Cq congressional transcripts



Download 163.36 Kb.
Date24.04.2021
Size163.36 Kb.

CQ CONGRESSIONAL TRANSCRIPTS

Congressional Hearings

Sept. 15, 2009

House Science and Technology Holds Hearing on NASA's Human Space Flight Program

LIST OF PANEL MEMBERS AND WITNESSES
GORDON:

OK. This hearing will come to order. Good afternoon. And I want to welcome our witnesses to today's hearing.

And let me also say to our -- our audience -- and we're glad to see so many folks here today -- that we may very well have some votes on the floor. We're not sure what's going to quite happen later on. My partner, Mr. Hall, and I have agreed that we are going to try to send someone over as soon as the bell rings so that they can vote and then they will come back, and so that we can sort of keep things going.

I'm afraid that some of our witnesses won't be available again for some time, so we need to be able to try to run this through today. So if it gets a little -- lots of bells -- we're going to try to -- try to work our way through that.

And so to the witnesses, let me say you bring significant experience to this afternoon's deliberation, and we look forward to your testimony. Today's hearing marks the first congressional examination of the summary report of the Review of the U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, which was released just last week.

We will have two panels of witnesses appearing before us today. The first panel consists of someone who is no stranger to this committee, Mr. Norm Augustine -- Norman Augustine -- excuse me -- an individual with many years of experience in the aerospace field. Mr. Augustine chaired the Human Space Flight Review Committee, and he will present the findings of that review in his testimony today.

The second panel will consist of two witnesses. The first, Admiral Joseph Dyer, is the chair of the congressionally established Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel. I believe that -- that as we consider the potential paths of our nation's human space flight program, we need to make sure that we keep safety uppermost in our deliberation, and Admiral Dyer is well-equipped to help us understand the safety issues that need to be considered.

The second, Dr. Michael Griffin, currently serves as a professor at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. And before that, he served as the nation -- as NASA administrator. Dr. Griffin has -- was heavily involved in the formulation of the Constellation architecture and that has -- and has been -- that has been authorized and for which funds have been appropriated by the Congress over the past four years.

Fundamentally, I believe this hearing should be about -- what this hearing should be about is determining where we go from here. I have made no secret in recent years of my belief that the resources given to NASA haven't kept pace with the important task that we have asked NASA to undertake. That has caused significant stresses in recent years, and we cannot continue to go down that path.

We either have to give NASA the resources that it needs to -- or stop pretending that it can really do all that's been put on its plate. So as we proceed today, my focus is on the future. In that regard I want our witnesses to help the committee address a number of important questions.

First, NASA has been working for more than four years on the Constellation program, a development program in support of which Congress has invested billions of dollars over that same period. As a result I think that good public policy would tell us that there needs to be a compelling reason to scrap what we've invested our time and money in over the past several years.

The us, we need to know whether or not the review panel found any major problems with the Constellation program that would warrant its cancellation, such as technical showstoppers, improper cost controls or mismanagement.

Second, I have no interest in buying a pig in a poke, and so I don't think that anyone else in Congress or the White House will want to either. Thus, we need to know how we can credibly compare options proposed by a review panel that is still immature.

Do we just pick an option and hope that the -- hope for the best? Or will we need to bring our exploration program to a halt for a year or more while the -- while the options are fleshed out and then reevaluate it, once the specific implications of each are better understood?

And third, safety has to be a significant determination in what we do. The review panel's summary report is largely silent on safety. How do we meaningfully compare the safety implications of the various options proposed by the review panel?

And finally, while the review committee proposed a number of options that it asserted could be done with enhanced funding, what if the administration or Congress determined that there will be no enhanced funding? Is there any path forward that make sense in this situation?

Well, we have quite a lot to discuss today, and I again want to thank our witnesses for their testimony.

Before closing, I should note that when we initially sought the participation of NASA Administrator Bolden at today's hearing, he determined that it would be premature -- or we determined it would be premature for him to appear before -- until the administration has developed its proposal to the Augustine committee's report. So we look forward to having Administrator Bolden later, and we certainly will.

With that said, I now recognize Mr. Hall for any opening remarks he might like.
HALL:

Mr. Chairman, I thank you for holding the hearing today. I want to welcome my good friends, Mr. Augustine, Mike Griffin and Joe Dyer, who have agreed to testify before us today.

America's space program owes you a great debt of gratitude for the important roles each of you played and continue to play and the amount of time you've given to this appointment, and I want to thank you for coming and sharing your wealth of knowledge and experience with us today.

In the aftermath of the Columbia tragedy, we did some national soul-searching. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board admonished us for a, quote, "failure of national leadership," unquote, that it said contributed to the accident and to NASA's inability to finish earlier programs deemed as hopeful for replacements for the space shuttle.

The CAIB acknowledged that human space flight is a risky endeavor and observed, quote, "the design of the system should give overriding priority to cruise safety rather than trade safety against other performance criteria such as low cost and reusability."

Crew safety has always been my number one priority, and I've worked toward that, had petitioned for it. We've had money set aside for it. Some of it John Glenn used to make a trip, but I was for that, because he's one of my fellow senior citizens up here.

I don't think that we'd ever -- we'd be where we are in space today if America hadn't paid so much attention to this very vital concern: safety. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board also encouraged us to classify our goals in space so they'd be worthy of the risk.

I was encouraged in February of 2004 when the Bush administration unveiled the vision for space exploration, because it gave NASA clear direction with measurable goals that had been long -- long been lacking.

NASA has -- was directed then to complete the international space station so it could be used by all international partners for microgravity research and the new vaccines and other promising biomedical research, as well as research the long-term effects of space flight on humans and go down that road.

That vision also approved -- promised to move us beyond low Earth orbit by reestablishing our capabilities that had been lost since 1972, allowing us to return to the moon, our nearest neighbor in space.

It's my opinion that NASA has the greatest chance of success if given a clearly defined destination and the clearly defined design requirements that go with it. The Congress held many hearings after the vision was announced and in the end agreed with the goals and direction of the plan proposed.

I think it's important to note that both the 2005 and 2008 NASA authorization acts reflect broad bipartisan, bicameral support for the elements of that original vision. Any administration should carefully consider how difficult that level of consensus is and how difficult it can be to reestablish.

Our greatest concern then as well as now has been the inadequate level of funding being requested and the gap between the retirement of the space shuttle and development of the follow-on Constellation system. In the ensuing years these problems have only gotten worse.

I'm not a fan of increased spending, but I've always thought our human space flight program is the United States so much to be proud of, and carried within it is the promise of significant breakthroughs in health care, defense and alternative energy technologies.

Mr. Chairman, in many ways it's hard for me to understand why the president is seeking new options at all when there has been an agreed- upon plan for several years. Why don't we just fund the program we've all agreed to? Why should multibillion-dollar bailouts of banks and insurance companies come at the expense of our talented scientists, engineers and technicians, who make the impossible look easy and might be effect on our national defense some day?

I think many of us think that it would take a very small fraction of our federal project -- just tenths of 1 percent -- to make a significant difference in our human space flight goals. But even if that level of funding is not forthcoming, we have to be very careful how we proceed, because we have a lot at stake, and crew safety should be paramount.

Mr. Augustine's report panel -- panel reports that commercial launch services holds some promise, and our committee has supported the development of several commercially-based ideas such as NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation System and ISS cargo resupply services, but commercial service should not be considered a cheap substitute for the lack of national leadership in human space flight.

Our NASA authorization acts and other legislation for the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation have encouraged prize competitions designed to inspire smaller private companies to develop innovative technologies, just as this past Saturday Armadillo Aerospace of my hometown in the smallest county of Texas -- Rockwell County -- became the first company to qualify for the $1 million top prize of NASA's Northrop Grumman Lunar Landing Challenge at Caddo Mills municipal airport.

I applaud John Carmack and his team for their innovative and creative thinking. These are exciting and -- and useful ventures, but in our desire to save money, let us not forget that you get what you pay for. And when it comes to transporting humans into space, our overriding priority should be crew safety, not lowest cost or reusability.

Mr. Chairman, I look forward to the hearing today. Thank you, sir.


GORDON:

Thank you, Mr. Hall.

If there are other members who wish to submit additional opening statements, your statements will be added to the record at this point.

First up is Mr. Norman Augustine, who is the current -- currently serving as the chair of the Review of the U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee and is the former CEO of Lockheed Martin and was the lead author of the national academy's 2005 report, "Rising Above the Gathering Storm," which was the foundation for the first major legislation that -- that this -- this committee passed last year.

And again, I will be -- our country will be ever grateful for you, I think, as years go along, your report and -- and our legislation will be thought of as landmark legislation and will help our country do just what it says: compete.

So, Mr. Augustine, you are now recognized.


AUGUSTINE:

Mr. Chairman, thank you very much, Mr. Hall, members of the committee. I would, with the committee's permission, like to submit a written statement for the record and just briefly summarize it here.


GORDON:

Without objection.


AUGUSTINE:

Thank you.

To begin with, I should knowledge to colleagues, who have devoted a remarkable amount of time and effort to putting together the findings that I'll be describing today. I would also like to thank NASA for the terrific support they've given to our committee. That support has been invariably straightforward, responsive and in the can-do spirit of NASA.

I'll so I should acknowledge the Aerospace Corporation, which our committee hired to work directly for the committee to give us an independent arm to do more detailed analysis of costs and schedules, programmatic, technical issues than we could perform ourselves.

Our committee had 10 members. It included scientists, engineers, educators, business executives, astronauts, former presidential appointees, a retired general officer. In other words, it was a rather diverse committee that's come to what I believe to be a unanimous set of findings.

As you know, we were only allowed 90 days to conduct our work, and the reason for that was that we were trying to match the budget cycle with which this committee is so familiar. Having said that, you should be aware of the limitations that are placed on our work because of that amount of time.

It's very important for me to emphasize that we were not asked to make recommendations, and we have not done so. We were asked to offer options or alternatives and assessments, and that's what we have done, and so that's what I will talk about today.

First of all, when seeking a destination for the human space flight program, it's our view that above all else Mars stands out -- humans landing on Mars a bit because Mars more closely matches the Earth than any other planet. It's physically reachable, a solid surface. It has materials on the surface of the planet. It has an atmosphere of sorts and is clearly the goal to be sought.

But having said that, it's our view -- and I realize many don't agree with us -- that from a safety standpoint, we are not prepared to undertake a program to go directly to Mars at this point in time. There's a great deal of additional homework to be done, some of a rather fundamental nature, before we set out on a mission directly to Mars.

The various parameters our committee considered led to over 3,000 possible options for us to consider. We sought to narrow that down to a manageable group and in so doing, obviously, everyone's favorite option isn't there. But we do have five families of options that we think are broadly representative of the choices before our nation, and one can modify those options in some cases with relative ease.

One of those options, of course, is the current plan that's now being pursued. That plan recall the program of record and is our baseline option. We define that plan is being the program that NASA has told us it is pursuing and the budget that goes with it, so we've used the budget that the Office of Management and Budget has told us is appropriate to that plan.

The -- I would note, echoing your views, Mr. Chairman, that ongoing programs should only be changed for compelling reasons. And we have tried in each of our alternatives cite the strengths and weaknesses of each of the alternatives, and each has both strengths and weaknesses.

I won't, because of the lack of time in this statement, describe the other four options, but they're in the report we published on the Internet, and I'm sure you have copies of them. They are listed in my written statement that you have.

The reluctant bottom line conclusion of our committee, if you will, is that the current program as it's being pursued is not executable, that we are on a path that will not lead to a useful, safe human exploration program. And the reason for that, the primary reason, is the mismatch between the task to be performed and the funds that are available to support those tasks.

It also came to a considerable disappointment to this committee that we were unable to find any alternative space program -- a human space flight program -- that would be worthy of this country that could be conducted for the funding profile now in place.

We examined one derivative program -- a number of derivative programs based on one additional budget, and we found that by adding approximately $3 billion to the budget over the years and accounting for inflation over time in realistic fashion that America could have a choice of a number of exciting, challenging, important, inspirational human space flight programs.

I'll close with three quick observations. One is that we have sought to be relatively conservative in our estimates of costs, schedules and performance, and we do that because it reflects our dissatisfaction with the record of our profession at doing the things in the past -- estimating, that is.

Secondly, that we believe that NASA has too long been placed in a position of trying to accomplish more than the resources it is given permit. We believe that to be wasteful, and worse yet, very hazardous when dealing with such a challenging field of human space flight, which is highly unforgiving.

And finally on that point, human space flight is obviously, as everyone in this room knows, very risky. We place people in danger. We place the nation's reputation on the line. And it's our belief that if we hope to be a spacefaring nation over the years, that we have to recognize that there will be setbacks, and we should do everything we can to prevent them, but this is in the vernacular a risky business.

Finally, on behalf of the members of the committee, I would like to thank you and the administration for the confidence that they have placed in us to review what has truly become a symbol of America's leadership in the world. Thank you very much.


GORDON:

Thank you, Mr. Augustine.

At this point we will begin our round of questions. But before we proceed, I would like to make a unanimous consent request at the behest of our distinguished witness. Mr. Augustine has asked that Dr. Edward Crowley, a member of the panel that he chaired, be allowed to join him at the witness table to help answer questions the committee may have.

If there are no objections, then, Dr. Crowley, please join us here.

I also have one of the unanimous consent. We've had other members of Congress that aren't currently a member of the Science Committee that would like to join us today. They have been reminded that -- that any questions they might have will be after the -- the current members of this committee.

And so without objection, Mr. Culberson, Mr. Posey, Ms. Jackson Lee will be allowed to participate, if they -- if they choose. So with no objections, they will be.

Mr. Augustine, I could have saved you some time and money and told you that there weren't enough funds to carry out the existing program, if you had -- had asked or had been at any of our -- at our meetings. We even...
AUGUSTINE:

We should have changed jobs, sir.


GORDON:

We -- unfortunately, it's not funny, but we have been pointing it out for some time, and I think that this is a worthwhile time out. We need to -- we cannot continue to kick the -- you know, the -- the can down the road. We've got to decide as a nation what are we willing to pay for and -- and need to move forward. So I thank you for again bringing the topics to -- to the surface. They don't need to be under the rug in a longer.

