Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), chair of the House Science and Technology Committee’s Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee, believes that there is a “third way” to resolve the dispute between the President’s plan for human space flight and the current program. In an op-ed for The Hill, a newspaper focused on happenings on Capitol Hill, Rep. Giffords continued her opposition to the Obama plan, but signaled that she is searching for a compromise not just retaining the Constellation program intact.
Following a Flight Readiness Review today, NASA set May 14 as the launch date for the next shuttle mission, STS-132. Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to launch at 2:20 pm EDT on a 12-day flight to the International Space Station to deliver the Russian Mini Research Module-1 and other equipment and supplies.
Representative David Obey (D-WI) will announce this afternoon that he will retire at the end of this session of Congress according to Congress Daily (subscription required). Obey is one of the most powerful men in Congress as chair of the House Appropriations Committee. A liberal, he is not viewed as a fan of NASA space programs, but it is far too early to tell how much of a difference it might make to the agency to have someone else in that position. No rumors yet on who it will be, and, of course, the November elections first must determine whether Democrats retain control of the House.
The National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Space Studies Board (SSB) is planning a two-and-a-half day workshop in November to look at how NASA addresses the “grand philosophical questions people care about.” Writing in the most recent edition of the SSB newsletter, SSB chair Charlie Kennel invites all who are interested to come to the workshop at the NRC’s Beckman Center in Irvine, CA on November 8-10, 2010.
President Obama today created a Task Force on Space Industry Workforce and Economic Development for Florida’s Space Coast as promised in his April 15 speech at Kennedy Space Center, FL.
The following events may be of interest in the coming week. Check our calendar on the right menu for more information or click the links below. Congressional hearings and markups are subject to change; check the committee’s website for up to date information.