Space Leadership Preservation Act reintroduced; hearing today

Yesterday, five members of Congress formally introduced HR 823, the new version of the Space Leadership Preservation Act that they originally introduced last September. The text of the legislation, provided by SpacePolicyOnline, indicates a few changes from the original version, most notably that the NASA administrator would serve a six-year term, instead of a ten-year [...]

House passes second attempt to rename NASA Dryden

Monday afternoon the House briefly debated and then approved HR 667, legislation that woud rename NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center the Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center, while the Western Aeronautical Test Range in California would be renamed the Hugh L. Dryden Aeronautical Test Range. It’s the second attempt by the House to rename the [...]

A changed mind about sequestration

Once upon a time, NASA administrator Charles Bolden wasn’t worried about the across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration, incorporated into the Budget Control Act of 2011. “I don’t talk about sequestration because I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Bolden said in a December 2011 speech, not long after to so-called “supercommittee” established by that [...]

More Congressional interest in near Earth objects

A week after the Chelyabinsk meteor and asteroid 2012 DA14 flyby, which got the attention of some members of Congress, two other key members of Congress are expressing interest in the issue of tracking near Earth objects (NEOs) and mitigating any impact risks, although it remains to be seen if this interest will translate into [...]

A second try for the Space Leadership Act

Legislation introduced last fall to reorganize how NASA is managed appears to be getting a second shot in the new Congress. The House Science Committee’s space subcommittee has scheduled a hearing titled “A Review of The Space Leadership Preservation Act” for Wednesday, February 27, at 10 am. No witnesses or other information about the hearing [...]

All space sequestration politics is local

With the deadline for budget sequestration now just over a week away, Congress is… on break this week. As members of Congress spend time in their home districts this week, some are offering varying perspectives of what budget sequestration would be for NASA, and the centers in their districts.

In Huntsville, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) [...]

Presidential science advisor Holdren: exhilaration still beats frustration

The transition to the second term of the Obama Administration has resulted in a number of key administration officials choosing to leave, most notably the Secretaries of State and Defense. The administration’s top science policy official, though, suggested over the weekend that he plans to stick around.

“People always ask me what the job is [...]

Russian meteor, asteroid flyby get the attention of the House Science Committee

Two similar but unrelated events on Friday—a meteor that struck the Chelyabinsk region of Russia, reportedly causing hundreds of (mostly minor) injuries, and the flyby Friday afternoon of asteroid 2012 DA14, which will pass closer to the Earth than geostationary orbit satellites—have gotten the attention of many people, including a key congressman who is vowing [...]

NASA’s sequestration plan would bring commercial crew to a halt

If budget sequestration goes into effect next month, NASA plans to enact a series of spending reductions that would effectively bring the agency’s commercial crew program to a halt by the summer, and delay or cancel some science and technology missions, according to a letter released by a Senate committee today.

The letter from NASA [...]

Tweeting a solution to sequestration? Probably not.

With just two weeks before the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration are now scheduled to take effect (two months later than originally planned), organizations concerned about what those cuts could do to various agencies are stepping up their outreach and lobbying. The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is urging its members to reach out to [...]