Press Releases :: June 21, 2007
Chairmen: President’s Lack of Willingness to Discuss NASA Budget ‘Deeply Disappointing’
(Washington, DC) House Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN), Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairman Mark Udall (D-CO), and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Nick Lampson (D-TX) today issued the following statement in response to the Administration’s letter rejecting their request for a meeting of Members of Congress with President Bush to discuss NASA’s budgetary situation: “We are deeply disappointed that the President has decided not to seize the opportunity to meet with Members of Congress to discuss how best to ensure that NASA will have the resources needed to carry out a balanced and robust program of science, aeronautics, and human space flight and exploration initiatives.” “We intend to work with NASA supporters on both sides of the aisle in Congress to try to give NASA the resources it will need to carry out the tasks that the nation has asked it to undertake. However, the President’s disengagement will make that effort immeasurably more difficult.” Chairmen Gordon, Udall and Lampson have spent considerable time during the past several months fighting for more NASA funding, including Rep. Lampson personally arranging for Administrator Griffin to meet with Chairman Obey on the House Appropriations Committee, and with other key Members. A copy of the letter received by Chairman Gordon from the Directors of OMB and OSTP is linked here. Identical letters were also sent to Chairman Udall and Chairman Lampson. The Chairmen made the meeting request in a letter dated April 19, 2007. The Committee maintains jurisdiction over issues related to civilian aviation R&D and U.S. civil and commercial space activities. This includes NASA, commercial space activities within the Department of Transportation and the Department of Commerce and the aviation R&D activities of the FAA. ### 110.114
(Washington, DC) House Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN), Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairman Mark Udall (D-CO), and Energy and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Nick Lampson (D-TX) today issued the following statement in response to the Administration’s letter rejecting their request for a meeting of Members of Congress with President Bush to discuss NASA’s budgetary situation:
“We are deeply disappointed that the President has decided not to seize the opportunity to meet with Members of Congress to discuss how best to ensure that NASA will have the resources needed to carry out a balanced and robust program of science, aeronautics, and human space flight and exploration initiatives.”
“We intend to work with NASA supporters on both sides of the aisle in Congress to try to give NASA the resources it will need to carry out the tasks that the nation has asked it to undertake. However, the President’s disengagement will make that effort immeasurably more difficult.”
Chairmen Gordon, Udall and Lampson have spent considerable time during the past several months fighting for more NASA funding, including Rep. Lampson personally arranging for Administrator Griffin to meet with Chairman Obey on the House Appropriations Committee, and with other key Members.
A copy of the letter received by Chairman Gordon from the Directors of OMB and OSTP is linked here. Identical letters were also sent to Chairman Udall and Chairman Lampson.
The Chairmen made the meeting request in a letter dated April 19, 2007.
The Committee maintains jurisdiction over issues related to civilian aviation R&D and U.S. civil and commercial space activities. This includes NASA, commercial space activities within the Department of Transportation and the Department of Commerce and the aviation R&D activities of the FAA.
Monday, June 25, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Picking through the gender bias that colors this Wash Post.com article at every turn, are the names and positions of key members of the Clinton for President operation-which the Post com calls her Coterie.
A man would of course never have one of those, if possible let along anything else French.
He would have a think tank, power hitters, truth squad, an A-Team or even just a plain old garden variety bunch of people called the senior staff. Whoops- there would be no reference to gardens, until the guy made to the White House, in which case it is OK to mention the Rose Garden.
Coterie is from the french word for cottage, as in the kind of abode where peasants would once gather together to kick back. Maybe they were plotting to take over the castle, but more likely it was a cafe and french bread with cheese kind of meeting.
A clearly domestic reference that that is rarely associated with males in our culture.
After the eye rolling stopped here at MTH, we are then able to focus on the serious subject of the first woman who might possibly become President. Time to crack open the Blackberry and update the contact list with names from this series.
