Author Topic: Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Hearing on  (Read 26230 times)

Offline yg1968

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I agree with you on the need to create a market as I have told you previously. But cutting commercial crew from $830 million to $500M probably means down selecting to two providers under CCiCap which in my mind means that we can say good bye to Dream Chaser which would be a shame. 

"Your mind" means absolutely nothing quite honestly.  You have zero credibility to suggest what possible vehicle people say "good bye" to.   

It's not a matter of credibility. If you read the selection statement for CCDev-2, they clearly state that Boeing and SpaceX's proposals were a notch above the rest. It's naive to think that you can cut commercial crew funding from the requested $830 M without sacrifying one of the stronger proposal.  In any event, even if I am wrong about Dream Chaser, cutting Boeing or SpaceX's proposal would also be a shame. I don't feel much better about that outcome either.   Cutting funding for commercial crew has consequences.
« Last Edit: 03/30/2012 05:59 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Jeff Bingham

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They "punted" that decision to the overall HSF Review Committee (Augustine), who, in the end provided a series of options among which was continuation of Shuttle to 2015, by which time it was expected that Ares 1 would be flying.

Actually, the Augustine option to extend the Shuttle to 2015 would have used a cargo only Directly Shuttle-Derived Heavy Lift Vehicle (not Ares I). This option still would have funded commercial crew (instead of Ares I). Augustine replaced Ares I with commercial crew in almost all of his options.

See slide 33 of the Sally Ride Presentation:
http://www.nasa.gov/ppt/378555main_02%20-%20Sally%20Charts%20v11.ppt


Oh, and just to clarify, my reference to Ares 1 was with respect to the 2008 Act and what was known or anticipated with respect to the Ares 1 schedule at that time--not to be confused with my subsequent reference to Augustine, which was, of course, a year later.

It's kind of telling that one year of real time resulted in 4 years of slip in expected availability date...

~Jon

Yes, it is/was...and was a key factor, aside from cost, in leading to the Senate 2010 language for a government-funded exploration vehicle capability to be a single evolvable vehicle--whatever else folks I know think about the wisdom--or not--of that decision.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline Namechange User

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I agree with you on the need to create a market as I have told you previously. But cutting commercial crew from $830 million to $500M probably means down selecting to two providers under CCiCap which in my mind means that we can say good bye to Dream Chaser which would be a shame. 

"Your mind" means absolutely nothing quite honestly.  You have zero credibility to suggest what possible vehicle people say "good bye" to.   

It's not a matter of credibility. If you read the selection statement for CCDev-2, they clearly state that Boeing and SpaceX's proposals were a notch above the rest. It's naive to think that you can cut commercial crew funding from the requested $830 M without sacrifying one of the stronger proposal.  In any event, even if I am wrong about Dream Chaser, cutting Boeing or SpaceX's proposal would also be a shame. I don't feel much better about that outcome either.   Cutting funding for commercial crew has consequences.

Am I typing in English here?  I do not know what else I can say to make you comprehend.

Want more vehicles just so that you don't feel "shame"?  Stop talking about just more damn government funding to have spaceships that have no real purpose and start talking about creating the value proposition and the business case so private and commercial investment for actual commercial spaceships.  That is where it ALL lies. 

Create the need for those vehicles.  That is what you consistently miss.  NASA does not need that many for its purposes alone and it would be grossly irresponsible for the government to bring them all to reality and then subsidize them to keep them viable for something NASA would only use less than once a year for that many at current projections. 

As for the "selection statements" those are a snapshot in time and what you saw publically is not the whole picture.  So you want as many as possible?  You want DC?  You want CST?  You want Dragon?  Given the current climate, I think what I suggested gives at least an opportunity for that.

What you suggest is only who to blame in the hear and now for not getting a bigger government handout and yet calling yourself a commercial proponent while absolutely and totally misrepresenting people like myself time and time again.   
« Last Edit: 03/30/2012 06:48 pm by OV-106 »
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Offline yg1968

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Create the need for those vehicles.  That is what you consistently miss.  NASA does not need that many for its purposes alone and it would be grossly irresponsible for the government to bring them all to reality and then subsidize them to keep them viable for something NASA would only use less than once a year for that many at current projections. 