So one of the questions that we expected your panel to address was the status of the existing Constellation program. But the summary report actually says very little about. So let me ask you what is your panel's assessment of the Constellation program? Is it technically sound and effectively managed within the resources available, or is it fatally flawed? And if there are areas that need improvement, what are they?
AUGUSTINE:

Mr. Chairman, I'd be happy to try to answer that. Certainly with the resources available, the program is, I think we would say, fatally flawed. It would take so long to do the things that need to be done to develop the hardware needed that it'll be well beyond many of our lifetimes before we're able to have a really active human space flight program. That's with the current budget.

With regard to the program itself...
GORDON:

Excuse me, but would that be -- would that be the same with any of the alternatives, though?


AUGUSTINE:

That would be.


GORDON:

OK.
AUGUSTINE:

With regard to the -- what was the other point you? I forgot.
GORDON:

If it technically sound and effectively managed?


AUGUSTINE:

Oh, yes. Thank you. We did review the program and its management. We believe it to be soundly managed.

Technically, the program has some significant problems -- technical problems. And this is not to be unexpected in a program of this difficulty and this magnitude. We saw no problems that appear to be unsolvable, given the proper engineering talent, the attention and the funds to solve them.

Having said that, I'd like to turn to my colleague, Dr. Crowley. The reason I asked that he be permitted to join me -- our committee divided into subcommittees, one of which devoted its attention to putting together these integrated options, and Professor Crowley chaired the subcommittee.

Ed, if you would care to add anything to my summary of the more.
CROWLEY:

No, I -- I think, Norm, you have summarized this quite well at the -- at the highest level. There were on our committee a number of people who had actually built space flight hardware, and their general consensus on the assessment of the Constellation program technically is, as Norm says, that it had -- it has problems -- all real programs where you're really building hardware encounter problems, developmental problems -- but that we didn't see any of them, including some of the famous -- vibration problem in the Ares 1 or the vibro-acoustic environment, the noise environment around the Orion -- that were not surmountable with proper engineering talent and skill, which we believe NASA can bring to bear.

So in short...
GORDON:

So do you think -- in short, are the problems with Constellations greater than they -- than the other options? And how would you really be able to evaluate the other options, since they are at what we -- what you would call an immature level in contrast to this more mature level?


CROWLEY:

Well, Mr. Chairman, that was in fact one of the most difficult challenges that the committee faced. We were asked to -- to consider and propose a set of alternatives, which we faithfully tried to do, but we were very conscious of the my rocket and your view graph problem, as we called it, you know -- that it's always easy for something to look better on a set of view graphs or in a proposal than when you're in the midst of a real development program.

We -- other than to say we were very conscious of this and we tried to the greatest extent to be aware of it in the assessment of the options and the costing of the options, I think that that was basically the judgment process of the committee.
GORDON:

So as I mentioned earlier, we do have a program that's been authorized we've spent billions of dollars on. And so I don't think you trade what you know for what you don't know, if it's -- if it's equal or -- or a little bit better. So are -- are you prepared to say that one or all of the other options are substantially better than Constellation and worth having a major turn now?


AUGUSTINE:

I think would be our view that -- just what you said -- that there should be a compelling reason to change an existing program. And we believe that the existing program, given adequate funds, is executable and would carry out its objectives.

The existing program, just like other programs, does have its difficulties. Some of the other programs rely heavily on existing hardware -- for example, the closely shuttle drive hardware more closely derived.

But the -- the fact remains that on the negative side, that since the -- for example, the Aries 1 program began, several years have passed. And at this point we believe it's quite likely that the space station, the ISS international space station, will just about have completed its useful life -- even at extended life -- by the time the Ares is available.

And so, clearly, you could do the Ares 1. You could do the Ares 1 and the Ares 5. You could close that gap by doing -- keeping the shuttle flying. And you could keep the ISS in space. And the problem gets to be that you have to give up some things early on, if you want to have benefits later on. And in our view, the real need of this country is a heavy lift vehicle -- Ares 5 type or something like that -- and that that should be the first priority.

But to answer your question, Mr. Chairman, is given additional funds such as we have identified, we believe the existing program would be a fine program.


GORDON:

Well, that's not really -- that really wasn't the question.


AUGUSTINE:

I'm sorry.


GORDON:

OK. Once again, I think we all agree that there's no option that was presented that can be successful with the funds at the current level. So that's where -- that -- that's our, you know, the -- the premise.

So then we get to -- again, the fundamental question is if we're going to trade in what we've been doing for something new, then I think that -- that the new has to be substantially better. I get -- would -- would that be a fair -- would everybody agree with that? Is that a fair statement, Mr...
AUGUSTINE:

I think we would.


GORDON:

OK. So are you -- are you prepared to say that some of these other programs are substantially better than Constellation and worth making that change?


AUGUSTINE:

Well, we've tried very hard not to wind up being in the position where we make a recommendation as to a program, but we have pointed out -- we've done that out of fairness to the president and to you to not make it harder for you to make a decision here. And also we've been asked to do it this way.

But the -- each of the options does have liabilities, including the current program. All the others have them, too. Each has their benefits. We have cited those benefits and those liabilities, and it's really up to the decision maker to make a judgment as to how to weigh those.
GORDON:

And -- and I was -- let me (inaudible). You mentioned that there was more documentation on the -- on your discussion about Constellation -- I assume this is available for us into the weekend -- more than was in your report?


AUGUSTINE:

We are -- I probably should have mentioned that at the outset, Mr. Chairman -- we're in the process. You have our summary...


GORDON:

Right.
AUGUSTINE:

... so far. And we are hard at work preparing the rest of the final report, which will be over 100 pages long. And it's close to being written, and it's our intent to have it out by the end of the month.
GORDON:

Good. Thank you very much.

And, Mr. Hall, you're recognized.
HALL:

Mr. Chairman, I thank you.

Mr. Augustine, your panel noted that the Constellation program had encountered technical difficulties, and -- and you also noted the problems were no worse than any other large program, and the problems could be solved with time.

And you also found the current program had been underfunded and that none of the options you looked at gave NASA more capability or closed the gap. What would it take to close the gap?


AUGUSTINE:

There's -- in our view, we looked at a lot of different cases. There are -- maybe I should define for those in the room who aren't familiar with what the gap is, the gap refers -- I assume, Mr. Hall, you're referring to the time after the shutdown of the space shuttle, when the only way the U.S. will have of putting astronauts into orbit...


HALL:

Yes, sir.


AUGUSTINE:

... is relying on buying seats on Russian launch vehicles, basically.

And we looked at various options to close that gap, absent huge influxes of funds and the willingness to accept more risk and safety risk that we believe is appropriate. There is only one way to close that gap, and that's to continue to fly the space shuttle beyond the currently planned shutdown at the end of 2010.
HALL:

And that amount?


AUGUSTINE:

The cost, sir?


HALL:

Yes, sir.


AUGUSTINE:

The cost of continuing to fly that shuttle, if you were to do so, has a couple of factors that have to be entered. The first is that in our work we discovered that the space shuttle is currently bearing a huge amount of the overhead at NASA. And if the space shuttle is shut down, that overhead is going to shift to some other program, probably the Constellation. And so there -- some of the savings numbers -- one that is heard -- from shutting down the shuttle are really accounting numbers.

On the other hand, there are real savings that we wouldn't have to buy Russian launches, if we kept flying the shuttle. Our belief is that the net cost of continuing to fly the shuttle a couple of times a year -- once or twice -- is about $2.5 billion a year. That's the cost issue.

I just have to briefly say that there are also safety issues. There have been commissions that have said that we should not continue flying the shuttle.

It's our belief from what we were able to learn that if one were to recertify the shuttle -- very importantly, and that would have to be recertified -- that it probably could continue to fly. But the launch rate would be so low that, based on my experience, launching rockets at a very low rate is like doing heart surgery at a very low rate. It's a dangerous thing to do.

Ed, would you like -- briefly?


CROWLEY:

I think that that's substantially correct, that we looked at a number of options of accelerating the Orion and Ares, of going to alternatives, of putting emphasis on commercial launches to Leo for crew, and really none of them substantially closed the gap from above, as we say. It brought the human capability in earlier.

The time to close the gap was with investments in 2008 and in 2009 and 2010. Now here we are on the verge of 2010, and really no -- no expenditure will accelerate significantly a new U.S. capability much earlier than 2015, '16, '17.
HALL:

Well, we've been told and it's been said that it, quote, "couldn't be accomplished under the current budget." And I guess what we really would like to know is under what budget could it be accomplished? And from a crew safety point of view, since were talking about that, your report seems to treat all the potential launch options the same.

And I guess how -- how did the panel evaluate the crew safety aspect of any option other than the Constellation?
AUGUSTINE:

The -- the safety issue is the number one issue for us to consider, obviously. Our committee had two astronauts that had flown six missions in space, so they were not uninterested in being sure that we all paid attention to the subject of safety.

As I said earlier, we thought the right thing to do is the real goal was to go to Mars. We discarded that over safety issues. Each of the options we've offered we believe meets the threshold of safety, and I could define that, if you want.

But we are skeptical of comparing analytical safety calculations with proven safety calculations or reliability calculations that are related to but different from safety. We're skeptical because most of those calculations turn out to not even include the factors that have led to most of the failures in the past.

So one great deal of judgment and scar tissue comes into deciding. You could look at the drawings. You could look at the redundancy. You could look at the processes. You could look at the escape capsules and so on. But in the end, the degree of experience and judgment is very helpful. And our committee, of course, has -- combined -- had hundreds of years of watching humans in space, and we've tried to exercise that judgment.

Ed, I'd ask you to briefly add anything you'd like.


CROWLEY:

Mr. Hall, the -- what we say in our report first is that safety is paramount...


HALL:

Sure.
CROWLEY:

... and that NASA should not go forward with any technical plan that doesn't meet the stringent safety requirements far in excess of the shuttle's demonstrated safety.
HALL:

Don't you think it sure makes a lot of sense that we look at safety with that attitude? And in light of the -- of the practice over the last year here on Capitol Hill, money is different.

It used to be when $1 million was a lot of money, and then $1 billion was a lot of money, and now they throw away trillions of dollars in the bailout of $800 billion and immediately threw away about $350 billion to AIG for toxic stock, that they ought to could work something in to help us end that four-year gap in there. And -- and I say this because I even consider it a national defense issue.
CROWLEY:

Unfortunately, our principal finding in -- in this issue of closing the gap, going back to the gap, is that this is really paced by the pace of technical development, that to build a new rocket will take -- a new human rated rocket from either where we are in the Ares 5 or any fresh start of any type will take at least another five or six years.

And I -- I hate to say that, but on -- on this specific point, you know, we -- we examined several acceleration plans and found that they could increase the confidence that we could do it in five or six more years, but none of them actually brought the date of likely availability in by much -- by more than a half a year or so.
HALL:

Is it that just physically it could not be done or that they could not be financed?


CROWLEY:

No, that it -- it physically can't be done, that -- that there just are pacing items in the development of a new rocket.


HALL:

I thank both of you very much.


AUGUSTINE:

Thank you, Mr. Hall.


GORDON:

Now, appropriately from the Kitty Hawk state, Mr. Miller?


MILLER:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And I'm glad that you do recognize that North Carolina is the home of flight, not Ohio, as some...

(LAUGHTER)

... claim from time to time.

Mr. Augustine, the -- the report -- the inquiry into the last shuttle disaster concluded that one of the problems was an excessive reliance on contracting out, on contractual employees, rather than having those folks in-house, that there was a lack of a kind of a critical mass of expertise that came when scientists, engineers worked on the same hull and could kind of hover at the doorway of each other's offices -- and talk it through. When they were scattered, you lost something.

And despite that criticism, I actually asked Sean O'Keefe at a hearing if he embraced that finding, because it did not seem consistent with -- with the dogma of the agency at that time. I didn't get a straight answer, which really could have been true of any question I ever asked Sean O'Keefe.

(LAUGHTER)

But since then, NASA has continued to rely upon outside contractors more than just about any other government agency. I think actually the findings are more than any other government agency, including where -- where NASA has developed the technology and has the equipment and has trained employees and still contracts it out.

Parabolic flight, zero gravity flight that's important in training, developed by NASA -- we've got the planes sitting on the tarmac. We've got the -- we've got the pilots, who know how to fly the planes, who know how to fly parabolic flights to achieve zero gravity for training purposes. And yet we still contract it out. And it -- it's not at all clear why -- why we do that. It's -- it's very clear we would save money if we didn't.

I was surprised that one of the findings in the summary report, or suggestions, is that by relying more on the commercial sector, we might shorten the gap. We might close the gap some. What was the basis for thinking that the commercial sector would do it differently from the way NASA would do it, if NASA just did it themselves?


AUGUSTINE:

Let me deal with that first at sort of the philosophical level you raised.

And, Ed, if you want to add, I'll try to be brief to leave you time.

The -- I -- I guess I would respectfully not accept that it's true in all cases that the government can do things more cheaply or better than could be done in the private sector. I spent 10 years in -- in government myself. I know what the government can do. I've spent much of my career in the private sector.

As I travel around the world, I think that there are many things the private sector does much better than the government does. At the same time, I think there are many things that only the government could do. And where we get in trouble, I believe, is where the government tries to do things that the private sector does best and when the private sector does things that the government does best.

In this regard I think the government is best at taking -- advancing technology, taking major risks in technology that systems engineering, designing architecture, overseeing programs, assessing their progress, at top level management of them.

But when the government gets to where it's making engineering drawings -- this is in fact happening at NASA today in some cases, second stage of the Ares 1 being an example -- NASA is hiring subcontractors to make engineering drawings, which NASA will then take and give to Boeing to build in Boeing's factories.

The material that the drawings will be made for -- in my experience it's hard to take something from one of our factories to another, let alone from a subcontractor to NASA to Boeing. I think we should watch that very carefully.

So my answer to your question is that there are important things that each could do and that it's a real mistake to assume carte blanche that everything should be done in industry or everything should be done in the government.
MILLER:

And I assume the same thing, Mr. Augustine. I'm -- what I'm questioning is whether the -- the bias is so clearly the other way in -- in favor of having something done commercially that is something that traditionally NASA has done itself or -- or had overall supervision. I mean, we've always relied upon private contractors. But how did you envision the commercial food transportation working?


AUGUSTINE:

OK. I'll turn to Ed. Let me refer the -- the bias issue. I think you would find that it's our view that NASA would be better served. Rather than trucking hardware people into low Earth orbit to be pursuing an energetic program, let the private sector deliver the mail, if you will, much as the government put the airlines into business by hauling mail.

