Congress: February 2012 Archives

Huntsville to have co-pilot in NASA (editorial), Huntsville Times

"Marshall Space Flight Center Director Robert Lightfoot's promotion to NASA headquarters should bode well for Marshall as NASA focuses on development of America's next generation rockets. ... Huntsville lawyer Mark McDaniel, who served on the national NASA advisory council from 2000 to 2005, said Lightfoot will be a key player in decisions by the NASA administrator, president and Congress. "In Washington, access is everything. The associate administrator will be right down the hall from the administrator and deputy administrator."

Keith's note: So in other words, it would seem that McDaniel et al expect Lightfoot to put MSFC concerns (e.g. SLS) ahead of the rest of the agency due to his "access'. Yet these same people complain when other centers get their way. Hmm. Lightfoot's position is at NASA "Headquarters" and it concerns the management of the entire agency - not sending things down to Huntsville because he owns a house there. I'm not sure that the Huntsville folks undersand that.

Dale Returning to House Science Committee, Space News

"Former NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale is returning to Capitol Hill to serve as principal policy adviser to Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee."

Budget Reactions

Obama wants $2.1 billion for NASA's Florida spaceport, Reuters

"The center's proposed budget increase won't mean more NASA jobs, however. Cabana told reporters he expects Kennedy Space Center's workforce to remain at about 7,500 employees through 2013. That number includes about 2,050 civil servants."

NASA Seeks More Money For Space Technology, Information Week

"NASA's budget request for space technology for 2013 is $699 million, a $124 million--or roughly 18%--increase over last year."

Rep. Rohrabacher Critical of Administration's NASA FY '13 Budget Request

"The administration's FY'13 budget includes almost $1.9 billion for continued pursuit of the SLS Titanic, a 'monster rocket' based on 40-year-old Space Shuttle technology in an attempt to recapture the glory days of the Apollo Saturn V," said Rohrabacher."

Rep. Schiff Statement on Meeting with NASA Administrator

"As I told the Administrator during our meeting, I oppose these ill-considered cuts and I will do everything in my power to restore the Mars budget and to ensure American leadership in space exploration."

In Search of Charlie Bolden's Solid Plan for NASA

"According to NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden in yesterday's budget press conference, "The time for debate about our future is over. We have a solid plan, a sustainable plan, and we are moving out to implement it, opening the next great chapter of American exploration." "Solid plan"? Quite the contrary."

NASA Wants A Flat Budget For Fiscal 2013, Aviation Week

"NASA will take only an $89 million cut in its topline spending request for fiscal 2013 compared to this year's operating plan, sources said Friday, but the $17.711 billion NASA budget proposal due out Feb. 13 will axe the joint effort with Europe to return samples from Mars to pay for development overruns on the James Webb Space Telescope."

Scientists say NASA will cut missions to Mars, MSNBC

"Jim Bell, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University who also serves as president of the nonprofit Planetary Society, said "there's some validity" to the criticism of NASA's budgetary record. He said the scientific community "has heard that message" and is trying to focus on the highest-priority planetary projects for the next decade, including missions to Mars. "The community has a responsibility to demonstrate that we can do this within cost limits. ... If there are to be cuts, let's try to make them as fair as possible," he told msnbc.com. "It would seem to be fair if everyone across the board is being asked to scale back. The cuts should be equitable, but I don't think we're seeing that."

Congressman Adam Schiff opposes potential cuts to NASA's planetary exploration program, San Gabriel Tribune

"Schiff described his meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden as "tense." "What I'm hearing that they're proposing will be absolutely devastating to planetary science and the Mars program," Schiff said. "If this is what they have in mind, I'm going to be fighting them tooth and nail."

Scientists say NASA cutting missions to Mars, AP

"Two scientists who were briefed on the 2013 NASA budget that will be released next week said the space agency is eliminating two proposed joint missions with Europeans to explore Mars in 2016 and 2018. NASA had agreed to pay $1.4 billion for those missions. Some Mars missions will continue, but the fate of future flights is unclear."

Keith's note:Meanwhile the James Webb Space Telescope crowd is eerily quiet. They know that the cost being covered for their latest overrun grossly eclipses the cuts that are being made elswhere. Alas, the grossly over-budget and oft-delayed MSL is on its way to Mars while the grossly over-budget ISS orbits overhead.

50 years of doing this - and NASA still can't figure out what things will actually cost?

Commercial space industry welcomes FAA bill, The Hill

"By extending the learning period, we're opening the door for continued growth and job creation, while also helping keep America at the forefront of space travel and exploration. I look forward to seeing what comes next from this burgeoning industry," said House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)."

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Welcomes Passage of Legislation to Provide Regulatory Stability to Growing Industry

"The Commercial Spaceflight Federation welcomes Congress's passage today of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, which includes a key provision granting regulatory stability to the commercial spaceflight industry."

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Welcomes Passage of Legislation to Provide Regulatory Stability to Growing Industry

"The Commercial Spaceflight Federation welcomes Congress's passage today of the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, which includes a key provision granting regulatory stability to the commercial spaceflight industry."

AIA Praises Congressional Passage of FAA Reauthorization

"The Aerospace Industries Association welcomes House and Senate passage of the conference report on H.R. 658, the "FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012." It is critical to FAA operations and offers stability and predictability to the aviation industry instead of the uncertainty fueled by one short-term extension after another."


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