"NASA cannot exercise the same level of insight it normally has in other technology development efforts. NASA has not been able to credibly estimate the expected total cost to certify the companies' designs, or the cost to buy launch services."
Ralph Hall, statement
"If our nation is going to ask crews to explore space, it is our responsibility to do everything possible to ensure that those astronauts return to Earth safely. I'm not convinced this approach is the right one but I'm willing to listen."
Witnesses Say NASA Must Have Expanded Role in Ensuring Astronaut Safety as Commercial Spaceflight Capabilities Develop, House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology
"Vice Admiral Joseph W. Dyer, USN (Ret.), Chairman of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, expressed significant concerns with NASA's proposed plans. Since the U.S. government will not own the vehicles, the designs, or the intellectual property, NASA cannot exercise the same level of insight it normally has in other technology development efforts. Admiral Dyer told Committee Members that NASA's, "current acquisition approach--commercial transportation system development that is funded under a space act agreement concurrent with certification that is funded under a federal acquisition regulation-based contract--is complex and unique. In our opinion, this approach is a workaround for the requirements and communications challenges implicit to the space act agreements."
"In response to Mr. Gerstenmaier's comments that NASA is "hoping" to get the funding level ($525 million) in the Senate appropriations bill for fiscal year 2013, as well as get the President's request level of about $830 million per year in fiscal year 2014 and beyond, Ms. Edwards said, "I strongly suggest, especially in this [current funding] environment, to pin an estimate of completion of an activity based on a 'hope' [for full funding], will be a real challenge, I think, for the agency."
- William Gerstenmaier, statement
- Joseph Dyer statement