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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.

20 Jul 2012

“Exploring  both traditional and nontraditional means for technology transfer to the  private sector is equally important if we hope to leverage space technology development  as an engine for economic growth and US competitiveness.” –  Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-MS)

A July 12 hearing in the House Science, Space and  Technology’s Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee highlighted National  Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) investments which have generated  technology that has had direct economic and social benefits. 

30 May 2012

Last  Friday’s successful docking of the Dragon capsule developed by SpaceX to the  international space station was hailed by both the Obama Administration and  Members of Congress.  Docking occurred 250  miles above Earth, permitting the transfer of 1,014 pounds of cargo to the  station.  Of note, the capsule will  return to Earth tomorrow with 1,367 pounds of scientific experiments, hardware,  and other cargo, landing in the ocean several hundred miles west of  California.  Up until now, only the Russian  Soyuz vehicle was able to return to Earth.

23 May 2012

The  House of Representatives spent three days earlier this month on its  consideration of H.R. 5326, the FY 2013 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations  Bill.  This bill provides funding for  NASA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National  Science Foundation.  The House passed  this bill on a largely party-line vote of 247-163.

2 Jul 2014

“These reports confirm our worst fears: that the incidents at Langley and Ames are not isolated incidences” said Space Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-MS) at a hearing on security procedures at NASA’s centers.  Among the findings of these reports investigating NASA’s security protocols were confusing and sometimes bureaucratic procedures and uneven and uncoordinated application of these procedures to protect the agency’s sensitive information.  Importantly, the investigations did not reveal intentional disregard of security protocols.

13 Jun 2014

The National Academies of Science published a human spaceflight study to review “the long-term goals, core capabilities, and direction of human spaceflight and make recommendations to enable a sustainable U.S.

11 Jun 2014

The Senate Appropriations Committee released its report yesterday accompanying the FY 2015 Commerce Justice, Science Appropriations Bill.  Report 113-181 provides the appropriators’ recommendations regarding the agencies funded by S. 2437.  The House Appropriations Committee developed its own version of this funding legislation in early May.

29 May 2014

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on May 21 to review the current state of astrobiology.  Members were interested in hearing about the use of radio and optical astronomy in the search for intelligent life.  In 2013, the Committee held two hearings relating to astrobiology: in May they discussed necessary conditions for life and a December hearing focused on methods used to search for microbial life.  During this most recent hearing, both sides of the aisle were i

23 May 2014

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Space held a May 9 hearing to discuss space traffic management with a particular focus on orbital debris.  “The threat of orbital debris in key orbits around the Earth is a very real and a serious issue,” noted Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL).  The subcommittee was interested in investigating the state of space traffic management and wanted to hear how Congress can ensure a safe and secure space environment. 

8 May 2014

Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee released an unnumbered Full Committee Print to accompany the FY 2015 Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill. This is a draft version of the committee report that is to be issued providing all-important language on the departments and agencies funded by this bill.  This FYI reviews the National Aeronautics and Space Administration portion of the report.