The last, best hope for export control reform?

The question of extending launch indemnification isn’t the only space policy issue that Congress will be facing when they return for their lame-duck session next month. Also on their plates will be the ongoing export control reform effort, in the form of legislation returning to the president the authority to remove satellites and related components [...]

The uncertain future of launch indemnification legislation

An obscure, yet important, provision in federal law that supports the commercial space transportation industry is launch indemnification. As previously noted here, the law requires commercial launch companies to be financially responsible—usually through insurance—for third-party losses in the event of a launch accident up to a “maximum probable loss” (MPL) amount determined in the launch [...]

The Planetary Society looks ahead to planetary science funding in the 2014 budget

The space advocacy organization The Planetary Society has been pushing for months to try and undo the proposed cuts in NASA’s planetary science program in the 2013 budget proposal the administration released earlier this year. While the results of those efforts are yet to be determined—Congress has yet to pass a final 2013 appropriations bill [...]

Undue credit (and blame) for the Obama Administration and CRS

This week marked a major milestone for utilization of the International Space Station and for commercial spaceflight: the (largely) successful Falcon 9 launch of a Dragon cargo spacecraft, which berthed with the station on Wednesday. (The successful launch is caveated because of the failure of one of the nine engines on the Falcon 9′s first [...]

In the race for the Space Coast’s House seat, few details about space

Thanks to redistricting, Florida’s Space Coast region will be within a single House district in the next Congress, currently represented by Republican Rep. Bill Posey (for the last decade it had been split into two districts, with Posey representing the southern half and, most recently, Sandy Adams (R-FL) representing the northern part.) So it’s not [...]

Members of Congress express concern about EELV new entrants

Members of Congressional delegations from Alabama and Colorado have written to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta about their concerns regarding potential competition for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) missions, Space News reported this week. Those launches are currently performed by the Atlas 5 and Delta 4 vehicles from United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture [...]

O’Keefe: president still defining NASA’s mission

The Syracuse Post-Standard published an interview Monday with former NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe that touched upon a variety of issues, including his thoughts about NASA. O’Keefe reflected on the highs (landing Spirit and Opportunity on Mars) and lows (the Columbia accident) during his three-year tenure at the agency. O’Keefe then fielded a question about NASA’s [...]