Obama, Romney, others react to Armstrong’s passing

On Saturday afternoon, the family of Neil Armstrong announced that the famous astronaut had passed away at the age of 82 after complications from heart surgery he had earlier this month. Within a few hours there was an outpouring of reaction to the death of the first man to walk on the Moon, including official [...]

Happy Space Day, California

[ Apologies for the lack of posts recently, a combination of travel, a heavy workload, and illness. ]

In his first stint as governor of California in the 1970s, Jerry Brown earned the sobriquet “Governor Moonbeam” in part for his interest in space topics, including a proposal that California have its own satellite to support [...]

Nelson gets his challenger; Adams loses primary

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), one of the strongest NASA advocates in Congress, now officially knows who he’ll have to beat in order to secure a third term in the Senate. Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-FL) easily won the Republican primary for the Senate seat on Tuesday and will face off against Nelson in November in [...]

Obama, Romney, Mars, and China

On Monday, President Obama made a congratulatory phone call to members of the Mars Science Laboratory team at JPL, thanking them for their work successfully landing the Curiosity rover on Mars. The eight-minute call was a fairly basic speech thanking the JPL team and its partners for the mission, with the now-obligatory mention of flight [...]

Another view on Ryan and space (or, not)

[Update: Nick Eftimiades contacted me earlier today and said he had a case of mistaken identity: it was not Rep. Ryan who was in attendance at the dinner he recalled in his now-deleted blog post, as it turns out. He—and I—regret the error.]

As previously discussed here, Mitt Romney’s choice of running mate, Rep. Paul [...]

Paul Ryan’s (very thin) space policy dossier

Early this morning, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his choice for running mate: Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI). While the decision may, as the Washington Post article linked to above suggests, offer a “stark choice” on fiscal issues, it sheds little, if any light, on the niche issue of space policy. Ryan has said virtually [...]

Will Curiosity help save NASA Mars funding?

There was a tremendous public reaction to Sunday night’s successful landing by NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory mission, and the Curiosity rover is in good health as project scientists and engineers check out the rover and its scientific instruments. Some have wondered if the public’s interest in the mission will translate into additional funding for NASA [...]

Schiff fighting for Mars exploration, robotic and human

Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), whose current district includes JPL and Pasadena, has been a strong advocate for NASA’s planetary science program and, specifically, Mars exploration. On Saturday, he reiterated his desire to see to reverse cuts to those programs while also pushing for better goals for the nation’s space program.

“We have too long drifted [...]

Obama campaign uses commercial crew awards to press Romney on his space policy

A day after NASA announced the winners of awards in the next round of its commercial crew program, the Florida campaign of President Barack Obama used the news to contrast the administration’s space policy with that of his opponent, Gov. Mitt Romney.

“As Floridians have seen President Obama’s continued commitment on moving our nation’s space [...]

Warm reactions (mostly) from politicians to CCiCap awards

Friday morning NASA announced the winners of the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) funded Space Act Agreements, with Boeing, SpaceX, and Sierra Nevada Corporation receiving agreements valued at $460 million, $440 million, and $212.5 million, respectively. Given all the political attention that the program has received, particularly in recent months in the debate about how [...]