Senate Committee Subpoenas NASA SLS Documents

Senate Committee Subpoenas NASA SLS Documents

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee subpoenaed NASA documents relating to its design of the Space Launch System (SLS) according to news reports and other sources.

Space News and NASAWatch are among the news sources reporting that the subpoena was issued. Space News says it was sent yesterday.

The bipartisan leadership of the Senate committee and its Science and Space subcommittee sent a letter to NASA in June asking for documents relating to the SLS and warned the agency that it would take further steps if the documents were not produced.

Congress directed NASA to develop a heavy lift launch vehicle (HLLV) or Space Launch System (SLS) in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act. The Obama Administration cancelled the Bush-era HLLV, Ares V, in its FY2011 budget request. It wanted NASA to subsidize private sector companies to build a “commercial crew” transportation system for use in low Earth orbit (LEO) while NASA developed game-changing technologies for new launch vehicles to someday take astronauts beyond LEO. Congress disagreed. The compromise in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act was for NASA to do both, but Congress feels that NASA is dragging its feet on the SLS.

NASA sent an interim report to Congress in January on the SLS, but the date for the final report continues to slip. NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, who until recently indicated that the plan would be released this summer, told the House Science, Space and Technology Committee on July 12 that it may not be ready until the fall because he has asked for independent cost estimates.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.