House Science Committee to examine “necessary updates” to commercial launch law

When Congress passed a three-year extension of the third-party commercial launch indemnification regime earlier this month (the pending legislation was used as the “legislative vehicle” for the omnibus fiscal year 2014 spending), industry celebrated the move, but some wondered if the extension would take pressure off Congress to take a broader look at commercial launch [...]

Kepler conference caught in a Chinese puzzle (updated)

As reported over the weekend, some scientists are angry with NASA and/or Congress for preventing Chinese nationals from attending next month’s Second Kepler Science Conference on the grounds of NASA’s Ames Research Center. That issue has attracted the attention of the member of Congress who put into legislation limitations on NASA cooperation with China, provisions [...]

Shutdown effects percolate through the space community

As the federal government shutdown enters its second week, the focus of the space-related impacts of the lapse in appropriations has been on NASA, who was forced to furlough about 97 percent of its employees and, temporarily, suspended preparations for the time-sensitive launch of the MAVEN Mars orbiter. Those furloughs have forced NASA to maintain [...]

Shutdown scenes from a spaceflight symposium

Despite the federal government shutdown, the US Naval Institute proceeded with a history symposium titled “Past, Present, and Future of Human Space Flight” at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, on Thursday. “The conference IS NOT AFFECTED by the government shut down,” the conference website stated, but that was only partially accurate. The shutdown [...]

More asteroid outreach, digital and analog

With NASA’s plans for an asteroid retrieval mission not currently winning widespread approval, particularly in Congress, as seen as a recent House Science Committee hearing, the space agency and the administration appear to be stepping up their efforts to build support for the mission.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy announced this week plans [...]

NSS to step up plans to advocate for NASA human spaceflight programs

The National Space Society plans to increase its efforts to advocate for NASA’s human spaceflight programs in the near future, but will also act as a watchdog for at least one element of that effort, the space advocacy organization’s executive director said Thursday.

Paul Damphousse, who became NSS’s executive director early this year, told the [...]

Senate postpones NASA hearing

Tomorrow’s scheduled hearing on NASA, “Transition and Implementation: The NASA Authorization Act of 2010″, by the Senate Commerce Committee, has been postponed to Wednesday, December 1, at 10:30 am. No reason for the delay was given.

There are two other space-related events going on in DC tomorrow, though. On Thursday morning the Space Transportation Association [...]

Briefly: Olson on the NASA bill, upcoming space policy conference

In a recent speech in the Houston area, Congressman Pete Olson blamed “an insurance item” for the House’s inability to pass the NASA authorization bill before going on recess nearly a month ago. According to local paper The Citizen, Olson told the Clear Lake Chamber that “the California delegation had a problem with an insurance [...]

Events, past and future

The Arms Control Association has made available a transcript of the panel discussion on the new national space policy hosted earlier this month by the association and the Secure World Foundation. (I included some quotes from that discussion in a piece last week on the new policy in The Space Review.)

Tuesday morning Rep. Ralph [...]

Briefly: Bolden, Dutch, and Garver

In case you missed it: the Orlando Sentinel reported Sunday that NASA administrator Charles Bolden is being investigated by the agency’s inspector general for a potential conflict of interest regarding a biofuels research program. Bolden reportedly sought the advice of officials at Marathon Oil, a company whose board Bolden previously served on, about a NASA [...]