Briefs: New Mexico spaceport law, NASA sequestration effects, next CNES head, Garneau drops out

Legislation that would extend liability indemnification to suppliers of vehicles operating from Spaceport America is now awaiting the signature of the governor of New Mexico. On Monday the New Mexico House passed unanimous a bill that previously passed in the state Senate. The bill, long sought by state officials and Virgin Galactic alike, would extend [...]

Deal reached for New Mexico spaceflight liability legislation

That didn’t take long. Last week the New Mexico Legislature began its 2013 session, with a revision to the state’s existing commercial spaceflight liability indemnification legislation a top priority. Backers of the state’s $209-million commercial spaceport, Spaceport America, were concerned that without a revision of the law, expanding it to include suppliers and other companies [...]

The future of Spaceport America may be in the hands of the New Mexico Legislature

On Tuesday, the New Mexico Legislature convened for its 2013 session, and one of the key issues it will be dealing with, albeit indirectly, is the future of Spaceport America, the commercial spaceport in the southern part of the state. The $209-million facility’s major elements are nearly complete and its anchor tenant, suborbital spaceflight company [...]

A former New Mexico governor is helping California’s space efforts

Bill Richardson (right) with Sir Richard Branson at Spaceport America in New Mexico in October 2010, near the end of Richardson’s second and final term as governor of the state. (credit: J. Foust)

The Albuquerque Journal reported today that former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson, who helped push through development of that state’s new [...]

Happy Space Day, California

[ Apologies for the lack of posts recently, a combination of travel, a heavy workload, and illness. ]

In his first stint as governor of California in the 1970s, Jerry Brown earned the sobriquet “Governor Moonbeam” in part for his interest in space topics, including a proposal that California have its own satellite to support [...]

California legislators asked to support state’s space industry

For the last several years there has been a flurry of activity at the state level in the form of legislation and other initiatives to support commercial space ventures: tax policies, liability indemnification, support for spaceport projects, and so on. This year, for example, the Florida legislature is working on legislation to support spaceport efforts [...]

Space Day returns to Florida

Today, as Florida legislators ramp up their activities for the 2012 session, they’ll be visited by representatives of the state’s space industry for Florida Space Day. This annual event is designed to raise awareness among legislators of the industry and advocate for measures to help support it. As the Space Florida release suggests, industry will [...]

Space Forum update; New Mexico liability legislation

Space Florida issued a press release Thursday summarizing a two-day “U.S. States and Federal Government Space Forum” it hosted in Orlando earlier this week. The release provides only top-level details about the closed-door event “to enhance working relationships” among various government agencies and companies. Attendees included Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll and Alaska Lt. Gov. [...]

Thanksgiving leftovers

I hope you had a good Thanksgiving holiday. It’s been a quiet holiday in the space policy arena, as NASA and NOAA digest their final FY2012 budget and make plans for the next fiscal year. A few highlights from the federal and state level from recent days:

An amendment to a Senate appropriations bill would [...]

Taking the high road, with a little hitchhiking

Yesterday’s successful landing of Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center marked the end of the 30-year space shuttle program and the beginning of a period of some uncertainty for NASA’s human spaceflight program. That milestone would appear to be another opportunity for critics of the Obama Administration’s space policy in Congress and elsewhere to voice [...]