NASA CFO’s Energy Department nomination withdrawn

The White House has withdrawn the nomination of NASA’s current chief financial officer (CFO) to a position at the Energy Department.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 [...]

Independent qualifies for ballot against Mo Brooks

An engineer working on NASA’s Space Launch System program will appear on the ballot as an independent in November’s general election against Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL). In a Facebook post yesterday, Mark Bray said the Alabama secretary of state certified the petitions his campaign submitted to appear on the ballot in the November general election [...]

No action, but more commentary, on Shelby’s commercial crew cost language

The Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill remains in the Senate, after action on the bill stalled out on the Senate floor two weeks ago due to matters unrelated to NASA. The earliest debate on the bill could resume is early next week, although it’s unclear exactly when they’ll take up the bill again.

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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 [...]