"Gatekeepers of Hillaryland
The Candidate's Coterie From Her White House Days Is Back Together, All for One and One for All
Thursday, June 21, 2007; Page A01
The seasoned Hill aide knew what she was getting into when she agreed to become Hillary Clinton's chief of staff. The woman was quite prepared for all eyes to be on the biggest celebrity arriving in Congress, the first lady of the United States, who was expected to use her Senate seat as a springboard back into the White House.
But what caught Tamera Luzzatto unawares was the full force of the Hillary machine already in place and making decisions.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
And The Space Summit? Still on the Senate Ask List with the White House.
Of interest is a quip from a House source, who demurs from the notion that all budget increases should go to manned space flight, but rather to science and technology. See his or her comment, in bold, below.
As Gov Exec reports on budget postures of major players:
"When Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., released the fiscal 2008 subcommittee allocations Thursday, Commerce-Justice-Science got a total of $54.4 billion, an increase of $3.2 billion above Bush's request.
Given the priorities expressed by Senate Democratic leaders, it is likely that the majority of those extra funds would go to the kinds of programs boosted by the House bill.
But Senate Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and ranking member Kay Bailey Hutchinson, R-Texas, have announced plans to reintroduce a proposal they offered last year to add $1 billion to NASA funding.
The extra money would be proposed as "emergency" funding to cover the cost of returning the shuttle to flight after the 2003 Columbia disaster and for repairing NASA facilities damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Mikulski also called for a "space summit" with the president, similar to a session she attended with President George H.W. Bush 17 years ago.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who chairs the Senate Commerce Space Subcommittee, said he would support Mikulski's proposal if it provides the $400 million in fiscal 2008 that Griffin said was needed to get the Orion-Ares program back on track, an aide said. Nelson is the only former astronaut in Congress, having flown as a payload specialist on the 24th flight of Space Shuttle Columbia in January 1986.
The shuttle replacement also would need $800 million extra the two following years to reduce the period of time the United States would be without a manned space vehicle, the aide added.
But the House Science panel aide said he was "not sure that would fly" in the House. And even if that money were added, "it's not clear that it would go to space exploration" because of the needs for other science and technology programs, he noted."" Read full story by clicking headline.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Source: Miami Hearld
The new director of the National Hurricane Center, an outspoken critic of his superiors since he took over in January, charged Friday night that they are trying to muzzle him and could be setting him up for termination.
Bill Proenza said the acting director of the National Weather Service, Mary Glackin, visited his office in West Miami-Dade Friday and handed him a three-page letter of reprimand.
''I don't think they can pull the rug out from under me right now,'' Proenza said, ``but there is no question they are trying to muzzle me.''
In recent interviews with The Miami Herald and other media, Proenza has strongly criticized leaders of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for spending millions of dollars on a public-relations campaign while hurricane forecasters deal with budget shortfalls.
One of his main concerns has been the imminent demise of a key weather satellite called QuikScat, launched in 1999 and long past its designed lifetime.
No replacement currently is in development and the loss of QuikScat could diminish the accuracy of some hurricane forecasts by up to 16 percent, Proenza and other experts have said."Read Entire story by clicking Headline.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Comments from Chairman Mollohan:
""Some of the initiatives found in this bill addressing global climate change are:
1) $6 million for an investigation and study by the National Academy of Sciences. Before the investigation begins, a group of experts in this area will be convened to determine the scope of the study.
2) funding to improve data associated with understanding global climate change. To improve our collection of data, funding is included for climate change sensors. The National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), which was created to examine both weather and climate – has been mismanaged and downsized. In past years, critically important climate sensors have been unfunded and removed from the NPOESS satellite. This bill provides funds to restore the development of some sensors.
"Additionally, we have tried to think creatively about how we can best invest our dollars to address global warming. We have added monies for a global warming reduction incentive program at the Economic Development Administration. We have provided additional monies for the development of several earth science missions at NASA; we have increased the funding levels for several NOAA programs; we have provided funds for the creation of two new educational programs directed at climate change as recommended by the National Academies; and we have added funds to the Marine Mammal Commission for monitoring mammal adaptation to climate change.
