Hearings before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics revealed considerable skepticism about NASA’s realigned human spaceflight program.  At both March hearings there were bipartisan complaints that the Administration disregarded key provisions of the NASA reauthorization act in the formulation of the FY 2012 budget request, and doubts that the Administration was committed to fully implementing this legislation.

6 May 2011

Last week’s appearance of NASA Administrator Charles Bolden before the Senate Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee was fairly low-key.  There was discussion about the steps that the agency was taking to improve its management of projects such as the James Webb Space Telescope, work at various NASA centers and facilities, transitioning components of the Constellation Program, and the disposition of the four space shuttles.  There was little disagreement about the FY 2012 NASA request, in contrast to a hearing held a year ag

19 Apr 2011

The central focus of a hearing earlier this month of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee was whether NASA’s FY 2012 budget request was a path forward for the space agency.  Echoing comments heard a year ago, many committee members are unconvinced that the Administration’s plan to use commercial transportation services to fly American astronauts to the space station will work. 

28 Mar 2011

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden was warmly received at last week’s hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.  “We are really devoted to you,” Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) told Bolden toward the end of three and one-half hour hearing on NASA’s FY 2012 request, indicative of the members’ strong bipartisan support for the space agency.

8 Mar 2011

Next week the House of Representatives will consider H.R. 2405, the
Omnibus Civilian Science Authorization Act of 1995. Title II of
this bill, known as the "National Aeronautics and Space
Administration Authorization Act, FY 1996" provides a number of
important indicators of the direction and level of NASA's future
science and technology programs.  As stated in FYIs #138 and 139,
passage of this bill is not assured, and it only permits, but does
not provide, actual program funding.  It will, however, if passed

6 Oct 1995

The Senate Appropriations Committee met earlier this week and has
sent to the floor H.R. 2099, the VA, HUD, Independent Agencies
Appropriations Bill for FY 1996.  This bill contains funding for
NASA, and will be voted on by the full Senate in the near future.
Following passage by the Senate, H.R. 2099 will then go to a
conference to resolve differences in funding levels between the
House and Senate versions of the bill.  The below figures and
recommendations are contained in Senate Report 104-140, which
accompanies H.R. 2099:

15 Sep 1995

The following representatives voted in favor of an amendment
offered by Rep. John Ensign (R-Nevada) to reduce the FY 1996
appropriation for the National Science Foundation and NASA.  Under
this amendment, which was rejected by the House 121-296, the
Department of Veterans Affairs appropriation for Medical Care would
have increased.  Offsetting this increase would have been a $235
million reduction in NSF's Research and Related Activities
appropriation and an $89.5 million reduction in NASA's Human Space
Flight Account.

25 Aug 1995

Buffeted by the fickle winds of fiscal policy, NASA has seen its
budget shrink by 30 percent over the last two years, with more to
come.  This has resulted in drastic reductions, restructuring, and
in some cases outright termination of programs.  Making these
changes in a reasonable and efficient manner calls for a clear
statement of the space agency's policies and principles.  NASA has
articulated policies for its science programs in a July 25 draft
document entitled "Science in Air and Space: NASA's Science Policy

24 Aug 1995

On July 18, the VA/HUD appropriations bill for FY 1996 went before
the full House Appropriations Committee.  The resulting bill, which
funds NASA, NSF, veterans' and housing programs, was changed
significantly from the version passed by the VA/HUD subcommittee
the previous week.

20 Jul 1995

As described in FYI #97, early reports state that the House
VA/HUD/Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, in marking
up its FY 1996 funding bill, made these recommendations for major
NASA science programs: termination of the Cassini mission to Saturn
(FY96 request: $191.5 million); at least a delay in funding SIRTF
(FY96 request: $15.0 million) and SOFIA (FY96 request: $48.7
million); and, by some accounts, termination of Gravity Probe B,
whose continuation NASA is studying.  The subcommittee also

13 Jul 1995


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