NASA has an opportunity and is doing this right now with the support of this committee to let the commercial industry grow in the space carry case.

Ed, do you want to speak to our particular case?


CROWLEY:

Sure.


Well, first, Mr. Miller, I want to make it clear that in the options we presented there were -- in all of them we continue to work on the override in capsule that is the primary crew exploration vehicle. We think that that should be continued.

And the question really is should that be also the way that we continue to get to low Earth orbit, to the space station, for example, until 2020, as we suggested might be extended? What we tried to do is create a second option available for the government to choose, should it choose to, which is to further invest in development in a robust domestic commercial space industry.

And one of the potential services that such a space industry could provide, not without risk, is the delivery of crew to orbit, and particularly to the space station, in the next -- in the next decade or so. The potential advantages of this would be that we would be able to build a simpler capsule to go to the space station rather than the more -- the very sophisticated and capable Orion capsule.

For reference in current year dollars, a Gemini capsule is $60 million or $80 million. An Apollo capsule is several hundred million dollars. And the Orion recurring cost is about $600 million. So by building a system that's designed just to go to low Earth orbit, it is possible that the recurring cost of the system and the development cost of the system could be significantly less.

The other argument is that the -- in a commercial system there are other customers the NASA. NASA will be the only customer of the Orion and Ares. In a commercial system the rocket could be used for the NASA science payloads, national security space payloads. We provided for other possible markets.

And the capsule -- less obviously, there are other markets, but other governments will choose to fly astronauts to the international space station in the next decade. The possibility of providing that as a commercially provided service to other governments is -- is also another potential market.


GORDON:

Thank you, Dr. Crowley.

And now the ranking member of our Aviation Subcommittee, Mr. Olson, is recognized.
OLSON:

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I greatly appreciate that.

I'd like to thank, Mr. Augustine, you and Dr. Crowley, for all your hard work putting this report together. I remember, Mr. Augustine, we met with Mr. Hall back when you first got this assignment, and we asked you to call balls and strikes. I thank you. I thank you. I think you did a very, very good job of that.

I appreciate what all of you did, because basically, for my opinion, you threw cold water on our face and got us to look at this program realistically than say if we want to go forward, we need to develop the resources.

And my question for you, Mr. Augustine, is you've been in this business a long time. This is a much more esoteric question. But what in your opinion is the importance of human space flight to this nation, because that's a question all of us in this room are going to have to answer soon, if we don't find the resources to keep up and develop the manned space flight program as it's envisioned.
AUGUSTINE:

Well, thank you for that question. And that's actually the question we began with too often in the past weeks, at what destination that we wanted to go to rather than why we wanted to go there. And it's a question in our view we have probably not answered correctly in the past.

There are clearly many important things that the human space flight program permits. It permits the conduct of science, exploration and inspiration. It has important economic benefits. It impacts education and motivates young people to study math and science and so on and so on.

In our judgment none of those by themselves can justify the cost of human space flight today, that spinoffs into the commercial world or science by itself per se from human space flight standpoint don't justify these programs. The programs have to be justified, we think, to a large degree on a tangible basis, which makes it no less important -- namely, to lay the path forward for humans to move into the solar system -- in so doing, who we establish our nation as a leader in an important and challenging area.

And it gives our nation the -- the sort of recognition that we get from the Apollo program, which had many other benefits, including space, excusing science and engineering and so forth. But the raison d'etre, I think, could not be those other issues. It has to be the intangible of showing that America has the spirit and the ability to play a leadership role in one of the most challenging tasks ever undertaken.
OLSON:

Thanks for that answer. I couldn't agree more.

Shifting gears, we've talked a lot about safety. And I just want to ask do you think that the Columbia Accident Investigation Board recommendations should -- regarding safety -- should apply not just to the shuttle, but to all future human rated systems?
AUGUSTINE:

Do you want to?


CROWLEY:

Absolutely. I think that the broad national consensus that emerged from the Columbia tragedy is that going into space is a dangerous business. We should do it very carefully and as safely as we possibly can and that when we put our Americans at risk, we should do it in a way that really goes someplace and does something, really explores the solar system and -- and goes away from the Earth.

It is important to actually to read carefully the recommendations of the CAIB report to make sure that one understands that, for example, that they were very careful about pointing out that -- that crew should not be required for the delivery of cargo. However, they did not actually say the reverse, that it was not allowed to have crew accompany cargo into space -- so that we actually read the CAIB report. Sally Ride, one of the members, was on the CAIB. And we -- we tried to stay very -- very truthful to the -- to the guidance it gave us.
OLSON:

Thank you for that answer.

One final question. What can we do to ensure that we don't have another Augustine Commission 10, 15, 20 years down the road? I mean, we can't continue to second-guess or change course. I know that's a big, loaded question, but I just like to get your perspectives on that. Thank you.
AUGUSTINE:

I think, first of all, I'm 74 years old, so the odds are...

(LAUGHTER)
OLSON:

We'd love to have you come back.


AUGUSTINE:

Thank you, sir. My mother lived to be 105, so you might see me again, but...

(LAUGHTER)
OLSON:

Mark it down.


AUGUSTINE:

The -- I -- I think that this committee, as the chairman has said, has had the answer to that question, and that is that we need to have goals that are commensurate with the resources we're willing to devote. And obviously, that two of us at this table and our colleagues are fans of the space program.

But if we can't afford to do it right, then we shouldn't do it. We should back off. It's unfair to the astronauts. It's unfair to the nation. And it's unfair to the people who work at NASA. So we need to get a program that matches, whether it's a big program, which most of us would like, or a smaller program, whatever it is. I think you could get to where you won't need to see me again, if we could get that match made.
OLSON:

Thank you, Mr. Augustine.


AUGUSTINE:

Thank you.


GORDON:

I hate to start with you, Pete. We're going to -- I'm going to be a little more crisp with our time, because I want to be sure everybody has a chance. So I don't mean to be discourteous if I have to get in. If Mr. Augustine rope-a-dopes you, you'll get a little more time, but otherwise we're going to try to keep it to five.

Now the chairman of our Space and Aviation Committee, Aeronautics Committee, Ms. Giffords, is recognized.
GIFFORDS:

Thank you, Chairman Gordon, Ranking Member Hall. Both of you have been at this a lot longer than I have -- particularly Mr. Hall -- so I appreciate your comments.

And, Mr. Augustine, thank you.

Dr. Crowley as well.

It's not every day that we get a chance to discuss the future of America's human flight program, our space program. And I take this day very seriously. I don't think there's any politician in the Congress, in Washington or across the country that doesn't point to America's success in our manned space flight program when we talk about the genius of our country, the innovation, and our ability to tackle any challenge that's put ahead of us.

That being said, the discussion today in this committee doesn't track directly with what I was able to read in the summer report. I'm -- I'm frustrated by what I read. In fact, I'm pretty angry.

With all due respect to Mr. Augustine and this panel of experts, and I know that you've worked very long and very hard on this and the cumulative expertise that was represented on this panel was strong, but I feel that we were going to receive some recommendations that were going to put us farther ahead than before we received the report, and I think that we've lost some ground. So I'd like to review some of the facts.

Probably the most important finding with the review if the panel's determination that there is a serious mismatch between the challenges put out in front of NASA and the resources that have been provided to this agency. And as our chairman so eloquently stated, we all knew that. Those who have been in Congress for a long time have seen that year after year after year.

In other words we know that we can't get to where we want to go with NASA's funding at the current level. The impact that that shortfall has has certainly undermined the work of NASA, the civil servants and the contractors that have undertaken these really Herculean challenges. I'm glad that you've highlighted this problem, but again I'm not denigrating the work that's been done. I know your reputation, Mr. Augustine, and the reputation of the panelists.

It's important, I think, for this country to have a sobering reminder that our position as the world's leading spacefaring nation is not a given, and we have to continually re-earn that reputation by prominent positions that we take through real actions.

The rest of the world, of course, has discovered space, too. We see countries that are moving with some impressive capabilities. The Chinese, of course, come to mind -- other countries as well.

I think that the men and women of NASA, frankly, have demonstrated they're up to the challenge. Over the past four years, they have moved from initial concept into design and development of this Constellation program. They have successfully completed a number of important design reviews, have undertaken test activities, including test firing just last week the five segment booster that will power the Ares 1 rocket into space, and planning for a test flight of the Ares 1X rocket at the end of next month.

And they've done all this even through the times the budgetary stand that are shifting constantly underneath them, taking away resources that they thought they could count on and forcing them to continually re-plan and re-face even while they're trying to complete some of the hardest technological work ever done in the lifetime, programmatic work that is obviously required if Constellation is going to succeed.

So that's when it was announced, Mr. Augustine, that you'd be reading this independent review of the space flight program. I thought that we were going to take a hard, cold, sobering look at the Constellation program and tell us exactly what we needed to do here in Congress with our budget in order to maximize the chances of success.

But that's not what I see. Instead of focusing on how to strengthen the exploration program in which we've invested so much time, four years, billions of dollars, we have a glancing attention to Constellation, even referring to it in the past tense in your summary report, and instead spending the bulk of the time crafting alternative options that do little to eliminate the choices that I think are really confronting the Congress and the White House.

So where does that leave us? I think in place of a serious review of potential actions that could be taken to improve and strengthen the Constellation program, we've been given a set of -- of alternatives that in some sense look almost like cartoons, lacking detailed cost, schedule, technical, safety, other programmatic specifics that can be confident -- that we can't be confident and can't be subjected to rigorous and comprehensive analysis and validation that NASA's required to -- to go over.

So I guess I ask my colleagues on this committee what are we going to do with this report? And I know that we're going to see more detail, but in the absence of mismanagement or technological showstoppers like the chairman talked about, none of which the Augustine panel has indicated has occurred in this program, can any of us in good conscience recommend counseling the exploration system development program that Congress has funded and supported over the past four years?

I know that I can't justify doing this, and I know this is going to be a discussion that members of this committee are going to have to discuss.

Mr. Chairman, just a couple of minutes. I know I'm up against my time. Hoping that maybe things will somehow work out someday if we try something new is no substitute for the detailed planning and design and testing that has been the hallmark of successful space flight programs of the past. These are successes that all of us as Americans are extraordinarily proud of.

Nor do we gain by confusing hypothetical commercial capabilities that might someday exist with what we can actually count on today to meet our nation's needs. We've made that mistake in the past. We don't want to make it again.

So I don't see the logic of scrapping what the nation has spent years and billions of dollars to develop. And for the nation's sake, I -- I hope that we can break this cycle of false starts that was mentioned by many of my colleagues before.

The future of America's human space flight is really at -- at risk, and I'm hoping before the -- the panel is -- is dismantled that we can get some real solid numbers, questions that were asked by some of my colleagues, back to this committee and to the Congress that we can make the decisions as to what to do with our future in manned space flight. Thank you.


AUGUSTINE:

May I comment?


HALL:

Will the gentlelady yield?


GIFFORDS:

Absolutely, Mr. Hall.


HALL:

And would -- would you add to your statement, your very great statement, how fair is it to our international partners that are never going to have any more faith in us? And how fair is it to those series of -- of engineers and the workforce in NASA that have worked generation after generation and bet their future on NASA that are going to be unemployed?

And why is it that we haven't been scratching and clawing to get a little more R&D budget than we've got? And why the hell don't we have a march on Washington?

(LAUGHTER)


GORDON:

Mr. Augustine, I -- time is running all over, but I think that -- that Ms. Giffords has presented you with a threshold question here, so certainly we would like to hear from you.


AUGUSTINE:

Yes, I would like to respond to that. First of all, I would remind you again what we were asked to do. We were asked to offer options to the current program, and we've done that.

You have suggested that the options we've suggested take a step backwards. Four of the six options are a clear step forward. You spoke as if we have decided to stop the existing program. We've made no such recommendation. One of the options -- option three, if you will look at it -- is to continue the existing program, but to fund it adequately.

So I respect your -- your feelings, but I must question your facts.


GIFFORDS:

And, Mr. Chairman and Mr. Augustine, I think what this committee would like to see is really the full range of options, you know, continuing to fly shuttle, what the menu of options, fully funding Constellation. Where is that going to take us -- not that someday that the commercial space sector is going to step in and -- and be able to create something that they have yet to be able to create.

And we can -- you know, we can talk a little bit later and go over some of those options. I don't know. It's probably not the -- the right time to be doing this, but I would really like to be able, and I think committee members would really like to be able, to see with additional funding with Constellation, where does that take us? And I don't see that laid out in this -- in this report.
AUGUSTINE:

Fully funding the shuttle is option three -- excuse me, 4B. Fully funding the Constellation program is options three. And so the data is there.


GORDON:

Thank you, Mr. Augustine. And we will, as you say, in a -- in a couple of weeks hopefully we will have the full report, -- and I'm sure that we'll have some additional questions at that time. And hopefully, it will shed more light on some of Ms. Giffords' questions.

Mr. Rohrabacher is recognized.
ROHRABACHER:

Yes, thank you very much.

And that may congratulate Chairwoman Giffords for getting right to the point and hitting some very important elements that need to be discussed.
GORDON:

I'm glad you agree, because she took some of your time.


ROHRABACHER:

Well, she did.

(LAUGHTER)

Might I remind Mr. Augustine that, yes, heart surgery is expensive and they now have found other ways to do things. Rather than open heart surgery, they have endoscopic surgery, which is much cheaper and, quite frankly, sometimes some people say better than the old, more expensive approach.

What we were expecting from your report was something that might be cheaper or more -- more cost effective, and we didn't get it. And from what I -- what I am gleaning from what's being said and what I've been presented, that everyone agrees that there is a $3 billion shortfall in what we need to accomplish our goals.

Of what you have suggested as alternatives, other options, are any of those accomplishable without that shortfall?


AUGUSTINE:

Do you want to field that?


CROWLEY:

No.
ROHRABACHER:

OK. There you go. So -- so Ms. Giffords' observations that you are just saying this off the top of your heads -- not to say you don't have years of experience behind you as compared to years of action and research on this very issue -- you're presenting us something that doesn't have anywhere near the depth of what NASA has already put into this analysis. Isn't that correct?
AUGUSTINE:

Well, Sir, I -- I think if your point is is there as much analysis on a future program as on a program in being, the answer is always (inaudible).


