Orion lives, and other policy developments

There’s some late breaking news about what President Obama will announce Thursday, coming after the end of today’s sessions at the National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs. AP reports (and NASA officials here confirmed) that Orion will be revived as a crew return vehicle for the ISS. It will be launched unmanned and remain docked […]

Leave space to NASA (and Optimus Prime)

I’m in Colorado Springs this week for the National Space Symposium. Upon arriving at the Broadmoor yesterday afternoon this was the first thing that greeted me:

No, it’s not someone protesting NASA’s planned reliance on commercial ventures to transport crews to LEO. It’s one of the handful of protestors that turn up outside the conference […]

Briefly noted: letters, speeches, and invites

A few items of interest as anticipation for this week’s presidential space conference at KSC builds:

More letter writing: a letter signed by a number of former astronauts, as well as former NASA administrator Mike Griffin and others, including Gene Kranz and Chris Kraft, criticizes the decision to cancel Constellation and asks the president to […]

Colorado worries about jobs, Culberson sounds off

Florida isn’t the only state worried about job losses with the pending demise of Constellation. On Monday Colorado’s two senators, Mark Udall (D) and Michael Bennet (D) announced that they had met with NASA administrator Charles Bolden about Constellation, presenting him with a letter to President Obama expressing their concerns. The letter covers a number […]

Obama’s visit, his speech, and growing support

With few officials details released yet about next Thursday’s space conference at KSC, the space community is seizing upon any bit of information about the event. That was the case yesterday when Florida Today reported that, according to the White House, President Obama will spend only two hours at KSC on the 15th, arriving at […]

Congressional reaction to NASA’s work assignments

As you might expect, most members of Congress who have expressed varying degrees of opposition to NASA’s new exploration plans were not allayed by NASA’s announcement yesterday assigning the new efforts among the various field centers. An example is Rep. Pete Olson, who posted a statement to his web site reacting to the announcement, noting […]

Planning (or lack thereof) for the space conference

Today’s short-notice NASA press conference primarily covered organizational issues within the agency: which centers would be responsible for what aspects of the new plan. For example, KSC will host the Commercial Crew Development Program Office, with JSC serving as deputy; the roles are reversed for the Flagship Technology Demonstrations, with JSC in the lead. With […]

NASA’s “next steps” telecon

NASA announced early this morning that it will be holding a teleconference this afternoon to discuss the “the next steps in implementing the agency’s new exploration initiatives outlined in the new fiscal year 2011 budget.” The only other details about this event, called on rather short notice, is that it will feature much of the […]

Lobbying and rallying – and opting out – in Florida

Space advocates on Florida’s Space Coast are gearing up for Sunday’s “Save Space” rally in Cocoa, Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL) the latest politician to agree to participate in the event. Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL), and Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, along with other state and local politicians, are participating in the event. […]

Differing predictions for April 15

With still few details publicly announced about next Thursday’s presidential space conference at the Kennedy Space Center, there’s no shortage of speculation and predictions about what may be announced there. On SpaceRef Keith Cowing sees signs of a compromise that would preserve Orion in a scaled-down “Orion Lite” version, along with a shuttle sidemount HLV […]