Commercial space advocates sound the alert

Advocacy groups, concerned about the effect of potential budget cuts in fiscal year 2012 on NASA’s commercial crew and space technology programs, are rallying support for those programs on Capitol Hill this week. Late yesterday the Space Access Society (SAS) sent out an alert about these programs, asking people to contact their representatives by Friday [...]

House plans commercial cargo hearing

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee announced today that its space subcommittee will be House plans commercial cargo hearing “NASA’s Commercial Cargo Providers: Are They Ready to Supply the Space Station in the Post-Shuttle Era?” on Thursday, May 26, at 10 am. The scheduled witnesses:

Mr. William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator, Space Operations Mission [...]

What Buzz Aldrin and Gene Cernan have in common with Bubba the Love Sponge

Well, they may have many things in common, but the relevant one here is that they all talked about space policy yesterday. Buzz Aldrin made an appearance on Neil Cavuto’s show on the Fox Business Channel, talking about the future of America’s space program. “Everyone but us seems to want in on space,” Cavuto said [...]

Congressional reaction to Endeavour’s final launch

Only a handful of members of Congress made it down to Florida for Monday’s launch of the shuttle Endeavour: five members, including local congresswoman Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL) and Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), were included on lists of VIPs attending the launch provided by NASA (a sixth, of course, was Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), the [...]

Senate hearing on space and national imperatives (updated)

The space subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday morning titled “Contributions of Space to National Imperatives”. The hearing was formally announced by the committee only last Friday, the 13th, and the list of witnesses for the hearing was not posted as of Tuesday morning, making this hearing at least a [...]

Space entrepreneur running for Congress

This coming Tuesday is a special election primary for California’s 36th congressional district, which had been represented by Jane Harman until her retirement earlier this year to lead the Wilson Center in Washington. The top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary, regardless of primary affiliation, will move on to a general election in July.

Among those [...]

More on Wolf, NASA, and China

As noted here yesterday, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), chairman of the appropriations subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes NASA, had some critical remarks about cooperation with China in a symposium on China’s space program held earlier this week. Wolf’s office has posted his prepared statement from that hearing, which goes into more details about his thoughts about [...]

Another sign of tight budgets ahead

It’s been clear for some time that the budget environment for the next fiscal year (and beyond) will be constrained, given concerns about massive budget deficits and the nation’s growing debt. This week has given another clue about how tight those budgets might be for next year for NASA and other agencies. The House Appropriations [...]

Space transportation policy review underway

Nearly a year after the release of an overall national space policy, the Obama Administration is starting a review of “sectoral” policies, starting with the national space transportation policy. In his remarks opening the meeting of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) in Washington yesterday, FAA associate administrator for commercial space transportation George [...]

Briefly: Criticism of heavy lift and China

A proposal being circulated to use shuttle-derived elements to develop at least a demonstration of a heavy-lift launch vehicle is generating criticism from some quarters, the Orlando Sentinel reported Thursday. The architecture under consideration for the initial Space Launch System would be similar to the Jupiter-130 concept from DIRECT, placing the Orion capsule on top [...]