NASA

"It seems to me that we've got two challenges...to pay for the past and also prepare to pay for the future. The past being how do we fix the existing shuttle, how do we make sure the space station is working, and at the same time with a limited amount of money embark on new missions to Mars and new missions to the moon and a new vehicle? ...I don't think this all adds up." - Senator John Breaux (D-LA)

29 Sep 2004

As reported in FYI #129, the Senate Appropriations Committee, in the report accompanying its FY 2005 VA/HUD Appropriations bill, included lengthy report language on NASA and the President's vision for space exploration. The entire text of the report (S. Rept. 108-353) is available at http://thomas.loc.gov/under "Committee Reports." Selections from the report's introductory section on NASA follow:

24 Sep 2004

In passing its FY 2005 VA/HUD spending bill (S. 2825) on September 21, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended a total of $15,579.5 million for NASA. Although $201.3 million greater than NASA's FY 2004 budget, this is $664.5 million less than President Bush requested. The Committee would increase funding for Exploration Capabilities above FY 2004 funding, but reduce the Exploration, Science and Aeronautics account. Neither account is funded at the level asked for by the President. In the accompanying report (S. Rept.

24 Sep 2004

House appropriators on July 21 passed a VA/HUD appropriations bill that would reduce funding for NASA's "Exploration Capabilities" and "Exploration, Science, and Aeronautics" accounts below both the FY 2004 levels and the FY 2005 request, prompting a veto warning from the White House. While Senate appropriators have not yet marked up a VA/HUD spending bill, authorizers in the Senate have introduced legislation that would authorize funding for most space programs at the FY 2005 requested levels, and provide guidance on funding levels through FY 2009.

2 Aug 2004

"While the Committee is supportive of the exploration aspect of NASA's vision, the Committee does not believe it warrants top billing over science and aeronautics." - House Appropriations Committee Report on FY 2005 VA/HUD/Independent Agencies Appropriations

23 Jul 2004

"NASA should take no actions that would preclude a space shuttle servicing mission" to extend the life of the Hubble Space Telescope, an independent panel told the space agency on July 13. This was one of the interim recommendations of a National Research Council (NRC) committee tasked with evaluating the feasibility, risks, and comparative benefits of a servicing mission to extend and enhance the scientific life of the telescope, either by space shuttle or by some robotic or ground-based alternative.

19 Jul 2004

"The Commission fully supports your vision and finds that this journey of exploration will sustain vital national objectives here on Earth." - letter to President George Bush from E.C. "Pete" Aldridge, Jr., Chairman of the President's Commission on Moon, Mars and Beyond

28 Jun 2004

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.

SENATE SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND SPACE SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING:

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

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