Read More Read More

"/> Read More Read More

House SS&T Hearing on “Keeping Our Sights on Mars,” May 2019

House SS&T Hearing on “Keeping Our Sights on Mars,” May 2019

On May 8, 2019, the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology (SS&T) Committee held a hearing on “Keeping Our Sights on Mars: NASA’s Deep Space Exploration Program and Lunar Proposal.”

The hearing was held in the wake of Vice President Pence’s directive that NASA accelerate its plans to return humans to the Moon so they arrive in 2024 (Moon 2024) instead of 2028 as earlier planned.  NASA emphasizes that the Moon is a steppingstone to humans on Mars — the Moon to Mars program — but some Mars enthusiasts, including members of this subcommittee, worry that Mars is fading as a goal.  Subcommittee members, including Rep. Kendra Horn (D-Oklahoma), its chair, also want to know how much it will cost to accelerate the human lunar landing to 2024, but the witnesses did not have an answer. published a summary of the hearing on May 8:  Horn: “We’re Flying Blind” on Moon 2024 Proposal.  Witnesses were:

  • Mr. William H. Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator, Human Exploration and Operations, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Mr. Mark Sirangelo, Special Assistant to the Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Dr. Jonathan Lunine, Director, Cornell Center for Astrophysics and Planetary Science, Co-Chair of the Former Committee on Human Spaceflight, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
  • Dr. Patricia Sanders, Chair, Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel
  • Mr. Walt Faulconer, President, Faulconer Consulting Group, LLC