Briefs: Garver interview, Canadian lunar interest, RD-180 ban

Late August is a quiet period in space policy, with Congress in recess and so many others on vacation, but there are a few items of interest:

Discover magazine published earlier this month an “exit interview” with NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver, who announced plans on August 6 to leave NASA in a month. (The [...]

Revised exploration roadmap sees asteroids and Moon as temporary stepping stones to Mars

The ISECG roadmap of missions to asteroids, the Moon, and Mars. (Click to enlarge.)

On Tuesday, the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG), a group of 12 national space agencies that includes NASA, ESA, and Roscosmos, released a revised version of its Global Exploration Roadmap. The document is intended to outline a general strategy [...]

Bolden’s “flaky” explanation of NASA’s asteroid redirection mission

The Washington Post published an interview yesterday with NASA administrator Charles Bolden, primarily discussing leadership issues Bolden has faced in his four years at the top of the agency. Towards the end, though, the Post asks Bolden about NASA’s plans to direct an asteroid, in particular asking if that plan meets the goal established by [...]

OIG report warns of Orion cost and schedule risks

A flat funding profile for the indefinite future increases the risk that NASA’s Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) spacecraft will fall behind schedule, and will also delay the development of follow-on systems needed for missions to the surfaces of other worlds, according to a report released Thursday by NASA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

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Legislation seeks to “streamline” commercial spaceflight regulations

Just before Congress adjourned earlier this month for summer recess, two members of Congress introduced a bill that they argue will help streamline commercial spaceflight regulations. Congressmen Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Bill Posey (R-FL) introduced HR 3038, the Suborbital and Orbital Advancement and Regulatory Streamlining (SOARS) Act.

“I have seen firsthand how the talented people [...]

Bolden: asteroid redirect mission not going to “save the planet”

In the last couple of months, NASA has appeared to put a greater emphasis on the role its overall asteroid initiative, including the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), could play in planetary defense. However, in a meeting last week, NASA administrator Charles Bolden appears to play down the role the mission could play in planetary defense [...]

Schiff uses Curiosity anniversary to press for planetary science funding

Monday night marked the first anniversary of the successful landing of NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. While NASA celebrated the milestone with a recap of the mission’s accomplishments to date and plans for the future, one member of Congress used the anniversary to call attention to the funding squeeze the agency’s planetary science program is facing. [...]

More reactions to Garver’s departure

A roundup of statements and other reactions to yesterday’s news that NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver will be leaving the space agency next month, particularly regarding her role in championing commercial spaceflight:

“Throughout her years of service and leadership at NASA, Lori Garver has been a stalwart champion of commercial space and of the public-private [...]

Reports: NASA deputy administrator Garver resigning

In a development that has surprised many in the space community, NASA Watch and Space News report that NASA deputy administrator Lori Garver will leave the space agency to take a position outside the space industry. Garver will reportedly take a position with the Air Line Pilots Association, and a formal announcement could come as [...]

Debating schedule versus competition for commercial crew

Today and tomorrow, NASA and industry officials will be meeting at the Kennedy Space Center to discuss a draft request for proposals (RFP) for the next phase of the commercial crew program. The Commercial Crew Transportation Capability, or CCtCap, contract will cover the development and test of crew transportation systems to take astronauts to and [...]