GAO report warns of cost and schedule risks to SLS

In contrast to NASA and industry claims that work on the Space Launch System (SLS) is on track, a report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released Wednesday warned that tight schedules and budgets could delay the first launch of that heavy-lift rocket.

The report, requested by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), warned that the flat [...]

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 [...]

Planetary science review to be released soon

The long-awaited—apprehensively, in some quarters—senior review of NASA planetary science missions is effectively complete and will be publicly released in the next week or two, a NASA official said Monday.

“The planetary senior review, from a scientific report standpoint, has just been completed,” said Jim Green, director of NASA’s planetary science division, in a presentation [...]

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), [...]

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 [...]

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.

[...]

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 [...]