Senate may take up launch indemnification bill today

The Senate may attempt to pass today a version of a commercial launch indemnification bill that the House has already passed, but with a longer time period. According to discussion at working group meetings this morning of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Committee, or COMSTAC (which are taking place as scheduled despite inclement weather that […]

The House astrobiology hearing: remarkable or mostly harmless?

On Wednesday, the full House Science Committee held a hearing on “Astrobiology: Search for Biosignatures in our Solar System and Beyond.” The hearing got a degree of critical attention beforehand, with some questioning if this was the best use of the committee’s, or the House’s, time. “No wonder the American people think this Republican Congress […]

Committee delays consideration of termination liability bill until next week

Despite declared bipartisan support for a bill that would relive NASA of the requirement to withhold funds on key projects as a hedge against payout if they’re cancelled, the House Science Committee delayed markup of that bill on Thursday until next week. As discussed here earlier this week, HR 3625 would require NASA not to […]

As budget endgame approaches, scientists make another lobbying push

With a week to go, House and Senate budget negotiators are approaching a deal to set spending levels for fiscal year 2014 and avoid another round of sequestration. POLITICO reported Thursday night that the lead negotiatiors, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), are only “a few billion dollars apart” on a deal, […]

House bill would free up termination liability funds for NASA programs

The House Science Committee is scheduled to mark up several bills in a session this morning, including HR 3625. That bill, formally introduced on Monday by Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), would direct NASA not to reserve funds for ongoing programs, in particular the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, to cover termination liability […]

A House hearing on astrobiology seems alien to some

Later this morning, the full House Science Committee will hold a hearing on “Astrobiology: Search for Biosignatures in our Solar System and Beyond.” The hearing is primarily an exploratory and informational one, designed to collect information on the state of astrobiology research. The closest the hearing may come to policy issues is a statement in […]

House passes indemnification extension bill

After a brief debate on the House floor late Monday afternoon, the House of Representatives passed HR 3547, a bill that extends the existing third-party commercial launch indemnification regime by one year. The bill passed on a 376–5 vote; the five dissenting votes were from Republicans who did not participate in the floor debate: Reps. […]

House to take up commercial launch indemnification regime extension bill Monday

The House of Representatives is expected to take up, and likely pass, legislation that would extend the current third-party commercial launch indemnification regime by one year. HR 3547, introduced November 20 by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of cosponsors, is one of three bills scheduled to be considered by the House under […]