FYI is an objective, authoritative digest of science policy developments in Washington impacting the physical science community.

“Will NASA be able to fly the SLS [Space Launch System] for Exploration Mission-1 in calendar year 2017?” asked House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Subcommittee on Space Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-MS) in an August 27 letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.   Their letter came on the day NASA officials announced that an important management review of the smallest version of the rocket system had set the initial flight “no later than November 2018.”

12 Sep 2014

With the new fiscal year starting in only 23 days and with the expectation that the House will recess at the end of next week and the Senate by September 23 until after the election, the push is on to pass a short term appropriations bill to continue funding after September 30.  Congress has not sent a single FY 2015 appropriations bill to the White House.

8 Sep 2014

NASA is developing the first of three rockets for the human exploration of space beyond low-earth orbit.  The first flight of a Space Launch System (SLS) rocket is scheduled for December 2017.  The envisioned funding profile may be $400 million short of what is needed to meet what GAO calls a “compressed” and “aggressive” schedule.

5 Sep 2014