Bolden defends NASA’s exploration plans, but warns big budgets aren’t on the horizon

In a conference speech Tuesday, NASA administrator Charles Bolden warned against trying to redirect NASA’s exploration plans, while also cautioning that those plans have to fit in an environment where Apollo-era budgets aren’t realistic.

“We made a decision. Some people in this room don’t like it. But we’re on our way, and you can either […]

WSJ editorial criticizes California tax break bill that benefits SpaceX

Earlier this month, the California Senate approved AB 777, legislation that would exempt space companies from paying taxes on certain property related to spaceflight, including an “orbital space facility, space propulsion system, space vehicle, launch vehicle, satellite, or space station of any kind,” as well as components of such systems.

The bill is slightly different […]

Bolden and Holdren reaffirm support for asteroid mission as the next step to Mars

The head of NASA and the President’s science advisor told the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) this week that the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) remained the next logical step of a long-term strategy to eventually send people to Mars, despite the protestations of some in Congress as well as “outside fan clubs.”

“The FY15 budget […]

Intel community willing to allow higher resolution commercial imagery

For the last few years, commercial satellite remote sensing company DigitalGlobe (and, before its merger with DigitalGlobe, GeoEye) has been lobbying the government to allow it to sell sharper satellite imagery that it’s currently allowed. DigitalGlobe is currently restricted to selling imagery with resolution no sharper than 0.5 meters per pixel, but has been pushing […]

GAO report offers good news, but also warnings, about performance of NASA programs

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released on Tuesday its annual assessment of “large-scale” NASA projects. The good news of the report was that NASA, by and large, is doing well in terms of cost and schedule performance of its major programs: an average cost growth of 3% and launch delay of 2.8 months for 14 […]

Senate committee approves commercial launch license/permit bill

Largely overlooked last week in the hubbub about hearings on the NASA budget proposal, a new NASA authorization bill, and relations with Russia was a move by a Senate committee on Wednesday to approve legislation to adjust the commercial launch licensing system for reusable suborbital vehicles.

S. 2140, introduced last month by Sen. Martin Heinrich […]

The substance, or lack thereof, of NASA’s ban on Russian cooperation

The news last week that NASA was cutting off cooperation with the Russian government—with the very large exception of International Space Station (ISS) operations—attracted a lot of attention in the space industry and the general public, which continues to the present. “NASA is cutting ties with Russia. But it’s not that simple,” reads the headline […]

Subcommittee quickly approves amended NASA authorization bill

The House Science Committee’s space subcommittee quickly approved an amended version of HR 4412 during a markup session this morning that lasted less than half an hour. Instead of the bill text as filed, the subcommittee adopted an amendment in the nature of a substitute with several changes to the bill introduced earlier this week.


New NASA authorization bill makes only minor changes to last year’s version

At 9 am today, the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee will mark up a new version of a NASA authorization bill, formally introduced earlier this week. The new bill, HR 4412, is very similar to the bill the Science Committee marked up last summer, HR 2687, a bill that generated unusually strong partisan […]

Bolden and House appropriators spar on various issues

NASA administrator Charles Bolden appeared before the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee in a hearing about NASA’s fiscal year 2015 budget request Tuesday morning—and into the afternoon as well, as the hearing, which started at 9:30 am, didn’t wrap up until about 1 pm. The first part of the […]