Congressional skepticism of NASA’s asteroid plans remains

Nearly a year ago, NASA announced its plans to redirect an asteroid into lunar orbit to be visited by astronauts, a concept originally called the Asteroid Retrieval Mission and now known as the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). In the months that followed, the proposed mission received a chilly reception on Capitol Hill, particularly in the [...]

Bolden and House committee clash over NASA priorities

In a hearing about NASA’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal by the House Science Committee’s space subcommittee on Thursday, many key members expressed concern about agency priorities, including funding levels for the Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket and Orion spacecraft, while NASA administrator Charles Bolden argued that NASA’s commercial crew effort was its top [...]

Bolden uses Soyuz launch to press for commercial crew funding

Despite the current tensions between the United States and Russia, the two countries continued their cooperation in space late Tuesday with the launch of a Soyuz spacecraft carrying two Russian cosmonauts and one American astronaut to the International Space Station. (Their arrival, planned for Tuesday night, has been delayed because of a technical glitch with [...]

In its Aerospace Day proclamation, Colorado legislators demand accelerated space program

The letter from House members calling on the White House for a “vision and timeline” for space exploration looks positively mild compared to what they’re asking for in Colorado. In a resolution passed by the Colorado Legislature designating Monday as “Colorado Aerospace Day,” members criticized the federal government for ceding the lead in human spaceflight. [...]

Bipartisan House letter calls for “vision and timeline” for space exploration

A letter to President Obama signed by 30 members of the House of Representatives calls on the White House to provide more details, and support, for human space exploration. The letter, dated March 21 and released Monday, expresses concern about “shifting priorities for NASA and the resulting mixed signals this sends relative to the United [...]

Pentagon confirms study into reliance on RD-180 engine underway

As the Obama Administration levied new sanctions on Russia Thursday for that nation’s actions in the ongoing Ukraine crisis, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed that the Air Force was studying its reliance on the Russian-manufactured RD-180 rocket engine used by the Atlas V.

At a news briefing Thursday, Defense Department spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said [...]

Mixed messages on the future of ORS

The Defense Department’s Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) program has been on thin ice for some time: the Air Force has in the past attempted to kill funding for the ORS Office, arguing that the experience the office has built up developing low-cost, responsive space systems can be utilized by other Air Force organizations. And that’s [...]

Nelson plays down risks to US-Russia space relations

Echoing previous comments by agency officials, a key US senator said Tuesday he doesn’t believe that the current crisis involving Ukraine will jeopardize US-Russian relations in space.

“I think you will not see a hitch in the American and the Russian space program that we share with a lot of other nations as well,” Sen. [...]

NASA: funding of some extended planetary missions depends on additional funding

Full funding of all of NASA’s current planetary science missions is dependent on receiving money above what’s in the baseline request for the agency in fiscal year 2015, a NASA official said Monday.

Speaking at the “NASA Night” town hall meeting at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in suburban Houston, Jim Green, director [...]

Nelson argues for commercial crew, Brooks and Shelby seek more money for SLS

As relations between the United States and Russia continue to be strained by the crisis in Crimea, Congress is being briefed on its potential implications for space activities, a key member of Congress said late Monday.

“NASA officials have been briefing some members of Congress over the last few days on U.S. plans and options [...]