ULA and SpaceX trade jabs

While there have been no major developments in the legal, political, and public relations battles among SpaceX, United Launch Alliance (ULA), and the Air Force regarding competition for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) class launches, the two companies traded jabs on Thursday in the form of court filings and advertisements.

A spokesperson for SpaceX said [...]

NRC co-chairs reiterate call for national commitment and sustained funding for human space exploration

Tuesday’s 90-minute hearing by the House Science Committee on the final report National Research Council’s Committee on Human Spaceflight broke little new ground about the report or its conclusions about where, why, and how humans should explore space beyond Earth orbit. The committee’s two co-chairs, Mitch Daniels and Jonathan Lunine, discussed the report’s conclusions as [...]

Gerstenmaier: a “lot of good things” in NRC human space exploration report

Later this morning, the full House Science Committee will hold a hearing on the “Pathways to Exploration” report by the National Research Council’s Committee on Human Spaceflight. The hearing’s charter, posted to the committee’s website yesterday evening, doesn’t offer many hints about committee members’ thoughts or lines of questioning about the report: the charter runs [...]

New House majority leader, a commercial space supporter, opposes a tool that supports commercial space

Last week House Republicans elected Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as their new majority leader, replacing Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), who was upset in a primary election earlier this month. This should be welcome news for the commercial space industry, as McCarthy has expressed support for the industry in recent years, including sponsoring legislation to “streamline” [...]

Human spaceflight study co-chairs to appear before House Science Committee

Three weeks after releasing their final report on the future of human space exploration, the co-chairs of the National Research Council’s Committee on Human Spaceflight will speak at a hearing of the House Science Committee this week. Purdue University president and former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, and Jonathan Lunine from Cornell University, will testify before [...]

McCain presses Air Force for information on RD-180 costs

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) opened on Friday a new front in the ongoing debate about the availability of the RD-180 engine and proposals to develop a domestic replacement. McCain’s office announced that the senator sent a letter to Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense fo acquisition, asking questions about how much the RD-180 engines cost and [...]

Shelby reiterates his support for commercial crew pricing language as Nelson seeks changes to it

As debate on the Senate floor started—slowly—Wednesday on several appropriations bills, including the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) bill that funds NASA, one senator defended language in the report accompanying the bill about commercial crew cost data while another senator hinted he would seek to change that language before the bill becomes law.

At issue [...]

Administration opposes funding RD-180 replacement in defense bill

As the House of Representatives prepares to debate the fiscal year 2015 defense appropriations bill this week, the White House has come out in opposition to one of the bill’s space-related provisions: $220 million to start development of a large rocket engine to replace the Russian-built RD-180.

“The Administration objects to the unrequested $220 million [...]

White House, Washington Times both criticize Senate commercial crew language

It’s rare to get the Obama Administration and the conservative editorial page of the Washington Times in agreement on something. Yet, both have spoken out in opposition to report language in the Senate’s Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill—due to be considered by the full Senate this week—regarding cost and pricing data for commercial [...]

Is ULA going its own way for an RD-180 replacement?

Although legislation making its way through both the House and Senate would support the development of a large hydrocarbon rocket engine that could, in principle, replace the Russian-built RD-180 used on the Atlas V, United Launch Alliance (ULA) appears to be moving to take matters into its own hands. The company announced late Monday that [...]