Commercial crew challenges and champions

As soon as later today NASA is expected to announce the winners of the second round of Commercial Crew Development awards (aka CCDev-2). Space News reports that as much as $270 million in funded agreements will be awarded (although final numbers may depend on exactly what the agency’s final FY11 budget is), with four or […]

Posey wants to go back to the Moon

Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL) has been vocal recently about making human spaceflight NASA’s top priority in a constrained budget environment. Now he’s more specific: not only does he want to support human spaceflight, he wants NASA to return to the goal from the Vision for Space Exploration of sending humans back to the Moon, and […]

Planning for a shutdown

[Update 11:35 pm: Fortunately, these shutdown preparations will not have to be enacted. Congress and the White House have agreed on a budget deal for the rest FY11, and will pass a seven-day CR tonight to give them enough time to finalize the legislation and pass it.] If no agreement is reached on a fiscal […]

New organization seeks to change the space mindset in Texas

A new organization announced Friday seeks to convince Texas politicians of the benefits of commercial space–and, in the process, become a “tipping point” for a broader national change in perspectives on government versus commercial spaceflight. Speaking at the Space Access ’11 conference in Phoenix on Friday, longtime space advocate announced the formation of an organization […]

NASA FY12 budget hearing Monday

The Senate Appropriations Committee has moved up its once-delayed hearing on NASA’s FY12 budget proposal. The Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the NASA budget proposal this Monday at 4 pm. The hearing had been originally scheduled for March 31, but was postponed. At the time of the postponement […]

At a hearing about NASA?s future, discussion of its present and past

Monday afternoon’s hearing by the Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee was unusual in two respects. One was the timing of it: 4 pm on a Monday, with the Senate not yet officially back in session from the weekend. The second was that the hearing, while ostensibly about the agency’s FY2012 […]

Disappointment (and more) regarding shuttle museum decisions

In a post here last week, I noted that after NASA announced which sites will get shuttle orbiters when the fleet is retired this year, some would be disappointed—or worse—when they walk away empty-handed: “They—and their advocates in Congress—will want to know how NASA could have possibly overlooked the merits of their offer. All that […]

NASA: $18.5 billion in full-year CR

NASA would get just under $18.5 billion for 2011 in the final continuing resolution (CR) for the fiscal year released late Monday night by the House, containing just under $18.5 billion for NASA. A summary table of the bill versus 2010 and the 2011 president’s budget request (PBR) is below: Account 2010 Actual 2011 PBR […]

The source of the 130-ton SLS provision

One provision in the full-year fiscal year 2011 CR (which the House is scheduled to vote on later today) regarding NASA is language that the Space Launch System heavy-lift vehicle “shall have a lift capability not less than 130 tons and which shall have an upper stage and other core elements developed simultaneously.” That’s contrary […]

Texas versus New York

In the immediate aftermath of NASA’s announcement Tuesday, officials from Ohio and Texas, who were both left empty-handed, reacted differently to the bad news: while Ohio officials criticized the decision on geographic grounds and immediately issued a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) asking them to review the decision-making progress, Texas officials vented their […]