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Our Hearing Summaries

Senate Appropriations CJS Subcommittee Hearing on NASA's FY2016 Budget, April 2016

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 17-Apr-2015 (Updated: 17-Apr-2015 12:57 AM)

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.  

House SS&T Subcommittee Hearing on NASA's FY2016 Budget Request, April 2015

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 16-Apr-2015 (Updated: 16-Apr-2015 11:20 PM)
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."

HASC Subcommittee Hearing on National Security Space, March 2015

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 07-Apr-2015 (Updated: 07-Apr-2015 09:10 PM)
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.

House CJS Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing on NOAA's FY2016 Budget Request, March 2015

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 21-Mar-2015 (Updated: 21-Mar-2015 02:02 PM)
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.

HASC Hearing on Assuring Assured Access to Space, March 2015

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 18-Mar-2015 (Updated: 18-Mar-2015 11:17 AM)

ON March 17, 2015, the Strategic Forces subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) held a hearing on "Assuring Assured Access to Space" that debates issues about how to end U.S. reliance on Russia's RD-180 engines, used for the United Launch Alliance's (ULA's) Atlas V rocket and how to create competition in the marketplace for launches of U.S. national security satellites.   SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on March 18, 2015.  Witnesses were:

  • SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell
  • ULA President Tory Bruno
  • DOD  assistant secretary for acquisition Katharina McFarland
  • Air Force assistant secretary for acquisition William LaPlante
  • Commander of Air Force Space Command Gen. John Hyten
  • Maj. Gen. Howard "Mitch" Mitchell (Ret.), Aerospace Corporation

Senate Commerce Subcommittee Hearing on NASA's FY2016 Budget Request, March 2015

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 13-Mar-2015 (Updated: 13-Mar-2015 02:30 AM)
The Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing on NASA's FY2016 budget request on March 12, 2015.  NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden was the only witness, although Deputy Administrator nominee Dava Newman was in the audience and Bolden used the opportunity to urge that she be confirmed.  Most of the hearing centered on a partisan debate over whether NASA is spending too much on earth science and not enough on space exploration.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on March 13, 2015.

House Appropriations CJS Subcommittee Hearing on NASA's FY2016 Budget Request, March 2015

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 05-Mar-2015 (Updated: 05-Mar-2015 12:34 AM)
The Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on March 4, 2015 to take testimony from NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden on the President's FY2016 budget request for NASA.   SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of key points of the hearing on March 5, 2015.

Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee on RD-180 Engine Replacement, February 2015

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 25-Feb-2015 (Updated: 25-Feb-2015 10:46 PM)
The Defense Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on the FY2016 budget request for the Air Force on February 25, 2015.  During the hearing, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) had two exchanges where they discussed the timeline and cost of developing a new U.S. rocket engine to replace Russia's RD-180 now used for the U.S. Atlas V rocket.  James said "it may not be doable" to develop a new engine by 2019 as Congress directed last year.  The two also discussed certifying "new entrants" like SpaceX to compete against the United Launch Alliance for national security satellite launches.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of those portions of the hearing on February 25.

Senate Hearing on Human Spaceflight and Commercial Space, February 2015

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 25-Feb-2015 (Updated: 25-Feb-2015 01:19 PM)

The Space, Science and Competitiveness subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing on February 24, 2015 on "U.S. Human Exploration Goals and Commercial Space Competitiveness."  It was the first subcommittee hearing chaired by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).   SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on February 25, 2015.  Witnesses were:

Panel 1

  • Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham
  • Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin (second man to walk on the Moon)
  • Space Shuttle astronaut Mike Massimino

Panel 2

  • John Elbon, Boeing Space Exploration
  • Scott Pace, George Washington University Space Policy Institute
  • Eric Stallmer, Commercial Spaceflight Federation

House Hearing on Potential Weather Satellite Gaps and Commercial Data Buys, February 2015

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 15-Feb-2015 (Updated: 15-Feb-2015 05:07 PM)

Two subcommittees of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on February 12, 2015 on "Bridging the Gap: America's Weather Satellites and Weather Forecasting."  Two main themes were how to mitigate against potential gaps in weather satellite coverage if older satellites cease functioning before new ones are launched, and whether NOAA should buy weather data from commercial companies to augment the data acquired by NOAA's own satellites.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on February 15, 2015.   Witnesses at the hearing were:

  • David Powner, Government Accountability Office (GAO)
  • Stephen Volz, NOAA, National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS)
  • Steven Clarke, NASA, Joint Agency Satellite Division

Two additional witnesses were available to answer questions, but did not testify:

  • Alexander MacDonald, President, American Meteorological Society, and Director, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory and Chief Science Advisor, NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
  • John Murphy, NOAA, National Weather Service, Office of Science and Technology