ROHRABACHER:

Well, I would just suggest this. If you guys didn't come up with a new idea that in and of itself appears to be heading towards the solution, which is not that we aren't doing -- Constellation is a perfectly good program. It's just that we are $3 billion short.

Now, you didn't come up with anything. All of us know where are we going to come up with the money? That's really the question here. And are we going to borrow it from China simply by increasing the level of federal expenditures, borrow it from China and paid it back with interest?

I, for example, think that it might be -- we're throwing money around here in Washington now by the hundreds of billions of dollars. Maybe we should take the $150 billion that we gave to AIG and -- and consider that to be income and tax it at a 35 percent tax bracket. That would give us plenty of money -- plenty of those $3 billion a year that we need.

Yes, we've been throwing a lot of money around in this city, but we're shortchanging our space program. That's what it's all about. And I was hoping, frankly, that we would be getting more creative alternatives from you folks, rather than just alternatives that would leave us in the same situation -- $3 billion short of being able to accomplish it.
AUGUSTINE:

Well, we think we have given creative alternatives, and I'll ask...


ROHRABACHER:

But not -- but not to solve the basic problem, which is your short $3 billion.


AUGUSTINE:

Sir, the problem is that -- put it very simply, that with 60 percent more money, you can't go 60 percent of the way to Mars to declare a victory. It takes a certain amount of money. This comes in chunks, and the chunks are large.

And, unfortunately, we're in a situation where absent going to technology that we think would be very unsafe at this point in history, that there are no good programs and exploration for this amount of money.
ROHRABACHER:

Now, look, we have made mistakes. We have made mistakes in the past, long before a lot of these people were here. I remember advocating a single stage dewar, but which could have gone into two stage dewar, but which we believe could have dramatically brought down the cost.

We put our money in what? The X-33. And I'm sure you're very aware of what happened to the X-33 program. And we ended up -- it ended up a total waste of dollars as compared to we had an option then -- the DCX, which was there.

And according to what you have already told us today, it's much better to have something where you have something solid, rather than just something on a -- on a view screen. And we made that vital -- that incredible historic mistake back in 1996, I believe it was.

Well, we're hoping maybe in this round that you might come up with some other alternatives that would give us some creative approaches.
AUGUSTINE:

(Inaudible).


CROWLEY:

Well, Mr. Rohrabacher, that the -- what we actually uncovered was what we called in the committee the fundamental NASA conundrum.


ROHRABACHER:

OK.
CROWLEY:

Is that it doesn't have enough money to operate its base systems and building new one.
ROHRABACHER:

Well, and -- but then you had to come up with other options that still don't have enough money for your options. So really the basic problem is we don't have the money, and you're using that also to come up with your own suggestions by casting dispersions on the hard work that NASA did already owned the Constellation program.


AUGUSTINE:

Sir...
ROHRABACHER:

I -- I find Ms. Giffords' criticism to be totally justified.
AUGUSTINE:

I -- I would respectively say that I believe this committee does not cast aspersions on NASA in any way. We've offered alternatives. That's what we were asked to do. Each has pros and cons.


GORDON:

Ms. Fudge is recognized.


FUDGE:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Thank you both. I have a two-part question. The first one is because I'm new at this, I want to be sure I'm clear. As I look at your report, I -- are you actually recommending that NASA -- or proposing that NASA consider canceling the Ares 1 project, which in -- from my understanding is significantly safer than the space shuttle, and replace it with something else? I'm not -- help me understand that part first.
AUGUSTINE:

Yes, we have offered a number of options, some of which did not include Ares 1, some of which do include Ares 1. And with regard to the safety issue, Ares 1 has had enormous emphasis placed on safety. There's good reason to believe it will be a very safe vehicle.

But again, this time we're in the reverse position. We know the shuttle's safety record. We still don't know what Ares 1.
FUDGE:

So again, are you recommending that we stop with Ares 1?


AUGUSTINE:

At least one of our options recommends or contains that.


FUDGE:

OK. Then -- and let me just ask the second part of my question.

If -- in fact we've all talked about the -- the lack of -- of -- or that we don't have enough money to fund the programs we have. Let's just for sake of discussion say that we don't get the $3 billion or get the increase that we've been talking about we need. Tell me in your opinion what in fact will happen to NASA, just NASA overall, the various centers, the contracts with the workforce and this country if we don't fund it at a different level. What -- tell me what you see happening.
AUGUSTINE:

Well, that's a very good question. If we don't get additional funding, one option is to continue doing what we're now doing, continue the present program until, frankly, it falls off the cliff eventually for lack of money. And by that I mean we'll build Ares 1. We may build Ares 5, but we won't have a lunar lander and so on, or is the equipment we need on -- on the moon or Mars or wherever we end up.

NASA as a whole will continue, I would think, with a very strong robotic program, a science program, unmanned. The human space flight program will basically be confined to lower Earth orbit to support the space station as long as it stays up.

And it could have a very strong technology program to lay the groundwork for future humans to fly into space -- things like tool transfer in orbit, better understanding of -- of long duration effect on -- on humans in -- in orbit. But it will be a program, I think, that would inspire very few people. And the impact on NASA's workforce would be very large.


FUDGE:

All right. Let me -- let me just conclude with this, Mr. Chairman, is that I -- I find, too, that that's unfortunate, because I do support very strongly NASA's mission and a vigorous U.S. space flight program. So I thank you, Mr. Chairman.


GORDON:

Thank you, Ms. Fudge.


FUDGE:

Yield back.


GORDON:

Dr. Ehlers is recognized.


EHLERS:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I'm not from Texas or California or Florida, and I'm not married to an astronaut.

(LAUGHTER)

So I will try to be as objective as I can.

First of all, Mr. Augustine, I just want to thank you for the work you've done. I'm afraid some of my colleagues have given you a rough time, which you don't deserve. And I think you've done yeoman's work here.

The problem is not yours and not caused by your work or your committee's work. The problem is caused by the United States Congress, which is not willing to appropriate enough money to fulfill the dreams that we continually talk about having. And I think you've done yeoman's work under very difficult circumstances.

I was pleased to hear your comment about taking Mars off the table. I have always thought -- have been sitting here for a long time over the years wondering why we are -- are we even talking about going to Mars? It's such an incredible expense, particularly if we wish to send someone there and bring them back.

It would -- it would bleed our entire space program dry of money and remove all other possibilities, if we decide we're going to Mars fairly soon. I think we have to look very hard at other types of propulsion, which would get us there and possibly bring someone back, or resign ourselves to that whoever we send there is going to stay there, and our job from then on is to just send supplies there so that they can survive.

I -- I fail to understand why we should go to the moon again. We've been there. We know a good deal about its structure. I -- it just seems to me a very expensive venture. Again, is that really -- you know, people seem to think that we're going to the moon to have a launching pad to go to Mars. I don't see that that's particularly feasible either.

Another question is what role should the space station play? I mean, it's -- I -- I don't think it's a white elephant, as some do, but it's not at all clear that its scientific mission is worth the money we're putting into it, compared to the other things NASA could do with those funds.

One of -- my special concern is what about multi-nation effort? When I first came to the Congress at the request of Speaker Gingrich, I spent two years -- almost two years -- writing a science policy paper, which has guided our efforts to a certain extent.

But I pointed out in there that many of the big efforts in science and technology are -- have become so expensive that they of necessity are going to have to be multi-nation effort. We are following that track. We killed the Super-Conducting Super-Collider, and instead we combined with CERN on the Large Hadron Collider.

We have also taken other steps. For example, in the space station we have involved other nations, and we're only happy to take their money and their astronauts. The EDR reactor has been revived by Japan and France, and we are now joining them in trying to keep that going. We just didn't have the money or weren't willing to allocate the money to develop the EDR.

And so we are following that path in other areas. And I think NASA should be following the same path. I -- I think the era of -- of bragging rights by virtue of being first to do something -- I think that era is -- is no longer with us. And I think if we want to go to the moon, I would like to see it become a multi-nation effort, where we get a lot of contributions from other countries, and they can provide some of the people who would go there as well.

Mars is going to take a lot more work and a lot more money than anyone seems to -- to realize or at least say out loud. But until we -- until we get other sources of funds or the Congress is willing to really pay what it's going to cost, I don't see us making the steps that everyone has expressed here that we would like to take.

And I don't think we should berate you for what you're saying when we in fact are the major part of the problem, because we are simply not allocating the funds that would allow us to do what everyone says they want to do. I'd appreciate your reactions to those comments.
AUGUSTINE:

Well, thank you, Mr. Ehlers. I -- a couple of observations. You raised a point about the international space station. We've not talked about that much. I'd like to address that briefly and then ask Professor Crowley to talk about the flexible path option that is of interest, I think.

With regard to the international space station, I think we share your views down the line, particularly with regard to the importance of international programs. The early space -- human space flight program was one of competition. Today it's one of partnership.

And one of the options that we've offered in that I think we firmly, seriously believe in is that we should extend the ISS for another five years. We say that because we think there is a great deal of important technology to be gained. We believe that if we invested some money in science as opposed to just operations at building the station, which incidentally we could now do, that we would also get science benefits.

The -- but the bottom line on the international space station from our standpoint is that for us to withdraw from that according to the current plan would totally undermine our position in the international space community and undermine really the overall effort to carry out space activities.

That we pass Professor Crowley to address that.


GORDON:

To -- to -- quickly, if you have something to add.


CROWLEY:

Yes. Norm has just asked me to sort of fill in one bit of detail that in -- in the area of destinations for exploration, we were careful to point out that Mars is not the place we should go to, but the place we should go towards as a long-term goal, and that in order to get there, there are really two paths we have to follow.

We have to learn how to work on a planetary surface as we would at the moon, and we have to learn to work in free space and to spend longer and longer moving away from the Earth, exploring the near Earth objects passing by Mars and so forth.

And in fact, if we spent a decade going to the moon and then came back to you and said, "Well, should we now go on a 900-day mission," never having been more than 3.5 days away from the Earth, it's unlikely that we'd take that step.

So we have -- in terms of destinations we provided this option of the so-called flexible path of growing progressively beyond the Earth's sphere of influence up to and including into Martian orbit, alongside the option of going back to the moon, and that we should really create a program and an architecture for it that allows us to do both of these things in the future.
GORDON:

Thank you,

Dr. Ehlers, Mr. Hall wanted me to let you know he does not hold it against you that you were not born in Texas -- just against her parents.

(LAUGHTER)

And Dr. -- Dr. Griffith from Alabama is recognized.
GIFFORDS:

And Mr. Chairman -- Mr. Chairman, let me just -- supposed to add that my husband's taken.

(LAUGHTER)
EHLERS:

I'm also not interested.

(LAUGHTER)
(UNKNOWN)

I thought we'd ask.


GORDON:

OK.


Dr. Griffith?
GRIFFITH:

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Hall and committee members, thank you. I'm actually the district five in Alabama Marshall Space Flight.

I actually read this report, and -- and then I'm hearing that we're disappointed that the committee did not reach a conclusion for us. It sounds like the uncertainty that we were left with has bothered us, and maybe we're expressing that in a way that's coming out in a difficult manner.

It sounds to me as though we've made the decision. It sounds to me as though we are -- we as a country can look at our -- look at our checkbooks and see what we believe in. And the commission is pointing out to us that right now we're not believing in manned space flights.

They are saying to us that unless we are adequately funded, we can't do this on the cheap, pull back. It's not fair to our scientists, our young men and women who are interested in science. It's not fair to the country. It can't be done on the cheap. It's clear that it can't be done.

If we had the $3 billion and we started over again, we're five years behind. It seems to me that the committee report was very, very lucid.

It basically said we started this whole saying because of safety -- the Aries 1, the Ares 5, our heavy load vehicle, is essential; the Orion is to be kept; the lunar lander might be modified, but it certainly doesn't need much -- and that what we need as a people, as an American people, is that are we willing to accept the challenge from China, India, Russia and others?

We can do this. The technical difficulties are surmountable. We are on the road to success, unless we decide we don't want to open our checkbooks and fund it.

And so the point was made by Ranking Member Hall that if we can spend -- or we can afford a $787 billion stimulus package, but we can't afford $3 billion to meet the challenge of China -- and, respectfully, I disagree that we will not always be in a partnership with China, Russia or India, and I respectfully would submit that this is in fact national security, that the future of space is in its infancy, and so those who take the challenge -- and it's amazing to me that we sitting here in this room talking to some major scientists about we cannot afford to meet the challenge after what we've done over the last seven months.

So I think the report is clear. I think we've got enough information here to draw the conclusion. And as a cancer specialist, I've had to make decisions based on incomplete information all my life, and we will never have the complete information to draw the certain conclusion that allows us to sleep well every night.

But we must take the chance. We're on the way. Ares 1 is on the way. Orion is on the way. We know that the heavy load vehicle, Ares 5, is not an option for America. It's an essential for America.

And so I appreciate very much the commission's report. I think it gives us options, and the decision is will America step up as it did in the '50s, or do we want to lay back and watch -- watch China from our living rooms their equivalent of Walter Cronkite talk to us about how they -- they landed on the moon?

So I appreciate very much your being here and thank you.
GORDON:

Thank you, Dr. Griffith.

And Mr. McCaul is recognized.
MCCAUL:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I agree with the comments made just now. And we do have a challenge, and I think this commission has thrown the challenge right at Congress. And it's a funding challenge. And we've been saddling our children with tremendous debt over the past year, and in my view not investing enough in their future, in innovation, technology, science -- the security.

One thing the committee -- point the committee asserted I think is a very bold assertion that no plan compatible with the FY 2007 budget permits human exploration to continue in any meaningful way. And that was really at the outset. I think that is the challenge the committee has thrown at Congress.

My question is when you get to the $3 billion assessment, how did the committee arrive at that level of funding? And would NASA be able to support and sustain a credible human space flight program, including the Constellation program, at that level of funding?
AUGUSTINE:

We...
MCCAUL:

If I could add, also that's not one -- that's $3 billion over a period of time. You might want to -- you might want to also...
CROWLEY:

2014, yes.


MCCAUL:

You might want to clarify that, too.


AUGUSTINE:

Yes, I used $3 billion shorthand. We looked the -- we looked at a number of alternative profiles of building up budgets, and I should say that our original instructions in our charter was to abide with the current budget period. And we went back and got latitude. We couldn't do our job without looking at alternative excursions.

