Author Topic: Senate Commerce Committee Executive and Congress Version - July 15 onwards  (Read 552551 times)

Offline yg1968

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The Senate bill has $300M for Commercial Cargo, $312M for CCDev; this bill has $412M for both.  (At first blush, that's $200M less for both.)

That fits in with the impression I get that, to the House, Orion/SLS ought to be the primary vehicle rather than the backup.

I am not sure that an extra $300M for FY2011 was needed for COTS anyways. In any event each year NASA is allowed to choose between COTS and commercial crew, so it's a minor change from a policy perspective. I would expect NASA to fund commercial crew (but not COTS) in FY2012 and FY2013.
« Last Edit: 09/23/2010 03:57 pm by yg1968 »

Offline e of pi

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Worth starting a new thread? I've got several documents on this now.

I think it's probably worth it.

Offline psloss

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On STS-135, the text in Section 503(e) looks almost identical -- including using the NESC safety assessment vs. the ASAP.

This bill does not have a Section 503(f) "Space Shuttle Manifest Flight Assurance."

(I think I'll stop here...still looking for indications that a bill might make it through Congress in this session.  Will be interested in public reaction on the Senate side now.)
« Last Edit: 09/23/2010 04:12 pm by psloss »

Offline Chris Bergin

Carry on here:
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=22787.0

Won't lock this thread, so you can copy and paste your own posts that would be valuable in the new thread.

Offline jongoff

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I'm trying to (quickly) understand the differences, and at first glance I agree it looks alot like the Senate Bill, but I know things just aren't that simple. Hoping someone else has the time to do a proper comparison for us folks  :)

It actually could be that easy.  I don't believe that is actually the case here but without a doubt this version of the House bill is much, much closer to the Senate bill and that is a good thing and the immediate message that needs to be sent. 

Yeah, on a brief skim, the bill seems to be a lot closer to the Senate bill.  I want to wait for others to dig into it more, but at least preliminarily, this might be something I could support.

~Jon

Offline rusty

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I'm trying to (quickly) understand the differences, and at first glance I agree it looks alot like the Senate Bill, but I know things just aren't that simple. Hoping someone else has the time to do a proper comparison for us folks  :)
Seconded.
~Jon

From what I can tell speed-reading the full text, it's still the House Bill as far as shutting down Shuttle, maintaining a SDHLV with no mass conditions, but many tweeks to funding and programs. The big stink is absorbing the Senate's LEO access.

- Funds Orion Capsule atop SDHLV as Commercial back-up to LEO while original House funded AresI as primary LEO access and seperate HLV.
- Commercial Crew must still prove viability and lower cost for contracts, but shouldn't be difficult considering it's now compared to Orion+SDHLV.
- Original House Bill funds Commercial Crew at $150mil/yr including $100mil/yr in loans, but compromise funds $400mil/yr Crew/Cargo with an 'optional precondition' there be matching private funds.

I strongly disagree with these aspects of the House compromise and, in fact, would rather see them back at the drawing board with a CR, maintaining AresI, then replace the original House Bill with this.

Offline clongton

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And regarding a backup for commercial crew... In all likelihood, Orion on EELV is that backup, even if SDHLV is built.

In my opinion, the Orion CSM (CM plus SM) should comprise only 2/3 of the Orion Spacecraft, the other 1/3 being the MM. The Orion CSM must not be made too heavy for the EELV launchers to be able to send it to an ISS type LEO. When being flown as a LEO taxi to a LEO destination, there should be no MM included and this would constitute the LEO version of Orion, flyable on the Atlas or the Delta. For LEO applications Orion is simply a taxi. For LEO missions where LEO itself is the destination or for BEO missions, the MM will need to be included and would rightly need to be flown on the SLS. The goal is to make Orion relevant to both LEO and BEO.  The way to do that is to design the CM to be taxi space, not living space. But this is a subject for another thread.

WRT what happens with a CR and no new Authorization Bill, then I believe the current existing Authorization Bill would govern policy. I believe that is Public Law 110-422. That Bill does indeed encourage development of Commercial cargo and crew, and instructs NASA to use it when it becomes available, but doesn't address funding this effort, which would be in a different, "Appropriations" bill. In that case a CR with no new Authorization Bill to specifically address developing Commercial Crew would be a severe setback for Commercial crew because the current Appropriations Bill doesn't address it. Once the Authorization and Appropriations bills are enacted into law the Administrator does have certain latitude in his use of the funding, but it must still comply with the intent of the law. The current Authorization and Appropriations bills would not give him that latitude. Here's the link:

http://legislative.nasa.gov/PL%20110-422.pdf

Now note please that this is an "Authorization Bill" not an "Appropriations Bill".
51D, if you don't mind, would you comment on this?
« Last Edit: 09/23/2010 04:42 pm by clongton »
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Offline Jeff Bingham

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Waiting on 51D Mascot to give us his take.

My personal "take":

1) This bill does not represent a "compromise" that has been agreed to as the result of House and Senate negotiations, although it is much closer to what that might be than the committee-reported House bill. (It could only reflect a "compromise" when the interested and involved Members on both sides and in both Houses had agreed to the full content, and that is not the case.)

2) There are at least two members of the Senate who will not agree to ANY new authorization bill being passed by unanimous consent before the end of this congressional work period (expected to be the end of next week). Thus, this bill, even if it included the Pledge of Allegiance, as a colleague of mine has said, would not be able to be cleared by the Senate at this stage of the process.

3) No ifs, ands or buts; this bill has no chance of passage before the end of the fiscal year and almost equally unlikely even in a "lame duck" session, because then there would be more issues raised on the merits, combined with the likelihood that unanimous consent would be required for it, while limited floor time and debate would be devoted to an extended CR or an Omnibus Appropriations bill, and other legislation of broader interest.

The House will not be in session tomorrow and it will be midweek next week before they will have an opportunity to take any action on NASA authorization, which the Majority Leader has said was among those issues they would like to complete before the October break.

SO...stay tuned.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

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