Cain blames Obama for having to “bum a ride with the Russians”

National Journal reports that Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain blamed Obama on Friday for cuts to the space program and vowed to make the US the “leader of the space program again”. Speaking before more than 1,000 at a campaign stop in Montgomery, Alabama, Cain touched on space policy briefly:

Playing to residents of [...]

Briefly: mayors ask Obama for quick action; planetary science’s death greatly exaggerated

In a letter this week to President Obama, the mayors of Houston and Huntsville ask for immediate action on contracts related to the Space Launch System (SLS) and Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) programs. Specifically, they ask that NASA “move forward as expeditiously as possible” on converting contracts for the Constellation program to SLS and MPCV. [...]

Two themes from Wednesday’s CCDev hearing

Wednesday’s hearing by the House Space, Science, and Technology Committee on NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program didn’t yield any major breakthroughs or other significant news. Industry members in the hearing’s first panel expressed their confidence to develop systems to transport NASA astronauts and serve other markets in the next several years, provided adequate funding. [...]

CCDev hearing preview

In advance of this morning’s House hearing on NASA’s Commercial Crew Development program, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee has released the hearing charter. This includes a set of questions that will likely form the basis of questions during the course of the hearing:

What are the major accomplishments to date by industry on [...]

More voices in the CCDev chorus

At last week’s International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) in Las Cruces, New Mexico, NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver made the argument that spending on NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program now would save more money later that would have to go to Russia for continued Soyuz flights. She is not the only [...]

Gingrich calls for privatizing human spaceflight

Former Speaker of the House and current 2012 Republican presidential candidate said Thursday he would “absolutely” privatize human spaceflight if elected president. Speaking at a town hall meeting in Dallas, Gingrich was asked about the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket that NASA is developing as required by the 2010 NASA Authorization Act. “I think [...]

NASA: cut CCDev funding now, pay Russia more later

As the Senate continues to debate a 2012 funding bill that includes NASA, one key question is whether the Senate will provide any additional funds for NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program above the $500 million currently in the legislation. In Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) earlier this week, the White House asked the Senate [...]

House to hold commercial crew hearing next week

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee announced yesterday that it is holding a hearing next Wednesday titled “NASA’s Commercial Crew Development Program: Accomplishments and Challenges”. Even with the hearing now only six days off, the committee has not released the names of any witnesses who will testify before the full committee. One can, though, [...]

NASA, NOAA, and FAA board the minibus

The Senate is considering this week a package of appropriations bills dubbed a “minibus” since it’s not as encompassing as an omnibus bill. This bill combines the Agriculture; Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS); and Transportation appropriations bills into a single measure, based on the bills that passed the Senate Appropriations Committee in recent weeks. The [...]

Could the DOD’s launch vehicle block buy plan get blocked?

As part of its efforts to reform its procurement of space systems, the Air Force has looked at a number of strategies, including the concept of “block buys”, where a relatively large number of items—satellites, rockets, etc.—are purchased at a time, allowing for lower per-unit prices. A plan to do a bulk buy of EELV-class [...]