Author Topic: Senate Commerce Committee Executive and Congress Version - July 15 onwards  (Read 462608 times)

Offline nooneofconsequence

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Its an attempt to keep HLV from eating up all available budget cause its underfed.
"Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something" - Plato

Offline psloss

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Short update on reconciling the authorization bills:
http://www.politico.com/morningtech/0910/morningtech51.html

Offline OpsAnalyst

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For reference - the original letters referred to in the Politico post - the Aug 31 letter to Chairman Gordon from Scott Hubbard and Nobel Laureate signatories, and Gordon's response (on behalf of the House Science & Technology Committee) of Sept. 3.

Offline DavisSTS

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Baffling letter from the Nobel Laureates, not that going back to the original FY2011 proposal is going to happen.

Offline alexw

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Baffling letter from the Nobel Laureates, not that going back to the original FY2011 proposal is going to happen.
   What's baffling about it?
        -Alex

Offline savuporo

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Griffin at his finest, again :
Quote
Griffin also criticized the 14 Nobel laureates who wrote a letter to Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., in support of Obama's plan. Gordon is the chair of the House Science and Technology Committee.

"It is unsurprising to find that a group of eminent university-affiliated scientists," Griffin said, "along with several former directors of NASA research and robotic spacecraft centers, would favor reallocating the NASA budget toward increased university research, technology development and robotic space missions instead of human spaceflight."

oh .. the irony. Pot .. kettle...
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline orbitjunkie

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The Space Frontier Foundation and Space Access Society are calling for people to contact their representatives about the House bill.
http://spacefrontier.org/2010/09/09/commercial-space-in-jeopardy/
http://www.space-access.org/updates/bulletin090910.html

The claim is that in 24 hours or less, House leadership will decide on the agenda through the rest of the session. So we should ask them not to put HR.5781 up for vote but instead S.3729 (the Senate bill).

For someone who knows more about this than me, or better yet is involved (51D are you out there??), what urgency is there to this call?

The story was that staffers were working behind closed doors to reach some kind of compromise between the House and Senate, so that something could be enacted quickly. These reports make no mention of such a third option, but maybe they aren't in the know. Is it possible that the House has come all the way over towards the Senate and a House vote on S.3729 might pass?

Perhaps more to the point, is there any reason that a House/Senate compromise couldn't emerge and be put on the agenda after the suggested 18-24 hr deadline?
« Last Edit: 09/11/2010 03:43 AM by Carl G »

Offline Jeff Bingham

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The Space Frontier Foundation and Space Access Society are calling for people to contact their representatives about the House bill.
http://spacefrontier.org/2010/09/09/commercial-space-in-jeopardy/
http://www.space-access.org/updates/bulletin090910.html

The claim is that in 24 hours or less, House leadership will decide on the agenda through the rest of the session. So we should ask them not to put HR.5781 up for vote but instead S.3729 (the Senate bill).

For someone who knows more about this than me, or better yet is involved (51D are you out there??), what urgency is there to this call?

The story was that staffers were working behind closed doors to reach some kind of compromise between the House and Senate, so that something could be enacted quickly. These reports make no mention of such a third option, but maybe they aren't in the know. Is it possible that the House has come all the way over towards the Senate and a House vote on S.3729 might pass?

Perhaps more to the point, is there any reason that a House/Senate compromise couldn't emerge and be put on the agenda after the suggested 18-24 hr deadline?


It appears that, at least for next week, there is no plan to bring either the House or Senate bill to the floor for consideration by the House, so the 24-hour "window" described in the above post has effectively closed without the consideration of either the Senate-passed or House-Committee-reported NASA bills. There could remain a possibility to get it included for the following (and last) week of the House's session before they recess at the end of the month, since that floor schedule will be determined b the end of next week.

And yes, a negotiated compromise is still one other possibility, but progress on that front is difficult, as the Senate-passed bill is not something that could be heavily modified in substantive ways and still be supportable if and when the House sent it back to the Senate for approval or rejection of the House amendments.

One thing is certain: if the House simply passes its own bill and sends it to the Senate, it would require a formal conference to attempt to reconcile the differences, because the House bill, in its present form, would NOT be acceptable to the Senate. And, given the parliamentary and political situations, the ability to secure appointment of conferees simply would not happen. (and even if by some miracle it did, the absence of the House due to their having recessed until at least after the election, makes a conference at the Member level virtually impossible until--and if--they return to a lame duck session after the election, which is extremely uncertain at this point.

In the meantime, the Congress will have to pass a Continuing Resolution by the end of September for those appropriations bills not yet adopted (which includes the CJS bill where NASA appropriations reside.) Without an adopted (enacted) NASA Authorization bill, funding levels--and allocations--for NASA funding levels would likely be defined as a continuation of the 2010 levels and allocations among accounts, leaving the Agency in the status quo of uncertainty and lack of clear direction for the future; a potential disaster for the skilled workforce and the related capabilities that would be needed to embark on the immediate development of a heavy-lift.

