25 Nov 2015

NASA released a unifying vision to send humans to Mars by the 2030s. While the goal has support in Congress and from the White House, securing adequate sustained funding through the next two decades and managing the inherent risks involved in human travel to deep space remain considerable barriers to NASA’s goal.

3 Nov 2015

A number of top science officials in the federal government took a moment today to recognize the milestone of fifteen years of continuous human presence in outer space aboard the International Space Station, as well as the scientific progress that presence is enabling

15 Oct 2015

A note to readers:  I will be retiring from the American Institute of Physics tomorrow.  Michael Henry will continue to write FYI.  I appreciate all of the support that AIP and FYI’s readers have provided during the last 26 years. – Richard Jones

A recurring theme of congressional hearings on NASA is the difficulty posed by constrained and uncertain budgets on the development of new programs.  This point was reiterated during an October 9 hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Space.

8 Oct 2015

“A most enjoyable hearing” was how House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) characterized a hearing titled “Astrobiology and the Search for Life Beyond Earth in the Next Decade.”  Smith was not alone, with another committee member saying that the testimony of the four witnesses had “really been wonderful.”

25 Sep 2015

Two subcommittees of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology jointly held a hearing on September 10 to examine vulnerabilities in and threats to the nation’s electric grid. While some of the threats discussed, such as cybersecurity attacks, electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks, and physical attacks, are manmade, much of the exchange between the members and witnesses focused on the natural threat of space weather caused by solar flares.

4 Sep 2015

A committee of the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences recently completed a review of the four most recent decadal surveys in the space sciences. The committee's draft report praises the virtues of decadal surveys but also identifies lessons learned and best practices moving forward.

14 Aug 2015

The July 28 hearing of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology unfolded as a chorus of bipartisan and largely unchecked enthusiasm and support for NASA’s planetary sciences mission.

12 Aug 2015

n a letter sent to the leadership of House and Senate committees with jurisdiction over NASA, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden warned that envisioned funding levels for the Commercial Crew program with likely result in “further schedule slippage and increased cost.” Bolden’s letter is in response to decisions made by House and Senate appropriators to significantly reduce FY 2016 funding for the program below that requested by the Obama Administration.

24 Jul 2015

On July 14, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) met to discuss three topics, among them an update from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its leading commercial space industry partners on the progress being made in new frontiers in human space exploration.  Other topics on the meeting agenda included a review of the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD) Program and a discussion on technology and aging.

16 Jul 2015

On July 10, the Space Subcommittee within the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing to examine the operational challenges currently bedeviling the International Space Station (ISS), including a number of recent and costly cargo launch failures and other technical failures.  During the hearing, members of Congress from both parties and witnesses spoke highly of the unique research platform that the ISS provides to U.S.


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