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NASA

FYI focuses on the programs and missions sponsored by the Science Mission Directorate, including in the Astrophysics, Planetary Science, Heliophysics, and Earth Science Divisions. FYI also covers science-related missions supported by other directorates, including the International Space Station.

16 Sep 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.

13 Sep 2016

The National Academies has released a report on the senior reviews that NASA conducts to recommend extensions of its science missions beyond their planned end dates. The report praises NASA’s management of its extended-mission portfolio and offers recommendations for augmenting the review process.

17 Aug 2016

The National Academies has released its midterm assessment of the 2010 decadal survey of astronomy and astrophysics. A key theme is that increasingly expensive top-priority projects are responsible for outstanding breakthroughs, but are also putting pressure on high-priority medium-scale projects.

15 Jul 2016

Leaders in astronomy, astrophysics, and astrobiology received a warm welcome at a joint subcommittee hearing this week. The witnesses fielded a wide range of questions, including on how new projects are prioritized and funded, how the scientific workforce is being developed and diversified, and the search for extraterrestrial life.

30 Jun 2016

The House Science Committee convened thought leaders in space exploration last month for a hearing on the capabilities needed for NASA’s proposed human journey to Mars. Wide-ranging discussions touched on in-space propulsion, deep space habitation, and artificial gravity.

2 Jun 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.

26 May 2016

About one month after the Senate Appropriations Committee reported legislation with middling spending for four of the main science agencies in fiscal year 2017, the House Appropriations Committee earlier this week cleared its bill and committee report. Like in the Senate, the House committee includes no significant spending increases for the four agencies’ research accounts.

26 Apr 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. 

8 Apr 2016

Two individuals who played key roles in supporting the Hubble Space Telescope and shepherding numerous other high-profile NASA science projects are retiring this year—former astronaut and NASA's associate administrator for science John Grunsfeld and Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

1 Apr 2016

Rep. John Culberson, the powerful chairman of the House subcommittee that doles out and directs funding each year for NASA, convened a hearing focused on NASA’s quest to discover extraterrestrial life on a set of moons orbiting Jupiter and Saturn known as “ocean worlds.” Culberson is betting on Jupiter’s moon Europa as a likely candidate for a second home for life within our solar system.

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