We looked at various families. The one that made the most sense, to be rather specific, was to increase through 2014 linearly up to addition $3 billion per year, and beyond that 2.4 percent, which we believe is a more realistic estimate of inflation, out through 2020 and beyond.

The -- we do think NASA conducted a sensible program with that amount of money. We also think that it's very important that the human space flight part of that program be separated from the science program, because the human space flight program being so large and having so many risks, when problems occur it tends to be that the science program. And that would not be constructive, in our view.

So the addition of $3 billion is about 15 percent increase overall or NASA. And we think that -- I think both Dr. Griffith and yourself have said it extremely well, and that is that this is a budget question, and we're trying to live out openly that we're on a path that's going nowhere.
MCCAUL:

And what we want to know as the authorizing committee, and I think that the gentlelady from Arizona put it very well also, is what -- is this $3 billion figure the amount recommended by this commission to fully fund the space flight program, including -- would that also include the Constellation program?


AUGUSTINE:

One option is to do the Constellation program, and the answer is yes, it could do that, in our view.


MCCAUL:

Yes, that's -- I think it's very helpful.

Also, you -- you mentioned the commercial cruise services could provide an earlier capability at a lower initial and lifecycle cost than the government could achieve. But recognizing maturity of the design and detail in the Ares and Orion systems already, the amount of infrastructure, capital investment that's been put into these programs, does that -- doesn't it seem kind of a stretch to assert that a credible commercial option at this point in time would achieve lower costs and to reduce schedule and time?
AUGUSTINE:

Let me ask my colleague to address that.


CROWLEY:

Well, I think our -- our best assessment, sir, is that it would be comparable in schedule and at lower costs, but not without risk to the government. And one of the -- the obvious risks to the government it would have is the fact that it would be a commercial venture, and commercial ventures don't always deliver not necessarily for technical reasons, but for business reasons.

So one of the other findings in the report is that even if we pursue a commercial crew path, that the government should always reserve a capability to deliver crew to orbit as well. And there are various ways of doing that by building different families of rockets, but we -- we were -- we thought it would be irresponsible of us to propose that we solely base the future of low Earth orbit access for crew on a commercial venture.
MCCAUL:

My time is about ready to expire, but just in -- in conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I hope we take a look at this commission's report and the amount that it's recommended in terms of authorization dollars to fully fund the space flight program. I think that's one of the strongest recommendations we have out of this. Thank you.


GORDON:

Mr. McCaul, I assure you this -- this discussion will -- will continue as we go through our authorization.

Ms. Edwards is recognized.
EDWARDS:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you to our witnesses today.

First, let me just say that I -- I share in our subcommittee chairwoman's comments that I expected something different all summer. And I haven't been on this committee long, but just been waiting almost with baited breath for the report so that we could move forward. And I feel like we're now in this kind of nowhere land.

And although I don't really have an interest in necessarily being the first to do something, I do think it's important that we're concerned that the something that we do is significant, that we've outlined a purpose, and then we say what is the budget that it takes to get us there.

And I feel like we were working back -- the committee in some ways was working backwards -- here's the money, and this is what we can do with it -- instead of setting -- saying, "Here's the -- the vision. This is what we want to achieve." And it isn't a destination. It's not a place. It's kind of bigger than that.

You know, is it -- is it -- what are -- what are the research and technology and scientific goals? And if it's the -- if it's the moon first and then Mars that gets us to that goal, that's a really different set of questions then just saying we want to go to the moon and we want to go to -- to Mars and setting forth a destination.

I really do worry that although you may believe that, you know, what you've outlined here are a set of options, every single headline that I've read over the last couple of weeks, you know, basically is saying we are going to ditch the human space flight program.

And so that's the message that's gone out to a public that's already heavily invested in the direction that we're heading now with -- with Constellation. That's the message that goes out in a very tough economic environment. It's the message that goes out to our scientists and -- and researchers, the civilians at NASA and our contracting community.

And I think it's -- it's really hard now, in fact, to regroup and to -- and to recoup some of the positive moving direction that many of us felt when the president upon his inauguration actually spoke positively about the need to invest in this kind of scientific research and technology and to carry out, you know, a vision, even a boilerplate one, that was laid out by President Bush, and setting another vision. And there's this degree of uncertainty now.

Now, I know that as a -- as a Congress and as an authorizing committee, we're going to have to come back and really digest this to figure out how to move forward.

But just as I -- I close, Mr. Augustine, I wonder if you could comment to us your assessment about the sustainability of the workforce and the skills to carry out human space flight, given the options that you laid out and whether the committee really looked at the implications for the workforce in -- in terms of being able to sustain it, both the civilian capacity within NASA, but also in our outside contracting community that might say, "Wow, they don't really know what they want to do with this program. Let's figure out some other business models."

And -- and I wonder as well if you could comment about the research and scientific and technical capacity with each of the options and how -- how, you know, one or two of them, if we pursue those directions, might maintain those over the course of the next several years as we get some of these systems back online.
HALL:

Will the gentlelady yield?


EDWARDS:

Yes.
HALL:

You know, I sure agree with what you're saying. I just -- you know, I don't think it hurts to have one old geezer in the United States Congress who remembers. And you don't remember, because you were probably in grade school at the time the United States of America bypassed its chance to be the technological leader in the entire world when we turned down a $500 million investment into Supercollider.

And as I look back on that -- that day, that $500 million, if I can -- I'm not much on math, there's -- Chairman, there's three things I couldn't do in math. That's add and subtract, so I'm not sure of that.

(LAUGHTER)

But -- but isn't half a million -- isn't $500 million a half of $1 billion? And we need $3 billion for several years here. If we just -- if we can't pay that and get more of the R&D percentage, we're letting this Congress down.

And when we point our finger at this commission here or at anybody else and don't know that there's three fingers pointing back at the United States Congress, we're the ones that haven't appropriated that money. We're the ones that haven't stepped forward to fund the space station in the way we should have funded it. And our children are the losers.

And we ought to take that on. And I'm not -- I'm not joking about a march on Washington. And it would be handled mostly by high school and college youngsters, because they're the ones that really know what they're losing. I yield back my time.


GORDON:

Mr. Augustine?


AUGUSTINE:

Yes, I'll try to be very brief.

You raised a number of good points that we should address, Ms. Edwards. With regard to the skills question, we view that in two contexts. One is the overall workforce and then just the basic employment issue. We also addressed that from the standpoint of unique skills that the nation needs to maintain, if it wants to be in the human space flight program.

Each option has a different impact in those areas, just as it does in most other areas. Some options have relatively little impact. Some have very large impact. The -- for example, continuing the space shuttle has the least impact in that area -- other options not so.

With regard to the research and science community, the issue I've testified before this committee before, so I won't repeat other than to say that in my view that's one of the most important issues that we're dealing with here is how to preserve that capability in this country.

And, finally, I would just note that again we have been asked to offer alternatives. We've offered only one conclusion. And the only conclusion we may is that the current program doesn't have enough money to be completed. Beyond that, we've offered choices for you and for the administration to make decisions. So you've got the tough job.


GORDON:

But all of those also need more money. Is that correct?


AUGUSTINE:

All the viable ones do, yes.


GORDON:

OK.


Thank you, Ms. Edwards.

And Ms. Kosmas?


KOSMAS:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

And thank you, Mr. Augustine, for being here, and -- and Dr. Crowley. I appreciate your hard work as well.

Many of the sentiments you've heard today are echoed by me, and I also appreciate the opportunity of having chatted with you prior to the appointment of the committee in the -- in the conference call, where we discussed what you would be looking at over that time period and your acceptance of my comments, since I wasn't able to be there when you were at Cocoa Beach near the Kennedy Space Center.

I have a sort of a practical question. I am, like everyone else, bemoaning the fact, quite frankly, that we didn't fund over the years the -- the programs that we've been assigned to do and that NASA was either unable to or unwilling to get the funding necessary to move forward with the -- with the parallel programs that made up the most current vision for manned space exploration.

But I wanted to ask something fairly specific. My colleague alluded to it, but I'm not sure that we actually got a specific answer in -- in light of the way it unfolded. But I wanted to suggest that the original criteria that you identified was part of your review was going to include an assessment of workforce and a summary of your -- your review included no specific reference to workforce issues.

So as you probably know, I serve as the representative for the Kennedy Space Center, and I'm very concerned about the need to preserve the highly skilled workforce that we have there. I think this has an immense impact not only on our local economy, but also across the nation, as many other communities are affected by the space program.

And I personally believe that it's essential that we maintain a professional and viable workforce in order that we can ensure the leadership of this nation and our innovation and competitiveness, which I think is also critical to national security as we move forward in space exploration.

So if you can suggest to me why originally it was, as I say, one of the criteria that you suggested you were going to address, that the summary does not speak to -- to the workforce. So can you discussed how the sustainability of the workforce and the expertise needed to pursue your human space flight options differs under the options that are proposed?

And also, of the options that you have forwarded to the administration, which one in your opinion offers the best protection for the human space flight workforce and the industrial base that we currently have?


AUGUSTINE:

Ed, would you love to address that?


CROWLEY:

Yes. Thank you for the question. Let -- let me explain that in the -- the final report, there will actually be an evaluation of these options against 12 parameters, which were just briefly mentioned: science, the contributions to technology, the preparation for exploration, the potential to involve internationals, the stimulation of the commercial community, the public engagement, the degree to which it engages the American people, the cost, the safety, the schedule and the workforce, so that in -- without going into all of that detail in the summary report, it will be forthcoming.

Now, specifically on the question of workforce, what we did is we looked at what the key skills are needed for our -- our future in space and how the options would preserve them or not -- or allow them to atrophy.

And they are the problem is that the -- the options -- the differing of the options tend to do different things. So, for example, the ones that continue to use the solid rocket boosters like Ares 1 and Ares 5 preserve that aspect of our national capability and workforce skills. Some of the other options tend to preserve other aspects of workforce skills.

The -- the one piece of -- that -- that does come through, however, is the options that have some variant or another that -- that preserve -- that extend the shuttle, or shuttle heritage systems do tend to preserve the workforce capabilities preferentially.
KOSMAS:

OK. I -- I appreciate that. It doesn't seem to be one of the ones that you have highlighted, however, as -- I know you tried to come with a balanced approach of these are the options and not really to suggest necessarily which would be your -- your first choice.

But I didn't notice in the recommendation or in the review that -- that you had made any specific comments with regard to recertification of the shuttle program or extension of the shuttle program, which, as you say, would preserve the workforce to the best -- to the maximum amount possible.

Did you investigate the option of research and find the -- the shuttle program for a complete recertification?


AUGUSTINE:

We did look at that. That's option 4B. And the recertification that we pointed to was the one that followed the recommendations of the Challenger failure analysis, the CAIB. And that option is present. It is, as my colleague says, is the one that's probably the least disruptive to the ongoing workforce. And it's also the only option that closes the gap.


GORDON:

Thank you, Mr. Augustine.

Ms. Johnson is recognized.
KOSMAS:

Thank you.


JOHNSON:

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Augustine, I really thank you for the report and -- and also thank you for agreeing to be a part of my science and tech brain to us next week. You did not make a specific recommendation, because that depends on a lot of things -- the money.

But, of course, I've read somewhere that we have exhausted much of the research possibilities into space station. I don't know how true that is, but I do know that the space exploration has given us more results than any other type of research that we can use. What is possible without that injection of money?

What do we have in the budget? (Inaudible) for NASA already? OK.

Not -- not being a -- I'm -- I'm certain that we don't have it, but we still might do it, but without the $3 billion and, say, one, what would be possible to do in a continual program?


AUGUSTINE:

The -- we looked at an option at $1.5 billion add-on, and the -- it does not permit you to conduct an active exploration program. It does permit you to continue the international space station out to 2020. It permits you to add some additional funds so that you can make more use of the space station while it's there. One of the problems so far is that the money has gone to constructing the space station, to maintaining it, not to using it. We now have an opportunity to use it.

With that amount of money, you also have the opportunity to rebuild the technology program at NASA, which has atrophied a great deal over the years. And so you could have a very strong science and technology program. You could continue the international space station. But there would be no exploration. We'd still be trapped 386 miles above the Earth.
JOHNSON:

Would we be able to continue to involve students now that is having a great effect as to that direction for the future?


AUGUSTINE:

I -- I think clearly that's one of the things we'd like to see done.


JOHNSON:

Are we -- well, I know that high school students especially are involved in a lot of the space exploration activity. What about future staff? Would you have to lay off people and they go someplace else and get grounded? And what would that do for encouraging young people to continue in -- in the science and engineering?


AUGUSTINE:

With the current program, I guess it would probably require some layoffs, but if you -- if we kept spending the same amount of money as we're now spending, we might need different kinds of people. But presumably you could have more or less the comparable workforce.

The -- one of the challenges that NASA has today is that the -- so much of their cost is fixed. Their -- their overhead is fixed. There's very little latitude to make these trades. A major layoff at NASA would be a very great de-motivation to young people considering going into the space program. I think it would be a very unfortunate thing.

At the same time I think it's our view that NASA really does need to address its overhead -- is its overhead to large, so that it doesn't have the latitude to do some of these exciting things.

I -- I would -- I lived through the restructuring of the aerospace industry with the end of the Cold War, when our industry lost 680,000 employees, dedicated people who made great contributions. But the industry had to do that in order to survive. And NASA may have to do some restructuring in its workforce to survive.
JOHNSON:

You know, the Johnson Space Station is extremely impatient to the state of Texas, and I just imagine wherever we have portions of it is just as important to them. If we have to make a reduction, do you have a recommendation as to how we do that? What -- what levels of activity and...


AUGUSTINE:

Do you want to?


CROWLEY:

We don't actually know is a simple answer. That was a layer of detail that we didn't get into. But we do have a finding in the report, which I think we would -- we would all strongly support on the committee, is that NASA really needs to be given some latitude to do its job.

It needs to be -- it needs to be able to allocate the resources and assigned tasks and develop the capabilities to prepare itself for going forward. And I think there's an important role in the Congress in -- in working with the administration, with the new administrator of NASA, to -- to realign the agency such that its skills and knowledge base are aligned with its goals.
GORDON:

Thank you, Ms. Johnson.

And Mr. Grayson is recognized.
GRAYSON:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

On September 12th, 1962, President Kennedy said words that I think we're all familiar with, some going to repeat them. He said, "We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept."

