Tag: Barbara Mikulski

Mikulski Wants More Money for NASA

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski doesn’t much like President Obama’s proposed $18.5 billion budget for NASA. And she likes the House Science Committee’s budget even less.

“Although I appreciated what the president advised, I found that the funding for the space program needed to be more robust,” she said. “It’s too spartan and it’s too skimpy.”

Mikulski argued that, despite recent increases, NASA was still underfunded. The 2016 request “is actually less than when Al Gore was vice president,” once corrected for inflation, she said. In fiscal year 2001, the last budget approved while Gore was in office, NASA received $14.2 billion, or nearly $19 billion in present-day dollars….

Mikulski’s promise to increase NASA’s budget puts her on a collision course with the House. While appropriators there have yet to take up a spending bill that includes NASA, an authorization bill to be marked up by the House Science Committee April 30 would offer $18.5 billion for NASA in 2016, the same amount as the administration’s request. That House bill, though, would transfer funds from Earth science and space technology programs to planetary science, the Space Launch System, and Orion.

“They are obsessed with human spaceflight and going to Mars,” she said of the House. She said that while she supported human spaceflight as well, she sought a more balanced program. “We also need space science and the kind of discovery done by technology to lay the groundwork for human discovery.”

Read the full story.

Mikulski Decides 40 Years in Congress is Enough

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced on Monday that she would not be seeking a sixth term next year, bringing a 40-year Congressional career to an end and depriving NASA of one of its most powerful supporters.

Mikulski, 78, said she would rather spend the next two years working on behalf of her constituents rather than raising money and running for re-election. She has served in the Senate since 1987 following a 10-year stint representing Maryland’s 3rd District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Mikulski is the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the committee’s Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) subcommittee, which oversees NASA’s budget. She headed the Appropriations Committee from December 2012 until January 2015.

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State of Maryland, NASA Begin New Technology Transfer Partnership

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — The state of Maryland and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., have embarked on a new partnership effort, the main goal of which is to attract high technology companies to Maryland, which in turn will enable both future missions of NASA and the economic future of Maryland.

The agreement, signed by U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Goddard Space Flight Center Director Chris Scolese will help in several ways. Goddard will obtain specialized skills and technologies needed for its numerous mission applications. It will help the center engage in technical exchanges with local tech companies regarding new trends, theories, techniques and problems in aerospace technology. And finally, it will provide an opportunity for the development of local educational and labor resources specific to Goddard’s needs.

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Mikulski to House: Drop Dead!

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

The Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies, led by Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), has approved an FY 2014 budget that includes $18 billion for NASA.

The amount is higher than the $17.7 billion requested by the Obama Administration. The budget sets up a showdown with the House, where two subcommittees have given the space agency $16.85 billion and $16.6 billion.
In a press release, the committee said:
“No agency represents the Nation’s scientific prowess like the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The dream of space inspires schoolchildren to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. But the dream of space also inspires brilliant scientists and engineers at the height of their careers to probe even deeper into the secrets of the universe and our origins. NASA scientists and their private sector and university partners are peering into the big bang and the origins of the universe, drilling into rocks on Mars, researching cures for salmonella on the International Space Station, building the vehicles that will let humans explore beyond low earth orbit, preparing to analyze samples from the Sun, and looking back to Earth to understand and protect our planet. The $18 billion in the bill for NASA will preserve a NASA portfolio balanced among science, aeronautics, technology and human space flight investments. Moreover, it will keep NASA in the forefront of innovation, inspiring private companies to build new crew transportation and spawning a new satellite servicing industry that can revive, refuel, and rejuvenate defunct communications satellites.”
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Mikulski to Chair Senate Appropriations Committee

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

Sen. Barbara Mikulski

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

Maryland Senator and NASA backer Barbara Mikulski is set to get a big promotion, moving up to become the first female chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.  The new role will give Mikulski, who has served in the Senate for 26 years, greater influence over spending on the entire federal budget.

The unexpected decision came after the death last week of Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye. Several other senators in line for the position reportedly passed on the assignment.

Mikulski is the current chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommitee on Commerce, Justice, and Science, which oversees funding for NASA,  National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, Federal Trade Commission, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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This Week at NASA Video


Barbara Mikulski visits Wallops to get an update on Antares, the first Orion capsule is prepped at Michoud, Langley conducts experiments on a composite capsule, Charles Bolden is presented with an award, and much more.

More Nonsense From Congress

“This show ain’t no good.” Elvis cancels The Scratchy Show. (Credit: The Simpsons/20th Century Fox)

Jeff Foust has a long and rather depressing accounting of the Senate hearing on NASA’s budget yesterday.  Some of the nonsensical things that were said:

Sen. Richard Shelby: “Mr. Administrator, I believe that the core mission of NASA is to build cutting-edge systems that allow us to expand our knowledge of the universe.”

Shelby’s “cutting edge systems” involve a monster Space Launch System (SLS) based on shuttle booster technologies designed in the 1970’s that will cost a fortune to build, maintain and operate.  In fact, it’s so expensive that we won’t be able to fly it very often, limiting our ability to explore the universe.  Continue reading ‘More Nonsense From Congress’

Virginia Hits Back at Florida Over Human Spaceflight


Pad OA at Wallops Island. (Credit: Orbital Sciences Corporation)

Virginians are pushing back against efforts by Florida to maintain its monopoly on human spaceflight missions. Jack Kennedy, a prominent backer of commercial space in Virginia, sent the following email to supporters on Saturday:

“Space Florida is getting really aggressive and negative to the possibility of human commercial space launch from Wallops Island, Virginia.

“I strongly urge you to communicate with Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Congressman Frank Wolf and Senator Mark Warner, in particular. ASK that they call upon Boeing to openly pledge to launch the Atlas-V from Virginia under the NASA Commercial Crew program by 2015.

“Your e-Mail, letter, and/or phone call to these three Congressional offices may go a long way to make human space flight from Virginia a reality (especially in the wake of the Florida push back against Virginia’s spaceport).

“Please act this week.”

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Maryland Launches Space Science Business Initiative


Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. (Credit: Jay Baker)


Governor Martin O’Malley today unveiled a bold new initiative to increase the business development and commercialization opportunities of the state’s space industry at the Maryland Space Business Roundtable in Greenbelt. Speaking before over 500 members of the Roundtable, the Governor reinforced the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s commitment to this vibrant sector and outlined new policy initiatives and investments in Maryland: The Business of Space Science.

“Working side-by-side with our congressional delegation and our ‘Space Senator,’ Barbara Mikulski, we will pursue program policies to leverage our federal facilities and institutions of science and discovery to unlock the enormous economic and employment potential of Maryland’s space sector,” Governor O’Malley said.  “The breakthroughs and innovations occurring in Maryland at NASA, NOAA, Johns Hopkins, APL and other institutions represent new frontiers for commercialization and business development in areas like carbon monitoring, manufacturing and life sciences.”

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Mikulski: Wallops Becoming the Southwest Airlines of Space


Launch complexes on Wallops Island, Virginia

Here’s an interesting quote from Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski which was included in a press release issued after Gov. Martin O’Malley toured the Wallops Flight Facility on Monday.

“Wallops Island Flight Facility is home to American innovation. I fought to keep jobs at the Wallops Flight Facility and I will continue to fight to create the jobs of the future. Today we can see our investment in innovation is paying off, as Wallops becomes the Southwest Airlines of space: a lower cost, safer way to launch.”

The full press release after the break.

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