House SS&T Hearing on Space Situational Awareness, May 2022

House SS&T Hearing on Space Situational Awareness, May 2022

On May 12, 2022, the space subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, held a hearing on “Space Situational Awareness: Guiding the Transition to a Civil Capability.”

Witnesses were:

  • Matthew Hedyuk, Senior Project Leader, The Aerospace Corporation
  • Moriba Jah, Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Department, Mrs. Pearlie Dashiell Henderson Centennial Fellowship in Engineering, Oden Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Andrew D’Uva, Senior Policy Advisor, Space Data Association
  • Kevin O’Connell, Founder, Space Economy Rising, LLC and former Director of the Office of Space Commerce, NOAA, Department of Commerce
  • Mariel Borowitz,  Associate Professor, Sam Nunn School of International Affairs, Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, Georgia Institute of Technology

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on May 17, 2022: “As Space Gets More Crowded, House Comittee Still Questioning SSA Path Forward.”

HOUSE SS&T HEARING ON THE ARTEMIS PROGRAM, Mar 2022

HOUSE SS&T HEARING ON THE ARTEMIS PROGRAM, Mar 2022

The space subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on March 1, 2022 on “Keeping Our Sights on Mars Part 3: A Status Update and Review of NASA’s Artemis Initiative.”

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on March 1: “First Four Artemis Flights Will Cost $4.1 Billion Each, NASA IG Tells Congress.”

Witnesses were:

  • Mr. James Free, Associate Administrator, Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate, NASA
  • Mr. William Russell, Director, Contracting and National Security Acquisitions, U.S. Government Accountability Office
  • Dr. Patricia Sanders, Chair, Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel
  • The Honorable Paul K. Martin, Inspector General, NASA
  • Mr. Daniel Dumbacher, Executive Director, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
SENATE COMMERCE SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON NASA ACCOUNTABILITY AND OVERSIGHT, February 2022

SENATE COMMERCE SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON NASA ACCOUNTABILITY AND OVERSIGHT, February 2022

The subcommittee on Space and Science of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing on “NASA Accountability and Oversight” on February 9, 2022.

A main theme of the hearing was the need for a new NASA authorization bill. The most recent bill was enacted in 2017.  Other topics included the status of the Artemis program and cost overruns on the James Webb Space Telescope.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on February 9: Cantwell, Wicker Press Need for NASA Authorization Bill This Year.

Witnesses were:

  • Mr. James Free, Associate Administrator, NASA Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate
  • Mr. James Reuter, Associate Administrator, NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate
  • Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator, NASA Science Mission Directorate
  • Mr. W. William Russell, Director, Government Accountability Office Contracting & National Security Acquisitions Team
  • Dr. Scott Pace, Director, Space Policy Institute and Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at the George Washington University
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS DEFENSE SUBCOMMITTEE HRG ON IMPACTS OF A FULL-YEAR CR, January 2022

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS DEFENSE SUBCOMMITTEE HRG ON IMPACTS OF A FULL-YEAR CR, January 2022

The Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee held a virtual hearing on January 12, 2022 to hear from leaders of DOD’s military services (Space Force, Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine Corps) and the DOD Comptroller on the impact on national security if Congress is unable to pass the FY2022 defense appropriations bill.

No FY2022 appropriations bills had cleared Congress at the time of the hearing. The government is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires on February 18, 2022 and there is concern that agreement will not be reached by then, either. If no appropriations bills pass for FY2022, DOD and all other government agencies will be stuck at their FY2021 funding levels and new programs cannot start and old ones cannot end.

Gen. Jay Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, testified on behalf of the U.S. Space Force.

SpacePolicyOnline.com summarized his testimony in an article posted on January 12, 2022: Raymond Warns of Dire Consequences of a Full-Year CR.

SENATE COMMERCE HEARING ON INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION AND COMPETITION IN SPACE, October 2021

SENATE COMMERCE HEARING ON INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION AND COMPETITION IN SPACE, October 2021

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing on October 21, 2021 on “International Collaboration and Competition in Space: Oversight of NASA’s Role and Programs.”

Despite the title, no current NASA officials were among the witnesses. Former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and former NASA Associate Administrator for Space Policy and Partnerships Mike Gold (now with Redwire Space) were at the witness table along with Mary Lynne Dittmar from Axiom Space and Patricia Sanders, chair of NASA’s Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP).

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on October 21: “Senate Committee Told U.S. Space Leadership Requires Continued Presence in Low Earth Orbit.

NOMINATION HEARING FOR PAM MELROY AND RICK SPINRAD, May 2021

NOMINATION HEARING FOR PAM MELROY AND RICK SPINRAD, May 2021

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing on May 20, 2021 to consider the nominations of Pam Melroy to be Deputy Administrator of NASA and Rick Spinrad to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of NOAA.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on May 20: Melroy, Spinrad Sail Through Confirmation Hearing.

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS CJS SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON NASA’S FY2022 BUDGET REQUEST, May 2021

HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS CJS SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING ON NASA’S FY2022 BUDGET REQUEST, May 2021

The Commerce-Justice-Science Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on May 19, 2021 on NASA’s FY2022 budget request even though President Biden had not yet submitted his complete request, only a “”skinnny” budget with top-line numbers.  The full budget is expected to be available on May 27, but the appropriations committee needs to move forward with hearings on NASA and other agencies so they can get the bills done in a timely manner.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson was the only witness at the virtual hearing.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary on May 19: Nelson Sees Jobs Bill As Solution to HLS and Other Funding Needs.

NOMINATION HEARING FOR BILL NELSON TO NASA ADMINISTRATOR, April 2021

NOMINATION HEARING FOR BILL NELSON TO NASA ADMINISTRATOR, April 2021

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing on April 21, 2021 to consider the nomination of Bill Nelson to be NASA Administrator.

Nelson is a former Senator (2001-2019) and highly regarded by his colleagues. He represented Florida and for the final 8 years of his tenure did so alongside Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio introduced Nelson at this confirmation hearing along with former Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Republican from Texas with whom Nelson worked closely on space issues for many years. The strong Republican support for this Democratic former Senator, nominated by a Democratic President, was echoed by other Republicans on the committee.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on April 21:  Nelson Greeted with Accolades at Nomination Hearing.

Senate Commerce Committee Hearing on NASA, September 2020

Senate Commerce Committee Hearing on NASA, September 2020

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee held a hearing on NASA on September 30, 2020.  The hearing was about a variety of NASA programs, not specifically its FY2021 budget request that is still awaiting action in the Senate.  A major topic was the Artemis program to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024.  NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was the only witness.

SpacePolicyOnline.com summarized the hearing on September 30: Another Senate Hearing, But Still No Clue on Likely Fate of Artemis Funding

Senate Appropriations CJS Subcommittee Hearing on NASA’s FY2021 Budget Request, September 2020

Senate Appropriations CJS Subcommittee Hearing on NASA’s FY2021 Budget Request, September 2020

The Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on NASA’s FY2021 budget request on September 23, 2020.  The hearing was delayed for months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  (The House Appropriations Committee did not hold a NASA budget hearing this year for the same reason.)

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was the only witness.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published two articles summarizing the hearing: