SpacePolicyOnline.com Latest News
Whether the government shuts down on Friday at midnight is now in the Senate's court. The House just passed the two-week Continuing Resolution (H. J. Res. 44) that would fund the government through March 18. It contains $4 billion in cuts, but none directly affects space activities at NASA, NOAA or DOD.
The White House was hoping to get the bill extended to a 30-day CR instead of two weeks. It is up to the Senate at this point to decide whether to agree with the House or pass a bill with different language.
The House is expected to pass a two-week Continuing Resolution (CR) today that would extend government spending at FY2010 levels for most agencies through March 18. The bill, H. J. Res. 44, contains $4 billion in spending reductions.
The $4 billion reduction is achieved by eliminating earmarks and cutting spending by small amounts in a variety of government agencies. NASA is not affected by those cuts. The bill does not contain language lifting the restriction on terminating the Constellation program that was in the FY2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act.
Current NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and former NASA Administrator James Beggs will discuss the past 30 years of the space shuttle program and what lies ahead for human spaceflight at the State of the Agency meeting at NASA Headquarters on Friday. The meeting is sponsored by the NASA Alumni League and several other space organizations. Mr. Beggs, who was NASA Administrator from 1981-1986, is chairman of the NASA Alumni League.
Mr. Beggs was the driving force behind what is now known as the International Space Station (ISS) program, convincing President Ronald Reagan to back the program despite a lack of enthusiasm from just about everyone in his Cabinet. President Reagan announced that he was directing NASA to build a space station, and to invite other countries to join us, in his 1984 State of the Union address. The goal was to complete it within a decade. Beggs's next hurdle was to convince Congress, which agreed to authorize the program in NASA's FY1985 authorization act.
UPDATE: A link to the agenda for Friday's "State of the Agency" meeting at NASA Headquarters has been added.
During the Week
Tuesday, March 1
Tuesday-Thursday, March 1-3
Wednesday, March 2
Wednesday-Friday, March 2-4
Thursday, March 3
Thursday-Friday, March 3-4
Friday, March 4
The National Research Council's (NRC's) Decadal Survey for planetary science will be released on March 7, 2011. The study was conducted under the auspices of the Space Studies Board.
Decadal Surveys are studies conducted by the NRC on behalf of NASA and other space science agencies. The NRC committees that write the reports use a consensus-based approach to determinig priorities for scientific research in various disciplines. The surveys are conducted about every 10 years -- a decade -- looking forward to the next decadal of research, hence their name. The most recent Decadal Survey for astronomy and astrophysics was released last year. The NRC is currently conducting another one for the field of solar and space physics (heliophysics).
An updated version of our fact sheet on NASA's FY2011 Appropriations: The Debate Continues in the 112th Congress is now available. It reflects House action on H.R. 1. An amendment was adopted during floor debate reducing NASA's budget by an additional $298 million below the House Appropriations Committee's recommendation for the Cross Agency Support line.
UPDATE: The launch has been rescheduled for March 4.
NASA reports that the VICC is located in a mobile launch support van a few miles from the launch pad. More time is needed to determine the cause of and remedy the problem. NASA now is looking at launch dates in early to mid-March.
Space Shuttle Discovery is in its final planned hold waiting to pick up the count at T-9 minutes (9 minutes before launch). Everything was going well until moments ago when the range went red because of a problem with the range safety command system.
That's a computer, and what all this means is the subject of considerable discussion to which one can listen on NASA TV or Spaceflightnow.com. The NASA launch director, Mike Leinbach, has decided to take the countdown all the way down to T-5 (5 minutes before launch) before deciding whether to launch today. So apparently they will pick up the count at T-9 hoping that the problem can resolved quickly.
The countdown for STS-133 is down to the T-5 minute mark and holding. Minutes ago a problem developed with the Air Force's range safety computer system display. There is very little flexibility in the launch window today, but everyone has their fingers crossed it can be resolved in time.
The Air Force resolved their computer problem and the countdown has resumed. T-4 minutes and counting.
Events of Interest