Congress on NASA: Skepticism and Indecision

Nelson: Obama administration is not 'helping' NASA, Orlando Sentinel

"Tensions between U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and the White House openly erupted Wednesday when the Florida Democrat used a packed Senate hearing to accuse the administration of dragging its feet on a new NASA law that Nelson had a hand in crafting. Nelson said the Senate had received word that NASA and "other parts of the administration" were working to undermine the law -- which aims to replace the retiring space shuttle with a new "heavy lift" rocket and crew capsule -- and instead pursue Obama's earlier plans that focused more on technology development. However, he offered no definitive examples or proof. Still, his insistent questioning of John Holdren, who is Obama's science adviser, finally prompted an exasperated Holdren to declare, "We are going to follow the law. I can't emphasize that enough."

Senators Push NASA to Carry Out Revamping, NY Times

"Congressional members from Utah, where Alliant builds the solid rocket motors, have also expressed worries that NASA is looking for a way around the law. Two weeks ago, they met with Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden Jr., the NASA administrator, and Lori Garver, the deputy administrator. "We wanted to have some assurance that NASA understood intent of the laws," said Representative Rob Bishop, Republican of Utah. "I don't think we were terribly satisfied." Mr. Bishop called the answers from General Bolden "both vague and inconsistent."

Senators Say NASA Isn't Implementing Programs, WS Journal

"The hearing started with lawmakers voicing complaints that NASA was trying to circumvent or delay complying with some congressionally mandated priorities, including developing new heavy-lift launchers derived from solid-propellant technology used on the retiring fleet of space shuttles. "If it is dragged out and we don't have a design" for the new family of rockets, according to Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R., Texas), "we could lose the whole" effort to stay ahead of other countries in manned exploration of space."

Senate punts on NASA appropriations bill, Nature

"When it comes to funding NASA, lawmakers are lately working down to the wire. The night before the October recess, Congress passed an Authorization Act for the agency, mandating a $19 billion budget for FY2011. But legislators were unable to pass the appropriations bill needed to actually provide the funds, instead relying on a continuing resolution that froze funding at FY2010 levels and prohibited the agency from terminating programs or starting new ones. Congress must now decide how, and for how long, it intends to fund NASA before the continuing resolution expires on 3 December."

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on December 2, 2010 5:10 PM.

Weird Arsenic-Eating Microbes Discovered? Yes. Finding E.T.? No. was the previous entry in this blog.

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