GAO report offers good news, but also warnings, about performance of NASA programs

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released on Tuesday its annual assessment of “large-scale” NASA projects. The good news of the report was that NASA, by and large, is doing well in terms of cost and schedule performance of its major programs: an average cost growth of 3% and launch delay of 2.8 months for 14 [...]

The substance, or lack thereof, of NASA’s ban on Russian cooperation

The news last week that NASA was cutting off cooperation with the Russian government—with the very large exception of International Space Station (ISS) operations—attracted a lot of attention in the space industry and the general public, which continues to the present. “NASA is cutting ties with Russia. But it’s not that simple,” reads the headline [...]

Subcommittee quickly approves amended NASA authorization bill

The House Science Committee’s space subcommittee quickly approved an amended version of HR 4412 during a markup session this morning that lasted less than half an hour. Instead of the bill text as filed, the subcommittee adopted an amendment in the nature of a substitute with several changes to the bill introduced earlier this week.

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New NASA authorization bill makes only minor changes to last year’s version

At 9 am today, the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee will mark up a new version of a NASA authorization bill, formally introduced earlier this week. The new bill, HR 4412, is very similar to the bill the Science Committee marked up last summer, HR 2687, a bill that generated unusually strong partisan [...]

Bolden and House appropriators spar on various issues

NASA administrator Charles Bolden appeared before the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee in a hearing about NASA’s fiscal year 2015 budget request Tuesday morning—and into the afternoon as well, as the hearing, which started at 9:30 am, didn’t wrap up until about 1 pm. The first part of the [...]

Mikulski wants to up the new budget to flat

While the White House proposed a fiscal year 2015 budget that cut NASA by about one percent over 2014, the chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee said Monday she will try to change that.

“My goal for NASA is to make sure we’re at least at the 2014 level,” said Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) in [...]

A full schedule of hearings next week

The week of April 7 is shaping up to be an unusually busy one for space policy, with no fewer than four hearings on various aspects of civil and commercial space, including markups of two bills.

On Tuesday, April 8, the House Appropriations Committee’s Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) subcommittee is holding a hearing on [...]

Sorting out NASA’s ban on non-ISS activities with Russia

More than a day after NASA announced its suspension of “the majority” of its cooperative activities with Russia, excluding the ISS, many in the space community were still not clear exactly what that ban covered, and also how it originated. Comments by NASA and other administration officials Thursday didn’t necessarily make things clearer.

“What’s the [...]

Bolden, Smith clash over Mars 2021 and ARM

The crisis in US-Russian space relations may be the current top story in space policy, but it’s not preventing debates about over topics, notably, where humans should go beyond Earth orbit.

That debate flared up Thursday when NASA administrator Charles Bolden appeared before a joint meeting of the Space Studies Board (SSB) and Aeronautics and [...]

NASA suspends non-ISS cooperation with Russia

In a decision that is more symbolic than substantive, NASA confirmed late Wednesday that it is suspending cooperation with the Russian government, with the very large exception of operations of the International Space Station (ISS).

“Given Russia’s ongoing violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, NASA is suspending the majority of its ongoing engagements with [...]