism

While what Neil Armstrong and two other astronauts wrote in a letter this week about NASA’s new exploration plan—concerns about loss of prestige have been raised in many quarters—that fact that the publicity-shy moonwalker put his name to it got enough attention that it came up during Wednesday’s White House press briefing. Press secretary Robert [...]

Bolden: President “strongly committed” to future in space

One of the highlights of yesterday’s National Space Symposium sessions was a speech by NASA administrator Charles Bolden at the beginning of the morning session. (His speech had been scheduled for Thursday afternoon, but moved up after the White House announced plans for a space conference in Florida that day.) It was unlikely that he [...]

Additional notes about the revised plan and other developments

The White House released late yesterday a fact sheet about the new space exploration plan, an amalgam of details from the budget proposal released in February as well as the changes announced yesterday. “Our goal is to take advantage of the best work undertaken in the Constellation program,” it states in the section about Orion, [...]