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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

SLS manager says program still on track

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket remains on track for a first launch in December 2017 despite warnings in a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) about cost and schedule problems, the program’s manager said Friday.

Speaking at the 17th Annual International Mars Society Convention in Houston, SLS program manager Todd May said the program [...]

Asteroid scientists vent their concerns about ARM

At first glance, planetary scientists who study asteroids might seem to be obvious supporters of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) plans. It would, after all, redirect a small near Earth asteroid (NEA) into lunar orbit, where astronauts would visit it and return perhaps many kilograms of samples. In fact, though, many planetary scientists have expressed [...]

Edwards more optimistic about NASA authorization, less so about other legislation

While NASA administrator Charles Bolden expressed skepticism earlier this week that a NASA authorization bill would make it through Congress this year, a leading member of the House Science Committee said in a recent interview she is more optimistic about the bill’s prospects, but less so about two other pieces of space-related legislation.

“I feel [...]

Bolden skeptical about prospects for NASA authorization bill this year

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said Wednesday he is not optimistic that Congress will pass a NASA authorization bill this year, and expects to start the 2015 fiscal year on a continuing resolution (CR).

Bolden, speaking at a meeting of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) at the Langley Research Center in Virginia, said he was more [...]