SCIN

The President’s Mission to Mars Is a Real Long Shot
Trump really wants to go to Mars, but he’ll have to convince Congress, private companies and scores of scientists

President Donald Trump receives a flight jacket from NASA officials during a bill signing ceremony last year. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

For a man known for grandiose ambitions, perhaps President Donald Trump’s most lofty is his pledge, formalized in a December order, to land a human being on the surface of Mars.

It would be easy to doubt Trump’s seriousness, given that he’s equally known for inconsistent follow-through. But Trump has raised the idea repeatedly since that order, most recently last month before the National Space Council, the advisory group Trump revived last year and tasked Vice President Mike Pence with running.

Q&A: NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine
‘What we don’t know about the moon is critical’ and could change ‘the balance of power on Earth’

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is interviewed for the “CQ on Congress” podcast on June 28. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Senate confirmed Jim Bridenstine to lead NASA in April after months of delay related to Democrats’ concerns about his commitment to the agency’s climate research and Republican infighting over its resources.

During two terms in the House, and the start of a third, Bridenstine was a space enthusiast. He served on the House Science, Space and Technology Committee and drafted an ambitious bill to overhaul the way the government manages its space resources.

Trump Taps Senate’s Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms for NASA Post
Morhard to be nominated to be deputy administrator of the space agency

Deputy Senate Sergeant at Arms James W. Morhard is interviewed by Roll Call in the Capitol, January 9, 2015. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The deputy sergeant-at-arms of the Senate has been picked by President Donald Trump to be the deputy administrator of NASA.

James W. Morhard, who has been deputy SAA since Republicans took over the Senate majority in 2015, has largely focused on the various administrative functions of the Senate.

Podcast: Over the Moon for the Mission to Mars
CQ on Congress, Episode 110

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine is interviewed for CQ on Congress podcast at the CQ Roll Call studio in Washington. (Photo by Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call)

U.S. May Fall Behind on Space Research, Lawmakers Warn
Experts warn of potential problems with privatizing International Space Station

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, left, speaks as Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., listens during the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s Space, Science and Competitiveness Subcommittee hearing on “Examining the Future of the International Space Station: Stakeholder Perspectives” on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Already in the midst of a trade war with China, some lawmakers worry that the United States may lose to the country in another realm — space innovation.

A Space, Science and Competitiveness Subcommittee hearing this week  focused on the possible implications of turning the United States’ stake in the International Space Station over to private industry.

Tammy Duckworth and Baby Cast Their First Senate Vote Together, Opposing NASA Nominee
But Bridenstine confirmed to lead space agency, leaving House seat vacant for months

Sen. Tammy Duckworth arrived with her newborn baby Maile to cast a vote on the Senate floor on Thursday afternoon. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Maile Pearl Bowlsbey made Senate history Thursday, becoming the first newborn allowed on the Senate floor.

Maile, the daughter of Illinois Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth, born just last week, came to the floor the day after the chamber changed its antiquated rules to allow senators to bring in children under the age of 1.

Flake Flip on NASA Nominee Followed Senate Tumult
Vote to break filibuster of Bridenstine briefly deadlocked

The nomination of Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., to lead NASA faced a brief hiccup on the Senate floor Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A confluence of events put President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead NASA on the verge of an unexpected blockade Wednesday afternoon.

Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona had initially voted against limiting debate on the nomination of GOP Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma, but after almost an hour, he switched his vote.

Bill Nye, from Science Guy to Science Statesman
Advocate for science raising profile in policy and with new film

Marchers, including Bill Nye the Science Guy, center, lead the March for Science down Constitution Avenue in Washington on Earth Day 2017. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In one corner is a roster of climate change deniers who now run key congressional committees and the Environmental Protection Agency. In the other corner is Bill Nye the Science Guy, arguably the scientific community’s biggest advocate.

“I’ve got to fight this fight,” Nye says in the forthcoming documentary “Bill Nye: Science Guy,” as he hits back against a growing anti-science movement that questions evolution and humans’ contribution to climate change.

Cicilline Pledges to Donate Brain to CTE Research
Nearly all NFL players studied after their deaths had concussion-related brain damage

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., played Pop Warner football in his youth. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As President Donald Trump publicly decries football for going soft and over-penalizing vicious helmet-to-helmet hits, Rep. David Cicilline pledged last week to donate his brain to head trauma research.

The Rhode Island Democrat and five of his colleagues hosted a panel of Boston University researchers and a former NFL player to hear about the correlation between playing football and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Hurricane Prep Tour Arrives Before FEMA Administrator Does
Trump wants a former Alabama emergency manager in the post

Bob Fenton is the acting FEMA administrator. (Niels Lesniewski/CQ Roll Call)

ARLINGTON, Va. — When the hurricane hunters and other federal officials came together Tuesday to promote emergency preparedness, there was no Senate-confirmed director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be found.

The acting administrator is Bob Fenton, a longtime FEMA official who has been running the show since January and is the regional administrator for Region IX, based in the West.