Senate Appropriations CJS Subcommittee Hearing on NASA’s FY2020 Budget, May 2019

Senate Appropriations CJS Subcommittee Hearing on NASA’s FY2020 Budget, May 2019

The Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS) subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on NASA’s FY2020 budget request on May 1, 2019.  NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told the subcommittee that the Trump Administration is not ready to submit a revised request to reflect new direction given to NASA by the White House after the original request was submitted.  The new directive, announced on March 26, is to accelerate plans to land astronauts on the Moon to 2024 from 2028.  That will require a “surge” in funding, he said, but the amount is still being determined.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on May 1:  Bridenstine: No Cost Estimate for Moon 2024 Yet, But Won’t be $8 Billion Per Year.

Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Space Force, April 2019

Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Space Force, April 2019

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) held a hearing on April 11, 2019 on President Trump’s proposal to create a Space Force as part of the Air Force.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing the same day: Senators Unsure About Need for Space Force.

Witnesses were:

  • Patrick Shanahan, Acting Secretary of Defense
  • Heather Wilson, Secretary of the Air Force
  • Gen. Jospeh Dunford Jr., Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Gen. John Hyten, Commander, U.S. Strategic Command
House SS&T Hearing on FY2020 NASA Budget Request, April 2019

House SS&T Hearing on FY2020 NASA Budget Request, April 2019

The House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on NASA’s FY2020 budget request on April 2, 2019 where a major focus of discussion was the announcement by Vice President Mike Pence a week earlier that he was directing NASA to accelerate its plans to return humans to the surface of the Moon.  Pence told NASA to do that by 2024 although the FY2020 budget request that had just been submitted on March 11 did not include the funding to achieve such a goal.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was the only witness at the hearing.

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on April 2:  Moon 2024 Gets Cool Reception by House Committee Democrats.

Senate Commerce Hearing on U.S. Leadership in Space, March 2019

Senate Commerce Hearing on U.S. Leadership in Space, March 2019

The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee held a hearing on U.S. leadership in space on March 13, 2019.  At the hearing, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine revealed that the agency is studying whether it is possible to launch the first flight of the uncrewed Orion spacecraft, Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), on two commercial rockets instead of the Space Launch System (SLS).  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of that aspect of the hearing on March 13, 2019:  NASA Studying Launching EM-1 on Commerce Rockets, Not SLS.

Witnesses at the hearing were:

  • Jim Bridenstine, Administrator, NASA
  • Kevin O’Connell, Director, Office of Space Commerce, Department of Commerce
SASC Hearing on U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Northern Command, February 2019

SASC Hearing on U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Northern Command, February 2019

The Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) held a hearing on February 26, 2019 on U.S. Strategic Command and U.S. Northern Command/North American Aerospace Defense Command.  Among the topics discussed was the Trump Administration’s proposals to reestablish a U.S. Space Command and to create a Space Force as part of the Air Force.  SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of those aspects of the hearing on February 26, 2019: “Hyten Enthusiastic About USSPACECOM, But Wants Some Operations To Remain in Omaha.

Witnesses were:

  • Gen. John Hyten, Commander, U.S. Strategic Command
  • Gen. Terrence O’Shaugnessy, Commander, U.S. Northern Command and  Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command
House SS&T Subcommittee Hearing on 60 Years of Human Space Exploration, September 2018

House SS&T Subcommittee Hearing on 60 Years of Human Space Exploration, September 2018

The Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on September 26, 2018 on “60 Years of NASA Leadership in Human Space Exploration: Past, Present and Future.”  Witnesses were:

  • Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations
  • Mark Geyer, Director, NASA Johnson Space Center
  • Jody Singer, Director, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
  • Bob Cabana, Director, NASA Kennedy Space Center

SpacePolicyOnline.com published a summary of the hearing on September 26:  Babin Introduces Leading Human Spaceflight Act.

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