No workforce funding for the Space Coast

Speaking at the Kennedy Space Center just over a year ago, President Obama promised $40 million for “regional economic growth and job creation” on Florida’s Space Coast, $35 million of it in in the form of grants through the Commerce Department to support business in the area. Late today, though, Florida Today reported that the […]

FAA commercial space budget hearing and a policy initiative

The space subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee is holding a hearing next Thursday, May 5, on the FY2012 budget request of the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST). George Nield, the associate administrator of commercial space transportation at the FAA, is the only scheduled witness so far. The FY2012 budget […]

A much quieter Florida visit

Just over a year ago President Obama visited the Kennedy Space Center to give a major space policy speech about his vision for NASA’s future in space exploration. Yesterday, the president returned to KSC, a visit originally intended to watch the launch of space shuttle Endeavour on its final mission. Although the launch was scrubbed […]

Briefly: Augustine, Cernan, and Florida?s missing $40 million

A few space policy items from the last few days you might have missed given the other news: Nearly two years after being named to lead a committee to study the nation’s human spaceflight plans, Norm Augustine remains concerned about the funding allocated to those now-revised efforts. “I think with regard to this year’s budget, […]

What?s the future of US-China cooperation in space?

One of the few specific space policy provisions included in the final continuing resolution that funds the federal government through the rest of fiscal year 2011 has to do with cooperation with China–or, rather, prohibiting cooperation with China. The CR prevents NASA and OSTP from using any funds to “develop, design, plan, promulgate, implement, or […]

Raising the profile of FAA?s commercial space transportation work

Thursday morning the space subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee took up a topic that typically gets little attention: commercial space transportation, and the regulation thereof, as it examined the fiscal year 2012 budget proposal for the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST). The office’s proposed major budget increase ($26.6 million […]

Another turn at the plate for export control reform

Ah, export control reform. The space industry has talked about the subject for over a decade, since shortly after Congress put satellites and related components on the US Munitions List in the late 1990s, subjecting them to the far more rigorous requirements of ITAR. While there have procedural changes during this time that have helped […]

Export control reform followup

Yesterday we noted new legislation introduced last week to reform satellite export controls by giving the president the ability to remove satellite and related components from the US Munitions List (USML), although still prohibiting their export to China. However, some caution that the introduction of that legislation doesn’t mean reform is right around the corner. […]

Space transportation policy review underway

Nearly a year after the release of an overall national space policy, the Obama Administration is starting a review of “sectoral” policies, starting with the national space transportation policy. In his remarks opening the meeting of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC) in Washington yesterday, FAA associate administrator for commercial space transportation George […]

Briefly: Criticism of heavy lift and China

A proposal being circulated to use shuttle-derived elements to develop at least a demonstration of a heavy-lift launch vehicle is generating criticism from some quarters, the Orlando Sentinel reported Thursday. The architecture under consideration for the initial Space Launch System would be similar to the Jupiter-130 concept from DIRECT, placing the Orion capsule on top […]