Our Hearing Summaries
The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) held a posture hearing on the Air Force on March 3, 2016 at which SASC chairman John McCain (R-AZ) and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James had a feisty exchange over the use of Russian RD-180 rocket engines for the United Launch Alliance's (ULA's) Atlas V rocket. The focus was on whether ULA should be prohibited from buying RD-180s because it violates sanctions imposed against two Russians (Dmitry Rogozin and Sergei Chemezov) who now may benefit financially from those sales. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of that portion of the hearing on March 3.
James had testified to the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee the day before (March 2) where the topic of RD-180s also arose and those comments also are summarized in the SpacePolicyOnline.com article.
The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on February 25, 2016 on H.R. 2093, the Space Leadership Preservation Act. The hearing addressed the specifics of the bill, which would create a Board of Directors to govern NASA and appoint NASA Administrators for fixed terms of 10 years, and broad issues such as NASA's plans for human exploration of space. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on February 29. Witnesses at the hearing were:
The Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on February 3, 2016 on "Charting a Course: Expert Perspectives on NASA's Human Exploration Proposals." NASA itself was not represented at the hearing. Instead, the subcommittee took testimony from three "outside" (non-NASA) witnesses with expertise on the subject. They were:
SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on February 4.
The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) held a hearing on January 27, 2016 to further debate the issue of how many Russian RD-180 rocket engines may be obtained by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) for its Atlas V rockets that are used to launch national security satellites. SASC Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) announced that he and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are introducing legislation to repeal a provision "airdropped" into the FY2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act allowing ULA to obtain an unlimited umber of those engines, after McCain's FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) limited the number to nine.
The two witnesses at the hearing were Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on January 27, 2016.
The Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on July 10, 2015 on "International Space Station: Addressing Operational Challenges." The hearing came after three ISS cargo resupply spacecraft failed over an 8-month period (October 2014-June 2015). The hearing did not focus specifically on those failures, but broadly on operational challenges facing the ISS today and what will come next after the ISS lifetime comes to an end.
SpacePolicyOnline.com published an article summarizing the hearing on July 11, 2015. Witnesses were:
The Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) held a hearing on military space issues on April 29, 2015. SpacePolicyOnline.com pubished two articles summarizing the hearing.
The Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on the FY2016 budget request for NASA on April 16, 2015. The witness was NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing, entitled "Senate Appropriations Unhappy With NASA FY2016 Budget Request," on April 16, 2015.
The Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on NASA's FY2016 budget request on April 16, 2015. NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden was the witness. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on April 16, 2015 entitled "Bolden Defends ARM, Earth Science, American Preeminence at House Hearing."
The Subcommittee on Strategic Forces of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) held a hearing on March 25, 2015 on a broad range of issues concerning the national security space program. On April 7, SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of selected portions of the hearing, focusing on statements by Gen. John Hyten, Commander of Air Force Space Command, on why the Air Force contract with the United Launch Alliance (ULA) must change if there is to be "fair competition" in the national security space launch market. Doug Loverro, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy, separately stressed that space can no longer be considered a sanctuary and the United States is prepared to defend its space assets, but also is committed to assuring the peaceful use of space by all.
The Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on March 18, 2015 on NOAA's FY2016 budget request. NOAA Administrator Kathy Sullivan was the witness. Most of the hearing dealt with non-satellite issues, but subcommittee chairman John Culberson (R-TX) did ask especially about NOAA's $380 million request for a Polar Follow On (PFO) program. Sullivan explained that program is in response to criticism from an Independent Review Team headed by Tom Young that NOAA is not procuring satellites in an effective manner. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the satellite-related aspects of the hearing on March 19, 2015.