Briefly: heavy-lift debate update, silly season, Gordon’s new job

Space News has some updates on the latest perspectives on heavy-lift development. In one, administration officials are “pushing back” on development of the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket included in last year’s authorization act. OSTP director John Holdren told Space News said that delays in getting a final FY11 budget mean that it would [...]

Posey: direct NASA towards human spaceflight

Yesterday the House Budget Committee took testimony from fellow members of the House on various issues as it prepares work on a budget resolution for fiscal year 2012. That included a statement from Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), who spoke out on the need to fully fund NASA’s human spaceflight programs, cranking up the rhetoric in [...]

Senate NASA appropriations hearing postponed

Thursday’s scheduled hearing by the Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee on the NASA budget, scheduled for Thursday, has been postponed, according to the committee’s calendar. NASA administrator Charles Bolden was scheduled to testify. The hearing has been rescheduled for Thursday, May 5th, at 10:30 am. No reason for the postponement [...]

Congress to NASA: follow the authorization act

At a Women in Aerospace panel event last week, several Congressional staffers had a clear message for NASA: they have little interest in renegotiating, or simply ignoring, provisions of the NASA Authorization Act the Congress passed last year.

“This isn’t a negotiation,” said one participant of the panel, held under the Chatham House Rule of [...]

Briefly: members speak, and Hiaasen speaks out

With Congress in recess this past week, members have been in their home districts talking about policy issues—which, in the case of certain districts in Alabama and Florida, means talking about space. Florida Today reports that Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) told an audience of local retired military officers that the US is making “a horrible [...]

Bolden and “evolvable” heavy-lift launch vehicles

What kind of heavy-lift vehicle does NASA want to build, or at least thinks it can build? That was one central topic of discussion in a speech and Q&A session by NASA administrator Charles Bolden on Capitol Hill on Friday, organized by the Space Transportation Association.

Congress has already provided direction to NASA on this [...]

Upcoming hearings

While Congress has been in recess this week, it will be back in business next week, with a busy schedule of hearings on tap:

At 10am on Wednesday, March 30, the space subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a hearing titled “A Review of NASA’s Exploration Program in Transition: Issues [...]

Briefly: $1.4 million a day, a call for level-headed bipartisan leadership

While the current situation involving NASA’s budget and restrictions on terminating Constellation contracts is familiar to most readers here, the Orlando Sentinel lays it out in dollars and cents: NASA is forced to “waste” $1.4 million per day on Constellation contracts it can’t cancel because of a provision in the FY2010 appropriations bill, even as [...]

Lobbying for shuttles

In less than a month, on April 12, NASA administrator Charles Bolden is scheduled to announce which sites will receive the agency’s three shuttle orbiters—Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavour—when the fleet is retired later this year. That means the sites seeking the orbiters are ramping up for one final lobbying push, and often calling on their [...]

Would a human spaceflight decadal survey be useful?

Tucked away in last year’s NASA authorization act is a provision calling for an independent study about human spaceflight:

SEC. 204. INDEPENDENT STUDY ON HUMAN EXPLORATION OF SPACE.

(a) IN GENERAL.-In fiscal year 2012 the Administrator shall contract with the National Academies for a review of the goals, core capabilities, and direction of human [...]