On this specific topic, one of the interesting things that Gerst said at the March 28th House Hearing is that research time on the ISS is not currently maximized because of other tasks that need to be done by astronauts on board the ISS. He added that the additionnal astronaut under commercial crew (commercial crew spacecrafts will have four astronauts instead of three aboard the Soyuz) would be helpful in that respect as the work done by the extra astronaut would free up some additionnal time for research.

Under the same line of reasoning, you could argue that ISS utilization would benefit from having more than 2 commercial crew flights per year to the ISS in order to free up more time for research on the ISS for the astronauts on board. So 3 commercial crew flights per year might be useful after all for the ISS.
« Last Edit: 03/30/2012 06:56 pm by yg1968 »

Offline Namechange User

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Create the need for those vehicles.  That is what you consistently miss.  NASA does not need that many for its purposes alone and it would be grossly irresponsible for the government to bring them all to reality and then subsidize them to keep them viable for something NASA would only use less than once a year for that many at current projections. 

On this specific topic, one of the interesting things that Gerst said at the March 28th House Hearing is that research time is not currently maximized because of other tasks that need to be done by astronauts on board the ISS. He added that the additionnal astronaut under commercial crew (commercial crew spacecrafts will have four astronauts instead of three aboard the Soyuz) would be helpful in that respect as the work done by the extra astronaut would free up some additionnal time for research.

Under the same line of reasoning, you could argue that ISS utilization would benefit from having more than 2 commercial crew flights per year to the ISS in order to free up more time for research on the ISS for the astronauts on board. So 3 commercial crew flights per year might be useful after all for the ISS.

They also mentioned that the ISS is currently less than 50% utilized.

Also, just recently, NASA also made many public and grand statements about how we are now in the era of "utilization" with respect to ISS and we have turned a corner with 6 crew and all the work that will now be accomplished because construction is complete.  Six crew has also been the baseline crew for quite a number of years so I personally find this "excuse" lacking because there is no way this was a "surprise". 

Either way, it takes away absolutely nothing from what I said, and if nothing else just enhances it.  In contrast, you simply propose NASA just funding another flight a year, which also still gives no rationale for all the spaceships you want to see. 
« Last Edit: 03/30/2012 07:02 pm by OV-106 »
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Offline yg1968

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What you are proposing for the ISS is already being proposed with CASIS. I am not sure what you have added to it other than to say that it is currently a mess (which is true).
« Last Edit: 03/30/2012 07:33 pm by yg1968 »

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What you are proposing for the ISS is already being proposed with CASIS. I am not sure what you have added to it other than to say that it is currently a mess (which is true).

CASIS is a disaster and CASIS is a puppet bureaucracy put in place by NASA to run the supposed National Lab.  The very fact that top NASA officials seem disinterested and not up to speed on what is happening with CASIS is evidence of the non-importance it plays in the grand scheme and how NASA really runs it all and the rest is for show. 

In fact, given we speak so much about "commercial", I see no reason why the corporation set to manage the ISS National Lab could not be *for profit* to provide additional incentive.  If we were really serious. 

That said, "CASIS" is not what I am "proposing".  What I have suggested instead is a complete review by NASA to reduce and streamline requirements and regulations required to fly something on ISS as a start.  Get potential customers invovled.  This would be a review that costs little money but *could* have large impacts on future utilization if indeed ISS could be made more user-friendly and attractive.  In turn this could actually help produce true commercial investment

In addition I have suggested small- to medium-prizes for the potential vehicle providers to go out and market the ISS for payloads.  Those who bring in some specified amount get said bonus (and possibly the business to transport it up/down).  Make it a competition and go after business on multiple fronts. 

While there are other potentials and this does not totally solve the "chicken-and-egg" problem it is a start.  It is more than is happening now.  And it is certainly more than you have suggested by just whining that not enough government money is being put at the program. 
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Offline jongoff

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They "punted" that decision to the overall HSF Review Committee (Augustine), who, in the end provided a series of options among which was continuation of Shuttle to 2015, by which time it was expected that Ares 1 would be flying.

