Congress: December 2007 Archives

HR 4837 Spacefaring Priorities for America's Continued Exploration Act (Full Text)

"a) Use of Space Shuttle for Access to Space- NASA shall fly at least 2 Space Shuttle missions per year for crew transport, instead of Russian crew and cargo services, for the period of 2010 through 2015, or until Orion is operational. There are authorized to be appropriated to NASA such sums as may be necessary, in addition to amounts otherwise authorized, to carry out this subsection, including for the production of more external tanks as may be needed."

Editor's note: Rep. Weldon is exorcising some non-space demons at the same time that he is trying to prolong shuttle operations. This legislation also includes a large amount of Russia-bashing - much of it gratuitous - much more than is needed to make the simple point (agreed to by many) that the U.S. should not be reliant upon Russia (or any other country) to fly American astronauts. i.e. "Despite United States objections, Russia sold billions of dollars worth of weapons to the regime of Hugo Chavez in 2006. Such meddling is a possible violation of the Monroe Doctrine and a throwback to the Cold War era."

Our position: Bringing the next space ship on line faster is the best solution, editorial, Orlando Sentinel

"Congressman Dave Weldon is right to be concerned about the looming gap between the space shuttle's retirement in 2010 and the launch of NASA's next manned vehicle in 2015 or later. But he's also right that his plan to fill the gap isn't very likely to pass. Actually, it has about a daisy's chance on the moon."

Bad Budget News For NASA

Text of the House Amendments to Senate Amendment to H.R. 2764 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008) Division B--Commerce, Justice, Science

"That, of the amounts provided under this heading, $5,577,310, 000 shall be for Science, $625,280,000 shall be for aeronautics research, $3,842,010, 000 shall be for exploration systems, and $556, 400, 000 shall be for cross-agencys upport programs: Provided further, That the amounts in the previous proviso shall be reduced by $57,900,000 in corporate and general administrative expenses and the reduction shall be applied proportionally to each amount therein: Provided further, That none of the funds under this heading shall be used for any research, development, or demonstration activities related exclusively to the human exploration of Mars."

Joint Explanatory Statement to Accompany Consolidated Appropriations Amendment Division B--Commerce, Justice, Science

"NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION The amended bill provides $17,309,400,000 for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) instead of $17,622,500,000 as proposed by the House and $17,459,600,000 as proposed by the Senate. The Senate bill included an additional $1,000,000,000 designated as an emergency requirement. The amended bill does not include this emergency funding."

U.S. urged to keep space shuttle flying past 2010, Reuters

"[Weldon's] proposal, which would cost about $10 billion, would have the shuttles make six or seven additional flights between 2010 and 2013 and speed up development of the Orion ships to be ready by then. A second proposal would keep the shuttles flying until 2015 and leave Orion's schedule alone."

Sponsored by NASA?

Editor's note: This astronaut endorsement of a recliner chair appeared in Saturday's Washington Post. Seems that some people already like the idea of a NASA "brand". Click on image to enlarge.

Reps. Calvert and Jones Introduce Legislation to Provide for NASA Sponsorship Opportunities

"The legislation would allow the Agency to seek partnership opportunities from corporations, universities, individuals, and other entities and accept money for the Innovation Fund in exchange for appropriate promotional programs. The legislation contains a number of safeguards designed to uphold the high standards of the agency, and preclude the use of corporate logos on NASA launch assets."

H.R. 4308: NASA Innovation Fund and Sponsorship Act of 2007 (Full text)

Blaming The Other Guy

AIP FYI #118: Doing Too Much With Too Little: Sobering Hearing on the Future of NASA

"I don't like it. I consider it to be unseemly in the extreme, and unwise strategically for the United States to be dependent on any other nation for any other thing. I could not be more clear on that. This is where we are, and I am doing the best I can to plot our course out of it. I did not get us into this position. . . . If you think I like it, you would be wrong." These were the words of NASA Administrator Michael Griffin at a very sobering hearing of the Senate Space, Aeronautics, and Related Sciences Subcommittee."

CRS - Sputnik +50

U.S. Civilian Space Policy Priorities: Reflections 50 Years After Sputnik (full report)

Reflections on civilian space policy, Aviation Week

"A new Congressional Research Service paper came out Dec. 3 titled "U.S. civilian space policy priorities: reflections 50 years after Sputnik." It's a nice wrap-up of policy in the past as well as the direction for space policy in the future. The report posits that there are four factors contributing to the advancement of space technology since Sputnik (launched on Oct. 4, 1957): "the compelling need to explore and discover; national defense; prestige and confidence in the U.S. scientific, technological, industrial and military systems; and scientific observation and experimentation to add to our knowledge and understanding of the Earth, solar system and universe."

Sen. Hutchison Named Ranking Member of Aviation Subcommittee, Sen. Vitter to Replace Hutchison as Ranking Member on Space Subcommittee

"Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) today was named the new Ranking Member of the Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security Subcommittee. Senator Hutchison will replace current Ranking Member Senator Trent Lott (R-Miss.), who announced last week that he is resigning at the end of this year."



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