Our Hearing Summaries
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). SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on October 12, 2013, under the title "Nelson Tells Blakey: Put a Fire Under Your Executives."
Two subcommittees of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a joint hearing on September 19, 2013 entitled "Dysfunction in Management of Weather and Climate Satellites." Witnesses from NOAA and NASA disagreed with a witness from the Government Accountabiity Office (GAO) and committee members over whether there is likely to be a gap in data from NOAA's polar orbiting and geostationary weather satellites in the coming years. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on September 21, 2013.
The Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on September 20, 2013 on challenges facing decisions about NASA infrastructure -- what facilities to keep, demolish, abandon or turn over to other users. The real focus of the hearing, however, was the difficulty in making infrastructure decisions when NASA's future goals for human exploration are unclear. A specific topic that permeated the hearing was the fate of launch pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), which had been used for the space shuttle program, but NASA now wants to lease to a commercial user because it is no longer needed. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on September 20.
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.
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.
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:
A SpacePolicyOnline.com summary of the hearing was published on June 5, 2013.
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:
SpacePolicyOnline.com published two articles summarizing different aspects of the hearing on May 20, 2013.
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.
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:
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.