What’s Happening in Space Policy July 14-20, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy July 14-20, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of July 14-20, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

Read More Read More

Bridenstine: Concern about Cost & Schedule Realism Led to Gerstenmaier and Hill Reassignments

Bridenstine: Concern about Cost & Schedule Realism Led to Gerstenmaier and Hill Reassignments

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in an interview today that his decision to reassign Bill Gerstenmaier and Bill Hill was not abrupt, but reflected a growing concern that cost and schedule estimates for the systems needed for the Artemis program are unrealistic. Repeatedly underscoring the need to meet the White House’s goal of returning astronauts to the Moon by 2024, what counts now is “realism” and he believes new leadership is required to reassess the programs and establish new baselines if necessary.

Read More Read More

Top House Committee Democrats Seek Details of Sudden Dismissal of Gerstenmaier and Hill

Top House Committee Democrats Seek Details of Sudden Dismissal of Gerstenmaier and Hill

The two top Democrats on the House Science, Space, and Technology (SS&T) Committee that oversee NASA expressed surprise at yesterday’s sudden dismissal of two NASA officials leading the Artemis program to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024, Bill Gerstenmaier and Bill Hill.  Expressing concern about the impact on the human spaceflight program of losing its engineering leadership at a critical time, they called on NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to further explain his decision. Meanwhile, Bridenstine announced a nationwide search today to find their permanent replacements.

Read More Read More

Bridenstine Opens Search for Gerstenmaier, Hill Successors

Bridenstine Opens Search for Gerstenmaier, Hill Successors

A day after abruptly reassigning them to “special advisor” roles in the agency, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the opening of a nationwide search for successors to Bill Gerstenmaier and Bill Hill.  Gerstenmaier had been the long-time head of NASA’s human spaceflight program.  Hill headed the effort to build a new big rocket, the Space Launch System, and Orion crew spacecraft to send astronauts back to the Moon and on to Mars.  Bridenstine’s memo announcing the job search is posted below.

Read More Read More

Gerstenmaier Ouster Catches Space Community By Surprise

Gerstenmaier Ouster Catches Space Community By Surprise

The sudden ouster of Bill Gerstenmaier as the head of NASA’s human spaceflight program caught the space community by surprise.  Hours earlier he had testified to a House committee about the future of activities in low Earth orbit (LEO) with no indication that anything was amiss. His deputy, former astronaut Ken Bowersox, will succeed him on an acting basis, but there is much scratching of heads as to what this means for NASA’s plans to get back to the Moon and on to Mars.

Read More Read More

Gerstenmaier, Hill Out as Human Spaceflight Leaders at NASA HQ

Gerstenmaier, Hill Out as Human Spaceflight Leaders at NASA HQ

Bill Gerstenmaier, the head of NASA’s human spaceflight program, and Bill Hill, in charge of NASA’s efforts to build a new rocket and crew spacecraft to get astronauts back to the Moon, have been replaced. In a statement this evening, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said it is time for new leadership.  Former astronaut Ken Bowersox will take over Gerstenmaier’s position on an acting basis.  Tom Whitmeyer will replace Hill in an acting capacity.  Here is Bridenstine’s full statement.

Read More Read More

Legislation to Protect Lunar Heritage Sites Clears Senate Committee

Legislation to Protect Lunar Heritage Sites Clears Senate Committee

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee today approved a bill to protect lunar heritage sites — such as where Apollo 11 landed — as more countries and companies pursue activities on the Moon’s surface. The bill requires anyone getting a license from the U.S. government to conduct lunar activities to agree to observe recommendations developed by NASA in 2011 and any updates to it.  Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a co-sponsor of the bill, said he would work with the House to pass the legislation and get it on the President’s desk “quickly.”

Read More Read More

Senate Committee Working on New, Bold NASA Authorization Bill

Senate Committee Working on New, Bold NASA Authorization Bill

Key members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee are working on a new NASA authorization bill that will spell out a “bold” vision for the agency’s future.  Aviation and Space Subcommittee chairman Ted Cruz (R-TX) made clear that his goal is for America to continue to lead in exploring space and make sure the “first boot to set foot on the surface of Mars will be that of an American astronaut.”

Read More Read More

What’s Happening in Space Policy July 7-13, 2019

What’s Happening in Space Policy July 7-13, 2019

Here is SpacePolicyOnline.com’s list of space policy events for the week of July 7-13, 2019 and any insight we can offer about them.  The House and Senate are in session this week.

Read More Read More

Trump Promises the Moon “Very Soon” and Mars “Someday Soon”

Trump Promises the Moon “Very Soon” and Mars “Someday Soon”

In his Salute to America address yesterday, President Trump honored iconic NASA Apollo flight director Gene Kranz and promised that the United States will be back on the Moon “very soon.”  He then added that trips to Mars will happen “someday soon.”  He invoked the names of other aviation and space legends, but stopped short of the rousing rhetoric used by Vice President Mike Pence in March to proclaim that American astronauts will return to the lunar surface in 2024.

Read More Read More