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  • Obama Loses Another Pick

    Note: This item has been updated

    Poor President Barack Obama. His would-be appointees keep slipping through his fingers. Now, even as the president prepares to make a third try at getting someone who will stick as Commerce secretary—former Washington Governor Gary Locke—his putative pick for director of the Census has dropped out.

  • Indian Space Program Progresses

    BANGALORE, INDIA—India is a step closer to fulfilling its aspiration of putting a human in space by 2015. A blue-ribbon government panel gave a nod last week to the Indian Space Research Organization’s $3.1 billion crewed space mission. Final approval from the Indian cabinet is expected in the next few weeks.

  • CO2 Monitoring Satellite Fails

    A $280 million NASA satellite designed to monitor carbon dioxide emissions failed early this morning because of a problem with the Taurus XL rocket. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory was a critical part of the space agency's effort to gather data on climate change, and the probe's failure is a major blow to earth scientists eager to collect more accurate data on carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas.

  • Good Day at the Office (of Science)

    The Department of Energy’s Office of Science comes out a big winner in the draft budget for 2009 formulated by the U.S. Congress yesterday. But a closer look shows that the 20%, $800 million increase to $4.77 billion would only make up for cuts made in last year’s budget and that one major item—the U.S. contribution to the international fusion experiment ITER to be built in Cadarache, France—would remain funded at just over half the requested amount.

  • 2009 Looking Sweet for the National Science Foundation

    The National Science Foundation would get a 6.7% increase, to $6.49 billion. Although that's half of its overall requested boost for this year, it comes on top of a $3 billion bolus of stimulus money that NSF hopes to spend as quickly as possible. The agency's six research directorates would grow by $362 million over current levels, to $5.18 billion, compared to the $772 million increase that NSF had sought.

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