House SS&T Hearings on James Webb Space Telescope Program Breach, July 2018

House SS&T Hearings on James Webb Space Telescope Program Breach, July 2018

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a pair of hearings on July 25 and 26, 2018 on “James Webb Space Telescope: Program Breach and Its Implications.” NASA has informed Congress that JWST will breach the congressionally-imposed cost cap of $8 billion for development and Congress now must reauthorize the program for it to proceed.  The new development cost estimate is $8.803 billion, a 10 percent increase, and the launch date has slipped from October 2018 to March 2021.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the two-day hearing on July 27, 2018:  House Hearing Gives JWST Lots of Love, But Tough Love for Northrop Grumman.

Witnesses on July 25 were:

  • Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator
  • Tom Young, Chair, JWST Independent Review Board (IRB)

Witnesses on July 26 were:

  • Wesley Bush, Chairman and CEO, Northrop Grumman (JWST’s prime contractor)
  • Tom Young (appearing for a second time)
Senate Commerce Hearing on Destination Mars: Putting American Boots on the Surface of Mars, July 2018

Senate Commerce Hearing on Destination Mars: Putting American Boots on the Surface of Mars, July 2018

The Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing on July 25, 2018 on “Destination Mars:  Putting American Boots on the Surface of Mars.”   Witnesses were:

  • Tory Bruno, President and CEO, United Launch Alliance
  • Peggy Whitson, former NASA astronaut
  • Dava Newman, MIT professor and former NASA Deputy Administrator
  • Chris Carberry, CEO, Explore Mars, Inc.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on July 26, 2018:  “Senators Insist Mars, Not the Moon, Is the Goal of Human Exploration.”

JOINT HASC/HSST HEARING ON SPACE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS AND SPACE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT, June 2018

JOINT HASC/HSST HEARING ON SPACE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS AND SPACE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT, June 2018

The Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and the Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology (HSST) Committee held a joint hearing on June 22, 2018 on how to transition Space Situational Awareness (SSA) responsibility for non-military users from DOD to another government agency, and discuss what agency should be in charge of Space Traffic Management.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on June 22 entitled “Hyten, Bridenstine: No Time to Waste Getting Civil SSA Agency.”

Witnesses were:

  • Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce
  • Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator
  • Gen. John Hyten, Commander, U.S. Strategic Command
House Transportation and Infrastructure Hearing on Commercial Space Launch Regulatory Reform, June 2018

House Transportation and Infrastructure Hearing on Commercial Space Launch Regulatory Reform, June 2018

The Aviation Subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) held a hearing on June 26, 2018 on stakeholder perspectives of current efforts to reform commercial space launch regulations.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on June 26, 2018 entitled “Safety Must Be Top Priority as Rockets Get Integrated into National Airspace System.”  Witnesses were:

  • Captain Tim Canoll, President, Air Line Pilots Association, International
  • Ms. Audrey Powers, Deputy General Counsel, Blue Origin, LLC
  • Ms. Caryn Schenewerk, Senior Counsel, SpaceX
  • Ms. Kelly Gareheime, Associate General Counsel, United Launch Alliance

 

Senate Commerce Hearing on The Future of ISS: Administration Perspectives, May 2018

Senate Commerce Hearing on The Future of ISS: Administration Perspectives, May 2018

The Space, Science and Competitiveness Subcommittee of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing on May 16, 2018 on Examining the Future of the International Space Station: Administration Perspectives.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on May 16:  “Cruz, Nelson: Congress, and Only Congress, Will Decide When to End Funding for ISS.”  Witnesses were:

  • Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations
  • Paul Martin, NASA Inspector General
House SS&T Hearing on America’s Presence in Low Earth Orbit, May 2018

House SS&T Hearing on America’s Presence in Low Earth Orbit, May 2018

The House Science, Space, and Technology (SS&T) Committee held a hearing on May 17, 2018 on America’s Presence in Low Earth Orbit. The focus was on how long to continue operating the International Space Station and the likelihood that private companies will build new space stations to replace it.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on May 17:  “House Committee Struggles with U.S. Future in LEO.”   The witnesses were:

  • Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations
  • Bhavya Lal, Science and Technology Policy Institute, Institute for Defense Analyses
  • Betsy Cantwell, Arizona State University and co-chair of the National Academies’ Committee on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space
Senate Appropriations CJS Subcommittee Hearing on NASA’s FY2019 Budget Request, May 2018

Senate Appropriations CJS Subcommittee Hearing on NASA’s FY2019 Budget Request, May 2018

The Senate Appropriations Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee held a hearing on NASA’s FY2019 budget request on May 23, 2018.  It was the first NASA budget hearing for new subcommittee chairman Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and the first for new NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.  He was the only witness.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on May 23:  “Bridenstine Agrees Humans are Primary Cause of Climate change, Vows to Follow Decadal Surveys.”

House Appropriations CJS Hearing on NOAA’s FY2019 Budget Request

House Appropriations CJS Hearing on NOAA’s FY2019 Budget Request

The House Appropriations Committee’s Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee held a hearing on NOAA’s FY2019 budget request on April 11, 2018.  Acting NOAA Administrator RDML Timothy Gallaudet (Ret.) was the only witness.

NOAA’s satellite activities were not the focus of the hearing and came up only briefly.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the discussion on April 11.

House Appropriations CJS Hearing on NASA’s FY2019 Budget Request, April 2018

House Appropriations CJS Hearing on NASA’s FY2019 Budget Request, April 2018

The House Appropriations Committee’s Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee held a hearing on NASA’s FY2019 budget request on April 12, 2018.  Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot was the only witness.

SpacePolicyOnline.com live tweeted the hearing and posted a recap of key moments in its Today’s Tidbits issue for that day.

SASC Hearing on U.S. Strategic Command, March 2018

SASC Hearing on U.S. Strategic Command, March 2018

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) held a hearing on U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) on March 20, 2018.  USSTRATCOM Commander Gen. John Hyten was the only witness.  He declined to endorse President Trump’s call for creating a Space Force; endorsed the need for space-based sensors as part of Ballistic Missile Defense, but not space-based interceptors; and said that an up-to-date National Security Space Strategy exists,  but is so classified that few people know about it, and that’s a problem.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on March 20, 2018.