Actually, the Augustine option to extend the Shuttle to 2015 would have used a cargo only Directly Shuttle-Derived Heavy Lift Vehicle (not Ares I). This option still would have funded commercial crew (instead of Ares I). Augustine replaced Ares I with commercial crew in almost all of his options.

See slide 33 of the Sally Ride Presentation:
http://www.nasa.gov/ppt/378555main_02%20-%20Sally%20Charts%20v11.ppt


Oh, and just to clarify, my reference to Ares 1 was with respect to the 2008 Act and what was known or anticipated with respect to the Ares 1 schedule at that time--not to be confused with my subsequent reference to Augustine, which was, of course, a year later.

It's kind of telling that one year of real time resulted in 4 years of slip in expected availability date...

~Jon

Yes, it is/was...and was a key factor, aside from cost, in leading to the Senate 2010 language for a government-funded exploration vehicle capability to be a single evolvable vehicle--whatever else folks I know think about the wisdom--or not--of that decision.

I think there are enough smart people on all the various sides of this debate (SLS/DIRECT, Ares-I/Ares-V, and no-HLV at all) that there's room for reasonable people to politely disagree. I probably need to work a lot more on the "politely" part of that last sentence, but I'm glad we at least agree that the old CxP approach needed to be changed. There are a lot of people who still seem to be in denial about that.

~Jon

Offline Andy DC

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I find it very hard to trust anything Bolden says. When shuttle was still flying he was promising thousands and thousands of jobs. Now he's saying some have got jobs in the oil industry in Texas. So he lied? Was badly informed? Is incapable of sticking to a story?

How many jobs have been created for the 100s of millions of dollars spent so far? With the only real result so far being the slip to 2017.
« Last Edit: 03/31/2012 01:23 am by Andy DC »

Offline Rob in KC

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I find it very hard to trust anything Bolden says. When shuttle was still flying he was promising thousands and thousands of jobs. Now he's saying some have got jobs in the oil industry in Texas. So he lied? Was badly informed? Is incapable of sticking to a story?


Doesn't matter now, Congress fell for it, hook line and sinker. Regardless, he was only probably was overselling what his boss, the President, wanted him to say.

Nowadays he seems a lot more confident and probably working off his own understanding. Compare FY2011 rollout with this year, he's got his act together.

Quote
How many jobs have been created for the 100s of millions of dollars spent so far? With the only real result so far being the slip to 2017.

1. Most of commercial isn't about jobs. It's about profit margins for its investors and stock holders. Tax money going to investors, some overseas. You may not like that, but it's a fact. NASA is/was about investing in the country, and you can see what commercial fans think of NASA when they call it a jobs program, and are anti-NASA by default because of it.

Increasing the skill set for Americans is bad in their eyes, because it takes money away from whatever company is creating flashy videos about future statements and "increasing the awesome". Some hate SLS, but I bet some don't even know what it looks like, it's NASA, so it's bad. They always protest that, and claim they love NASA, but read their posts, you can see it. "Never built a successful launch vehicle, etc. etc. etc."

Having said that, Elon is a visionary, that's for sure, he's probably the exception to the profit margin rule.
 
2. All bar SpaceX wouldn't of entered into CCDev without the money upfront in awards. They couldn't afford it.

3. It needs fully funding or those 100s of millions then go to Russia. No one wins, apart from Russia.

4. Not enough to go around? Take it from something other than SLS/Orion. The motives of Bolden is probably obvious. He had a 101 places to find that extra Commercial money, and he took it right out of SLS/Orion, showing he wasted money with his delaying tactic of Booz Allen, because all that work goes down the drain if they don't fully fund SLS.

So, Congress has to be strong and ensure both Commercial and SLS are funded as required. Throw JWST a year down the line to pay for it, another year won't seem like much in it's bigger picture.

Online QuantumG

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2. All bar SpaceX wouldn't of entered into CCDev without the money upfront in awards. They couldn't afford it.

