Congress: September 2012 Archives

Reps. Culberson, Wolf, Posey and Olson introduce the Space Leadership Act

"The last 30 years have been marked by canceled programs due to cost-overruns, mismanagement or abrupt program changes at the start of each new administration. In the past 20 years alone, 27 programs have been cancelled resulting in over $20 billion wasted on uncompleted programs. This legislation establishes a new Board of Directors to provide a quadrennial review of space programs and a vision for space exploration that will set a tone for NASA's endeavors to ensure American preeminence in the space industry."

Texas Republicans cosponsor bill to reform, depoliticize NASA administration, Houston Chronicle

"Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, said despite his involvement in previous bipartisan successes with NASA legislation, he was not contacted during the drafting of the Space Leadership Preservation Act. "It sounded like they just wanted Republicans on it, they didn't want it to be bipartisan," he said. With Congress breaking for election season after this week and loaded schedule of legislation to deal with before the end of the session, Green said he doubts anything will come of the act and suspects it is largely an election ploy."

Text of "Space Leadership Act" legislation, as introduced

House Passes Bill to Clarify Astronaut Ownership of Mementos from Apollo-Era Space Missions

"Describing the bill, Chairman Hall said, "This bill seeks to eliminate any further ambiguity about Apollo-era artifacts that were received by the astronauts. It simply says that astronauts who flew through the end of the Apollo program will be granted full right of ownership of any artifacts received from their missions."

- Congress Deals With Space Artifacts and Moon Rocks, earlier post

- NASA's Inconsistent Policy Regarding The Sale Of Apollo Era Items, earlier post

"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."

Yet Another Space Policy Bill

Reps. Culberson, Wolf, Posey and Olson introduce the Space Leadership Act

"On Thursday, Reps. John Culberson (TX-07), Frank Wolf (VA-10), Bill Posey (FL-15), and Pete Olson (TX-22) will announce the introduction of the Space Leadership Act that will change business as usual at NASA and result in a more stable and more accountable space program. Rep. Lamar Smith (TX-21), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, is also an original cosponsor of the bill."

White House details automatic cuts, calls them 'blunt, indiscriminate', The Hill

"Cuts of approximately $110 billion are set to take effect in Jan. 3, according to an agreement reached by the administration and Congress, with half of the cuts falling on discretionary and non-discretionary defense budgets, and the other half affecting non-defense budgets."

U.S. budget sequester cuts science over 8 percent, Nature

"NASA would lose $417 million from its science budget, $346 for space operations, $309 for exploration, $246 for cross agency support, among other cuts."

Sequestration Would Cut U.S. Science Budgets By 8.2%, White House Estimates, Science

"NASA's science programs would drop by $417 million to about $4.7 billion, and its Exploration account would fall by $309 million to about $3.5 billion."

Sequestration report: Embassy security cut by $129 million, Human Events

"Other alarming cuts include $1.4 billion in funding for NASA ..."

- OMB Sequestration Update Report to the President and Congress for Fiscal Year 2013, White House
- OMB Report Pursuant to the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (P. L. 112-155), White House

Hearing Charter

"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."

Committee Democrats Raise Concerns about NASA's Commercial Crew Program

"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

Hearing on SLS/Orion

Hearing: Examining NASA's Development of the Space Launch System and Orion Crew Capsule

"The purpose of the hearing held by the Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics is to examine on-going development of the Space Launch System (SLS), the Orion capsule and related systems, as well as discuss how these technologies can be used for future scientific missions."

- Hearing Charter
- Dan Dumbacher prepared statement
- Cleon Lacefield prepared statement
- Jim Chilton prepared statement
- Matt Mountain prepared statement

Sequestration could be Pentagon pork killer, CBS

"You might be surprised that as part of the Defense Department's mission to protect Americans, your tax dollars funded a workshop about aliens from "Star Trek" entitled: Did Jesus Die for Klingons, Too? It's just one questionable projects under the microscope of fiscal conservative Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who's taking his red pen to cuts that he sees as no-brainers."

Not Such a Stretch to Reach for the Stars, NY Times (2011)

"... the government's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, drew hundreds this month to a symposium on the 100-Year Starship Study, which is devoted to ideas for visiting the stars. ... Other talks ruminated on theological and philosophical questions. "Did Jesus Die for Klingons, Too?" was the title of one."

Save Planetary Science, AGU

"The time has come for us to again stand up and fight for the future of our science. In part due to you making your voices heard, the US Congress continues work to restore a large portion of the serious cut to the FY 2013 NASA Planetary Science budget. Although the final budget won't be enacted for some months due to the election, planning in both houses of Congress looks positive. Now we must turn our attention to the source of the President's budget - the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP)."



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

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