FAA 2012 budget proposal includes space access prize

Speaking this morning at the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Orlando, George Nield, the FAA associate administrator for commercial space transportation, announced that the FAA’s 2012 budget request includes $5 million for a space access prize. “I’m a big proponent of the value of prizes to stimulate innovation, so I’m pleased to announce that in [...]

How would a government shutdown affect NASA?

The current continuing resolution that funds the federal government, including NASA, expires in less than a week: midnight on Friday, March 4. Unless Congress can agree to a new funding bill, be it a full FY11 appropriations act, as the House passed last week with HR 1, or another short-term stopgap bill, the federal government [...]

Affording the final shuttle launch

In an interview with CNN, NASA administrator Charles Bolden suggested that NASA stretched out the shuttle program far longer than it should have. “It was time for the shuttle to go a long time ago, in deference to a vehicle that was going to take humans to the Moon,” he said, suggesting that the Challenger [...]

Briefs: assigning members and blame

Some miscellaneous items from the last few days:

It’s not posted yet on the committee’s web site, but the full House Science Committee will hold a hearing on Wednesday, March 2, on NASA’s FY12 budget request. NASA administrator Charles Bolden is the sole witness scheduled to testify.

Last week the Senate Commerce Committee announced the [...]

Holdren summarizes the space policy debate

In a plenary address Friday afternoon at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, presidential science advisor John Holdren devoted a few minutes towards the end of his speech about what the administration has done in the area of NASA policy. The speech certainly contained no surprises for anyone who [...]

Another NASA funding amendment to watch?

The House is continuing to debate hundreds of amendments associated with HR 1, the year-long continuing resolution that would fund the federal government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. Among the amendments that have not yet been taken up on the floor of the House is one by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) that would, [...]

Crime takes a bite out of NASA

On Wednesday the full House, debating the full-year continuing resolution HR 1, voted 228-203 to approve an amendment that would transfer $298 million from NASA to the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services, a program that provides funding for local police forces. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was actually debated Tuesday [...]

Upcoming lobbying efforts

I noted here earlier this month the March Storm citizens’ lobbying blitz on Capitol Hill next month. A couple of similar efforts are also planned for the coming weeks. The National Space Society is planning its annual “Legislative Blitz” for February 27 through March 1. Specifics of the effort aren’t clear beyond urging Congress “to [...]

Briefs: Air Force shuttle funding request, upcoming hearing

People in both Ohio and Florida are abuzz over an item tucked away deep in the Air Force’s budget request for FY12. On page 599 (PDF page 604) of operations and maintenance budget document the Air Force requests $14 million to transport a space shuttle to the National Museum of the Air Force in Dayton, [...]

NOAA and DOD highlights

The FY2012 budget proposal includes $1 billion for the Joint Polar Satellite System, the NOAA/NASA successor to the NPOESS satellite program. The funding, if allocated, would be used to “undertake continued development of instrument, spacecraft, and ground segment development to meet launch readiness dates,” the fact sheet summarizing the budget request states. As Space News [...]