In a new executive order, President Obama has directed federal agencies and the White House to focus on national preparedness for space weather, calling it an “all-of-nation endeavor.”

19 Oct 2016

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee has advanced a NASA authorization bill that focuses on space exploration and seeks to ensure stability at the space agency through the upcoming presidential transition. Unlike the House-passed NASA authorization bill, the Senate bill has only a few provisions specific to NASA’s science divisions.

3 Oct 2016

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and NASA held an event this week to explain the rationale for the administration’s proposed Asteroid Redirect Mission. Congress has been skeptical about the mission's value, and this skepticism was further confirmed in a new Senate NASA reauthorization bill released yesterday.

16 Sep 2016

The House and Senate Appropriations Committee would increase NASA spending in fiscal year 2017, reversing the president’s proposed discretionary cuts to the space agency including some of the proposed cuts to the Science Mission Directorate.

2 Jun 2016

After commending retiring vice chairwoman Barbara Mikulski for her years of effective service, Senate appropriations committee members unanimously approved a bill which would provide close to flat funding for NASA, NSF, NIST, and NOAA in fiscal year 2017. 

26 Apr 2016

The House easily cleared legislation sponsored by Rep. Barbara Comstock that would call on NASA to continue three initiatives supporting women’s involvement in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and aerospace, and develop a plan to leverage NASA’s workforce to inspire girls to enter these fields.

25 Mar 2016

Longtime NASA supporter and powerful appropriator Rep. John Culberson testified in support of legislation which would overhaul governance of the space agency to help insulate it from turnovers in presidential administrations and Congress. Committee members viewed the legislation as well-intentioned, but some questioned the details and argued that Congress, not the Administration, has ultimate responsibility for ensuring stability of purpose at NASA.

29 Feb 2016

Following a 7.1 percent spending increase in fiscal year 2016, the President is proposing to cut NASA’s discretionary budget by 5.3 percent in fiscal year 2017, with the largest reductions falling on the agency’s exploration and, to a lesser extent, science programs.

18 Feb 2016

A joint NASA-DOE effort to restart production of plutonium-238 has borne its first fruit: a 50 gram demonstration batch created at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Although this development comes as a relief to those concerned about the U.S.’ dwindling supply of plutonium-238 essential for powering deep space missions, some in Congress are still seeking details on potential ways to reduce demand for the material by using more efficient technologies such as advanced Stirling generators.

2 Feb 2016

The annual spending law for FY 2016 increases spending at NASA by 7.1 percent over FY 2015 levels and provides direction on matters including the James Webb Space Telescope, research aboard the International Space Station, and numerous scientific missions in development that will study the earth, sun, the rest of the solar system, and beyond.

21 Dec 2015


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