Let's assume that President Kennedy was right about the purpose of the space program. He was right to say that the purpose of it is to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills so that we push the envelope, we find out what human beings are capable of, and in doing so we learn more about the universe, about science and about ourselves.

If that's correct, which of these five options best serves that purpose?
AUGUSTINE:

I -- I believe I would say that any of the last three options -- three, four or five -- would satisfy that purpose. Each would have somewhat different costs, somewhat different risks, somewhat different objectives.

One option that we have raised that has generally not been raised in the past and that I don't want to endorse, but I point out only because it's different, is the last option called the flexible path option.

And, Ed, I would ask you to describe it. I think it would be of interest to the committee.


CROWLEY:

I -- I think I would agree with Norm that one of the things we struggled with, frankly, was the perception on the part of the American people. And we ran a very open process in this committee. We allowed postings, e-mail communication. We twittered and so forth.

The difficulty, as one of the members mentioned, of -- of explaining why it is that we're going back to the moon and that the options which structurally aren't very different -- you wouldn't build very different boosters; you wouldn't build very different capsules -- but framed the program in the -- in the sense that we're exploring space, that we're going to ultimately to Mars, that we're going to follow a flexible path and learn how to work in space to go beyond the sphere of influence of the Earth, to visit the asteroid that might cross our path and someday damage our planet, to go and -- and do a fly-by of Mars while also some time in the '20s setting foot again on the moon.

It created a context and a message that would really inspire people -- I think Americans -- to do the hard things, as the famous Rice University speech you quoted inspires us to think about.


GRAYSON:

All right. Tell me more. Tell me more specifically about why you think that the last three options, and particularly option five, would do so much to measure the best of our energies and skills, teach us more about ourselves and about the universe.


CROWLEY:

Well, we go into space for many reasons. One is to -- to understand our -- our place in -- in the universe, the common people, the American people to understand our place.

And we think that if we -- if we go progressively deeper into space, visiting on every opportunity new places, circling the moon once just to show our friends and competitors that we can do it, going and visiting places on the -- the beginning of the superhighway through the inter-solar system, going and visiting the asteroids, doing swing-bys of Mars, demonstrating that we can go deep into space and repair scientific observatories, much as the Hubble Space Telescope repair missions did in lower orbit, that these things will -- will create both the image and the reality that our space program is doing new, challenging, hard things.

Now, the reality is going to the surface of the moon is also hard. And we'll find how hard it was when we tried to do it 40 or 50 years. And we'll frankly find how lucky we were in going six times to the surface of the moon and returning the astronauts safely, as the president -- President Kennedy also.

So it -- it is -- it is -- there -- the challenge is more apparent. The -- the scientific return is more real. It will visit places we have not been. We'll work with robotic spacecraft in a new way by -- by circling planets and sending down probes and interacting with them.

So we really think that we did create some part of a new vision for the program in these -- what we call option five, the flexible path, at about the same expenditure and with about the same equipment that you would use in the other ones.


GRAYSON:

Mr. Augustine, do you want to add anything to that?


AUGUSTINE:

No, I think he's covered it very well. Thank you.


GRAYSON:

Thank you, too. By the way, in the same speech the president asked why does Rice play Texas? And I was wondering if the ranking member could address that.

(LAUGHTER)
GORDON:

Dr. Baird is recognized. Baird is recognized.


BAIRD:

I thank the chairman.

I think our witnesses for your outstanding work. I think you've performed a real service to the country, as you have done before, Dr. Augustine, with the "Above the Gathering Storm" report.
AUGUSTINE:

Thank you.


BAIRD:

I need, I think, to take just a second to observe that one of my colleagues said a moment earlier we've been doing a lot of deficit spending over the last year. My recollection was that the deficit was near zero -- in fact, there was a surplus when President Clinton left office and that the national debt doubled and the foreign borrowing of this country doubled during the administration of President Bush. So just -- I think records matter.

And I -- I just have to say it. I'm a passionate supporter of human space flight, but I think we have to pay for it. And I find it rather interesting that so many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, who have entertained folks over the last few weeks who have screamed about federal spending and the federal deficit, et cetera, are now saying, "Well, it's just -- I mean, it's just $3 billion -- just $3 billion."

I would just ask, first of all, did the prior administration ever fully fund or the prior congresses ever fully fund the space mission to meet the objectives laid out by the Bush administration?


AUGUSTINE:

That's a difficult question that we spent a lot of time trying to understand, and it's probably a good question for the GAO to investigate, and not for us.

But my understanding, as best as we could draw it, is that when the Constellation program was put together, the then administrator of NASA to -- I think made a genuine effort to find out what funds that NASA should be able to expect in the future and made a decision for a program based upon that honest attempt.

Whatever the reasons, there's not that much money available today. But there's subplots of this, and that is for the Ares program and the Ares -- Ares 1 program and the Orion program. In the near years, those programs will receive basically all the money that they were expected to get in the first place. So they didn't take a cut. NASA as a whole did take a cut.


BAIRD:

Did it receive sufficient money to enable us to achieve the goal of landing a man on Mars and returning them safely to Earth?


AUGUSTINE:

If -- if you take the number that the then administrator of NASA was using, and I'm not going to try to argue whether he had a reason to believe that are not -- he could speak to that -- but you would have had enough money, in our opinion. As it's turned out, there is not that much -- enough money.


BAIRD:

OK.
(UNKNOWN)

The problem also is the balloon mortgage. There may have been enough money a long time, but it ballooned.
BAIRD:

I understand that well, and that was the next point -- you know, the -- the out-year costs. I mean, we saw the sketches of those missions and astronauts happily working under large geodesic domes that were somehow transported up there by massive vehicles and landed softly and then constructed in a non-friendly atmosphere.

It was, you know, as if we had transported these giant cranes up, and that's -- that's a significant lift capacity that I don't think we have, but -- but I commend you for being honest with this body, and I wish this body would be honest with itself and say we can't on the one hand decry federal deficits and then on the other hand say, "Oh, it's just $3 billion," and which leads to my next point.

Would you support repealing tax cuts to fund this?

(LAUGHTER)
AUGUSTINE:

Sir, that's beyond my pay grade. I'm sorry.


BAIRD:

Maybe I should ask some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, who decry the spending.

Mr. -- Mr. Griffith -- Dr. Griffith had it right, and I think you gentlemen have it right. We got to fish or cut bait. And I believe passionately that it is the -- the mission of our species to explore and to actually leave the solar system at some point, but it's going to cost us. And we have to decide whether we want to spend that.

And I believe it's -- it's the mission of this country to lead the world in that. We are going to fall behind. I think it's very likely that my kids are going to watch somebody from another country walk on the moon, whereas I watched Americans walk on the moon.

But we can't have it both ways. We can't have multiple unfunded wars, continue the expansion of entitlement programs, continued tax cuts, and then say we want a few billion dollars here or there to expand our science effort. We can't have it.

We're going to have to decide what's worth paying for, and I think you've done this nation a great service by -- by owning that and -- and saying -- and making us look in that mirror. And I applaud you for it.

I think it's worth spending. And if it is worth spending, it's worth paying for, and we have to decide how to do it. But it is not worth saying we're going to add another $3 billion in debt to our kids so that we don't have to pay the taxes today. That's not worth doing. I thank you, and I yield back.
GORDON:

Mr. Wu, you're recognized.

WU: Thank you very much.

Mr. Baird, I thought you were a psychologist, not an economist. That's the dismal analysis, but economic reality.

I'd -- I'd -- perhaps it's in the spirit of continuing human space exploration at levels we can afford that I want to ask this question or this set of questions. I know that you all would prefer not to recommend between the different options that you've laid out in the report, but I'd like to ask you about the different consequences that the different options have for international -- in two ways -- competition, cooperation.

I -- I think that there is some -- there is tremendous potential for real competition developing between the different spacefaring nations, and there's some prospect for cooperation also and -- and therefore in sharing some of those costs and having a true human human space effort, if you all could -- could both address the consequences of the different options for cooperation and competition internationally.


AUGUSTINE:

Mr. Wu, let me address the basic point and then ask my colleagues to address the specific options. I think the basic point is that there are many, many advantages, we think, to international cooperation. We believe that the ISS has been extremely successful in setting up a management structure that involves a very large number of nations -- I think it's 17 now -- that works.

And that management structure we believe could be broadened to go pursue exploration programs beyond Earth orbit, low Earth orbit. And so we believe the basis is there, if we don't destroy it by shutting down the space station suddenly.

Turning to the individual options briefly...


CROWLEY:

Yes, I -- I would agree with -- with Norm. The -- what we very clearly heard was that the basis for any real international venture in space was to deliver our obligations on the space station, that -- that this was -- this was an essential step in -- in the future, and to dedicate the space station in the decade or so which we imagine it to -- to operate in the future, to -- to addressing many of the technical issues that we'll have to face in exploration and developing the technologies and demonstrating them in the space station.

With respect to the -- the specific options, I don't think that the -- the options that we presented really distinguish themselves greatly by the degree to which we could involve international partners in them.

WU: Let me just jump in. If you look at the other nations' priorities, don't some of them emphasize, say, a landing on the moon rather than not going deeply into the gravity realm?


CROWLEY:

I -- I think that we didn't see a strong indication of that. We -- we saw that they were looking for America to provide leadership, that they're comfortable with American leadership in international space endeavor, and that they -- they look for us to sort of at least initially lay out a course that involve them very early in that process and structure the program, whichever one of the options is chosen, so that they can play real meaningful roles. We heard this very frequently from the international partners.

And, you know, there are real assets there. If we look at the -- that combined space agency budgets of even just -- we'll call it -- our traditional allies, they represent now a substantial fraction of the NASA budget collectively.

WU: Now, does that include India and China, or both India and China are outside the 17 nation...


CROWLEY:

No, they -- they are not involved in the space station now, although there's some interest in extending to them. But -- if you just looked at the budgets of the European Space Agency and its member states, its principal member states, France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and -- and Japan, you would already have about 60 percent of the budget of NASA.

And you would have real capability. I mean the robotic capability of the -- of the Canadians, the propulsive capability of the Europeans, the on orbit robotics and laboratory capability of the Japanese. One could craft a global enterprise here, which America could lead.

WU: And if you'd added India and China to that budgetary mix, would you be coming up close to 100 percent?


CROWLEY:

Well, the next principal one is -- is the Russian program, which, of course, is...

WU: But they are in.
CROWLEY:

They're -- they're in now.

WU: Yes.
CROWLEY:

It's a little bit more difficult to assess because of buying power parity. The Indians -- the Indians -- they still have a modest program. The Chinese -- it's a little hard to define exactly how large their program is, as you might know, because of the way they budget or don't -- don't budget for the -- reveal the budgetary details.

WU: They do work with non-Arabic numerals.
CROWLEY:

Yes.


(LAUGHTER)

WU: No, it's...


GORDON:

Thank you, Mr. Wu.

And, Ms. Jackson Lee, you were patient, and you'll be our clean- up hitter.
JACKSON LEE:

Mr. Chairman, allow me to thank both you and the ranking member for your courtesies, as well as the members of this very, very fine committee.

I am an alumnus of the committee, but my heart is very much engaged in this process. And I'd like to think that I'm not from California or Texas or I'm not from Florida, but I am from America. And I believe this is an American question about where we stand as relates to our next step.

I know Mr. Augustine, and -- and you're very right, reading from your opening statement, that you were assigned the task -- the committee was assigned the task to identify alternative courses that the U.S. might pursue in the area of human space flight.

Were you dictated early on about how you should conclude? Did your task include the elimination of the human space flight and here's where we'd like you to find yourself? Were you given those kinds of instructions?
AUGUSTINE:

We were given no direction of any kind like that.


JACKSON LEE:

So there was no bias that you felt that came from in particular the administration or -- or any -- anyone that you had to report to?


AUGUSTINE:

I need -- I need to say that we were told -- I was given no bias of any kind except that in our initial job description, if you will, we were told to abide by the budget runout through 2020 that we were given, and we were told to phase out the shuttle in 2010. And when I saw that, I went back to the administration and said that, you know, we can't do our job if we're given that kind of constraints. And they very quickly said, "Fine. Go ahead."


JACKSON LEE:

Excellent. And I know that...


AUGUSTINE:

So no, we had total freedom.


JACKSON LEE:

I'm going to be rapid-fire with my questions. In your travels to our different centers, did you find qualified and competent staff, degreed individuals capable and competent in terms of research and cutting-edge technology?


AUGUSTINE:

Absolutely. I've worked with those people all...


JACKSON LEE:

So we have some positive assets in the respective centers.


AUGUSTINE:

Without question.


JACKSON LEE:

I would just want to put on the record a quote by the president -- President Kennedy -- that said we do those things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

So here's my overall question. It seems as if we have nailed the -- we've got the hammer, we're hitting the nail, and the nail now is $3 billion, that if we were to be given that $3 billion right as we speak and we then follow one of your other instructions, which is the possibility of restructuring in terms of looking closely at our overhead, recognizing the human resources that we have, do we have a viable program in the Constellation?
AUGUSTINE:

Yes, I think so. I think our committee believes so.


JACKSON LEE:

So then in essence we have -- we have a road map. I'd like to -- to suggest that that road map includes failure is not an option. And when I say that, I believe that we may possibly, as we move forward in space, have to go it alone. I'm a big believer in our collaborators. I've worked on this committee when our collaborators were very active on particularly the international space station.

Do you perceive as having the present skill sets of NASA employees and supporting -- support staff, academicians and others, to be able to design a 21st-century, 22nd-century space program?
AUGUSTINE:

There are some unknowns yet that have to do with the effects of cosmic radiation on the human body, long duration exposure to zero G's and then moving into a gravity well, so there are some unknowns, but the general answer would be yes, we have the talents available to have a fine exploration program..


JACKSON LEE:

And a quick question. Is there value in America's space program -- human space program in particular?


AUGUSTINE:

The simple answer to that is yes, but before I think you were able to join us, we talked a little bit about the reasons we feel that way, but it would seem to us there -- there is value. And I have to caution, of course, that all 10 of us come from the world of the space program.


