Thanksgiving leftovers

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving holiday. It’s been a quiet holiday in the space policy arena, as NASA and NOAA digest their final FY2012 budget and make plans for the next fiscal year. A few highlights from the federal and state level from recent days:

An amendment to a Senate appropriations bill would [...]

More reactions to the final FY12 budget

The FY12 budget was wrapped up and signed into law on Friday, but there are still some reactions to the bill filtering in. Last week Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) issued a joint statement about the bill, praising elements of the bill that support the Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, in [...]

After the supercommittee

On Monday, the co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, aka the “supercommittee”, formally admitted defeat in their bid to develop a deficit reduction plan before a Wednesday deadline. The Budget Control Act passed in August established the supercommittee and required that it come up with at least $1.2 trillion in reductions, through [...]

Minibus headed for its final stop

Yesterday the House and Senate passed the “minibus” appropriations bill that includes the $17.8 billion for NASA in FY12 reported here earlier this week. With the President to sign the bill into law today, it marks the end of the FY12 appropriations process, far sooner than FY11, which dragged into April of this year, and, [...]

A status report on NASA’s human spaceflight plans

Yesterday members of Congress were honoring the past of space exploration. Today, they’ll be looking at the future. The space subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee will be holding a hearing at 10 am EST today on “NASA’s Human Space Exploration: Direction, Strategy, and Progress”. NASA administrator Charles Bolden will be testifying at the hearing, [...]

Astronauts to get Congressional medals today

At 11 am EST today, Congress will host a ceremony awarding Congressional Gold Medals to Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, as well as John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth. The ceremony, in the Capitol rotunda, will be webcast by the Senate Commerce Committee; C-SPAN will be carrying [...]

OMB blamed for placing NASA’s Mars plans in limbo

It’s not uncommon for NASA to be on the hot seat in Congressional hearings, criticized by members of Congress for what the agency is or is not doing. Yesterday, though, at a hearing of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s space subcommittee on the future of NASA’s planetary exploration programs, NASA was treated like [...]

More on NASA funding in the FY12 conference report

Here’s the breakdown of the final conference report funding for NASA compared to the President’s original budget request (PBR) and the versions of the budget passed by the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) and Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC):

PBR HAC SAC Final Science $5,016.80 $4,504.00 $5,100.00 $5,090.00 Aeronautics $569.40 $569.93 $501.00 $569.90 Space Technology $1,024.20 $375.00 [...]

House hearing today on NASA’s planetary exploration plans

The space subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee is holding a hearing today on “Exploring Mars and Beyond: What’s Next for U.S. Planetary Science?”. Appearing before the committee are Jim Green, the director of NASA’s planetary science division, and Steve Squyres, the chair of the most recent planetary science decadal survey (and [...]

House-Senate agreement would give NASA $17.8 billion in 2012

The House Appropriations Committee announced Monday night that House and Senate negotiators had reached agreement on a conference report on the so-called “minibus” appropriations bill that combines three separate bills, including the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) bill. The full conference report has not be published yet, but the committee did provide a “detailed summary” [...]