SpacePolicyOnline.com Latest News
NASA has submitted its market assessment for commercial crew and cargo systems. It was prepared in response to a requirement in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.
The top Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee sent a letter to NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden today criticizing the agency's implementation of the 2010 NASA Authorization Act.
The chairmen of the full committee and of the Science and Space Subcommittee, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) and their Republican counterparts, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) and Sen. John Boozman (R-AR) charged that NASA "has not made sufficient progress in carrying out the changes" required by the 2010 NASA Authorization Act and "has not adequately complied with a number of reporting requirements" in that Act.
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee has posted the witness list for tomorrow's hearing on Contributions of Space to National Imperatives.
The witnesses are:
The hearing is at 10:30 am in 253 Russell Senate Office Building.
Paul Dembling, a highly respected lawyer renowned for his role in helping to craft the 1958 National Aeronautics and Space Act (NASA Act), passed away on May 16 according to NASA.
Mr. Dembling was the general counsel to NASA's predecessor agency, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), and along with other experts, including Eilene Galloway at Congress's Legislative Reference Service (now the Congressional Research Service), drafted the law that created NASA. He served in several capacities at NASA -- as general counsel, head of Legislative Affairs, and Deputy Associate Administrator.
Next week, a House subcommittee will hold a hearing on whether the companies that intend to provide commercial cargo services for the International Space Station will be ready to fulfill that role.
On May 26, the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hear from NASA, GAO, and the two companies that plan to offer commercial cargo services, SpaceX and Orbital Sciences. The topic is "NASA's Commercial Cargo Providers: Are They Ready to Supply the Space Station in the Post-Shuttle Era?" Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Flight, will represent the agency. Gwynne Shotwell and Frank Culbertson will be there on behalf of SpaceX and Orbital, respectively. Cristina Chaplain will testify for the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner announced this morning that the United States has reached the legal limit of how much debt it can incur. Just weeks ago, the imminent breach of the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling was the source of political angst in Washington, but Geithner is keeping the government solvent until August 2 by not contributing the government's share to certain government retirement accounts.
In a letter to Congress, Geithner notified the congressional leadership that Treasury will not "invest fully" in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund or the Government Securities Investment Fund (the "G" Fund) of the Federal Employees' Retirement System. He said those accounts would be "made whole once the debt limit is increased."
The following events may be of interest in the week ahead. For more information, check our calendar on the right menu or click the links below. Times, dates and witnesses for congressional hearings are subject to change; check the committee's website for up to date information. The House is in recess this week; the Senate is in session.
Monday, May 16
Tuesday, May 17
Wednesday, May 18
Wednesday-Friday, May 18-20
Wednesday-Sunday, May 18-22
Friday, May 20
The STS-134 mission is underway. Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off on schedule at 8:56 am EDT and is now in orbit. A post-launch press conference is scheduled for no earlier than 10:00 am EDT. It can be watched on NASA TV.
NASA's press conference about the Endeavour launch is just starting. Watch on NASA TV.
Space Shuttle Endeavour remains on schedule for launch at 8:56 am EDT tomorrow, Monday, May 16. The STS-134 mission is Endeavour's last. Its April 29 scheduled launch was delayed because of technical problems that have been resolved.
The 16-day mission will take the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer science instrument and other equipment and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS).
Events of Interest