NASA complying with Senate request for documents

It appears that the threat of a Senate subpoena was sufficient to get NASA’s attention. Florida Today reports that NASA is providing the Senate Commerce Committee with documents it requested last week. The report is unclear whether the agency had actually delivered those documents to the committee by its deadline of 6 pm Eastern time […]

The national space policy turns one

One year ago today the Obama Administration released its national space policy, a document that, while having much of the same policy foundations as previous documents, differed in both details and tone. The new policy placed a greater emphasis on space sustainability, responsible use of space, and international cooperation, while also supporting commercial space efforts, […]

Briefly: Budget turmoil, 2012 lobbying

The least surprising headline of the day is from Aerospace Daily: “NASA Funding Mired In Budget Politics”. While politics has always played a major role, the article suggests that the situation this year is even more complicated and uncertain than usual. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who chairs the Senate appropriations subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes NASA, […]

Still waiting on an SLS

Going into Friday afternoon’s speech at the National Press Club, there was little expectation that NASA administrator Charles Bolden would make any major announcements, including on the agency’s plans for the Space Launch System (SLS). And that’s how it turned out: his speech was focused on the agency’s general plans for life after the space […]

Americans want to be leaders in space exploration. But what does that mean?

The Pew Research Center released poll results yesterday that concluded that Americans wants the US to remain leaders in space exploration. Fifty-eight percent of those polled said they agreed it was “essential” that the US “continue to be a world leader in space exploration”. Slightly higher positive responses came from people with family incomes in […]

House appropriators swing the budget axe

The House Appropriations Committee released its draft Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill today, and the news is by and large not good for NASA. The committee is proposing $16.81 billion for NASA in FY12, nearly $2 billion less than the $18.724 billion in the president’s FY12 request. Here is an account-by-account comparison between […]

Obama: ?pushing NASA to revamp its vision?

Yesterday the White House hosted a “Twitter Town Hall”, where President Obama answered questions directed to him though Twitter. (Unlike the questions, the president’s answers were not restricted to 140 characters.) While much of the forum dealt with economic issues, one of the questions–perhaps not surprisingly, given that the final shuttle mission is set to […]

Initial reactions to the House NASA budget proposal

The draft Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill released Wednesday by the House Appropriations Committee attracted considerable attention in the space community because of its plan to terminate funding for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, part of nearly $2 billion in overall cuts from the administration’s request. Astronomers in particular have been particularly outspoken […]

Members of Congress on the end of the Space Shuttle

I’m at the Kennedy Space Center this morning, where in a couple of hours, if weather permits (a big if right now!) and there are no technical issues, the shuttle Atlantis will lift off on STS-135, the final shuttle mission. In the last few days several members of Congress have spoken about the shuttle’s end […]

President?s statement on the launch of Atlantis

For the second time this week, President Obama has spoken publicly about space issues. In a “Twitter Town Hall” on Wednesday he described how he was pushing NASA to “revamp its vision”. This afternoon, a few hours after the successful launch of the shuttle Atlantis on the final mission of the program, he released a […]