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 […]

More concerns about the House NASA budget

As the details about the House Appropriations Committee’s proposed FY2012 NASA budget sink in, more individuals and organizations are raising concerns about the budget. The one item that has received the most attention has been the committee’s plan to terminate funding for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), effectively ending the program. The American Astronomical […]

Still waiting on an SLS decision

For some time NASA officials, including administrator Charles Bolden, have said that a decision on the design of the Space Launch System (SLS) would come “soon”. For example, in Bolden’s speech at the National Press Club on July 1, he said NASA was nearing a decision on the SLS “and will announce that soon.” Four […]

Details about the House?s proposed NASA budget

In advance of this morning’s markup by the full House Appropriations Committee of its Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) appropriations bill, the committee released yesterday its report about the bill, which includes some additional funding details and other items about the bill. Some highlights: On perhaps the bill’s biggest issue, the proposed termination of the […]