Another round of belt tightening

While work on fiscal year 2012 budgets is slowly making progress in Congress, federal agencies are already working on their planned 2013 budgets, preparing submissions to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Those agencies, including NASA, are now being given guidance from the White House to be ready to trim their budgets. In a [...]

SLS: Senators’ Letters about SLS

Earlier this month came word that a draft letter was circulating on Capitol Hill, reportedly linked to Utah’s congressional delegation, calling on the administration to publish its design for the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift launch vehicle and ensure it makes use of solid rocket motors. The advocacy group Tea Party in Space (TPIS) recently [...]

All about jobs

With NASA transitioning into the post-shuttle era, and doing so in a turbulent economy, it’s no surprise that there’s concern about jobs and job losses, and not just in Houston or Florida’s Space Coast. Up to 600 jobs in Huntsville could be eliminated in the next two months, the Huntsville Times reported late last week, [...]

Holdren: White House still supports NASA policy; another presidential speech coming?

Last’s week meeting of the NASA Advisory Council at NASA Ames featured a presentation by John Holdren, director of the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). His talk, and the Q&A session afterward, covered general issues associated with science policy and NASA. That included the message that the administration was still committed [...]

Posey wants clearer vision, supports commercial spaceflight

In a speech on Florida’s Space Coast yesterday, Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) warned that NASA’s human spaceflight program needed a “clear mission” in order to retain its funding in the coming years. “Absent a clear mission, human spaceflight, I’m afraid, will be very vulnerable,” he said, according to Florida Today’s account of his speech. (The [...]

Conservative criticism of NASA spending

With concerns about overall federal spending higher than at any time in recent history, fiscal conservatives are taking a closer look at NASA spending, as evidenced by a couple of recent releases–although, at least in one case, their logic is muddled, at best.

Last week Tea Party in Space (TPIS) issued a press release in [...]

Report estimates SLS/MPCV cost at up to $38 billion through 2021

The Orlando Sentinel reported late today that NASA estimates the cost of its new heavy-lift launch vehicle and crew spacecraft could be as much as $38 billion through 2021. The estimate, from an internal NASA report obtained by the Sentinel, pegged the cost of developing the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion Multi-Purpose Crew [...]

Briefly: Adams’s legislation, Wu’s resignation

Congress may be on summer recess now, but it’s not entirely devoid of activity. Yesterday Rep. Sandy Adams (R-FL) announced Wednesday she has introduced legislation to support a local economy facing thousands of layoffs with the retirement of the Space Shuttle. The “Shuttle Workforce Revitalization Act of 2011″, HR 2712, would designate all of Brevard [...]

Summer limbo

With work on the debt ceiling legislation complete, both the House and the Senate have now recessed for their traditional August break, and won’t return until after Labor Day. That means that work on appropriations legislation, among other items, is on hold until then. The House Appropriations Committee passed its version of an appropriations bill [...]