Briefly: Olson on the NASA bill, upcoming space policy conference

In a recent speech in the Houston area, Congressman Pete Olson blamed “an insurance item” for the House’s inability to pass the NASA authorization bill before going on recess nearly a month ago. According to local paper The Citizen, Olson told the Clear Lake Chamber that “the California delegation had a problem with an insurance [...]

Whither NSSO?

On Thursday the Pentagon released a memo from Secretary the Air Force Michael Donley discussing changes to the Air Force’s space management and organization. The changes were designed to address what a review said some considered a “confusing” structure for the service’s space organization, particularly after changes such as ending the “dual-hatting” of the Under [...]

Garver on commercial space and policy at Space Camp

When speaking with the Huntsville Times last week, NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver mentioned NASA’s interest in heavy-lift development. That was the main focus of that report, but in her speech that weekend at the US Space and Rocket Center Hall of Fame dinner, she also brought up another aspect of the administration’s plans for [...]

Cramer’s not a Bud of SpaceX

Earlier this year there was some concern in Alabama that former Congressman Bud Cramer, picked by local leaders to head Huntsville’s “Second to None” lobbying effort to preserve Constellation, might have a conflict of interest: he works for Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, a lobbying firm retained by, among other companies, SpaceX, a leading [...]

Florida election, Kansas call for commercial space

In a hotly-contested Republican primary for the 24th Congressional District in Florida, state representative Sandy Adams declared victory late last night, just 560 votes ahead of the second-place finisher. Adams will face Suzanne Kosmas, who easily won the Democratic primary in her bid for reelection to the district that includes NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. In [...]

Weekend miscellanea

“Can We Turn Over America’s Space Program to a ‘Space Cadet’?” is the lurid headline late Friday in the normally-staid The Hill. The post, part of the Capitol Hill publication’s “Pundits Blog”, is by Peter Fenn, head of a PR firm and someone who has worked extensively with Democratic candidates. The “space cadet” in question [...]

NASA learns to stop worrying and love heavy lift

When the administration released its FY2011 budget proposal in February, development of a heavy-lift launch vehicle was not a high priority: the proposal deferred a decision on an HLV design to as late as 2015, a plan reiterated by President Obama in his speech at the Kennedy Space Center on April 15. Instead, the proposal [...]

The Planetary Society’s concerns about NASA legislation

In a letter today to the chairs and ranking members of key House and Senate appropriations and authorization subcommittees, the leadership of The Planetary said it was “concerned about omissions and a lack of coherence” in the NASA-related legislation they have marked up in recent weeks. “[W]e are concerned that the path on which the [...]

Space policy and topsy-turvy political philosophy

Conventional wisdom has it that Democrats are pro-big government and Republicans are pro-big business; oversimplistic, perhaps, but illustrative nonetheless of one of the major differences between the country’s two major political parties. Two Congressional races in Florida are providing additional proof that, when it comes to space policy, those philosophies are reversed.

In Florida’s 15th [...]

Tax breaks and other incentives

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is expected to announced today legislation that would provide tax brakes for the commercial space industry. The Commercial Space Jobs and Investment Act would establish up to five enterprise zones around the country where businesses involved in the commercial space industry could get a variety of tax breaks or credits; the [...]