NASA: Endeavour ‘good to go’ Monday

Thanks to positive results on all pre-flight checks, NASA officials on Saturday unanimously gave the go-ahead for the Monday launch of the space shuttle Endeavour.

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 […]

Another sign of tight budgets ahead

It’s been clear for some time that the budget environment for the next fiscal year (and beyond) will be constrained, given concerns about massive budget deficits and the nation’s growing debt. This week has given another clue about how tight those budgets might be for next year for NASA and other agencies. The House Appropriations […]

More on Wolf, NASA, and China

As noted here yesterday, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), chairman of the appropriations subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes NASA, had some critical remarks about cooperation with China in a symposium on China’s space program held earlier this week. Wolf’s office has posted his prepared statement from that hearing, which goes into more details about his thoughts about […]