NASA's Launch Services Program adds the Orbital Services Antares launcher to its list of commercial launchers eligible for carrying the agency's unmanned satellites: NASA Adds Orbital's Antares To Launch Services II Contract - NASA.
This action starts the "on-ramp" process for allowing the Antares to bid on spacecraft launches. The Antares has not flown yet and there is a minimal number of successful flights required, depending on the particular NASA spacecraft and its cost, before it will be allowed to compete for a launch.
Jeff Foust is currently posting notes from a National Research Council meeting on "NASA's Strategic Direction": Jeff Foust (jeff_foust) on Twitter.
/-- "'As a citizen who lives way out there in the country, I am utterly confused' by NASA's direction - ex-NASA admin Dick Truly, at NRC mtg."
/-- "Not surprisingly, Truly says the Nat'l Space Council didn't work very well when he was NASA admin; WH and NASA couldn't get on same page."
/-- "Former NASA admin Jim Beggs, ex-NASA administrator: there's too much institution for the program, and too much program for the budget."
/-- "Beggs, speaking at an NRC meeting, says he thinks NASA's budget is about $4-5 billion ...