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Democrats Name HSS&T Subcommittee Members

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 25-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:13 PM)

The Democratic Caucus of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee named its members and subcommittee ranking members today. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) will be the ranking Democrat on the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee when she returns; she chaired the subcommittee in the last Congress. Rep. Jerry Costello will serve as Acting Ranking Member while she is recuperating.

Full committee ranking member Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) announced the members of the subcommittees as follows:

Subcommittee on Energy and Environment

  • Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC), ranking member
  • Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
  • Rep. Ben Luj n (D-NM)
  • Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY)
  • Rep. Zoe Lofren (D-CA)
  • Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA)

Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

  • Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), ranking member
  • Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH)
  • Rep. Jerry Costello (D-IL), acting ranking member
  • Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)
  • Rep. David Wu (D-OR)
  • Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD)
  • Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)

Subcommittee on Research and Science Education

  • Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), ranking member
  • Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI)
  • Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY)
  • Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD)
  • Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)

Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation

  • Rep. David Wu (D-OR), ranking member
  • Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD)
  • Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
  • Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL)
  • Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ)
  • Rep. Ben Luj n (D-NM)

Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight

  • Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), ranking member
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
  • Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC)
  • Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-CA)

Charlie Bolden's Life Story

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 25-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:12 PM)

The State, a South Carolina newspaper, has an interesting article that tells Charlie Bolden's life story. The headline is about the impact space shuttle Challenger astronaut Ron McNair had on Bolden's career, but the article covers the NASA Administrator's entire life and his family. Bolden was in South Carolina to talk about his friend McNair as the 25th anniversary of the Challenger tragedy nears. NASA is planning a commemoration of that and two other spaceflight tragedies on January 27 in a National Day of Remembrance, as well as on January 28 in a ceremony at Kennedy Space Center.

UPDATE: Events of Interest: Week of January 24-28, 2011

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 24-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:18 PM)

UPDATE: NASA's Day of Remembrance has been added for Thursday and for the Challenger commemoration on Friday.

The following events may be of interest in the coming week. For more information, see our calendar on the right menu or click the links below.

Tuesday, January 25

Tuesday-Friday, January 25-28

  • NRC Review of NASA's Techhology Roadmaps. Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center, 3800 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington,DC. The sessions that are open to the public are on Wednesday and Friday mornings
    • Wednesday, 8:00 am - noon EST
    • Friday, 8:00 am - noon EST

Wednesday, January 26

Wednesday-Thursday, January 26-27

Thursday, January 27

  • National Day of Remebrance for the Apollo 204, Challenger and Columbia Crews. A series of wreath-layings will be held at Arlington National Cemetery, Kennedy Space Center, and Johnson Space Center. NASA's press release has more details.

Friday, January 28

Japan's HTV-2 Off the Pad

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 22-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:14 PM)

Japan launched its HTV cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) at 12:38 am EST Saturday morning (2:38 pm Japan Standard Time).

This is the second launch of the HTV (HTV2). The U.S. space shuttle, Russia's Progress, and Europe's ATV are the other spacecraft that take cargo to the ISS. The space shuttle is the only one that can return cargo to the Earth. Three more space shuttle flights remain. (Russia's Soyuz spacecraft is used to take crews to and from the ISS, but it has extremely limited capability -- about 50 kilograms -- to carry anything other than three crew.)

The HTV is launched on Japan's H2 launch vehicle from Japan's Tanegashima launch facility. It will take eight days for the HTV to rendezvous and berth with the ISS on the nadir side of the Harmony module.

UPDATE: Sen. Reid Lauds JFK's Space Achievements as House RSC Calls for Cuts

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 21-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:18 PM)

UPDATE: A link to a NASA photo of Bolden and Garver at the event has been added.

Jeff Foust over at Spacepolitics.com points out that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) spoke at a ceremony celebrating the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's inauguration yesterday and had nice words to say about the space program. At the same time, the House Republican Study Committee issued its plan to cut $2.5 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years by holding agencies like NASA to previous years' funding levels.

Reid's comments are posted on his website, where he notes that Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin was in the audience. The portion about space activities is as follows:

"Before I talk about President Kennedy's tremendous legacy in the area of space exploration and innovation, I want to acknowledge the astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who is here today.

"When he and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to touch the moon, our nation rejoiced not just because we were launching a new era of exploration and technology. We cheered for more than just a stunning success for science.

"When man first set foot on another world, we celebrated the fact that those first men were Americans.

