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 […]

The SLS debate continues

Tuesday’s House Science Committee hearing about NASA’s Space Launch System was, to some degree, predictable. Members of the committee expressed the concern, if not outright frustration, about the lack of a decision or other information from NASA about its SLS plans. NASA administrator Charles Bolden, the committee’s sole witness, reiterated that NASA was making progress […]

Coburn?s curious cuts

On Monday Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) released his own deficit reduction plan that he says will cut federal budget deficits by $9 trillion over the next decade. He provides an agency-by-agency breakdown of his proposed cuts, including a section about NASA. And his proposed cuts are, well, interesting. Coburn’s plan would, according to the document, […]

Briefly: Lamenting the shuttle?s end and NASA?s future

Barring a weather delay, the space shuttle Atlantis will land at the Kennedy Space Center in less than 24 hours, marking the end of an era of human spaceflight. That means a variety of commentary on the shuttle, space policy, and future of human spaceflight for NASA and the nation. One comment that has attracted […]

Could a contracting change jeopardize commercial crew?

[Based on a longer post at NewSpace Journal] NASA’s Commercial Crew Development, or CCDev, program has so far relied on Space Act Agreements (SAAs), giving both the agency and participating companies greater flexibility to make progress on those systems. However, NASA officials indicated Wednesday that in future CCDev rounds they may shift to a somewhat […]

Taking the high road, with a little hitchhiking

Yesterday’s successful landing of Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center marked the end of the 30-year space shuttle program and the beginning of a period of some uncertainty for NASA’s human spaceflight program. That milestone would appear to be another opportunity for critics of the Obama Administration’s space policy in Congress and elsewhere to voice […]

Olson promising new plan for space exploration

Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) kept his statement Thursday about the end of the final shuttle mission largely apolitical, thanking those who worked on the program and promising that it is “by no means the end of human space flight”. However, in an op-ed published Friday in POLITICO and co-authored by former astronaut Walt Cunningham, he […]