Running the numbers on alien life

by Will Parker

A multi-institute team of scientists have proposed a new method of assessing the likelihood of life on alien worlds (exoplanets) while another group is mulling the possibility that alien space probes might currently be residing in our solar system.

Astrobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch, from Washington State University, believes that a method for quantifying […]

Congressional Spending Plan Slashes CCDev Request by 52 Percent

Credit: Parabolic Arc Space Blog

Lawmakers have given preliminary approval to a NASA budget that will provide $406 million to the Commercial Crew Development program, a 52 percent decrease from the $850 million requested by the Obama Administration. The amount exactly splits the difference between the $312 million the House proposed and the $500 million […]

More on NASA funding in the FY12 conference report

Credit: Space Politics Blog

Here’s the breakdown of the final conference report funding for NASA compared to the President’s original budget request (PBR) and the versions of the budget passed by the House Appropriations Committee (HAC) and Senate Appropriations Committee (SAC):

PBR HAC SAC Final Science $5,016.80 $4,504.00 $5,100.00 $5,090.00 Aeronautics $569.40 $569.93 $501.00 $569.90 […]

House hearing today on NASA’s planetary exploration plans

Credit: Space Politics Blog

The space subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee is holding a hearing today on “Exploring Mars and Beyond: What’s Next for U.S. Planetary Science?”. Appearing before the committee are Jim Green, the director of NASA’s planetary science division, and Steve Squyres, the chair of the most recent planetary […]

House-Senate agreement would give NASA $17.8 billion in 2012

Credit: Space Politics Blog

The House Appropriations Committee announced Monday night that House and Senate negotiators had reached agreement on a conference report on the so-called “minibus” appropriations bill that combines three separate bills, including the Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) bill. The full conference report has not be published yet, but the committee did […]

OMB Cited as Obstacle to NASA-ESA Mars Cooperation

Credit: Space Policy Online Blog

Written by Marcia Smith

Tuesday, 15 November 2011 16:21

It is rare in Washington for critics of actions by individual government employees to name names in congressional hearings, but today was an exception.  At a House subcommittee hearing on the future of NASA’s planetary science program, Cornell University’s Steve […]

NASA Fleshes Out SLS Development Schedule

By Frank Morring, Jr., Jefferson Morris Marshall Space Flight Center, Washington

Struggling to stay within a flat budget for the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS), NASA plans to halt development of the J-2X rocket engine that will power its upper stage after the ongoing development-test series.

Once the pacing item for the defunct Ares I […]

Last Minute Push for Fully Funding NASA Commercial Spacecraft Development

By Doug Mohney, Contributing Editor

An eclectic lineup of former astronauts, aerospace industry companies, and critics have sent a pair of letters to Congress supporting full funding for NASA’s commercial spacecraft development program in FY 2012. NASA says it needs $850 million to move the Commercial Crew (CCDev) program along so private industry can deliver flights to the International […]

Group Letter From Former Astronauts To Congress Regarding NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Honorable Barbara Mikulski Chair, Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies 503 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Frank Wolf Chair, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies 241 Cannon House Office Building Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairwoman Mikulski and Chairman […]

Group Letter To Congress and the Obama Administration Regarding NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

8 November 2011

Dear Members of Congress and the Administration:

We, the undersigned space leaders, are strong supporters of human spaceflight. Among us are former NASA astronauts, executives, and advisors, CEOs and directors of firms large and small, space scientists, space journalists, and others.

We write today to urge you to expedite plans to use […]