"Another priority area is science and innovation. If we are to maintain our leadership in science and technology and continue to be competitive in our global economy, we must invest robustly in research and development. This bill includes more than $28 billion in competitive research and science education funding – almost a billion more than requested by the president.
"This bill also provides funding for many priorities in the Department of Commerce. It includes just over $4 billion for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – approximately $200 million over the President's request. The bill also includes $500 million for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is critical to the innovation agenda – an increase of $137 million over the President's request. We have increased funding for the Economic Development Administration by more than $100 million -- not only restoring the President's proposed cut, but working toward reversing a downward trend in funding for this program.
"This bill restores programs cut or eliminated by the President, including the Advanced Technology Program, the Manufacturing Extension program, and the Public Telecommunications Facilities program. And finally, this bill not only funds the critically important decennial census, but restores funding for the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and the Community Partnerships, which have proved in past decennial censuses to have been essential to achieving accurate counts in certain hard to reach populations.
"In NASA, we have provided an increase of $290 million above the President's request to restore cuts made by the Administration in the science, aeronautics and education portfolios. The committee also provides funding in a new account structure to add clarity to the budget. The new accounts are: science, aeronautics, exploration, education, cross-agency support programs, space operations, and the inspector general.
"In the President's request, the science, aeronautics, and education accounts were either cut or flat-funded. This bill provides $180 million above the President's request in science to restore some of the program cuts. Almost $150 million was added to the aeronautics account. We have also added $64 million to NASA's education program, which was also severely reduced. In the exploration account, we provided the President's request.
"For the National Science Foundation, we agree with the need to fully fund science and innovation and even provided an increase -- $72 million – for the Foundation's education programs. This level will continue the doubling of the National Science Foundation budget in ten years.
"We have made positive changes with some of the smaller agencies in this bill. I'm proud to say we have added $28 million above the FY 07 level and $66 million over the President's request for the Legal Services Corporation. We have also added $5 million to the EEOC to reduce the backlog of pending cases and included a provision to eliminate the outsourcing of their call center. We have restored funding for the National Veterans Business Development Corporation, which was zeroed out in the President's request.
"Finally, we have a couple of legislative items in this bill: we have included two provisos concerning a-76. One provision prohibits the use of funds for public-private competitions for the employees of the Bureau of Prisons and the other prohibits funds provided in this bill to be used to implement an OMB circular that does not allow federal employees the same appeals rights as contractors during job competitions. The bill language also continues a moratorium prohibiting NASA from implementing a reduction in force and from funding any research, development or demonstration activity related exclusively to Human Exploration of Mars. NASA has too much on its plate already, and the President is welcome to include adequate funding for the Human Mars Initiative in a budget amendment or subsequent year funding requests."
Monday, June 11, 2007
"China launched a new remote sensing satellite "Yaogan II" from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China at 15:12 Beijing Time on Friday.
The satellite, launched by the "Long March 2D" rocket, will be used for scientific research, land resources surveying, crop yield estimate and disaster forecast, according to the China Academy of Space Technology, the main developer of the satellite.
A pico satellite, tiny satellite weighing around one kilogram, developed by Zhejiang University, was also carried on "Yaogan II", for micro-electronics research.
The launch represents the 99th flight of China's Long March series of rockets."
Source: People's Daily Online, "China launches new remote sensing satellite" (english.people.com.cn/200705/25/eng20070525_378022.html)
AGI's Launch Notification e-mails will help you stay current with all new spacecraft launches. E-mails are sent after every launch and include key spacecraft information such as: the date, time, launch site, launcher, international number, name, and owner. Get more information on thousands of satellites and other vehicles by viewing STK models, animations, and our encyclopedic "Spacecraft Digest" database at www.agi.com/resources.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Algeria, Libya and Tunisia have kicked off an ambitious water project called GEO-AQUIFER that will use satellite imagery to support the monitoring and sustainable management of their common, transboundary groundwater resources, bettering the living conditions of their population.