An enacted authorization bill would at least provide a strong argument for the content of the CR to reflect the funding levels and allocations reflected in the authorization bill--something both House and Senate appropriators indicated they would prefer to do--and which the Senate appropriations committee has proven good to that commitment by already having adopted and reported out a CJS bill which tracks closely to the Senate authorization formula.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline Bill White

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If the House and Senate do not pass a compromise bill by the end of September, what about that one additional Shuttle flight?
EML architectures should be seen as ratchet opportunities

Offline psloss

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If the House and Senate do not pass a compromise bill by the end of September, what about that one additional Shuttle flight?
It's an interesting question, when coupled with a CR of unknown duration that funds at FY10 levels.  My guess is that what Chris reported at the beginning of the month -- uncertainty until end of the calendar year -- would be the case:
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2010/09/ssp-cautious-political-decision-funding-sts-135/

I would certainly welcome 51D's point of view, but he has posted in the past that NASA already has the authority to fly the mission:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22163.msg614963#msg614963

If that's the case, then the other hurdle is funding.  If the CR funds Shuttle Operations at the FY10 level (~$3 billion on an annual basis) for sufficient time, that might be enough to cover the much-reduced workforce through 3Q FY11.

But there's been no public commitment from NASA administration so far and Congress isn't formally back in session until the coming week, so we're not done waiting.  With the election coming up, one of the things that people will be looking at is how long the first continuing resolution is set for, given the uncertainty that 51D noted about a lame duck session.

Even as messy as that is for the Shuttle Program, the situation in ESMD with no new authorization and continuing resolutions seems even messier.

Offline psloss

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Without an adopted (enacted) NASA Authorization bill, funding levels--and allocations--for NASA funding levels would likely be defined as a continuation of the 2010 levels and allocations among accounts, leaving the Agency in the status quo of uncertainty and lack of clear direction for the future; a potential disaster for the skilled workforce and the related capabilities that would be needed to embark on the immediate development of a heavy-lift.
Another tangential question for you: if no authorization bill makes it through this Congress (the 111th), would a new bill (or bills) have to be re-introduced in the 112th after it convenes after New Year's?

Offline rusty

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Portions of the House Bill dealing with ISS, Shuttle, CommercialCrew/Cargo, Exploration Program and Space Technology are below. Complete text and information on funding for additional programs is available at...
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-5781
Please correct any funding mistakes or misrepresentations I may have made.

SEC. 202. RESTRUCTURED EXPLORATION PROGRAM. [$4.16 - $4.5 - $4.5bil]
a) Requirements- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall develop a plan to restructure the exploration program in existence prior to fiscal year 2011...
   (1) The plan shall make maximum practicable use of the design, development, and test work completed to date on the Orion crew exploration vehicle, Ares I crew launch vehicle, heavy lift launch vehicle system, and associated ground support and exploration enabling systems, including spacesuit development and related life support technology, and take best advantage of investments and contracts implemented to date.
   (2)... the crew transportation system developed under this section available to assure crewed access to low-Earth orbit and the ISS no later than December 31, 2015 ...If one or more United States commercial entities are certified to provide ISS crew transportation and rescue services, the crew transportation system developed under this section shall be available as a backup ... but shall not be utilized as the primary means
   (3) The crewed spacecraft element of the crew transportation system shall be evolvable on a continuous development path to support--
(A) ISS crew transportation and rescue capability; (B) non-ISS missions to, from, and in low-Earth orbit; and (C) human missions beyond low-Earth orbit.
   (6)... the Administrator shall pursue the expeditious and cost-efficient development of a heavy lift launch system that utilizes the systems and flight and ground test activities of the crew transportation system
(A) the heavy lift launch vehicle shall be sized to enable challenging missions beyond low-Earth orbit and evolvable on a continuous development path to ... Lagrangian points, the Moon, near-Earth objects, and Mars and its moons; (B) not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Administrator shall carry out a review ... and shall select an exploration launch vehicle architecture to meet those requirements; (C) the development of the heavy lift launch vehicle ... shall take maximum benefit from the prior investments made in the Orion, Ares I, and heavy lift projects and ... the development, demonstration, and test of the crew transportation system; (D)... the heavy lift launch vehicle authorized in this paragraph available for operational missions by the end of the current decade.
e) Report on NASA Launch Support and Infrastructure Modernization Program for the Restructured Exploration Program- Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act

SEC. 211. EXTENSION OF ISS OPERATIONS. [$2.05 - $2.93 - $3.08bil]
a) In General- The Administrator shall, in consultation with the ISS partners, take all necessary measures to support the operation and full utilization of the International Space Station through at least the year 2020

SEC. 215. ISS CARGO RESUPPLY REQUIREMENTS AND CONTINGENCY CAPACITY THROUGH 2020.
b)... The Administrator shall conduct an assessment of the ISS cargo resupply capacity required to support the enhanced research utilization and extended operations of the ISS through 2020. ... In addition, the assessment shall identify the systems to be used for ISS cargo resupply, the amount of cargo those systems will transport, and the timeline for cargo resupply services to the ISS.
c)... The Administrator shall explore with ISS partners options for ensuring the provision of needed upmass to and downmass from the ISS in the event that adequate commercial cargo resupply capabilities are not available during any extended period after the date that the Space Shuttle is retired. Before relying on ISS partners to upmass or downmass cargo, the Administrator must certify to the Congress that no United States or commercial cargo resupply capabilities are available.

