Bolden and Holdren reaffirm support for asteroid mission as the next step to Mars

The head of NASA and the President’s science advisor told the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) this week that the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) remained the next logical step of a long-term strategy to eventually send people to Mars, despite the protestations of some in Congress as well as “outside fan clubs.”

“The FY15 budget [...]

Intel community willing to allow higher resolution commercial imagery

For the last few years, commercial satellite remote sensing company DigitalGlobe (and, before its merger with DigitalGlobe, GeoEye) has been lobbying the government to allow it to sell sharper satellite imagery that it’s currently allowed. DigitalGlobe is currently restricted to selling imagery with resolution no sharper than 0.5 meters per pixel, but has been pushing [...]

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 [...]

Bipartisan House letter calls for “vision and timeline” for space exploration

A letter to President Obama signed by 30 members of the House of Representatives calls on the White House to provide more details, and support, for human space exploration. The letter, dated March 21 and released Monday, expresses concern about “shifting priorities for NASA and the resulting mixed signals this sends relative to the United [...]

What to look for on budget day

Today’s the day the Obama Administration releases its fiscal year 2015 budget proposal. The Office of Management and Budget will release the overall budget documents likely by mid-morning, and NASA will release its detailed budget proposal at 1 pm EST in advance of a 2 pm briefing. (That briefing was originally, and curiously, slated to [...]

Bolden: search for new deputy administrator ongoing

The position of NASA Deputy Administrator has been vacant since Lori Garver left the agency in early September to become general manager of the Air Line Pilots Association. There has, since then, been occasional speculation about who might be picked to take the job, with some wondering if the position—which, like the administrator, requires a [...]

ISS extension plan wins domestic support, but international uncertainty

After word broke that the White House had backed plans to extend the life of the International Space Station to at least 2024, the administration scrambled to make the news official, holding a midday media telecon Wednesday to discuss the extension. Late in the day, NASA administrator Charles Bolden and presidential science advisor John Holdren [...]

Report: White House approves plans for ISS extension

The Orlando Sentinel reported last night that the White House has approved plans to extend ISS operations beyond 2020 to 2024. NASA is expected to announce the extension this week, likely in conjunction with an international conference on space exploration featuring officials from over 30 nations tomorrow and Friday in Washington. Such an extension would [...]

As budget endgame approaches, scientists make another lobbying push

With a week to go, House and Senate budget negotiators are approaching a deal to set spending levels for fiscal year 2014 and avoid another round of sequestration. POLITICO reported Thursday night that the lead negotiatiors, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), are only “a few billion dollars apart” on a deal, [...]

Reaction to the new national space transportation policy: positive, but bland

Thursday’s release of the new National Space Transportation Policy didn’t contain much in the way of surprises or other major changes compared to the previous policy or ongoing activities by NASA and other federal agencies. As a result, the official reaction to the policy was generally pretty positive, if bland.

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), ranking [...]