Saturday, June 2, 2007
³Humanity and the Biosphere: The Next Thousand Years²
BELLEVUE, WA, May 17, 2007‹The Foundation For the Future (Bellevue, WA) and
the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences of UNESCO (Paris, France) have
published the proceedings of a jointly sponsored seminar ³Humanity and the
Biosphere: The Next Thousand Years,² which convened at UNESCO in Paris in
September 2006 with scholars from five continents participating.
The purpose of the seminar was to provide a forum for dialogue amongst
academics, scientists, conservationists, resource managers, and
practitioners in international environment relations to explore critical
components of the human-environment relationship with significant
implications for the future of Planet Earth.
The core issue determined by the scholars to be the most critical, going
forward into the far future, was the overarching goal of influencing change
to foster the well-being of the biosphere a goal with four main facets:
(a) evolution of consciousness, (b) exploration and research into the
driving forces of change, (c) education and communication for dissemination
of knowledge, and (d) ethics/equity, including intra-species equity,
inter-species equity, and intergenerational equity.
The proceedings is a full record of the seminar including transcripts of all
presentations, commentary, and discussion sessions. The Division of
Ecological and Earth Sciences will distribute the proceedings widely
throughout the 192 Member States of UNESCO, targeting key individuals in
Ministries of Science, Environment and Forests as well as UNESCO National
Commissions and MAB (Man and the Biosphere) National Committees. Hundreds of
Foundation For the Future constituents, including scholars and academic
institutions around the world, will also receive the proceedings, which is
available for immediate download from the homepage of the Foundation For the
Future website, www.futurefoundation.org.
Seminar presentations on ecological and biospheric themes were given by
ecologist Dr. Daniel B. Botkin, founder of the Center for the Study of the
Environment, New York; astrophysicist Dr. Eric J. Chaisson, who holds
directorial and professorial posts at Tufts and Harvard universities and
MIT, Boston; Albert de Haan, Commercial Director of the European Climate
Exchange, Amsterdam; oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, founder and Chairman of
Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Alameda; Dr. Ricardo Guerrero,
Professor of microbiology at the University of Barcelona; Dr. David
Macdonald, Director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford
University; geneticist Dr. Lynn Margulis, Distinguished University Professor
in geosciences at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; environmental
planner June Marie Mow, Director of Providence Foundation, Bogota; Dr.
Magnus Ngoile, Team Leader for the Marine and Coastal Environment Management
Project, Dar es Salaam; and Dr. Shekhar Singh, Convenor for the National
Campaign for People¹s Right to Information, New Delhi.
The seminar combined the focus of UNESCO¹s Man and the Biosphere (MAB)
Programme with the Foundation For the Future¹s emphasis on the long-term
future of humanity. MAB is part of UNESCO¹s Division of Ecological and Earth
Sciences (www.unesco.org/mab). Since 1971, MAB has worked continuously for
the sustainable use and conservation of biological diversity and an improved
relationship between people and their environment globally. It is a pioneer
international program for co-operation on research, training, education, and
information- and knowledge sharing on all problems that straddle the
human-environment interface. MAB is taking into consideration the
four-faceted goal recommended by the seminar participants as the most
critical issue for humanity¹s thousand-year journey into the future in its
current efforts to reform and reinvent its agenda in line with UNESCO
mission and mandates.
Foundation For the Future (www.futurefoundation.org), established in 1996,
conducts a broad range of programs to promote an understanding of the
factors in the social, genetic, biological, medical, psychological,
physiological, cultural, technological, and ecological fields that may have
an impact on human life during coming millennia. It regularly hosts
workshops, seminars, and symposia, bringing together scholars from all over
the world to discuss these factors, then publishes the resulting discussion
transcripts for use by the public in making important decisions for the
present and the future.
Foundation website link: