Latest News

NASA To Announce New Mars Finding

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 03-Aug-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:15 PM)

NASA will hold a news briefing tomorrow to announce a new Mars finding from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The briefing is at 2:00 pm EDT at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. NASA says only that it is a "significant new Mars finding" from the MRO, which has been orbiting Mars since 2006. It will be televised on NASA TV.

The Deal is Done

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 02-Aug-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:17 PM)

President Obama has signed the debt limit/deficit reduction deal. It is now the law of the land. The New York Times has a very helpful graphic of what it all means.

Senate Passes Debt Deal

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 02-Aug-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:17 PM)

The Senate has passed the debt limit/deficit reduction bill. It now goes to President Obama for signature. The vote was 74-26 according to the National Journal.

LightSquared Hearing Postponed

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 02-Aug-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:14 PM)

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee has postponed the hearing on LightSquared that was scheduled for tomorrow.

House Passes Debt Limit Bill with Rep. Giffords Voting Aye

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 02-Aug-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:14 PM)

Rep. Gabriele Giffords (D-AZ) returned to her job representing her Tucson, AZ district in the House of Representatives today after a seven month absence following an assassination attempt in January. Her vote helped the House pass the debt limit/deficit reduction deal agreed upon by the White House and congressional leaders yesterday.

The House passed the bill 269-161, but the big story was the return of Rep. Giffords.

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill tomorrow.

Ash Carter Nominated to be DepSecDef

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 02-Aug-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:12 PM)

Today, President Obama nominated Ashton B. Carter to be the new Deputy Secretary of Defense.

This is part of the change in command at the top level of the Department of Defense. Bob Gates resigned as Secretary of Defense and was replaced by Leon Panetta last month.

Carter would replace William J. Lynn III in the deputy position. Lynn left the department shortly after Gates. Carter currently is the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD/ATL). The nomination requires Senate confirmation,

White House Fact Sheet on Debt LImit Deal

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 01-Aug-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:18 PM)

The White House website has a fact sheet outlining the deal that was reached last night on raising the debt limit and reducing the deficit. The House and Senate still must approve it.

Tentative Debt Limit/Deficit Reduction Agreement Reached

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 01-Aug-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:17 PM)

President Obama told the nation that agreement has been reached on raising the debt limit and reducing the deficit.

He said, however, that the deal still must be approved by Congress. The White House released a fact sheet describing the compromise. House and Senate leaders are expected to discuss it with their caucuses tomorrow.

Commercial Crew Companies Object to NASA Contract Change

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 01-Aug-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:13 PM)

Companies involved in building commercial crew systems with financial support from NASA so far have taken advantage of a type of "other transaction authority" contracting tool called a Space Act Agreement (SAA). Now that the system designs are maturing and NASA needs to levy requirements on what those systems must do, the agency wants to change how they contract with these companies. The companies are not happy about it.

Jeff Foust has an excellent recap of the problems facing NASA and the companies in today's Space Review. The companies essentially worry that being brought under the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FARs) that government agencies like NASA typically use will sharply increase their costs. NASA feels that it is the only way it can ensure that safety requirements, for example, are met.

UPDATE: Events of Interest: Week of July 31-August 7, 2011

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 31-Jul-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:18 PM)

UPDATE: The LightSquared hearing on August 3 has been postponed.

The following events may be of interest in the coming week. For more information, check our calendar on the right menu or click the links below. The House and Senate are both in session this week. Times and dates for congressional activities are subject to change.

During the Week

Just like last week, the debt limit/deficit reduction debate is expected to be the all-consuming topic, at least in the early part of the week. Cautious optimism prevails that some sort of deal will be struck by Tuesday, August 2, when the Obama Administration says that the United States no longer will be able to pay all of its bills.

Meanwhile, the House is expected to continue consideration of the FY2012 Interior-Environment appropriations bill, which includes the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The House Appropriations Committee denied USGS's proposal to take over the Landsat program completely from NASA; it already operates the existing Landsat satellites.

Sunday-Wednesday, July 31-August 3

Monday, August 1

Tuesday, August 2

Tuesday-Wednesday, August 2-3

Wednesday, August 3

Wednesday-Friday, August 3-5

Thursday, August 4

Thursday-Friday, August 4-5

Thursday-Sunday, August 4-7

Events of Interest

Full calendar of future events (with filters)-click here »


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