House members seek details on SLS/Orion schedules and spending

A day after NASA announced that the first SLS may not be ready for launch until as late as November 2018, two key members of the House Science Committee asked NASA for details on both the schedule and funding levels of the SLS and Orion programs.

In a letter released by the committee Thursday morning, […]

With an SLS slip looming, one senator wants to keep NASA’s budget “on track”

An announcement Wednesday by NASA that the first launch of the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket could slip by nearly a year has led one key senator to suggest the program needs some budgetary help.

NASA announced Wednesday that the SLS passed its Key Decision Point C (KDP-C) review, an assessment of the […]

Air Force starts search for an RD-180 replacement

Although the supply of Russian-built RD-180 engines that power the first stage of the Atlas V do not appear to be in the same level of jeopardy as feared earlier this year—United Launch Alliance took delivery of two of those engines last week—the US Air Force is starting to lay the groundwork for development of […]

House gearing up for CR to last until December

With no sign of progress on appropriations bills stalled in the Senate, the House is making plans to pass a “clean” continuing resolution that will keep the government running at least into December, a top House member said this week.

In an interview with the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call Wednesday in Philadelphia, Rep. Paul […]

As China tests ASAT, US pushes multilateral space security efforts

In a speech at a US Strategic Command symposium last week, a top State Department official made the case again for various multilateral efforts to improve space security, even as China appeared to perform another test of an anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon.

Frank Rose, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance at the […]

Buzz Aldrin endorses candidate in Alaska Senate race

Republicans in Alaska are going to the polls today to select a candidate to run against incumbent Sen. Mark Begich (D) in the November general election. One of those candidates is hoping that a last-minute endorsement from a famous former astronaut who typically does not get involved in campaigns will help swing a few of […]

The curious case of a deleted commentary on SpaceX

SpaceX is no stranger to both strong support and harsh criticism of its activities, particularly in political circles. Last month, for example, three members of the House of Representatives asked NASA for details on an “epidemic of anomalies” they claimed the company’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft have experienced. But the company’s decision early […]

Improving SOFIA

Although a final resolution may not come until late this year, when Congress finally approves a fiscal year 2015 appropriations bill, it appears that NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) program has survived its near-death experience. While the administration’s 2015 budget request slashed SOFIA’s funding and recommended it be placed in storage should NASA […]

Orion manager warns he’s “challenged” to make December 2017 launch

In two separate public appearances last week, the manager of NASA’s Orion spacecraft warned that he is “challenged” to keep Orion on track for the first Space Launch System (SLS) mission in late 2017.

Mark Geyer spoke at the Mars Society’s annual conference in Houston on Saturday, one day after SLS program manager Todd May […]

Alabama businesses support launch competition

In a letter earlier this month to several members of the state’s Congressional delegation, a group of Alabama aerospace suppliers expressed their support for greater competition in the launch industry, without mentioning the company that could benefit the most from such competition.

“As Alabama-based suppliers to our country’s leading providers of space launch services, we […]