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National Public Radio (NPR) ran an interesting piece on July 24 about the space shuttle program as it closes in on its last flights.
Keith Cowing at NASAWatch reports that Klaus Heiss has passed away. Dr. Heiss was an eminent space economist. Though his economic analyses were sometimes the subject of spirited debate, no one could question his enthusiasm for space exploration and conviction of its economic potential.
The following events may be of interest in the upcoming week. For more information, see our calendar on the right menu or click the links below. Congressional activities are subject to change. Check the relevant committee's website for up to date information.
During the Week
Tuesday, July 27
Wednesday, July 28
Thursday, July 29
Friday, July 30
The Defense-Industrial Initiatives Group of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) released today a report entitled National Security and the Commercial Space Sector: An Analysis and Evaluation of Options for Improving Commercial Access to Space. David Berteau, co-director of the project, said during this morning's release event that there has been a lot of interest from government in looking at this issue and that the "co-dependency" of these two sectors was not being undervalued.
The report, which builds upon a draft version released last April, includes an analysis of four options - including use of foreign launch providers, and a bigger government role in the domestic launch market - to improve commercial access to space. As related issues continue being debated on Capitol Hill over the use of commercial and foreign space assets, Mr. Berteau explained that the report provides analytical discussion of these options and does not constitute "up front endorsement" of them by CSIS or the authors of the report.
UPDATE: A link to the Senate appropriations committee report that accompanies the bill, S. 3636, has been added. The text of the bill itself has not yet been posted on Thomas.
House Science and Technology Committee Markup of NASA Authorization Bill
Senate Approps Markup of CJS Bill is at 2:30 pm Thursday; Audio of Today's Subcommittee Markup Now Available
The Senate Appropriations Committee will mark up the FY2011 Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) appropriations bill tomorrow (Thursday) at 2:30 pm. (Note that the committee's website says the markup begins at 2:00, but Senator Mikulski said 2:30. They are marking up three bills. ) The CJS bill includes NASA and NOAA. The audio of the CJS subcommittee's pro forma markup today is on the committee's website and a press release provides a broad overview of the subcommittee's action. The audio lasts only about 10 minutes. The one paragraph summaries from the subcommittee's press release regarding NASA and NOAA are as follows:
"National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) - The bill provides $19 billion for NASA, $278 million above the Fiscal Year 2010 level and equal to the President's request. The total funding includes $1.6 billion for Space Shuttle operations; $2.78 billion for Space Station operations; $3 billion for development of the next generation Crew Launch Vehicle and Crew Exploration Vehicle; $5 billion for science; and $904 million for aeronautics and space technology research. The bill restructures NASA's human spaceflight programs, providing for a new heavy lift launch vehicle and crew capsule for exploring beyond low-Earth orbit, extending the life of the International Space Station through 2020, supporting the burgeoning commercial space industry, investing in new technology development, and allowing one additional Space Shuttle flight, if determined to be safe."
I'm at the House Science and Technology Committee markup of the NASA authorization bill. Follow me on Twitter: SpcPlcyOnline. -- Marcia
Here's a recap of important space policy-related events in the nation's capital tomorrow, Thursday, July 22:
The text of the Senate Commerce Committee's version of the NASA authorization bill is now available on the committee's website.
UPDATE: A very quick comparison with the Senate version of the bill has been added.
A very quick glance through the bill reveals these differences with what is publicly known about the Senate version, the text of which has not yet been posted on the Web. This is not meant to be a comprehensive comparison.
There are similarities, too. Both bills authorize $19 billion for NASA in FY2011, the same as the President's request. Both call for extending the International Space Station to at least 2020. Both require the development of a government-owned crew transportation system in parallel with commercial efforts, which would serve as a backup when commercial capabilities become available. Both require immediate development of a heavy lift launch capability.
Events of Interest