Congressional Research Service Reports - Browse

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NASA's Voyager Spacecraft: A Fact Sheet
This report discusses the Voyager 2, which was launched on August 20, 1977, from Cape Canaveral. Their current mission is to extend the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) exploration of the outermost edge of the solar system and the region where the sun’s influence ends.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Overview, FY2009 Budget, and Issues for Congress
This report discusses budget issues for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which conducts U.S. civilian space and aeronautics activities. The President's 2004 Moon/Mars Vision for Space Exploration is the major focus of NASA's activities.
The International Space Station and the Space Shuttle
This report discusses the International Space Station (ISS) program, which began in 1993, with Russia joining the United States, Europe, Japan, and Canada.
Landsat and the Data Continuity Mission
This report discusses the U.S. Landsat Mission, which has collected remotely sensed imagery of the Earth's surface for more than 35 years. The two satellites currently in orbit are operating beyond their designed life and may fail at any time. Most Landsat data is used by federal agencies. Efforts to commercialize Landsat operations have not been successful. This report discusses issues facing Congress regarding funding for new Landsat satellites.
Landsat and the Data Continuity Mission
This report discusses the U.S. Landsat Mission, which has collected remotely sensed imagery of the Earth's surface for more than 35 years. The two satellites currently in orbit are operating beyond their designed life and may fail at any time. Most Landsat data is used by federal agencies. Efforts to commercialize Landsat operations have not been successful. This report discusses issues facing Congress regarding funding for new Landsat satellites.
Landsat and the Data Continuity Mission
This report discusses the U.S. Landsat Mission, which has collected remotely sensed imagery of the Earth's surface for more than 35 years. The two satellites currently in orbit are operating beyond their designed life and may fail at any time. Most Landsat data is used by federal agencies. Efforts to commercialize Landsat operations have not been successful. This report discusses issues facing Congress regarding funding for new Landsat satellites.
Landsat and the Data Continuity Mission
This report discusses the U.S. Landsat Mission, which has collected remotely sensed imagery of the Earth's surface for more than 35 years. The two satellites currently in orbit are operating beyond their designed life and may fail at any time. Most Landsat data is used by federal agencies. Efforts to commercialize Landsat operations have not been successful. This report discusses issues facing Congress regarding funding for new Landsat satellites.
The Future of NASA: Space Policy Issues Facing Congress
This report analyzes questions regarding space policy challenges and gives some possible answers. It also addresses a number of cross-cutting issues, such as NASA's interactions with other federal agencies and the growing role of the commercial space industry.
U.S. Civilian Space Policy Priorities: Reflections 50 Years After Sputnik
This report describes Sputnik and its influence on today's U.S. civilian space policy, the actions other nations and commercial organizations are taking in space exploration, and why the nation invests in space exploration and the public's attitude toward it. The report concludes with a discussion of possible options for future U.S. civilian space policy priorities and the implication of those priorities.
The Future of NASA: Space Policy Issues Facing Congress
This report analyzes questions regarding space policy challenges and gives some possible answers. It also addresses a number of cross-cutting issues, such as NASA's interactions with other federal agencies and the growing role of the commercial space industry.
The Future of NASA: Space Policy Issues Facing Congress
This report analyzes questions regarding space policy challenges and gives some possible answers. It also addresses a number of cross-cutting issues, such as NASA's (the National Aeronautics and Space Agency's) interactions with other federal agencies and the growing role of the commercial space industry.
The International Space Station and the Space Shuttle
This report discusses recent developments and funding for the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle program.
The International Space Station and the Space Shuttle
This report discusses the International Space Station (ISS) program, which began in 1993, with Russia joining the United States, Europe, Japan, and Canada. Crews have occupied ISS on a 4-6 month rotating basis since November 2000.
Space Launch Vehicles: Government Activities, Commercial Competition, and Satellite Exports
This report various sides of the debate related to domestic launch services, such as satellite export issues, the development of new launch vehicles by the private sector, and whether tax incentives or loan guarantees should be created for companies attempting to develop lower-cost launch vehicles.
National Security Space Launch at a Crossroads
This report examines the history and current status of the EELV (Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle) program. The United States is in the midst of making significant changes in how best to pursue an acquisition strategy that would ensure continued access to space for national security missions. The current strategy for the EELV program dates from the 1990s and has since been revised a few times.
NASA's Space Shuttle Program: The Columbia Tragedy, the Discovery Mission, and the Future of the Shuttle
This report discusses the Columbia tragedy, the Discovery mission, and issues for Congress regarding the future of the shuttle.
NASA: Issues for Authorization, Appropriations, and Oversight in the 114th Congress
Spaceflight fascinates and inspires many Americans, but in a time of constrained federal budgets, it must compete with a multitude of other national priorities. As the 114th Congress conducts oversight and considers authorization and appropriations legislation for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an overarching question will be how NASA should move forward within budget constraints. This report discusses a number of issues that arise within the framework of that question. This report begins with some context: a brief survey of NASA’s organization and programs, a summary of recent NASA authorization legislation, and an overview of NASA’s budget.
Space Stations
This report looks into Congress' continued debate regarding NASA's International Space Station (ISS) program to build a permanently-occupied space station in Earth orbit where astronauts live and conduct research. NASA expects that research performed in the near-zero gravity environment of the space station will result in new discoveries in life sciences, biomedicine, and materials sciences. Current congressional space station debate focuses on the impact of the space shuttle Columbia tragedy on the ISS program; the possibility that portions of the space station may not be built for cost reasons; and whether Russia can fulfill its commitments to ISS.
Military Space Programs: Issues Concerning DOD's SBIRS and STSS Programs
This report discusses the Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS, formerly SBIRS-Low), managed by the Missile Defense Agency, which performs missile tracking and target discrimination for missile defense objectives.