JACKSON LEE:

And I understand. And I was here when you said inspiration, education. I would rather focus on -- as I conclude, I do believe this is going to be a national security issue. And I'm now on Homeland Security. I would rather us be the leaders in space for a variety of reasons, because of the values of this nation, because we are kind, because we believe in, if you will, a attitude of peace as opposed to aggressive actions, in this instance against Earth.

And, frankly, with the talent that you say is present in our space centers around America, it would be a shame to re-create the I -- the MAX movies when they go to Florida and Alabama and Texas and other places and see rusting space centers.

I think you have given us a road map. I think the president and the White House have something to work with. And I believe this Congress has an obligation to the American people to find $3 billion.

Whether or not we do it in a bipartisan manner, which I think we absolutely can, I think it is an absolute imperative that we encourage the brilliance and the scientific abilities of those who are working in space -- space exploration now to continue their work, to be funded, and to use some of the instruction that you've given us to make it the most solid world space program that the world has ever seen.

And, Mr. Chairman, I -- I thank you for allowing me to be an American today and at the same time being a Texan, because we sure want the space station and the space program and human space flight to survive. Let me thank you and yield back.


GORDON:

Thank you, Ms. Jackson Lee. You're always welcome back here.

And so in conclusion, let me say, Mr. Augustine and Dr. Crowley, thank you for spending the afternoon with us. More importantly, thank you for the work that you put into this report.

This committee has a very serious responsibility this year, providing a NASA authorization which will really made the foundation for the future of NASA for if not the coming decade, the couple of decades. So we want to continue with this discussion. We -- we're going to try to get it right, and we appreciate you helping us.

And so we'll now call up our second panel.
AUGUSTINE:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.


GORDON:

We are on the timeframe here, so I would hope everybody would make their well wishes crisp. And the second panel will take their seat, and we'll get started as soon as Dr. Griffin takes his seat. Thank you.

OK. Thanks for your patience. And I think, hopefully, you found the first panel as informative as we did. And as we introduce our witnesses here, first Vice Admiral Joseph W. Dyer, who is the chair of NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel and the president of the Government and Industries Robot Division at iRobot Corporation.

Thank you for joining us.

And also we have Dr. Michael Griffin, who served as NASA administrator from 2005 to 2009 and now has the glamorous title of eminent scholar and professor for mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

So welcome you both.

And, Admiral Dyer, you know the rules here. Won't you perceive?
DYER:

Thank you very much, Chairman Gordon, Ranking Member Hall, distinguished members. Thank you for the opportunity to be with you today. I respectfully request to submit a written statement and would note that in that written statement that we reference the 2008 ASAP report submitted to this panel earlier this year.


GORDON:

Without objection.


DYER:

I will present the views of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel today, and I will emphasize the remarks that we also shared -- the panel shared via -- with the Augustine committee on 14th of July of this year. I will restrict my remarks to safety and safety related opportunities and issues.

In general, we are very respectful and appreciative of the work that Dr. Augustine and the panel have done. We do note that the tempo and time limits of their consideration of safety, and we think that additional focus and energy in that arena is important.

The summary report does, as we discussed in the first panel, reference current plans for the Constellation program against a number of conceptual alternatives. And here we would offer a word of caution that you've heard already. That is that power point will always outshine programs of record. But it's worth pausing for a minute and looking at why is that the case. Why is that true?

I would submit, sir, that it is that professional peer and public reviews during the accomplishment of real work of program of records highlight technical challenges. They discover cost stress. They reveal the realities of conducting high-risk business in an unforgiving environment. And highlighted and publicized are all the challenges of peering out a program.

Future concepts, conceptual concepts do not yet have the benefit of this reality testing. Therefore, we believe that any new design must be substantially better to justify starting over.

Speaking of starting over, we believe that doing so surely and substantially would extend the gap of the nation's ability to transport humans into space. The -- the ASAP does not -- I'll emphasize that again -- does not support extending the shuttle beyond its current manifest.

Also discussed in the report of the Augustine committee is the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services project. We believe that NASA needs to take a more aggressive role in articulating human rating requirements to the COTS project.

There is the project -- COTS projects are not currently subject to human rating standards. There's no proven ability to transport -- that they will be able to transport NASA personnel in a satisfactory function as of yet, and there's no indication that it could close the gap between shuttle and a future program.

We do agree strongly with the panel in two areas, and that would be both budget and unmanned systems. The imperative to achieve a better harmony among requirements, resources and acquisition strategy is something that should be undertaken with great speed and great interest. Without it, there is inevitable pressure to shortcut good process in the face of budget shortfall, and it is the most damning infliction upon proper safety and good design.

We also agree that unmanned systems have a strong role to play both stand-alone and integrated with astronauts. Historically, the scientific community has been the user of unmanned systems -- much so manned space. NASA will be better served, we believe, by developing a better process by which manned and unmanned systems are integrated. And undertakings as diverse as construction and mining, we believe, demands the case.

We would like to see more emphasis on the next major program, be it a continuation of Constellation or an alternative, to have strong, strong emphasis on safety. And we note that major change is most often rides upon the back of dedicated people with a major program had a strong role to play.

Mr. Chairman, perhaps the most important message I would like to share with you today is that the panel would make a case or would hope to champion a broader discussion of risk. Let's be honest. Lives will be lost in the human exploration of safe -- of space. We're lucky to have brave men and women that are willing to undertake that challenge.

But the panel believes that there is a need for greater dialogue about risk and that NASA, the White House and the Congress must all shoulder the burden of risk and the necessity of being more transparent with the citizens of our country regarding that risk.

In closing, Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member Hall, distinguished members, we would note that the new NASA administrator, Charlie Bolden, has been a member of our panel for the last several years. We take great comfort and great confidence in his standing the watch at this time and look forward to his leadership. Thank you, sir.
GORDON:

I think that our confidence will be well-founded.

Dr. Griffin, you're recognized.
GRIFFIN:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Chairman Gordon, Ranking Member Hall, members of the committee, thank you for inviting me here today for this important discussion. If there is anywhere in Washington where I feel at home, it's in front of this committee.

You've asked for my perspective on the report of the committee to review U.S. human space flight plans, or their summary report, and the issues that you should consider as it deliberates on the future of U.S. human space flight.

Now, I addressed many of those technical and programmatic concerns in the summary report in my written testimony, which I would like to enter for the record.
GORDON:

Without objection, so offered.


GRIFFIN:

And I'd be happy to answer any questions I could during your later question-and-answer period, but I want to focus a few thoughts on my opening statement on other matters.

The future direction of our nation's space enterprise matters greatly to everyone here, and that was obvious from the prior discussion that -- that you really care. Well, we really care as well.

As the committee pointed out, as the Augustine committee pointed out, human space flight is fundamentally about a strategic goal of human expansion into the solar system. The last time human beings contemplated decisions with such momentous future impact, the result was the settlement of the New World by Europeans.

We're here today because they made the decisions that they made. And I think we want to create the kind of a world where our remote descendants would be able to say the same thing. At least that was the path we were on until the release of NASA's five-year runout projection this past May.

At this time a year ago, as I discussed with this committee, the original budget for exploration as put forth had already been he wrote it by some $12 billion to pay for other things. The budget submitted this past May be roads that further to -- to the point where some $30 billion has been now, if those plans were to go forward, removed from space exploration plans in the future.

This has been amply noted in the hearing so far. I won't comment further. The issue is money. That issue renders moot all other debate as to whatever destinations we might pursue, whether they are the moon, near asteroids, Mars, or any debate about how we might get there.

On the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11, this is a sobering thought. Coming so soon after the Columbia accident and two authorization acts by the Congress to set NASA on course to carry out worthy and inspirational endeavors, I hope I'm not the only one who finds it shameful that we're in this position.

I'm reminded of the warning made by the young President Kennedy before a joint session of Congress on May 25th of 1961, when he called upon our nation to go to the moon. If we were to go only halfway or to reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in my judgment it would be better not go at all.

Congress and the nation then responded. But with the budget in front of us, we're poised to behave not like the Kennedy administration, but the Nixon administration, where after spending literally a fortune to develop the spaceships of Apollo, we threw them away. We spent 80 percent of the money building them, 20 percent of the money using them, and they're gone.

So do today's leaders want to be remembered like John Kennedy or Richard Nixon? That's the choice before us. Which choice best serves America? I think that's a rhetorical question.

So I believe the recommendation that matters most from the Augustine committee is this. Quoting, "Meaningful human exploration as possible under a less constrained budget ramping to approximately $3 billion a year above FY 2010 guidance and total resources."

Well, while this may seem like a lot of money, I think I'd like to put it in perspective. If we had just kept NASA level in constant dollars since 1993 across two presidential administrations, no gains and no cuts, we'd have more money in the NASA budget today than the Augustine committee is recommending we put there now.

Can anyone tell me -- can anyone here tell me what as a nation we bought with the money we supposedly saved by cutting the budget for NASA in the last 15 years? I know what we bought with Apollo, and I can tell you what has been lost from NASA in the last 15 years as a result of those cuts.

So the question is does this Congress believe strongly enough in that direction that it set into law with the NASA authorization act of 2005 and 2008? I hope so. Time is of the essence. OMB starts making decisions -- concrete decisions -- in November, and they become very hard to reverse.

The NASA administrator simply one voice among many when asking for resources from the administration. A stronger voice comes from you ladies and gentlemen speaking with one voice that NASA's budget needs an increase.

Back in 1994, we've embarked upon an experiment of cutting the NASA budget by 20 percent in real dollars. I think we're here today because we didn't like how that experiment turned out. Do want to keep doing it?

I will conclude. I will conclude by saying again that the question before us -- pardon me -- I will close by saying that that comment which was first asked in the halls of Congress 40 years ago -- if we are to go only halfway or to reduce our sights in the face of difficulty, in my judgment it would be better not to go at all. Thank you.


GORDON:

Thank you, Dr. Griffin. I will remind you that Congress did appropriate every dollar that the last few -- or over the last few years that they've been asked to.

Dr. Dyer, in your statement you made a very definitive statement concerning no extension of the shuttle. Now, is that period or was that in context to 2020 and that -- and would you extend it, if it was recertified or if there was a mission or two missions that came up in the next, you know, short period that seemed to be very important. Is there still a period that you wouldn't go one more?
DYER:

Three quick comments with regard. The -- the first is the thing that scares us most is that kind of serial extension, point number one. Point number two, we take this position because we think the risk is more than we should -- we should ask folks to shoulder, and we don't think there is full transparency with regard to that risk.

Thirdly, the time to extend the shuttle in the panel's opinion was several years ago, when the supply chain was still intact and when there was an opportunity to move forward with a major program. A number of folks, myself included, who have -- who participate on the panel, have been or have lived through the extension of a number of Department of Defense aircraft programs after they were supposed to terminate. It is never a good experience..

I would also offer one other caution. Could you with significant money and with recertification extend the shuttle? Yes. Money would be impressive. It would have to go well through the supply chain, and the risk of finding things demanding even more resources during recertification is a real risk.


GORDON:

Well, I -- I think that's a thoughtful answer, but I -- you know, and I can understand the incremental of going one more, one more. With that same thought, I mean is the amount we have the perfect amount -- one out, one less? I mean, should not that decision maybe be reviewed at the time rather than this far out?


DYER:

You know, we say in the military world that the operational commander always has the authority to proceed in the face of absolute requirements. And it would be an equivalent position, in the opinion of the panel. The shuttle is risky. It is becoming more so, and extension beyond that which is planned through the current manifest we believe would be unwise.


GORDON:

Thank you. Excuse me. Thank you, sir.

And, Dr. Griffin, in your written statement you said that you believe that the approach you've laid out would -- pardon me -- in -- within your statement, do you believe that the approach you laid out would deliver a viable Constellation based exploration program under the same level of budgetary augmentation as the Augustine panel proposed?
GRIFFIN:

I am not sure I understand the question. I do agree with the Augustine panel's...


GORDON:

Mic -- microphone.


GRIFFIN:

I'm sorry. I'm not sure I fully understand your question. I -- I do agree with Norm's conclusion that if $3 billion a year were added to the program, that the nation could have a -- a viable space exploration program continuing the Constellation development and featuring a return to the moon sometime in the early to mid-2020s, with other destinations as possible choices according to the flexible path option, if so desired by the policymakers of that time.


GORDON:

I am for -- because we may be called, and I want everybody to have an opportunity to participate, Mr. Hall, you're recognized for five minutes.


HALL:

Thank you, sir.

Mr. Griffin, you have a history of long service to the nation, and particularly to NASA. I don't know of anybody that I think knows more about NASA or has more interest in it and gave more hard time to it then you've given, and I appreciate it.

Do you remember when President Clinton came aboard? Is it your recollection that he put Vice President Gore kind of in charge of overseeing the -- the NASA thrust?


GRIFFIN:

I do know that NASA's primary interface in that time was with Vice President Gore, and it was to Vice President Gore that our space station redesign plan and -- and associated inclusion of Russia in the partnership was -- was primarily briefed. Yes, sir.


HALL:

And do you remember that Gore came to this committee and told us that we had to have a 25 percent cut in our budget?


GRIFFIN:

I believe that was Mr. Golden who...


HALL:

No, I think Mr. Gore did it -- said that to Mr. Golden.


GRIFFIN:

That may well have been, sir. I don't -- I was not involved in that discussion.


HALL:

But you remember the discussion took place. It was in the papers, and everybody knew about.


GRIFFIN:

Yes, I do remember.


HALL:

And -- and do you remember that Sensenbrenner and -- and Mr. Boehlert were chairman and -- and first runner-up over on the Republican -- on the Democratic side?


GRIFFIN:

Yes, I...


HALL:

And on the Republican side, then...


GRIFFIN:

I sat in front of Mr. Sensenbrenner on more than one occasion.


HALL:

Boehlert was more of a Democrat than he was a Republican, but he's a good man and did a good job, and I like him. I don't have anything against them, but he was -- he was chairman and Sensenbrenner was his -- I don't know what to call Sensenbrenner.

(LAUGHTER)

He was second in command there, I suppose -- yes, that was it. And over on the Democratic side was a guy named George Brown, and -- and I was his first lieutenant, I guess the way it was.

And we with Boehlert -- I believe we all four agreed that we would tell Golden to -- to cut that budget skillfully or we were going to cut it with -- with a butcher knife or baseball bat, unskillfully. We didn't know how to cut it that far without endangering the safety of the pilots, and for him to cut it, and if he didn't cut it, we were going to. And do you remember that he did cut it?
GRIFFIN:

Yes, sir, I do.


