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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

White House, Washington Times both criticize Senate commercial crew language

It’s rare to get the Obama Administration and the conservative editorial page of the Washington Times in agreement on something. Yet, both have spoken out in opposition to report language in the Senate’s Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill—due to be considered by the full Senate this week—regarding cost and pricing data for commercial [...]

Commercial space advocates rally against Senate report language

Next week, the Senate is expected to take up the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill that the Senate Appropriations Committee approved earlier this month. The CJS bill may be combined with two other appropriations bills in a “minibus” on the Senate floor.

What has attracted the most attention about the bill is not [...]

As KSC maps out its future plans, Rubio worries about commercial competitiveness

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is embarking on a long-range master plan that, over the next two decades, foresees major changes to the center as it evolves from one that primarily supported the Space Shuttle to one that is a “multi-user” spaceport. The master plan includes, among other features, a proposed second runway and as many [...]

NASA emphasizes near-term exploration systems progress, but long-term questions remain

At a Capitol Hill luncheon Wednesday, NASA officials provided a standing room only audience with an update on the development of key elements of the agency’s exploration plans: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket, and ground systems to support those vehicles. And while officials gave the message that development of all three [...]

House approves NASA authorization bill

A NASA authorization bill that sailed through the House Science Committee in April passed the full House Monday by nearly a unanimous vote. After a brief floor debate where no members expressed opposition, the House passed HR 4412 on a 401-2 vote, far above the two-thirds threshold needed for passage under suspension of the rules. [...]

SOFIA feeling “very hopeful” about future

Three months after the White House’s budget proposal appeared to spell doom for NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)—a funding cut that would have likely required mothballing the telescope in 2015—project officials are optimistic enough about the observatory’s future that they are moving ahead with plans for future observation cycles and maintenance of the [...]

Examining the Senate’s NASA funding bill

As expected, the NASA funding levels in the Senate’s Commerce, Justice, and Science funding bill are broadly similar, but not identical, to those in the bill the House passed last week. From the report accompanying the bill, here’s how the Senate’s funding levels compare to those in the House and the President’s budget request (PBR):