Congress: September 2009 Archives

Selling NASA To The Skeptics

NASA veteran warns manned space program is a hard sell on Capitol Hill, Houston Chronicle

"Supporters of NASA have to prove to Congress and the American people that NASA is "an essential part" of the nation's scientific, educational and economic prowess, as well as milestone in U.S. history, [J.T.] Jezierski said. "A collection of mission patches may get you in the door (on Capitol Hill)," Jezierski said. "But the ability to share the NASA story, not just about what we did 40 years ago but what we are doing today" remains crucial to getting the message out "while conveying that through NASA we can promote innovation for our industrial base, create and secure jobs and inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists." Jezierski urged the audience to "rally around" the recommendation by a White House-appointed panel of space experts for Congress to boost NASA's budget by $3 billion a year by 2014 to underwrite a robust manned space program."

Congress, Norm, and NASA

Nelson: Obama must "pony up" to save manned-space exploration, Orlando Sentinel

"U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Wednesday that President Barack Obama is the only person who can save NASA's human spaceflight program and that the White House must "pony up" more money if it wants to send astronauts beyond the international space station. The Florida Democrat issued his challenge during the second hearing this week on NASA's manned-space program, which faces major problems after the space shuttle's retirement in 2010 or 2011 and was the subject of a three-month analysis by a presidential space panel."

Lawmakers slam experts' report on US human space flight, AFP

"A group of US lawmakers on Tuesday slammed a report by aerospace experts tasked to review NASA's human space flight program that proposed ditching plans to return to the Moon. "When it was announced that you were going to be leading an independent review of the human space flight program, I thought you were going to take a hard, cold, sobering look at the Constellation program," Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords told Norman Augustine, head of the review panel that bears his name. The Arizona Congresswoman said she had expected the group to "tell us exactly what we need to do here in Congress with our budget in order to maximize the chances of success."

Congress in hot seat over human spaceflight, Christian Science Monitor

"Will the Obama administration and the 111th Congress go down in history as the politicians who turned out the lights on the US human-spaceflight program? That is the fundamental question several lawmakers are asking as they pore over options and observations that were presented by a panel charged with reviewing America's human-spaceflight effort."

Testimony by Norman Augustine

"In summary, with the existing budget plan it would be reasonable to extend the use of the ISS for five years and to conduct a robust technology development program. The Committee concludes that no rational exploratory program can be funded under the existing funding constraint and that plans for America's space exploration program would de facto be halted and human operations limited to low earth orbit. With the less constrained budget option, requiring approximately $3B per year in additional funding, a sound exploration program could be conducted. The reason for this seemingly "dead space" between the two budget options is, simplistically stated, that for sixty percent of the needed funds, one cannot go sixty percent of the way to Mars."

Testimony by Joseph Dyer

"Starting over" would surely and substantially extend the gap in the Nation's ability to transport humans into space. As it is directly related, I want to share the ASAP's strongly held position regarding the Shuttle: ASAP does not support extending the shuttle beyond the current manifest. The substantiation of this recommendation is addressed in the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel 2008 Annual Report which I respectfully request be included in the hearing record.

Testimony by Mike Griffin

"It has long been known that some $3+ billion per year will be required to sustain ISS operations past 2015. Failure to plan for this is, and has been, a glaring omission in the nation's budgetary policy. Thus, sustained funding of the ISS as long as it continues to return value - certainly to 2020 and quite likely beyond - should have been established by the Commission as a non- negotiable point of departure for all other discussions."

Keith's note: It is certainly interesting to note that Mike Griffin is now such an ISS fan given the dismissive attitude that he and his inner staff (the "Band of Brothers") often had for this "albatross" - a term they used in staff meetings. The ISS could not go away soon enough for Mike Griffin. Now he's a fan.

House Science and Technology Committee Hearing - Options and Issues for NASA's Human Space Flight Program: Report of the "Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans" Committee

"Panel 2 ... Dr. Michael Griffin, Eminent Scholar and Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of Alabama in Huntsville"

Griffin replaces Bolden at congressional hearing, Orlando Sentinel

"New NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden is no longer scheduled to appear before Congress next week to discuss the future of American astronauts in space. Instead, former NASA chief Mike Griffin will testify before the U.S. House Science and Technology committee on Sept. 15."

Keith's note: On 15 September we get to hear more complaints from Mike Griffin about how people are cleaning up the mess he left behind. FYI the original plan was for Charlie Bolden and Norm Augustine to testify. There are a lot of people in Washington who are very unhappy with Bart Gordon right now. Pressure is being exerted on him to delay or cancel this hearing.



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This page is an archive of entries in the Congress category from September 2009.

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