House to vote on launch indemnification extension today

The House of Representatives will vote today on a bill that provides a two-year extension to the existing commercial launch indemnification system. HR 6586 was introduced last Friday by Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), chairman of the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee, with six co-sponsors, including full committee chairman Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) and […]

Rohrabacher formally enters the House Science Committee chairmanship race

A day after Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) formally declared his interest in becoming the next chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, another candidate threw his hat into the ring. On Thursday, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) declared his interest in the position, as expected, joining Sensenbrenner and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX).

Rohrabacher, […]

Planetary Society congratulates Obama, asks for more planetary funding

What do you do when the candidate who won the election was the one whose budget cut your favorite program? In the case of The Planetary Society, the answer is to congratulate him—and ask him to reverse those cuts. In a statement Thursday, the organization congratulated President Obama on his reelection Tuesday while asking him […]

The race to chair the House Science Committee formally begins

The day after 2012 general election, a campaign of a different sort formally got underway: the race to chair the House Science Committee. With current chairman Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX) term-limited by House Republican rules from remaining the chairman, three members are vying to take over the position. On Wednesday, Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI)—the current […]

Before the next four years, focus on the next eight weeks

Last night’s results indicated that something close to the status quo will reign in space policy in the near future. The balance of power remains unchanged: the Obama Administration will be in office for the next four years, while the Senate remains in Democratic hands and the House in Republican hands for the next two. […]

Late returns: Hernández loses, Sherman beats Berman

Former NASA astronaut Jose Hernández (D) failed in his bid to represent California’s 10th district in the House of Representatives, losing to incumbent Rep. Jeff Denham (R) 54-46%. Hernández also lost to Denham in the district’s open primary in June, finishing a distant second with several other candidates on the ballot; the margin in the […]

Lampson bid to return to Congress falling short

Two-time former congressman Nick Lampson (D) is losing in his bid to return to Congress, where he served on the House Science Committee’s space subcommittee. CNN has called the election for the 14th district for his opponent, Randy Weber (R); Weber was leading 54-45% with a little over half the vote in.

Nelson to win third term in Senate

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), running in perhaps the biggest space-related Congressional race in this campaign, appears to be cruising to victory tonight. With a little over 50% of the votes tallied, Nelson had a 57-41% lead over Rep. Connie Mack IV (R-FL), his Republican challenger. CNN has already declared him the winner, as has the […]

Examining the “why” and “how” of space exploration

Regardless of the outcome of today’s election, there will be some key challenges for space policy in the next four years. Can NASA’s current approach to human spaceflight and space exploration be sustained given the nation’s fiscal challenges? If not, what should replace it? At a forum last week on Capitol Hill organized by the […]

A diverse cast for a human spaceflight study

On Friday, the National Research Council released the list of committee members for a new review of the US human spaceflight program. This review was mandated by Congress back in the 2010 NASA authorization act, which called on NASA to contract with the National Academies in 2012 for “a review of the goals, core capabilities, […]