NASA’s problem with farmers, the committee, and Tinkerbells

On Monday, Mark Albrecht, the executive secretary of the National Space Council over two decades ago, gave a speech at a Space Policy and History Forum forum in Washington. Much of his talk covered familiar ground he’s previously discussed, such as in a speech last November, including his experience on the Space Council during the [...]

The curious case of the Glenn cuts

Late Wednesday afternoon the Republican Party of Cuyahoga County (RPCC), Ohio, which includes the city of Cleveland, sent out a press release claiming that it had become aware of plans to move work on human spaceflight activities from the NASA Glenn Research Center there. “This move will have devastating effects on the economy of northeast [...]

A penny for NASA? That’s what that petition was worth.

Earlier this year, inspired at least in part by comments from astronomer and science communicator Neil deGrasse Tyson upon the release of his latest collection of essays, some space activists started a petition on the White House website asking for NASA’s budget to be, at a minimum, doubled. “Tomorrow is gone without NASA,” the petition [...]

Fear of a red Moon?

China’s Shenzhou-9 mission, now winding down with a landing expected later this week, has not made than big of an impact on the American political psyche, it appears. Whether it’s because Americans are distracted by other issues, or because the Chinese achievement—including the first crewed docking with a proto-space station—doesn’t seem that impressive, there hasn’t [...]

Briefly: Mars funding advocacy, clarifying Armstrong

A member of the House normally not involved in space issues is asking her colleagues in the Senate to provide additional support for NASA’s Mars exploration program. In an op-ed published in the Pasadena Sun late Friday, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) describes the importance of the Mars exploration research done at JPL in particular, but [...]

Making the case (again) for launch indemnification

It’s that time again for the commercial launch industry in the US: every three to five years, they head up to Capitol Hill to make the case for extending a provision of commercial space law that’s little known outside the industry and obscure to some even within it: launch indemnification. That process is gearing up [...]

Briefly: Hutchison’s goals, lobbying for GEMS, and possible confusion over an FAA/NASA MOU

As previously noted here, retiring Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) sees NASA in a “good position” to both make use of the International Space Station and explore beyond Earth orbit, a position she reiterates in an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle on Sunday. “America should have two goals,” she writes. “First, to ensure manned access [...]

Senate Commerce Committee to revisit commercial spaceflight next week

Last month’s successful test flight by SpaceX to the International Space Station was a major milestone for commercial spaceflight, and also for public and political perceptions of the industry. The Senate Commerce Committee will reexamine the industry in a hearing Wednesday, June 20, titled “Risks, Opportunities, and Oversight of Commercial Space”. The hearing, according to [...]

Examining Chinese space advances and challenges

Within the next few days China will launch Shenzhou-9, its fourth crewed mission but the first since 2008. The spacecraft wil ferry three people, including the country’s first female astronaut, to the Tiangong-1 experimental lab module that China launched last September. The mission will likely trigger another round of hand-wringing among some commentators in the [...]

Retiring senator says NASA in a “good position” for the future

After a couple of years of tumult and turmoil, one of the few members of the US Senate who is active on space issues says she’ll leave the institution this year “excited” about the future of NASA.

“I am just very excited that we are now going forward, I think, with NASA in a good [...]