With the possible exception of Sierra Nevada,every CCDev partner has more money than SpaceX.
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Online Ronsmytheiii

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"Selling" Commercial crew to Congress in terms of ISS support and independence from Russia does not seem to be working effectively enough.  Time to change rhetoric.  Everytime the US buys seats from Russia, it must gain an exemption from the Iran-North Korea-Syria Nonproliferation Act.  The White House and by extension NASA leadership should stress that they have to get the exemption, and by extension lessen pressure on Russia financially for support of the Iranian and Syrian regimes.  With the current nuclear proliferation issues of Iran, and the Syrian regime's political crackdown Commercial crew could be sold as another tool in US foreign policy.
« Last Edit: 03/31/2012 02:29 pm by Ronsmytheiii »

Offline Jeff Bingham

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What you are proposing for the ISS is already being proposed with CASIS. I am not sure what you have added to it other than to say that it is currently a mess (which is true).

CASIS is a disaster and CASIS is a puppet bureaucracy put in place by NASA to run the supposed National Lab.  The very fact that top NASA officials seem disinterested and not up to speed on what is happening with CASIS is evidence of the non-importance it plays in the grand scheme and how NASA really runs it all and the rest is for show. 

In fact, given we speak so much about "commercial", I see no reason why the corporation set to manage the ISS National Lab could not be *for profit* to provide additional incentive.  If we were really serious. 

That said, "CASIS" is not what I am "proposing".  What I have suggested instead is a complete review by NASA to reduce and streamline requirements and regulations required to fly something on ISS as a start.  Get potential customers invovled.  This would be a review that costs little money but *could* have large impacts on future utilization if indeed ISS could be made more user-friendly and attractive.  In turn this could actually help produce true commercial investment

In addition I have suggested small- to medium-prizes for the potential vehicle providers to go out and market the ISS for payloads.  Those who bring in some specified amount get said bonus (and possibly the business to transport it up/down).  Make it a competition and go after business on multiple fronts. 

While there are other potentials and this does not totally solve the "chicken-and-egg" problem it is a start.  It is more than is happening now.  And it is certainly more than you have suggested by just whining that not enough government money is being put at the program. 

Cautionary note: There is a LOT going on behind the scenes with respect to straightening out the CASIS stand-up and implementation issue that you are not able to be aware of. Remember, CASIS is the product of a direct requirement in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act that an independent non-profit entity be established and placed under a Cooperative Agreement by the Administrator to manage the 50% allocation of the U.S. Segment of the ISS that the law designated, effective October 1, 2010, as the exclusive operating/management domain for non-NASA research aboard ISS. That includes other US government, private, commercial, academic, research entities...and opens the door for outside funding to support that research, in both ground and on-orbit components. If you want to see how it is SUPPOSED to function, read the ISS National Laboratory Reference Model, which, while not directly endorsed by NASA (for obvious reasons), it was paid for by NASA and posted on the site for all potential competitors for the Cooperative Agreement to use in their proposals; the CASIS proposal and subsequent Cooperative Agreement stipulated much of that content; it just hasn't been followed in the implementation, and THAT has been the hang-up to date. Because this is not just a "normal" solicitation that NASA chose to undertake, but one specifically mandated by Congress, and with specific duties assigned by law, it is the subject of very close oversight by the relevant Committees of jurisdiction.

The Reference Model is at:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/nlab/proorbis.html
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline yg1968

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"Selling" Commercial crew to Congress in terms of ISS support and independence from Russia does not seem to be working effectively enough.  Time to change rhetoric.  Everytime the US buys seats from Russia, it must gain an exemption from the Iran-North Korea-Syria Nonproliferation Act.  The White House and by extension NASA leadership should stress that they have to get the exemption, and by extension lessen pressure on Russia financially for support of the Iranian and Syrian regimes.  With the current nuclear proliferation issues of Iran, and the Syrian regime's political crackdown Commercial crew could be sold as another tool in US foreign policy.

According to Bolden, they will need an extension of the exemption for other ISS purposes regardless of what happens to commercial crew.

Offline yg1968

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What you are proposing for the ISS is already being proposed with CASIS. I am not sure what you have added to it other than to say that it is currently a mess (which is true).

CASIS is a disaster and CASIS is a puppet bureaucracy put in place by NASA to run the supposed National Lab.  The very fact that top NASA officials seem disinterested and not up to speed on what is happening with CASIS is evidence of the non-importance it plays in the grand scheme and how NASA really runs it all and the rest is for show. 

