Poll reveals gender, racial, and other gaps in support for funding NASA

Earlier this month, the polling group YouGov released the results of a recent poll on space issues. The poll covered a hodgepodge of topics, from reasons for supporting NASA to whether the poll respondent would be interested in flying in space “free of costs.” One question of interest was on NASA funding: “The National Aeronautics [...]

While members of Congress raise concerns about China’s lunar mission, many Americans are uninterested

One week ago, China’s Chang’e-3 spacecraft successfully landed on the surface of the Moon and, soon after, deployed a small rover named “Yutu” to explore the lunar terrain. As that mission proceeds, China is making plans for a 2017 lunar sample return mission and, at some ill-defined time after that, human missions to the Moon. [...]

Defense authorization bill preserves ORS Office, examines space security issues

Late last night the Senate passed the fiscal year 2014 defense authorization bill, after the House approved the final compromise version of the bill last week. The giant bill covers a wide range of Department of Defense (DOD) policy issues, including some related to space.

One major military space policy issue included in the bill [...]

Coburn includes several NASA programs in his annual “Wastebook”

The cover of this year’s Wastebook by Sen. Coburn features a NASA astronaut sleeping despite the commotion all around him, evidently worn out from spending all day studying Congress and/or in a food coma from eating too much 3D-printed pizza.

On Tuesday, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) released his annual “Wastebook,” a document that identifies [...]

Key NASA appropriator to retire

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) surprised many Tuesday when the 17-term congressman announced that he would not run for reelection in 2014. Wolf gave few details on his decision to retire now other than he planned to work on human rights and other issues after leaving Congress at the end of next year. “I plan to [...]

Export control reform process is wrapping up

Nearly one year ago, the Congress approved a defense authorization bill that included a key provision for the US space industry: repealing language in the fiscal year 1999 defense authorization bill that put satellites and related components onto the US Munitions List, and thus under the control of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). [...]

As Europa looks more inviting, one group presses NASA for a mission there

On Thursday, NASA announced a significant discovery about Europa, the large icy moon of Jupiter: astronomers spotted evidence for geysers of water erupting from the moon’s southern polar regions. The discovery may be further proof that the moon has a subsurface ocean of liquid water that could, potentially, harbor life. Moreover, it comes a day [...]

Senate passes amended launch indemnification bill, but time may have already run out

The good news for the commercial launch industry: late Thursday, the Senate passed a three-year extension of the third-party commercial launch indemnification regime, which is due to expire at the end of this year. The Senate passed the extension via unanimous consent, as reported here earlier this week. “The certainty of a three year extension [...]

House committee passes amended termination liability bill

After failing to come to an agreement on an amendment during a markup session last week, the House Science Committee took less than ten minutes Wednesday afternoon to approve an amended bill that would block NASA from reserving funds for termination liability for several key programs and also prevent the agency from unilaterally canceling those [...]

JSC to get another new representative as Stockman aims for the Senate

Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX), whose district includes NASA’s Johnson Space Center, surprised many late Monday when he announced he would challenge incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) in next year’s Republican primary. Stockman is considered a long shot to unseat Cornyn—he has just $32,000 in the bank for his campaign, versus $7 million for Cornyn—but his [...]