Perlmutter: Progress failure is reason to expedite MPCV

Last week, the failure of a Soyuz rocket carrying a Progress cargo spacecraft to the ISS, thus raising the risk the Soyuz crewed spacecraft could be grounded for an extended period, prompted one member of Congress to call for “emergency” funding for NASA’s commercial crew development efforts, while another argued that NASA should accelerate work [...]

Griffin’s broadside against the administration

At an event Friday in Huntsville, former NASA administrator Mike Griffin accused the current administration of doing “everything it could to oppose human spaceflight”. That statement was not a one-time shot against the Obama Administration: in an op-ed in the current issue of Space News, he goes into great detail regarding his accusation that the [...]

Nelson crosses the aisle on ISS, KSC issues

It’s frequently noted here and elsewhere that space issues do not follow party lines closely, if at all, with differences of opinion more likely to be along regional or other lines than party affiliation. That’s demonstrated in the last few days by a couple of statements on space issues by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), working [...]

Griffin’s skepticism, Bolden’s optimism

The current and former administrators of NASA were both in Huntsville, Alabama, on Friday, with widely varying assessments of the agency’s human spaceflight programs. Appearing on a panel hosted by Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle on Friday afternoon, former NASA administrator Mike Griffin claimed that the current White House “has done everything it could to oppose [...]

Report clears NASA shuttle selection process, but doesn’t make Dayton or Houston any happier

One of the more controversial decisions that NASA has made in the last six months has had nothing to do with the Space Launch System, Commercial Crew Development, or James Webb Space Telescope programs. Instead, it was the agency’s decision, announced April 12, on where the shuttle orbiters will be displayed upon retirement. The decision [...]

Hutchison: Progress failure underscores need for SLS

Yesterday Rep. Dana Rohrabacher reacted to the loss of a Progress cargo spacecraft by requesting an “emergency transfer of funding” to NASA’s Commercial Crew Development program to provide the US with its own means to access the station. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison also issued a statement in response to the launch failure, and like Rep. [...]

Rohrabacher calls for “emergency” funding for CCDev in light of Progress failure

Earlier today a Soyuz rocket carrying a Progress spacecraft lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the 44th such cargo spacecraft launched by Russia in the ISS era. Unlike the previous 43, though, this one failed to reach orbit: an apparent failure in the Soyuz’s third stage caused the loss of the Progress as [...]

An independent cost assessment, without costs

For those expecting many details about the independent cost assessment (ICA) of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) recently completed by Booz Allen Hamilton, an executive summary released Tuesday by the space agency was disappointing. The report provides no specific cost numbers for the SLS, the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV), or the “21st Century Ground Systems [...]

What will be caught in Webb’s budgetary web?

On Monday Aviation Week and Nature reported on the latest cost estimate for building and operating the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST): $8.7 billion. That includes the costs to build and launch the telescope, as well as five years of science operations. That new total figure should not be surprising: last month Rep. Frank Wolf [...]

Happy birthday, Charlie. Now where’s that SLS study?

Today is NASA administrator Charles Bolden’s 65th birthday: he was born in Columbia, South Carolina, on August 19, 1946. So what did Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) get him for his birthday? A press release about the status of studies for the Space Launch System (SLS). According to Hutchison, the independent cost study for the [...]