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Testifying From Space

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
June 14, 2005

UDALL: ISS Program, Research Yields Groundbreaking Knowledge

Opening Statement by Rep. Ken Calvert: Live to Space: International Space Station (ISS)

Statement of Astronaut Peggy Whitson before the House Committee on Science Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

Hearing Charter: House Science Committee Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Hearing: Live from Space: The International Space Station

“This is the first hearing in Congressional history with a witness testifying from space. It is possible because of advanced communications technology on ISS and significant preparation and coordination by NASA and the Committee.”

Editor’s note: Gee, the on-orbit portion of this hearing was sure pointless – and it was certainly not John Phillip’s fault. As soon as the live feed from space came on, everyone on the committee got starry eyed. That’s great – but I have to ask: couldn’t the committee members have asked questions that were a little more profound than they did? Roscoe Bartlett asked “what kind of an orbit are you in and what can you see?” Another member asked “what kind of food did you miss in space?”. Rep. Udall asked if you could “see snow” from space. For the most part, all the members asked questions whose answers are contained in the 6th grade reading level publications that NASA’s Education Office puts out. Oh well, at least there were no red faces and finger pointing – and Rep. Rohrabacher did ask a good, direct question about space commercialization. Otherwise, the questions asked of Peggy Whitson and Mike Fincke (on Earth) were, for the most part, good and to the point.

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.