Hutchison’s statement, Shelby’s award

In a statement yesterday, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) endorsed a letter by John Glenn calling for a shuttle extension. “I strongly agree with Senator Glenn, and the concerns expressed by many others, that the simultaneous cancellation of the Constellation program and the retirement of the space shuttle threatens our access to and use of […]

Letters, we get letters

In a letter to President Obama earlier this week, 62 members of Congress have expressed their displeasure with plans to cancel Constellation. “If we continue with this new space policy, including the outright cancellation of the Constellation program,” they write, “we are concerned that other countries will forge ahead of us, challenging our space dominance […]

Briefly: Bolden, Dutch, and Garver

In case you missed it: the Orlando Sentinel reported Sunday that NASA administrator Charles Bolden is being investigated by the agency’s inspector general for a potential conflict of interest regarding a biofuels research program. Bolden reportedly sought the advice of officials at Marathon Oil, a company whose board Bolden previously served on, about a NASA […]

John Glenn wants to extend the shuttle. What else is new?

Several news outlets yesterday reported on the release of a letter by former senator and astronaut John Glenn, who called for extending the shuttle beyond this year. (Here’s the full text of the letter.) “Why terminate a perfectly good system that has been made more safe and reliable through many years of development?” Glenn asks […]

White House adds to NASA’s tab for economic development spending

In his speech at the Kennedy Space Center in April, President Obama announced that $40 million would be made available for economic growth and job creation in the Space Coast region of Florida around KSC. Since then a Presidential Task Force on Space Industry Work Force and Economic Development, co-chaired by NASA administrator Charles Bolden […]

House committee demands NASA budget documents

Last week the House Science and Technology Committee asked NASA for more details about its Orion plans, including the cost and schedule of the “lifeboat” version of the spacecraft that the administration announced two months ago, as well as other elements of the agency’s revised plans. The committee asked for that information by the close […]

When is the right time to start heavy lift?

One area of debate about NASA’s proposed new direction that has gotten less attention than the future of Constellation or commercial crew is development of a heavy-lift launch vehicle. The proposed plan would defer a decision on an HLV until as late as 2015, while working on technologies that could either be utilized by it […]

Battling for Constellation, and looking beyond

In a press conference yesterday, Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle made it clear he was not happy about the latest effort to cut back work on Constellation this fiscal year, let alone plans to cancel most of the program, given the impact it will have on his city. “It’s not a time to tell our citizens […]

The outline of a Senate NASA authorization bill forms

In a letter Monday to Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), chair of the space subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee, outlined the key aspects of a NASA authorization bill his committee his drafting. The key elements of that bill, as described in that letter, include:

Support for extending operations of the ISS to […]

Waiting for the stars to align for Orion

Nearly two months ago, the administration revised its plans for Constellation by reversing plans to cancel the Orion spacecraft, instead electing to retain Orion as a crew return vehicle for the ISS. Since then, though, NASA has provided few details about how that lifeboat variant of Orion would be developed, and now Congress is getting […]