"As Armstrong leaped off that ladder, I remember hearing Walter Cronkite take care to note that the astronaut was a 38-year-old American.' Because he was an American - a boy scout from Ohio and a pilot in our Navy - we all took pride. America was moving mankind forward. We were leaders.

"The story of that journey did not begin when the Eagle landed. It began years before: in the imaginations of Americans everywhere, and in laboratories and hangars in Florida and Texas.

"But it took flight in this building, when President Kennedy asked Congress to commit to sending a man to the moon and returning him safely to Earth. And in a stadium in Houston where he told the world we were accepting this challenge precisely because it was daunting and difficult - because it was an opportunity we could not afford to put off until tomorrow.

"He was right - it would be hard. Not just the technology, but also the politics. Opponents called his vision a boondoggle' and a science-fiction stunt.' But President Kennedy knew from the start what was waiting for America in the stars.

"On his first day as president, he invited the crowd gathered here at the Capitol - and the millions who were watching and listening - to join him in exploring the worlds beyond ours and seizing the wonders of science.

"And throughout the brief time he was our nation's leader, he insisted that our nation lead the sprint to conquer space - and that we finish that race first.

"On his last full day as president, as he dedicated a medical space research center in San Antonio, President Kennedy reaffirmed his commitment to corralling the full promise of the universe. I think the United States should be a leader,' he said. America, he demanded, should be second to none.'

"In the first words of the inaugural address we celebrate today, Kennedy recalled the nation's founding nearly two centuries earlier and observed, The world is very different now.' Half a century later, the world is again very different.

"Solar energy is a reality in states like Nevada and across the country because of the science that started in space.

"The water we drink is cleaner. Our oceans are healthier. We diagnose cancer sooner. All because of the discoveries our space program has made possible.

"Our wounded warriors wear better and stronger artificial limbs. Citizens of the world are safer from land mines. Firefighters can better track forest fires, and are safer when they fight them. Airplanes fly smarter, and even golf balls fly farther. All because when many others pulled back and doubted, President Kennedy kept pushing forward - forward with faith.

"We've all seen the picture that captured Armstrong's small step for man - the imprint of his American boot in the dust of the moon.

"But you don't need to scale the heavens to know the meaning or feel the force of space and science in our lives. Look all around you. That is President John Fitzgerald Kennedy's footprint on our future."

Foust says that NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and Deputy Administrator Lori Garver also were at the speech. (UPDATE: NASA is distributing a photo of Bolden and Garver at the event together with members of the Kennedy family, astronaut Leland Melvin and former astronaut Scott Altman.)

Senator Reid's enthusiasm for NASA must be welcome news to space advocates at a time when the House Republican Study Committee (RSC) is proposing that NASA and most other agencies be held to their FY2008 spending levels in the next Continuing Resolution (CR). That CR apparently will cover the rest of FY2011. The current CR expires on March 4 so Congress must pass another appropriations act before then or the government will have to shut down.

The RSC's plan to reduce federal spending by $2.5 trillion over the next 10 years calls for non-defense, non-homeland security, non-veterans agencies -- a group that includes NASA -- to be held at their FY2008 levels for FY2011, then drop to their FY2006 spending levels for the rest of the 10-year period. Rumors are that the proposal is not likely to be adopted, at least in its entirety. Some reports say that, in particular, efforts to protect NASA and a few other agencies are in the works.

HSS&T Republican Subcommittee Members Announced

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 21-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:14 PM)

The House Science, Space and Technology Committee has announced the subcommittee chairs and Republican members for each of its five subcommittees. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that four of the five subcommittee chairs are freshman lawmakers just elected in November.

The subcommittee chairs are:

  • Energy and Environment, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD)
  • Technology and Innovation, Rep. Ben Quayle (R-AZ)
  • Research and Science Education, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL)
  • Space and Aeronautics, Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS)
  • Investigations and Oversight, Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA)

Rep. Broun is the only veteran lawmaker in the group. In the last Congress he was the ranking Republican on the I&O subcommittee.

