First Launch of the Vision for Space Exploration Successful

First Launch of the Vision for Space Exploration Successful

The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) were successfully launched by an Atlas 5 on June 18. This is the first launch of the Vision for Space Exploration announced by President George W. Bush in January 2004. The launch originally was scheduled to take place during the Bush …

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Augustine Panel Public Meeting 1: Information Rich, No Bombshells

Augustine Panel Public Meeting 1: Information Rich, No Bombshells

The Augustine panel held a public meeting today in Washington, D.C. The day-long meeting was jam-packed with briefings from NASA, the Aerospace Corp., the COTS companies (SpaceX and Orbital), and representatives of companies and groups promoting alternatives to the Ares launch vehicles. A teleconference was held with the heads of the European Space Agency (Jean-Jacques …

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HASC "Orders Reported" the FY2010 DOD Authorization Bill, H.R. 2647; Floor Action Possible Next Week

HASC "Orders Reported" the FY2010 DOD Authorization Bill, H.R. 2647; Floor Action Possible Next Week

The House Armed Services Committee (HASC) completed its markup of the FY2010 Department of Defense Authorization Bill, H.R. 2647, on June 17 and ordered it reported from committee (which means that the committee agreed to it, but the report has not yet been formally submitted). No significant amendments affecting national security space programs appear to …

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House Continues to Debate CJS Appropriations Bill

House Continues to Debate CJS Appropriations Bill

As of 8:00 pm EDT June 17, the House was continuing to debate the CJS appropriations bill. Aficionados may watch the proceedings on C-SPAN (http://www.c-span.org).

House Passes CJS Appropriations Bill

House Passes CJS Appropriations Bill

The House of Representatives passed the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations bill early this evening. No amendments specifically affecting programs at NASA or NOAA’s satellite programs appear to have been adopted. As Congress Daily (subscription required) reported, passage came after a long series of votes that delayed a number of committee hearings. “The lengthy string …

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NPOESS Independent Review Team Report Now Available Online

NPOESS Independent Review Team Report Now Available Online

The report of the NPOESS Independent Review Team, chaired by Tom Young, is now available on the website of the House Science and Technology Committee. Mr. Young and others testified to the committee’s Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight this afternoon. The Government Accountability Office also testified and released its latest report on NPOESS.

Stimulus Money Used to Cover Overruns, Not to Accelerate Earth Science Decadal Survey Missions

Stimulus Money Used to Cover Overruns, Not to Accelerate Earth Science Decadal Survey Missions

Berrien Moore, Director of Climate Central and a member of the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Space Studies Board, testified to the House Science and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics that the additional funds provided for NASA’s earth science missions in the stimulus bill have been spent on cost overruns for existing missions, not …

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Aerospace Corp. Study Finds Delta IV Cheaper than Ares 1 For ISS Mission, But Could Add Two Years to Gap

Aerospace Corp. Study Finds Delta IV Cheaper than Ares 1 For ISS Mission, But Could Add Two Years to Gap

Aviation Week and Space Technology provided details of an as-yet unreleased Aerospace Corp. study that evaluated using a human-rated version of the Delta IV evolved expendable launch vehicle instead of the Ares 1 now in development to take crews to and from the International Space Station. The study apparently did not look at launch vehicle …

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Augustine Panel Agenda Now Available

Augustine Panel Agenda Now Available

NASA has posted the agenda for the public meeting of the Augustine panel on the future of NASA’s human space flight program that will be held tomorrow, 9:00-5:00 at the Carnegie Institute, 1530 P Street, N.W., Washington, DC.

GAO Commends NASA's Management of COTS Program, Worries About Aggressive Schedule

GAO Commends NASA's Management of COTS Program, Worries About Aggressive Schedule

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on June 16 that commends NASA for its management of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. At the same time, it expresses concern about the aggressive schedules towards which both COTS contractors — SpaceX and Orbital — are working and recently experienced delays. The study, “NASA: …

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