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Our Military / National Security Hearing Summaries

SASC Subcommittee Hearing on Military Space Organization, Policy, and Programs, May 2017

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 17-May-2017 (Updated: 17-May-2017 08:18 PM)
The Strategic Forces subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on Military Space Organization, Policy, and Programs on May 17, 2017.  Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, who had been sworn into office just the prior day, testified along with three top Air Force space officials -- Gen. David Goldfein, Air Force Chief of Staff; Gen. John Raymond, Commander, Air Force Space Command; and Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander, Air Force Space and Missile Center.   Cristina Chaplain of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) also testified.

The Air Force officials' main theme was that space no longer is a benign environment, but a "warfighting domain."  Another theme was that the organization for developing and executing space programs within DOD and the Air Force remains ineffective and changes are needed. published a summary of the hearing on May 17, 2017.

House Hearing on Lifetime Medical Care for Astronauts, June 2016

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 16-Jun-2016 (Updated: 16-Jun-2016 01:58 AM)

The Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on June 15, 2016 on "Human Spaceflight Ethics and Obligations: Options for Monitoring, Diagnosing and Treating Former Astronauts."   Three current and former astronauts, including Scott Kelly who just set a new U.S. record for a long duration (340 days) spaceflight, NASA's Chief Medical Officer, and a medical ethicist, testified. published a summary of the hearing on June 15.  Witnesses were:

  • Richard Williams, NASA Chief Medical Officer
  • Chris Cassidy, NASA astronaut and Chief, Astronaut Office, Johnson Space Center
  • Scott Kelly, former NASA astronaut
  • Michael Lopez-Alegria, former NASA astronaut, President of the U.S. chapter of the Association of Space Explorers
  • Jeffrey Kahn, Professor of Bioethics and Public Policy, Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and Chairman, Committee on the Ethics Principles and Guidelines for Health Standards for Long Duration and Exploration Spaceflights, Board on Health Sciences Policy, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

Joint Senate Commerce and SASC Hearing on RD-180 Engines and SpaceX Certification, July 16, 2014

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 17-Jul-2014 (Updated: 17-Jul-2014 08:41 AM)
A joint hearing was held on July 16, 2014 between the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC).  The hearing, Options for Assuring Domestic Space Access, was co-chaired by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) from Commerce and Sen, Mark Udall (D-CO) from SASC.  Two main themes were how to cope with the possibility that Russian RD-180 engines might no longer be available because of strained U.S.-Russian relationships over Ukraine and SpaceX's effort to be certified by the Air Force to be awarded launch contracts.  Space published a summary of the hearing on July 16.

House Intelligence Hearing Includes Counterspace, Commercial Space Discussions, February 2014

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 05-Feb-2014 (Updated: 17-Aug-2014 06:50 PM)
A hearing before the House Intelligence Committee on February 4, 2014 on worldwide threats included discussions about counterspace threats to U.S. space assets as well as a pitch to support the U.S. commercial space sector.   Ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) was the committee member who raised these issues in his opening statement and in a dialogue with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.  A summary of the space-related portions of the hearing was published on February 5.

China's Counterspace Capabilities and Their Threat to U.S. National Security, January 2014

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 28-Jan-2014 (Updated: 17-Aug-2014 06:42 PM)

Two subcommittees of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) held a hearing on January 28, 2014 to discuss China's counterspace capabilities and their threat to U.S. national security.  Witnesses were:

  • Ashley Tellis, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Robert Butterworth, Aries Analytics
  • Michael Krepon, Stimson Center published a summary of the hearing on January 28, 2014.

Senate Commerce Hearing on Economic Impact of 2013 Government Shutdown, October 2013

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 12-Oct-2013 (Updated: 10-Jul-2016 02:28 PM)
The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a hearing on October 11, 2013 on "The Impacts of the Government Shutdown on Our Economic Security."  The hearing took place while the U.S. Government was partially shutdown at the beginning of FY2014 because Congress had not passed any of the FY2014 appropriations bills.  Among the witnesses was Marion Blakey, President of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), and Alan Leshner, Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). published a summary of the hearing on October 12, 2013, under the title "Nelson Tells Blakey:  Put a Fire Under Your Executives."

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

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 28-Apr-2013 (Updated: 17-Aug-2014 06:52 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. published three articles summarizing various aspects of these hearings:

HASC Hearing on FY2014 National Security Space Budget Request

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 27-Apr-2013 (Updated: 17-Aug-2014 06:45 PM)

The Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) held a hearing on the FY2014 budget request for national security space activities on April 25, 2013.   One of the topics discussed was the somewhat surprising revelation that the Department of Defense is using a Chinese communications satellite for services needed for a particular area of operations. published a summary of the hearing on April 27, 2013.

 Witnesses were:

  • Douglas Loverro, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy
  • Gil Klinger, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Space and Intelligence Office
  • Gen. William Shelton, Commander, Air Force Space Command
  • Betty Sapp, Director, National Reconnaissance Office

SASC Subcommittee Hearing on FY2013 Military Space Activities: Hearing Notes

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 25-Mar-2012 (Updated: 25-Mar-2012 05:47 PM)

The Senate Armed Services Committee's Srategic Forces subcommittee held a hearing on March 21, 2012 on the FY2013 budget request for military space programs.  These hearing notes were originally published on on March 23, 2012 under the title “Senators Cool to Space Code of Conduct; GAO Praises DOD on Acquisition Progress.” 

LightSquared and GPS: Hearing Notes from a February 2012 House Hearing

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 09-Feb-2012 (Updated: 09-Feb-2012 03:56 PM)
The Aviation Subcommittee of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee held a hearing on February 8, 2012 on "A Review of Issues Associated with Protecting and Improving our Nation’s Aviation Satellite-Based Global Positioning System Infrastructure."   This recap of the hearing originally appeared as an article on on February 8 under the title "LightSquared Gets Pounded Again at Another Congressional Hearing."