NASA appropriations hearing scheduled; calls for action

The Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee has scheduled a hearing on the NASA budget proposal for 2013 for this coming Wednesday, March 21, at 9 am Eastern time. The hearing will be webcast for those not able to attend in person. It’s like the proposed cuts in NASA’s [...]

Revisiting Alabama’s primary results

Some discussion in yesterday’s post about an Alabama congressional race looked at whether Newt Gingrich’s comments on space in Huntsville last week helped or hurt him there. Below are the results from the state’s GOP primary and in three northern Alabama counties, including Madison, where Huntsville is located (data via CNN:

Candidate State Madison Morgan [...]

Parker Griffith can lose – again

Congressman Mo Brooks (R-AL), a member of the House Science Committee whose district includes NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, easily won his primary election Tuesday night. Brooks defeated former Congressman Parker Griffith by over 40 percentage points, 71 to 29 percent, according to nearly-complete returns. The primary was a rematch of the 2010 Republican primary, [...]

New legislation seeks to aid former astronauts, Space Coast workers

Last week the chairman of the House Science Committee, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), introduced H.R. 4158, a bill design to “confirm full ownership rights for certain United States astronauts to artifacts from the astronauts’ space missions.” The bill simply confers full ownership rights of any artifacts that had been given to astronauts who flew on [...]

House rejects Mars funding reprogramming request

Aviation Week reports that House appropriators have rejected a request by NASA to reprogram fiscal year 2012 funding for planetary science that would have taken money away from Mars and other flagship mission work. The request, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), chairman of the appropriations subcommittee with oversight of NASA, would “drastically scale back spending on [...]

A “challenging environment” for commercial crew funding

It was a case of good timing: a day after commercial crew was a centerpiece of a pair of hearings on the NASA 2013 budget proposal in the Senate and the House, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation held a forum on the topic on Capitol Hill Thursday morning. The event gave representatives of four companies a [...]

Santorum mostly silent on space in Huntsville

On Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich visited the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville for a speech, which included a brief discussion about space policy. Two days later another GOP candidate, Rick Santorum, visited the very same venue. This time, though, beyond a nod to the historical backdrop to his talk, there was [...]

House hearing revisits commercial crew concerns; Mars makes a cameo

A few hours after NASA administrator Charles Bolden defended the agency’s fiscal year 2013 budget request before the Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday, he did the same on other side of Capitol Hill at a hearing of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The rhetoric at the House hearing wasn’t nearly as heated as [...]

Bolden and Hutchison spar over commercial crew, SLS/Orion funding

This morning’s hearing of the Senate Commerce Committee on “Priorities, Plans, and Progress of the Nation’s Space Program” was slow to get started: it took over half an hour before the hearing’s primary witness, NASA administrator Charles Bolden, got to start his opening statement. However, it quickly ratcheted up in intensity as Bolden and committee [...]

Wolf to Bolden: don’t even think about China

At last week’s meeting of the heads of the space agencies involved in the ISS, in Quebec City, Canada, the subject of potential future Chinese participation in the station apparently came up. “I am in favor of seeing how we can work together with China,” ESA director general Jean-Jacques Dordain told reporters, as the Canadian [...]