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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Supporting space in Florida

Florida Senate president Mike Haridopolos, who is also seeking the Republican nomination to run against US Senator Bill Nelson in 2012, called for more support from the federal government for Florida’s space industry in a curious op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel on Wednesday. Haridopolos laments the impending layoff of 1,900 workers at the Kennedy Space […]

Budget wrapup and heavy-lift language

On Friday the president signed into law the final fiscal year 2011 appropriations bill, ending an appropriations process that started over a year ago. Passage of the bill last week was greeted relatively quietly, with a rather generic statement of appreciation from NASA administrator Charles Bolden, who noted the bill gives NASA the funds to […]