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Our Hearing Summaries

House SS&T Hrg on Expert Perspectives on NASA's Human Spaceflight Program, February 2016

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 04-Feb-2016 (Updated: 04-Feb-2016 07:34 PM)

The Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on February 3, 2016 on "Charting a Course: Expert Perspectives on NASA's Human Exploration Proposals."  NASA itself was not represented at the hearing.  Instead, the subcommittee took testimony from three "outside" (non-NASA) witnesses with expertise on the subject.  They were:

  • Tom Young, retired industry executive (Martin Marietta/Lockheed Martin), former NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Director, and member of the NASA Advisory Council, testifying on his own behalf
  • Paul Spudis, senior scientist, Lunar and Planetary Institute, testifying on his own behalf
  • John Sommerer, retired from Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, testifying as former chair of the Technical Panel of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine committee that produced the 2014 Pathways to Exploration report

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on February 4.

SASC Hearing on Russian RD-180 Rocket Engines, January 2016

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 28-Jan-2016 (Updated: 28-Jan-2016 12:21 AM)

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) held a hearing on January 27, 2016 to further debate the issue of how many Russian RD-180 rocket engines may be obtained by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) for its Atlas V rockets that are used to launch national security satellites.   SASC Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) announced that he and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are introducing legislation to repeal a provision "airdropped" into the FY2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act allowing ULA to obtain an unlimited umber of those engines, after McCain's FY2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) limited the number to nine.

The two witnesses at the hearing were Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on January 27, 2016.

House Hearing on ISS Operations, July 2015

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 11-Jul-2015 (Updated: 11-Jul-2015 10:31 PM)

The Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee held a hearing on July 10, 2015 on "International Space Station: Addressing Operational Challenges."  The hearing came after three ISS cargo resupply spacecraft failed over an 8-month period (October 2014-June 2015).  The hearing did not focus specifically on those failures, but broadly on operational challenges facing the ISS today and what will come next after the ISS lifetime comes to an end.  

SpacePolicyOnline.com published an article summarizing the hearing on July 11, 2015.   Witnesses were:

  • Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations
  • John Elbon, Vice President and General Manger, Space Exploration, The Boeing Company
  • Paul Martin, NASA Inspector General
  • Shelby Oakley, Acting Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management, Government Accountability Office (GAO)
  • James Pawelczyk, Associate Professor of Physiology and Kinesiology at The Pennsylvania State University, who was a payload specialist on the space shuttle STS-90 (Neurolab) mission in 1998.
 

SASC Subcommittee Hearing on Military Space Issues, April 2015

Marcia S. Smith
Posted: 04-May-2015 (Updated: 15-May-2015 04:44 PM)

The Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) held a hearing on military space issues on April 29, 2015.  SpacePolicyOnline.com pubished two articles summarizing the hearing.

  • The first was published on May 4, 2015, summarizing the portions of the hearing that discussed issues about the pace with which the Air Force is executing congressional direction to build a new American rocket engine to replace Russia's RD-180 engines used for the Atlas V launch vehicle.

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.