Hall skeptical of commercial providers

Despite the SpaceX’s successful Dragon test flight last week, the incoming chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee remains skeptical about relying on commercial providers for supplying and accessing the International Space Station. In a Dallas Morning News article Monday, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), who will take over the committee next month, said he […]

Briefs: export control reform continues, PETA declares victory

Yesterday the White House announced the latest step in its export control reform effort, including the release for public comment of the methodology the State Department plans to use to rewrite the US Munitions List (USML). That approach has already been applied to one category of the USML, Category VII (tanks and military vehicles), with […]

Congressional praise for SpaceX

Yesterday SpaceX performed a virtually flawless inaugural flight of its Dragon spacecraft from launch at Cape Canaveral to splashdown in the Pacific nearly three and a half hours later. The mission was widely billed as a major milestone not just for SpaceX and its COTS agreement with NASA, but for commercial spaceflight in general, an […]

CR passes House, with an interesting shuttle provision

The House last night narrowly approved a yearlong continuing resolution last night. The bill, as previously noted here, splits the difference between the authorized level of $19 billion for NASA and the FY10 level of just over $18.7 billion, and includes funds for HLV development as well as COTS and commercial crew. The Senate plans […]

Proposed full-year CR would almost fully fund NASA

As Space News and the Orlando Sentinel report, the draft of a full-year continuing resolution (CR) to fund the federal government for FY2011 would fund NASA at close to the level in the authorization act. The draft CR would appropriate $18.91 billion to NASA for 2011, up from the $18.72 billion in FY2010 and $90 […]

Hall tapped to lead House Science Committee

POLITICO reports late Tuesday that a House GOP steering committee has recommended Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) chair the House Science and Technology Committee in the next Congress. That pick will be voted upon by the full House Republican caucus tomorrow, but as the article notes, the vote is seen as a formality. Hall beat out […]

Florida’s next governor sees shuttle’s end as “opportunity”

The impending retirement of the space shuttle program—now no sooner than mid-2011 assuming STS-135 is added to the manifest—has been feared by local and state officials because of the thousands of layoffs that will result and the concomitant impact on the region’s economy. For example, state senator Mike Haridopolos, who represents the Space Coast and […]

Briefs: Sullivan’s new job, another CR, and editorials

NASA administrator Charles Bolden soon won’t be the only former astronaut with a key administration post. The White House announced this week it has nominated Kathryn Sullivan to the post of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Observation and Prediction. That position oversees the National Weather Service and other NOAA programs dealing with weather and water […]

Coming soon: a US decision on supporting a space “code of conduct”

The US government will make a decision soon on whether to support a proposed “Code of Conduct” for space operations, a State Department official said Wednesday. Speaking at a “Next Steps in U.S. Space Diplomacy” forum at the Stimson Center in Washington, Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Space and Defense Policy, said […]

Senate wants NASA to follow all of the law

The theme of Wednesday’s hearing by the Senate Commerce Committee was a desire by committee members to ensure that NASA enacts all aspects of the recently-passed NASA Authorization Act, and not simply the portions it likes. Sens. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) repeated asked presidential science advisor John Holdren and NASA CFO […]