White House and Congress mark the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11

On Tuesday, the White House hosted a private event with the two surviving members of the Apollo 11 crew, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, along with Neil Armstrong’s widow, Carol, and NASA administrator Charles Bolden. The White House has traditionally hosted the Apollo 11 crew on five-year anniversaries like this; previously, President Obama met with [...]

No quick end for 2015 appropriations process

For a time this spring, it appeared that Congress would make quick work of fiscal year 2015 spending bills. The House, for example, passed its version of a Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill, which funds NASA, NOAA, and NSF among other agencies, in late May. Meanwhile, debate on the Senate version of the [...]

Senators debate RD-180 replacement, EELV competition

A hearing several days ago held jointly by subcommittees of the Senate Commerce Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee on space access issues covered two of the key issues facing that topic in recent months: developing a domestic replacement for the RD-180 and competition for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) missions. However, members showed little [...]

At Future Space, members of Congress discuss future of space legislation

On Thursday, the Future Space Leaders Foundation held Future Space 2014, a conference oriented primarily to students and young professionals to discuss “cross-cutting issues” in space. The event included talks by four members of House, who discussed a range of issues about civil, commercial, and military space policy.

Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), chairman of the [...]

NASA, members of Congress make case for Europa mission

As NASA released a call for proposals for instruments that could fly on a future robotic mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa, some key members of Congress expressed support Tuesday for flying such a mission sooner rather than later.

“This is a wonderful crowd,” said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Science Committee, at [...]

House members press NASA for information on “epidemic of anomalies” with SpaceX missions

Three members of Congress from Alabama and Colorado have asked NASA to provide information on what they receive to be an “epidemic of anomalies” on missions performed by SpaceX.

“Recent news reports have shown that an epidemic of anomalies have occurred during SpaceX launches or launch attempts,” write Reps. Mo Brooks (R-AL), Mike Coffman (R-CO), [...]

DOD official defends EELV block buy, endorses launch competition

While the Senate gears up for a joint hearing Wednesday on space access, some members of the House Armed Services Committee used a July 10 hearing on Defense Department acquisitions issues to grill a top Pentagon official on the topic of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV)

“We don’t seem to be as encouraging of [...]

Legislation seeks to promote use of asteroid resources

A bill introduced Thursday by two members of the House Science Committee seeks to promote commercial asteroid ventures, including securing property rights for resources extracted from asteroids by American companies.

The American Space Technology for Exploring Resource Opportunities in Deep Space (ASTEROIDS) Act of 2014, HR 5063, was introduced Thursday by Reps. Bill Posey (R-FL) [...]

NASA CFO’s Energy Department nomination withdrawn

The White House has withdrawn the nomination of NASA’s current chief financial officer (CFO) to a position at the Energy Department. In a press release Wednesday, The White House said it was withdrawing Beth Robinson’s nomination to be Under Secretary of Energy, nearly a year after first announcing the nomination.

No reason was given [...]

Senate committees planning joint hearing on launch issues

A rare joint hearing of subcommittees of the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senate Commerce Committee will examine American reliance on a Russian-manufactured rocket engine and other space access issues next week. The hearing, by Armed Services’ strategic forces subcommittee and Commerce’s space subcommittee, is scheduled for Wednesday, July 16, at 9:30 am. The Commerce [...]