President Bush's announcement of a new U.S. space exploration initiative and the efforts to rectify safety concerns and return the shuttle to flight have put NASA in the spotlight this year both in the media and in Congress. An April hearing of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space examined how other countries' space programs compare to that of the U.S., while a report released in March assesses NASA's organizational culture and recommends a plan of action to improve it.


17 May 2004

In the past month, NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe appeared before appropriators in the House and authorizers in the Senate to discuss the space agency's plans for fiscal year 2005. The authorizers greeted NASA's bold new space exploration initiative with enthusiasm, while the appropriators expressed more caution about the proposal and its cost.

28 Apr 2004

House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) addressed the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) last week, and as is usually the case, spoke unambiguously about NASA science policy and funding issues. Selections from his speech follow:

27 Apr 2004

While many recent NASA hearings have featured Administrator Sean O'Keefe extolling President Bush's new human space exploration initiative, a March 10 House Science Committee hearing gave a panel of non-governmental witnesses an opportunity to share their views on the initiative.

22 Apr 2004

The Senate VA/HUD Appropriations Subcommittee met on March 11 to hear NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe discuss his agency's budget request for fiscal year 2005, which incorporates the President's new Space Exploration Initiative. The President has requested $16.2 billion - a 5.6 percent increase - for NASA. "Unfortunately," subcommittee chairman Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-MO) commented, "this impressive increase raises more questions at this time than excitement."

12 Mar 2004

“Today, with the selection of Boeing and SpaceX to be the first American companies to launch our astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA has set the stage for what promises to be the most ambitious and exciting chapter in the history of human space flight.”  So wrote NASA Administrator Charles Bolden in a September 16 posting on the agency’s website about the selection of two private contractors to transport American astronauts to the International Space Station by 2017.

17 Sep 2014

"Before we get on board, we have to determine the extent of the ticket we're willing to purchase for the journey." - House Science Committee Chairman Sherwood Boehlert

27 Feb 2004

To support his new vision for space exploration, President Bush has requested $16,244 million for NASA in FY 2005. This represents an increase of $866 million, or 5.6%, over current-year funding of $15,378 million. Programs and priorities within NASA have been reorganized to reflect the President's vision, "which is to advance U.S. scientific, security and economic interests through a robust space exploration program [that is] affordable, fiscally responsible, and sustainable," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe.

9 Feb 2004

It is not only the Bush Administration that has wrestled with the question of where the nation's human spaceflight program should be headed. Congress has held hearings on this question, and several months prior to President Bush's proposal to return to the Moon and then send humans to Mars, a group of experts in space policy held a workshop to air their views. Although the workshop was not intended to develop consensus recommendations, there were a number of comments that received broad agreement: Since the end of the Apollo program and the Cold War, the role of the U.S.

30 Jan 2004


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