The other Republican members of the subcommittees are as follows:

Subcommittee on Energy and Environment
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Judy Biggert (R-IL)
Todd Akin (R-MO)
Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
Paul Broun (R-GA)
Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN)

Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation

Lamar Smith (R-TX)
Judy Biggert (R-IL)
Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN)
Scott Rigell (R-VA)
Two vacancies

Subcommittee on Research and Science Education
Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Ben Quayle (R-AZ)
Steven Palazzo (R-MS)
Andy Harris (R-MD)
Two vacanices

Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
Lamar Smith (R-TX)
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Todd Akin (R-MO)
Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Sandy Adams (R-FL)
Scott Rigell (R-VA)
Mo Brooks (R-AL)

Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight

Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
Sandy Adams (R-FL)
Ben Quayle (R-AZ)
Steven Palazzo (R-MS)
Mo Brooks (R-AL)
Andy Harris (R-MD)

Republican Members of House Science, Space and Technology Committee Announced

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 20-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:16 PM)

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, has announced the Republican members of the committee.

They are:

Ralph M. Hall (TX), Chairman
F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (WI), Vice Chairman
Lamar Smith (TX)
Dana Rohrabacher (CA)
Roscoe Bartlett (MD)
Frank Lucas (OK)
Judy Biggert (IL)
Todd Akin (MO)
Randy Neugebauer (TX)
Michael McCaul (TX)
Paul Broun (GA)
Sandy Adams (FL)
Ben Quayle (AZ)
Chuck Fleischmann (TN)
Scott Rigell (VA)
Steven Palazzo (MS)
Mo Brooks (AL)
Andy Harris (MD)
**five vacancies**

Space program advocates probably will be happy to see so many members from "space" states like Texas, California, Maryland, Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, and Virginia. The "five vacancies" undoubtedly indicates that this is not one of the premier committees on which members wish to serve unless they have significant constituent interests at stake.

According to the National Journal's biographical sketches of the new members of the 112th Congress, Rep. Rigell's father worked at Kennedy Space Center as director of NASA's launch vehicle operations. Florida Today says that his father was "in charge of the electrical network system during the launch of Explorer 1" in 1958. For anyone who's interested, NASA has a charming oral history with his father, Ike Rigell.

NRC Starting New Study Reviewing NASA's Technology Roadmaps

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 20-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:16 PM)

NASA's Chief Technologist, Bobby Braun, has asked the National Research Council's (NRC's) Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) to review his office's 14 draft technology roadmaps that were developed to support NASA's mission directorates and national and commercial needs in space technology. The first meeting of the NRC study committee taking on that task will be held next week at the Georgetown Hotel and Conference Center in Washington, DC.

The study will involve a steering committee and up to seven panels. This first meeting will span four days and is open to the public on the mornings of January 26 and January 28. Visit the study committee's website for more details. The statement of task and a list of the members of the steering committee are available on the NRC's Current Projects System.

News Reports: Rep. Giffords May Leave Hospital on Friday

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 19-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:15 PM)

News organizations are reporting that Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) may leave the University Medical Center (UMC) in Tucson on Friday and be transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Houston.

KOLD-TV in Tuscon publishes on its website the text of an email that Giffords' parents reportedly sent to CNN providing details about their daughter's improving health and plans for rehabilitation. CNN says on its website that it confirmed the move with Giffords' office, but they added that while it is hoped to occur on Friday the exact date will depend on the Congresswoman's health. CNN also identifies the Houston facility as TIRR Memorial Hermann rehabilitation hospital, part of the Texas Medical Center.

The CNN report also provides details of the attack on the Congresswoman a week ago Saturday while she held a "Congress on Your Corner" event with constituents at a local Safeway grocery store. Video of the attack clearly shows that Rep. Giffords was the intended victim and was shot in the face from 2-3 feet away, according to CNN. The attack killed six and wounded 13. CNN also has a video of an interview with Giffords' husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, where he says that he is trying to focus on the positives and not the negatives.

NASA Telecon at 4:30 EST Today Re Crew Change for STS-133 (Discovery)

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 19-Jan-2011 (Updated: 05-Dec-2011 06:15 PM)

NASA is replacing astronaut Tim Kopra with Steve Bowen for the STS-133 (Discovery) mission scheduled for launch next month. As reported earlier, Kopra was injured in a bicycle accident last weekend. NASA will hold a media teleconference today (Wednesday) at 4:30 pm EST to discuss the crew change.

NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Operations, Bill Gerstenmaier, and Peggy Whitson, Chief of the Astronaut Office, will participate in the teleconference. Audio will be streamed at http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio.

Kopra was going to be the lead spacewalker for the STS-133 mission. A NASA press release quoted Whitson as saying that Kopra is doing fine and expects a full recovery, but not in time for a February launch.

Events of Interest

Full calendar of future events (with filters)-click here »


 

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