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 [...]

New national space transportation policy makes modest, not major, changes

After many months of delays, the Obama Administration quietly released Thursday afternoon a new National Space Transportation Policy. This is an update to the former space transportation policy developed during the Bush Administration and completed in late 2004. Both documents outline policy in regards of civil, national security, and commercial launch activities in the United [...]

Cygnus success generates a few reactions

Perhaps because of the preoccupation in Washington with the impending (less than one hour from now, as of publication of this post) federal government shutdown, there have only been a handful of reactions to Sunday’s successful berthing of Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station. Shortly after the berthing, NASA did issue [...]

On the importance of a NASA authorization bill

While Congress is back in session this month, few observers expect they will spend much, if any, time on the topic of a new NASA authorization bill. There are too many other issues for members to deal with, from foreign policy to a continuing resolution to keep the government funded; moreover, the differences between the [...]

Bolden’s “flaky” explanation of NASA’s asteroid redirection mission

The Washington Post published an interview yesterday with NASA administrator Charles Bolden, primarily discussing leadership issues Bolden has faced in his four years at the top of the agency. Towards the end, though, the Post asks Bolden about NASA’s plans to direct an asteroid, in particular asking if that plan meets the goal established by [...]