Congress: July 2012 Archives

House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Markup on Astronaut Artifact Ownership

"The Committee will meet to consider the following measure, or for other purposes: H.R. 4158 - To confirm full ownership rights for certain United States astronauts to artifacts from the astronauts' space missions."

- NASA IG Sends Cops in Flack Vests After 74 Year Old, 4'11" Grandmother, earlier post
- Selling History Or Just Personal Stuff?, earlier post
- NASA OIG Admits The Obvious About Moon Rocks, earlier post
- NASA's Inconsistent Policy Regarding The Sale Of Apollo Era Items, earlier post

Keith's update: This markup has been postponed.

Keith's note: It should be abundantly clear by now that the NASA IG and General Counsel offices have no consistent policy whatsoever when it comes to selling historic Apollo era artifacts. In some cases you can sell pieces of the Moon, and in other cases you cannot. In some cases you can sell items used during Apollo missions, in other cases, you cannot. And of course, it is also acceptable practice to rough up little old ladies and threaten lawsuits against elderly former astronauts.

Maybe this legislation will solve some of this confusion since it refers to some specific items "personal logs, checklists, flight manuals, prototype and proof test articles used in training, and disposable flight hardware salvaged from jettisoned lunar modules" which astronauts can keep and specifically excludes "lunar rocks and other lunar material" which they cannot keep.

U.S. National Laboratory on the Space Station: CASIS Continues To Have Problems Meeting Its Milestones

"NASA and CASIS finalized their agreement in September 2011. That's 1 month of operations in FY 2011 and 9 months of operations in FY 2012. If CASIS is following the reference model, then it should be well along the way toward having raised $2,892,000 by now. Yet there was no mention of that by Royston. If CASIS is following this reference as Royston told Congress, then where is the money he's supposed to have raised/generated? If he has not generated it yet, when does he project that this milestone will be reached. If CASIS does not meet this milestone, what will NASA do?"

The International Space Station: A Platform for Research, Collaboration, and Discovery

"The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on "The International Space Station: A Platform for Research, Collaboration, and Discovery." With assembly of the International Space Station complete as of May 2011, the focus has now shifted from construction to full scientific utilization through 2020 and beyond. This hearing will examine research progress, the potential for scientific breakthroughs, and any impediments to maximizing the utilization of this orbiting national laboratory."

Prepared Statements

William Gerstenmaier (and Don Pettit)
James Royston
Thomas Reiter
Sen. Rockefeller
Sen. Hutchison

Keith's note: Sources note that prior to this public hearing a private meeting will be held wherein the teams that bid on the contract that CASIS won - and explain how they would have approached this task. That said, nothing spectacular should be expected from the public hearing. Sen. Nelson has staged all of this behind the scenes - from contract award to providing political protection - so as to send jobs to Florida. Actual performance on the task is of secondary importance. As such, Sen. Nelson is unlikely to allow the status quo to be upset during this hearing - and the ongoing incompetence demonstrated by CASIS will be allowed to continue.

Three weeks after an ISS conference co-sponsored by CASIS, they have only managed to figure out how to post a small fraction of what was presented - 2 NASA presentations and 3 CASIS presentations. The rest of what was presented i.e. the vast majority - is being ignored.

AIP FYI #102: Subcommittee Examines NASA Derived Technology Transfer Activities

"Regarding the IG report, Palazzo commented that "the IG found a general lack of awareness among NASA program managers about the technology transfer and commercialization process and that many personnel did not understand the range of technologies that could be considered as technological assets. Furthermore, the report found that the number of patent attorneys and dedicated Innovative Partnership Office staff - and related funding - was insufficient given the technology transfer and commercialization potential."

"The purpose of this hearing will be to examine the direct economic and societal benefits that investments in NASA have generated and highlight those areas where continued investments could help stimulate the pipeline for future economic growth."

- Democrats Highlight Importance of the Nation's Investments in NASA that Strengthen the American Economy, and Improve Our Daily Lives
- Beyond Tang and Teflon: Witnesses Highlight NASA-Derived Technologies that Save Lives and Fuel Economic Growth
- Hearing Charter
- S&A Subcommitte Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-MS)
- Mason Peck, Chief Technologist, NASA
- George Beck, Impact Instrumentation, Inc.
- Brian Russell, Zephyr Technology
- John Vilja, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
- Richard Aubrecht, Moog Inc.



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This page is an archive of entries in the Congress category from July 2012.

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