In fact, given we speak so much about "commercial", I see no reason why the corporation set to manage the ISS National Lab could not be *for profit* to provide additional incentive.  If we were really serious. 

That said, "CASIS" is not what I am "proposing".  What I have suggested instead is a complete review by NASA to reduce and streamline requirements and regulations required to fly something on ISS as a start.  Get potential customers invovled.  This would be a review that costs little money but *could* have large impacts on future utilization if indeed ISS could be made more user-friendly and attractive.  In turn this could actually help produce true commercial investment

In addition I have suggested small- to medium-prizes for the potential vehicle providers to go out and market the ISS for payloads.  Those who bring in some specified amount get said bonus (and possibly the business to transport it up/down).  Make it a competition and go after business on multiple fronts. 

While there are other potentials and this does not totally solve the "chicken-and-egg" problem it is a start.  It is more than is happening now.  And it is certainly more than you have suggested by just whining that not enough government money is being put at the program. 

Cautionary note: There is a LOT going on behind the scenes with respect to straightening out the CASIS stand-up and implementation issue that you are not able to be aware of. Remember, CASIS is the product of a direct requirement in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act that an independent non-profit entity be established and placed under a Cooperative Agreement by the Administrator to manage the 50% allocation of the U.S. Segment of the ISS that the law designated, effective October 1, 2010, as the exclusive operating/management domain for non-NASA research aboard ISS. That includes other US government, private, commercial, academic, research entities...and opens the door for outside funding to support that research, in both ground and on-orbit components. If you want to see how it is SUPPOSED to function, read the ISS National Laboratory Reference Model, which, while not directly endorsed by NASA (for obvious reasons), it was paid for by NASA and posted on the site for all potential competitors for the Cooperative Agreement to use in their proposals; the CASIS proposal and subsequent Cooperative Agreement stipulated much of that content; it just hasn't been followed in the implementation, and THAT has been the hang-up to date. Because this is not just a "normal" solicitation that NASA chose to undertake, but one specifically mandated by Congress, and with specific duties assigned by law, it is the subject of very close oversight by the relevant Committees of jurisdiction.

The Reference Model is at:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/nlab/proorbis.html

Thanks for the info. At the House hearing on March 28, Hall and Rohrabacher said that they were considering asking for a GAO report on CASSIS.

Offline Jeff Bingham

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What you are proposing for the ISS is already being proposed with CASIS. I am not sure what you have added to it other than to say that it is currently a mess (which is true).

CASIS is a disaster and CASIS is a puppet bureaucracy put in place by NASA to run the supposed National Lab.  The very fact that top NASA officials seem disinterested and not up to speed on what is happening with CASIS is evidence of the non-importance it plays in the grand scheme and how NASA really runs it all and the rest is for show. 

In fact, given we speak so much about "commercial", I see no reason why the corporation set to manage the ISS National Lab could not be *for profit* to provide additional incentive.  If we were really serious. 

That said, "CASIS" is not what I am "proposing".  What I have suggested instead is a complete review by NASA to reduce and streamline requirements and regulations required to fly something on ISS as a start.  Get potential customers invovled.  This would be a review that costs little money but *could* have large impacts on future utilization if indeed ISS could be made more user-friendly and attractive.  In turn this could actually help produce true commercial investment

In addition I have suggested small- to medium-prizes for the potential vehicle providers to go out and market the ISS for payloads.  Those who bring in some specified amount get said bonus (and possibly the business to transport it up/down).  Make it a competition and go after business on multiple fronts. 

While there are other potentials and this does not totally solve the "chicken-and-egg" problem it is a start.  It is more than is happening now.  And it is certainly more than you have suggested by just whining that not enough government money is being put at the program. 