SEC. 221. CONTINGENT AUTHORIZATION OF ADDITIONAL SPACE SHUTTLE MISSION.
b)... The Administrator is authorized to conduct 1 additional Space Shuttle mission to the ISS beyond the missions contained in the flight manifest as of February 1, 2010, if--

SEC. 242. COMMERCIAL CREW AND RELATED COMMERCIAL SPACE INITIATIVES. [cargo: $14mil/2011 - crew: $50mil/yr]
a)... NASA shall seek, to the extent practicable, to make use of commercially available space services ... provided that--
   (1) those commercial services have demonstrated the capability to meet NASA-specified ascent, transit, entry, and ISS proximity operations safety requirements;
   (2) the services provider has completed, and NASA has verified, crewed flight demonstrations or operational flights that comply with NASA standards, policies, and procedures;
   (3) the per-seat cost to the United States is not greater than the per-seat cost for the system developed under section 202.

SEC. 243. FEDERAL ASSISTANCE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMERCIAL ORBITAL HUMAN SPACE TRANSPORTATION SERVICES. [$100mil/yr]
a)... The Administrator shall establish a program to provide financial assistance in the form of direct loans or loan guarantees to commercial entities for the costs of development of orbital human space transportation systems.
b)... A loan or loan guarantee may be made under such program only for a project in the United States to develop commercial orbital human space transportation systems that would be used to provide transportation services to and from low-earth orbit.

SEC. 501. SPACE TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM. [$0.57 - $1.0 - $1.0bil]
a)... The Administrator shall establish a space technology program to enable research and development on advanced space technologies and systems that are independent of specific space mission flight projects.
   (2) development of innovative technologies in areas such as in-space propulsion, power generation and storage, liquid rocket propulsion, avionics, structures, and materials that may enable new approaches to human and robotic space missions;
   (3) flight demonstrations of technologies, including those that have the potential to benefit multiple NASA mission directorates, other Federal Government agencies, and the commercial space industry;
   (4) research, development, and demonstration of enabling technologies in support of future exploration missions.

Offline rusty

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If I understand this correctly...
- Orion and AresI will be in service by the end of 2015. In 6mos, a SDHLV design will be selected and in service by the end of the decade.
- In addition to existing commercial contracts, $150mil/yr will be made availble for commercial crew development, including loans, and $14mil for commercial cargo next year. No NASA service contract will be signed until they have an existing, viable service independant of NASA.
- ISS operational until at least 2020

IMO, this bill is much prefered over the Augustine Review, Senate proposal and Administration suggestion.

Offline simonbp

If I understand this correctly...
- Orion and AresI will be in service by the end of 2015. In 6mos, a SDHLV design will be selected and in service by the end of the decade.

I think it means more to use Ares I technology (i.e. 5-seg and J-2X), rather than actually finish and fly Ares I. This gets over the political complaints from Utah and Mississippi about totally canceling Ares I, while still not having to actually build it.
« Last Edit: 09/12/2010 08:59 AM by simonbp »

Offline KelvinZero

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It totally slaughters the exploration technology budget and the robotic precursor budget. Thats such things as closed cycle lifesupport, ISRU, radiation mitigation, and going to the lunar poles to actually see what is there so we can begin considering how it affects our goals.

IMO, Human Space Flight without exploration technology or even a lander is just shooting clowns from cannons. IMO, this bill totally kills any point of bothering with BEO HSF. I want us to go beyond earth orbit to do something and to stay.


Offline Svetoslav

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I personally prefer Senate's bill rather than House's Bill, but even the House's bill is much better than President Obama's no-plan. If Ares I and Orion will be in service by the end of 2015, that actually is great news. Greater than Augustine commission's prediction - 2017.

Offline GClark

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If Ares I and Orion will be in service by the end of 2015, that actually is great news. Greater than Augustine commission's prediction - 2017.

That's the point.  They won't be.  Augustine predicted 2017 based on a significant budget bump every year.  NASA will be lucky to get it once.  This bill actually underfunds HSF rather more than Obamas' plan.

Along with the aforementioned gutting of Technology & Precursors.

Offline grdja

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Can a better speaker of Legalese please say if this is really resurrecting Ares I once more or not?

Offline savuporo

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IMO, Human Space Flight without exploration technology or even a lander is just shooting clowns from cannons. IMO, this bill totally kills any point of bothering with BEO HSF.

Nailed it.
Orion - the first and only manned not-too-deep-space craft

Offline FinalFrontier

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So it would be appear the Ares 1 huggers are winning in the house.


AUGH! :( :(
3-30-2017: The start of a great future
"Live Long and Prosper"

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