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Our Hearing Summaries

Nomination of Kathy Sullivan to Be NOAA Administrator, September 2013

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 20-Sep-2013 (Updated: 20-Sep-2013 09:20 PM)
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a hearing on September 19, 2013 on President Obama's nomination of Dr. Kathryn Sullivan to be Under Secretary of Commerce and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).   NOAA operates the nation's weather satellites.  Sullivan, an oceanographer by training, is a former NASA astronaut who was the first American woman to make a spacewalk.   SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the nomination hearing on September 19.

House Hearing on Draft 2013 NASA Authorization Bill, June 2013

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 20-Jun-2013 (Updated: 22-Jun-2013 07:23 AM)
On June 19, 2013, the Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on a draft version of a 2013 NASA Authorization Act.   Witnesses were NASA Advisory Council Chairman Steve Squyres and retired industry executive Tom Young.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on June 19.

House Hearing on Administration's STEM Restructuring Proposal, June 2013

Laura M. Delgado
Posted: 05-Jun-2013 (Updated: 05-Jun-2013 03:41 PM)

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on June 4, 2013 about the Obama Administration's proposal to restructure U.S. government programs in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.  Under the proposal, many NASA education and public outreach activities would be terminated or transferred to other agencies.   Witnesses were:

  • John Holdren, President's Science Adviser and Director, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Joan Ferrini-Mundy, National Science Foundation (NSF) Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources
  • Leland Melvin, NASA Associate Administrator for Education

A SpacePolicyOnline.com summary of the hearing was published on June 5, 2013.

Senate Hearing on Partnerships to Advance the Business of Space, May 2013

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 21-May-2013 (Updated: 21-May-2013 05:48 PM)

The Science and Space Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a hearing on May 16, 2013 on Partnerships to Advance the Business of Space.  Witnesses were:

  • Wayne Hale, Director, Human Spaceflight, Special Aerospace Services (and former NASA space shuttle program manager)
  • Patti Grace Smith, consultant (and former FAA Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation)
  • Michael Lopez-Alegria, President, Commercial Spaceflight Federation (and former NASA astronaut)
  • Steven Collicott, Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University

SpacePolicyOnline.com published two articles summarizing different aspects of the hearing on May 20, 2013.

House Hearing on Exoplanet Discoveries, May 2013

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 09-May-2013 (Updated: 09-May-2013 05:48 PM)
Two subcommittees of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on May 9, 2013 on "ExoPlanet Discoveries:  Have We Found Other Earths? "    Witnesses were Laurance Doyle of the SETI Institute, John Grunsfeld, NASA Associate Administrator for Science Mission Directorate, and Jim Ulvestad, National Science Foundation Director of Division of Astronomical Sciences.   SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on May 9, 2013.

SASC and HASC Hearings on Military/National Security Space Programs: FY2014

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 28-Apr-2013 (Updated: 28-Apr-2013 07:27 PM)

The Strategic Forces Subcommittees of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) and House Armed Services Committee (HASC) held hearings on April 24 and April 25, 2013 respectively on the FY2014 budget requests for military/national security space programs.   SpacePolicyOnline.com published three articles summarizing various aspects of these hearings:

Senate Appropriations Hearing on NASA's FY2014 Budget Request

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 25-Apr-2013 (Updated: 25-Apr-2013 04:49 PM)
The Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on NASA's FY2014 budget request on April 25, 2013.  The hearing was quite short, just 45 minutes, because of a briefing Senators needed to attend.  In that short time, the questions posed to NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden focused on funding for the Space Launch System versus commercial crew, the consequences for NASA if sequestration remains in place beyond FY2013, and the status of the James Webb Space Telescope.   Bolden said that if the sequester remains in force in FY2014, he would probably have to furlough civil servants and "all bets are off" for NASA's programs.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on April 25.

House SS&T Hearing on NASA's FY2014 Budget Request

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 25-Apr-2013 (Updated: 25-Apr-2013 03:53 PM)

The Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on NASA's FY2014 budget request on April 24, 2013.  NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden was the witness.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on April 24.  Major topics discussed were

  • NASA's new proposal for an asteroid retrieval mission;
  • concerns about funding for the Space Launch System versus commercial crew;
  • whether NASA will be given sufficient resources to pay for new responsibilities it has been assigned for building climate sensors, for operating a plutonium-238 production facility that for decades has been operated by the Department of Energy, and for initiating a new program to build a follow-on Landsat satellite that the Obama Administration had hoped to assign to the U.S. Geological Survey instead of NASA; and
  • the proposed government-wide restructuring of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs that will see NASA's role in these programs sharply diminished.

Senate Hearing on Challenges and Opportunities in Human Spaceflight

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 23-Apr-2013 (Updated: 23-Apr-2013 07:11 PM)

The Subcommittee on Science and Space of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a hearing on April 23, 2013 on Challenges and Opportunities in Human Spaceflight.  Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Spaceflight; Lt. Gen. Tom Stafford (Ret.); and Steve Cook, Director, Space Technologies, Dynetics, were the witnesses.  The hearing addressed NASA's FY2014 budget request for human spaceflight including the new asteroid retrieval strategy to capture an asteroid, place it into lunar orbit, and send astronauts to obtain a sample.   It also looked at international cooperation in future human spaceflight missions and the role of the private sector.   SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on April 23.

House Hearing on the FY2014 Budget Request for Federal Research and Development

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 21-Apr-2013 (Updated: 21-Apr-2013 10:07 AM)
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on April 17, 2013 on the FY2014 budget request for federal research and development.  The witness was John Holdren, the President's Science Adviser and the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.   On April 18, 2013, SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the portions of the hearing that discussed NASA as well as separate comments by committee chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) the next day in an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle.