Shelby: don’t blame me; New Mexico uncertainty; a prescient CCDev vision

The Orlando Sentinel’s article about the continued funding of Ares 1 despite being effectively canceled in the NASA authorization act has gotten fairly wide coverage during a slow news week, with Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) getting much of the blame because of his provision in the FY2010 appropriations bill, still in force during the ongoing [...]

Adams on human spaceflight, delayed budgets, and sea versus space

More end-of-the-year odds and ends:

Among the new members of Congress taking office next week is Rep.-elect Sandy Adams (R-FL), who defeated Suzanne Kosmas in November in Florida’s 24th district, which includes the Kennedy Space Center. In an op-ed in the Daytona Beach News-Journal today, Adams says she’ll seek to make human spaceflight the “core [...]

Holiday briefs: Ares, Orion, commercial, and broken promises

A few items of interest for those catching up from the holidays:

Regular readers know that Congress’s inability this month to pass either an omnibus spending bill or a full-year continuing resolution means that provisions in the FY10 appropriations bill remain in effect, including one that prevents NASA from terminating any elements of Constellation. An [...]

More Moon vs. Mars

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week, author Homer Hickam called for a human mission to the Moon’s south pole without adding “a cent to the paltry amount NASA gets”. He didn’t describe specifically how to get that done, only suggesting that “its excellent engineers” would figure out a way. If they did, they [...]

Wait till next year

Yesterday the House and Senate, as expected, approved another continuing resolution (CR), this one funding the federal government through March 4 at FY2010 levels. The passage means that it will be up to the new Congress—one with a new Republican majority in the House and a narrower Democratic majority in the Senate—to deal with FY2011 [...]

After the short-term CR, a longer one

The passage by Congress Friday of a very short continuing resolution (CR), lasting only three days, raised hopes that the Senate might yet be able to find a way to pass either its own omnibus spending bill or the House’s year-long CR, giving NASA and other federal agencies some budgetary certainty. No such luck, it [...]

Briefs: another CR coming, science committee taking shape

It looks like the final FY2011 budget for NASA and other federal agencies won’t come until well into calendar year 2011. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled from consideration an omnibus spending bill introduced earlier this week because there weren’t 60 votes to stop debate. Last week the House passed its own year-long continuing resolution [...]

Why can’t the US and China cooperate in space?

There has been a renewed effort by the US government to reach out to China and find ways to cooperate in space, including a brief mention of cooperation in space exploration last year when Presidents Obama and Hu met, as well as NASA administrator Bolden’s visit to China in October. Yet, those discussions have yet [...]

Senate releases draft omnibus appropriations bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee has issued its proposed FY2011 omnibus appropriations bill, after the House passed its version of a 2011 spending bill last week. The NASA sections begin on page 184 and appear to be very similar, of not identical, to the House version, including several key items:

$1.8 billion for HLV development, with [...]

Op-eds say the darndest things

Homer Hickam claims he knows how to fix NASA in three easy steps, as he describes in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. First, he says, “suck it up and fund SpaceX” and other companies to take over access to low Earth orbit. Second, “convince the president to install new management at NASA.” Why? Hickam believes [...]