Our Hearing Summaries
The House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on February 27, 2014 on "Mars Flyby 2021: First Deep Space Mission for Orion and the Space Launch System?" The hearing discussed the concept of send two people on a flyby mission to Mars -- via Venus -- in 2021. Witnesses were: Scott Pace, George Washington University; Gen. Lester Lyles (Ret.), consultant; Doug Cooke, consultant; and Sandy Magnus, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Pace and Cooke are former NASA officials; Magnus is a former astronaut. Lyles chairs the National Research Council's Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and has served on or chaired several studies on the future of human spaceflight. SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on February 28, 2014.
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 SpacePolicyOnline.com summary of the space-related portions of the hearing was published on February 5.
On February 4, 2014, the Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on "Necessary Updates to the Commercial Space Launch Act." SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on February 4 entitled "House Hearing Reveals FAA-COMSTAC Rift on Learning Period for Commercial Human Spaceflight." Witnesses at the hearing were:
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:
SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on January 28, 2014.
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.