Cautionary note: There is a LOT going on behind the scenes with respect to straightening out the CASIS stand-up and implementation issue that you are not able to be aware of. Remember, CASIS is the product of a direct requirement in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act that an independent non-profit entity be established and placed under a Cooperative Agreement by the Administrator to manage the 50% allocation of the U.S. Segment of the ISS that the law designated, effective October 1, 2010, as the exclusive operating/management domain for non-NASA research aboard ISS. That includes other US government, private, commercial, academic, research entities...and opens the door for outside funding to support that research, in both ground and on-orbit components. If you want to see how it is SUPPOSED to function, read the ISS National Laboratory Reference Model, which, while not directly endorsed by NASA (for obvious reasons), it was paid for by NASA and posted on the site for all potential competitors for the Cooperative Agreement to use in their proposals; the CASIS proposal and subsequent Cooperative Agreement stipulated much of that content; it just hasn't been followed in the implementation, and THAT has been the hang-up to date. Because this is not just a "normal" solicitation that NASA chose to undertake, but one specifically mandated by Congress, and with specific duties assigned by law, it is the subject of very close oversight by the relevant Committees of jurisdiction.

The Reference Model is at:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/nlab/proorbis.html

Thanks for the info. At the House hearing on March 28, Hall and Rohrabacher said that they were considering asking for a GAO report on CASSIS.

I think Donna Edwards also mentioned that...this will likely be a joint House-Senate request, as the Senate had already initiated internal discussions about such a review some time ago, and duplicate requests are generally coordinated between the respective Chambers so as not to dilute or over-burden GAO staffing resources.
Offering only my own views and experience as a long-time "Space Cadet."

Offline yg1968

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Senate appropriation bill marked up by the CJS subcommittee:

Quote
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is funded at $19.4 billion, an increase of $1.6 billion over the fiscal year 2012 enacted level. The large increase results from a reorganization of operational weather satellite procurement from NOAA into NASA. Without the funds for weather satellite procurement, this level represents a $41.5 million cut from the fiscal year 2012 enacted level.

- The bill preserves a NASA portfolio balanced among science, aeronautics, technology and human space flight investments.

- Funding for the development of the Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle is $1.2 billion, the same as fiscal year 2012. Heavy lift Space Launch System (SLS) development is funded at $1.5 billion, $21 million less than fiscal year 2012. The bill also provides $244 million for construction needed to build, test, and operate Orion and SLS. Commercial crew development is provided $525 million, an increase of $119 million above fiscal year 2012.

- The bill provides $5 billion for Science which is $69 million less than fiscal year 2012. Within Science, the bill restores $100 million of a proposed cut to robotic Mars science programs, resulting in a total of $461 million for Mars robotic science.

Here is a summary of the bill:
http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm?method=news.download&id=e016ad78-5f89-418b-b51a-eebf0eba72b9

Here is the audio from the CJS subcommittee markup of today (NASA starts at 27 minutes and 39 minutes):
http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/webcasts.cfm?method=webcasts.view&id=c458e38e-5688-419c-9d60-08de41bcf0c6
« Last Edit: 04/18/2012 01:51 am by yg1968 »

Offline Mark S

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Good find yg!

Oh snap! At 45:50 or so, one senator (not sure which one without video) is thanking Chairwoman Mikulski and Ranking Member Hutchison for their service in restoring funds to SLS. The $1.5 billion markup "a much-needed increase over the Administration's inadequate request". Then he cuts loose with both barrels:

Quote
It seems that no matter how many times we meet with the NASA Administrator, and no matter what commitments he makes in public or in private, it ultimately falls to the Congress, to this Committee, to keep the SLS moving forward. I wish it were not so but it's where we are.

Ouch. That quote shows the depths to which the level of trust between Congress and NASA Administration has fallen. There is absolutely zero confidence or credibility in anything that Administrator Bolden tells Congress. It has gotten that bad.

Mark S.
« Last Edit: 04/18/2012 03:56 am by Mark S »

Online QuantumG

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Yep, cause the opinion of one Senator who you can't even name represents the entire Congress..
Human spaceflight is basically just LARPing now.

Offline Mark S

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Well for what it's worth I believe Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) was speaking just prior, then another male voice that was not introduced starts speaking. I assume it was someone on the CJS subcommittee, possibly Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) judging by his accent and his strong support for SLS, but maybe not.

Anyway, thanks for your keen insight into the American political process. I'm sure you have a better understanding of US Senate politics than I do.

Update: Yes, the speaker was confirmed as Sen. Shelby at the end of his address to the committee.
« Last Edit: 04/18/2012 04:36 am by Mark S »

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