HALL:

What -- about what percent do you remember that he cut it to?


GRIFFIN:

Well, during the 1990s the NASA budget was reduced in real dollars by about 20 percent.


HALL:

Do you have -- have any recollection of -- of the budget cut being in excess of 30 percent?


GRIFFIN:

No, sir.
HALL:

What -- how much did -- did Mr. Golden during his tenure cut the budget? What percent?
GRIFFIN:

Well, NASA I -- I would have to say, sir, having been one, that NASA administrators neither raise nor cut the budget. I would say that the only thing I could honestly say is that during the 1990s that NASA budget went down by about 20 percent in -- in real dollars.


HALL:

From what it was when...


GRIFFIN:

From what it was in 1993.


HALL:

Did that have any effect on -- on the program, on the NASA program? And if so, what was that effect?


GRIFFIN:

Well, it -- the -- the effect over the last decade and a half of that downtrend has been to damage the efficiency with which NASA's programs have been executed and to stretch them out, because as I think you gentlemen know quite well, when we cut budgets, we -- we hardly ever remove corresponding programs from the suite of activities.

Federal agencies are directed to continue their programs at a -- at a slower pace to fit the available budget. And that is greatly damaging to the efficiency.
HALL:

And I think it was our feeling at that time that Mr. Golden probably did a good job of cutting the budget, but what was the effect of it?


GRIFFIN:

Well, again to cause most programs to stretch out and to -- to cause our operations to continue with less efficiency than would have been desired. The earlier speakers made the point that NASA has too much overhead. I agree. NASA has the overhead associated with a larger agency.


HALL:

And do you remember that NASA was taking a lot of hard looks from the public at that time and from some people close to NASA that were taking a dim view of the NASA thrust to the extent that this Congress came within one vote of -- of destroying the space program in this country. Do you remember that?


GRIFFIN:

I remember we came within one vote of losing the space station.


HALL:

And it seems to me we've been going downhill ever since, despite the hard work that you put in on it and the money that you've asked for it and the money that you've almost demanded for it and that we haven't really backed you up in that we have not, as I use the term, scratched and clawed and fought for those advance, that $3 billion per year advance over what we are spending, which is a small percent of the overall R&D that -- that anything as important to this country, important to the youth of this country, the future of this country, as our space program.


GRIFFIN:

Yes, I agree.


HALL:

Are you going to comment on that some?


GRIFFIN:

Well, I -- I think it is, as Mr. Gordon pointed out, Chairman Gordon pointed out, the last president did not request the -- the funds necessary. The one before that did not request the funds necessary, and the current president is not requesting the funds necessary. And I believe the question for the Congress will be do you wish to go along with that or not?


HALL:

So you really and truly put it right back on the Congress, don't you?

(LAUGHTER)
GRIFFIN:

Sir, Article I gives Congress the power of the purse.


HALL:

I agree with you. And I think we can do better. And I think we've got to start doing better. We've got to start making some demands on something as important as the space program is to the United States of America and to the free world.

I yield back my time.
GORDON:

Thank you, Mr. Hall.

Just to briefly continue on your history lesson, in 1993 President Clinton and Vice President Gore inherited at that time what was the world's largest budget deficit. They turned that deficit in five years into a surplus that actually started paying down the debt. They did that not by having a vendetta against NASA, but rather having to make tough choices and cuts across the board, passing things like limited number of time -- time you could be on welfare, and made tough choices.

I think our country -- I just want to put that in perspective. Hopefully, we can start getting back to a surplus soon, paying down the debt.


HALL:

Would the chairman yield?


GORDON:

Yes, sir.


HALL:

It's my recollection that that was done with a Republican Congress, and that's when I switched parties.

(LAUGHTER)
GORDON:

Well, actually, Mr. Hall, that was done without a single Republican vote. And -- and -- but I don't -- and we don't need to get into that past history, but that's...

(LAUGHTER)
HALL:

I'm going to lose every battle I have with the chairman. He's got the gavel.

(LAUGHTER)
GORDON:

Well, that was then. Now is now. And we're trying to -- trying to move forward.

And Ms. Giffords is recognized.
GIFFORDS:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Hall and Admiral Dyer, Dr. Griffin.

We've heard a lot here today, and without dispute the thing that -- that brings us together is really our love for our manned space flight program and for the hard work that's done by NASA. So there is strong support.

But specifically, were in this room today to -- to talk specifically about this Augustine report. And all of us respect Norm Augustine. This man is an extraordinary asset to our country. I, like many, talk about the "Gathering Storm" report as one of the real road maps that we have to U.S. competitiveness.

But that being said, I think it's important to -- to actually read the language. And I don't know how many of the committee members actually took the time to read the summary report. It's not specifically long. It is -- it is somewhat complex.

But, Mr. Chairman, if you'll allow me, it -- it -- quoting directly from page six, "The current Constellation program plan is to use the government operated Ares 1 launch vehicle and the Orion crew capsule. However, the committee found that because of technical and budget issues, the Ares 1 schedule no longer supports the ISS."

Again, let me repeat. "Because of technical and budget issues, the Ares 1 schedule no longer supports the ISS." We heard Mr. Augustine today say that basically no other option or alternative actually at this point with the funding levels currently would support the ISS either.

Going on, "The United" -- this is on page seven -- "The United States needs a way to launch astronauts to low Earth orbit, but it not -- does not necessarily have to be provided by the government. As we move from the complex reusable shuttle back to a simpler, smaller capsule, it is an appropriate time to consider turning this transport service over to the commercial sector. This approach is not without technical and programmatic risk, but it creates the possibility of lower operating cost for the system and potentially accelerate the availability of U.S. access to low Earth orbit by about the year of 2016. The committee suggests establishing a new competition for the service in which both large and small companies could participate."

So that's really where I think there's a misunderstanding and miscommunication takes place. And I'm sorry that Mr. Augustine isn't with us, but I guess I have some serious reservations about the willingness of the committee to essentially bet the farm on a yet to be developed commercial crude capability to support the ISS in the lower Earth orbit -- LEO, as we refer to it.

I think everyone here supports a commercial space sector. I think we all want to see that develop, and we hope that happens. But I don't believe that we can be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars if we let hope and ideology trump the evidence.

And specifically on the one hand, the report asserts that the commercial system could accelerate the availability of -- of U.S. access to LEO by about a year. But on the other hand, I see that the commercial companies that are trying to achieve essentially a much less challenging objective of delivering not people, but actually cargo to LEO are struggling.

For example, the NASA data indicates that SpaceX, a fine company doing incredible work out in California, has now flipped their readiness review for their first demonstration mission by almost two years from they are initially planned date.

And another illuminating data point in Dr. Ride's scenario affordability analysis charts -- she states that one of the review committee's assumption was, and I quote, "an additional $200 million was added to the COTS cargo baseline in fiscal year 2011 to incentivize current COTS cargo demonstration."

Now, given that the companies involved in COTS in this demonstration project were just awarded $3.5 billion as the contract to transport the cargo to ISS, how on Earth -- how on Earth did the -- the review panel justify giving them another $200 million?

And -- and again, I just want to find out if that $3.5 billion is not enough of an incentive and how can we especially have confidence in this report when looking at this commercial alternative, there are no specifics in terms of the safety for the crew, the costs actually as well that's going to go into, you know, developing this, and all of those specifics and details that NASA is responsible for, but we really don't see presented in this.

So I, you know, I -- I turn to the chairman and two members of the panel to make sure that I'm understanding this correctly. And -- and again, I know that you didn't, you know, come up with the report, but, you know, if you could give us some insight into how this happened and hopefully we can hear from, you know, Mr. Augustine as well to get some more specifics as this committee and the president -- I mean, essentially this whole exercise was to give a menu of options to the president and to the Congress to determine how we move forward.


DYER:

I think, speaking from the perspective of the ASAP, we would agree with much of what you have said, Congresswoman. We note that there is a wide gap between the COTS partners' belief that they are human rated and that they are designing to human rated, vis-a-vis that of which NASA believes would be required.

Now, we've been critical of NASA here because, frankly, NASA has been whistling by the graveyard in this regard in that they have not engaged with the COTS contractors in terms of what it would take to transport NASA personnel into space.
GRIFFIN:

I certainly would say that I -- I agree that at this point your, to use your words, betting the farm on commercial transportation is unwise. I've said so in writing. Now, I am one who believes that as with airplanes and air transport, there will be a day when the U.S. government as one option can turn to commercial providers, but that day is not yet, and it is not soon.

Also, I would say that the definition of a commercial provider is not one that you create by pumping in hundreds of millions or billions of government dollars. Typically, we call that a prime contract. The commercial provider develops the capability on his own nickel and then searches for a customer.

Now, I am in favor of incentives in government policy, such as anchor tenancy. I was in favor of providing some seed money. Indeed, I created the COTS program, which provided that seed money.

But to confuse the expectation that one day a commercial transport of crew will be there, to confuse that expectation with the assumption of its existence today or in the near term I think is -- is risky in the extreme. And it's risky because it holds hostage a $75 billion laboratory in space that this committee has -- has authored 20-some votes in support of and -- and I would say expects to see utilized to its fullest in the years ahead.
GORDON:

Thank you, Dr. Griffin.

And, Ms. Giffords, you raise some very serious and legitimate questions. Hopefully, within the next couple of weeks we will have -- have additional meat on the bones in terms of the remainder of the report, a report which will then need to be digested and more questions asked. And I know you'll play, as chairman of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee, will play a very, very important role in that, as well as your partner, Mr. Olson, who is the ranking member, who is recognized now for five minutes.

OLSON:


Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.

I'd like to follow along the lines of questioning from my chairwoman down there. This is a question for you, Admiral Dyer.

Up to this point only NASA has had experience with setting requirements for designing for human rated launch systems. How difficult would it be to transfer it back to insight and experience to the private sector? Are the processes and requirements for human rating well understood by the commercial launch companies? How would they be held to the same standards as NASA?
DYER:

I think there's two pieces of that, sir. The first is NASA in their articulation of what is required for human ratings is in the midst of change and in a state of flux. There is much goodness associated with it, because it's a change from specificity or direction to one of imposing good judgment. How good judgment is to be defined is a bit -- a bit fuzzy from the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel's perspective. So that is -- that is a part of it.

The second part of it is once it can be clearly articulated what the human ratings process is to be, I think yes, sir. It can be transferred to a COTS partner. But you have to start. And that hasn't been initiated.
OLSON:

Dr. Griffin, do you care to comment?


GRIFFIN:

I don't think I have anything to add to what Admiral Dyer said. We had a long and close relationship during my tenure at NASA end his tenure as chair of the ASAP, and I think we pretty much see things very similarly.


OLSON:

I thank you for that answer. And I've got a question for you, Dr. Griffin -- again, Constellation program's progressing. Just last week the Orion passed a major milestone, as you know, through its preliminary design review. And my point is shouldn't we continue the development of the Constellation? I mean, how much has already been spent on the program? And what's going to be lost if we stop in the next year or so?


GRIFFIN:

Sir, I -- I obviously from my written statement do agree with you or the import of your remarks. I think we should continue on with where we are, but I would agree with Mr. Augustine, who is an old and valued friend, that we have come to a point where we cannot continue on unless the program is properly funded.

The committee's -- the Augustine committee's service in pointing out that the train wreck is right in front of us is very valuable. So I think we should continue. I think we have to fund it properly. Had the committee -- this hearing is not about Constellation or about who comes up with what alternative to support the goal of human space flight.

Had the committee been able to surface an option which was clearly better than what was going on today, they would have had to get out of my way to rush toward it. The issue is not what hardware we use to accomplish the goal. The issue is the strategic goals.

The committee did not -- I would predict cannot -- surface a better option than where we are today, so our choice is stay on path, funding it appropriately, or determine that the United States is -- is not going to go beyond the space station. That was what Mr. Augustine said would happen. If we did not have the extra funding, the United States won't go beyond the space station. I think that that is not a worthy future for the United States in space.
OLSON:

Thank you for those comments. I couldn't agree more. And sort of to follow up on that and some comments from the previous panel, there's a big difference in spending $3 billion and investing $3 billion. And I think the Augustine panel was asking us to invest $3 billion, and I strongly, strongly support that, and I appreciate your comments to that effect as well.


GRIFFIN:

I think that's what's missing in this one.


OLSON:

Chairman, I yield back my time.


GORDON:

I'm sorry, Mr. Olson. What was that?


OLSON:

Yield back my time.


GORDON:

Thank you.

And, Mr. Rohrabacher, thank you for your patience. And you are -- what we're going to do is you will have the last question on your side. Ms. Giffords said that she would like to ask another question. And then if -- if that's the case, and then we will conclude, because we have votes that will be shortly...
ROHRABACHER:

That will be OK. Just fine.


GORDON:

Good.
ROHRABACHER:

All right. Thank you very much. Let me just note for the chairman that when we did -- when the ballot -- when the budget was balanced, it was a Republican Congress, as our ranking member noted. And the example that you gave of the great savings of the welfare reform that passed -- it passed the Republican Congress after being vetoed three times by the president over the issue of whether illegal aliens should receive welfare benefits are not. Eventually, he gave in, and that's why we balanced the budget.
GORDON:

Well, but in 1993 vote that accommodated that to set in motion various cuts.


ROHRABACHER:

All right.


GORDON:

But anyway...


ROHRABACHER:

But I do want to...


GORDON:

... at the end of the day, we all worked together and got it done.


ROHRABACHER:

All right. We did. And I -- I -- but I do want to bring up history, because history does relate to what we're talking about here, because what we're really talking about here is $3 billion. And all I keep hearing is isn't it sad that we're not allocating $3 billion more and how NASA we -- they -- they are budget went down at the time when we balanced the budget, along with everybody else's budget in the -- in the government.

But let's take a look at the money that was spent. In 1996 how much did the mistake of putting money into the X-33 cost NASA?

Mr. Griffin?

Mr. -- Admiral?
DYER:

I don't know.


ROHRABACHER:

Several billion dollars, all right? What about NPOESS? How much has that cost NASA and American taxpayers?


GRIFFIN:

Sir, NPOESS is an Air Force program.


ROHRABACHER:

Aha, good.


GRIFFIN:

NASA is a member of the joint program committee that has no money and has no power.


ROHRABACHER:

Ah, so long as they're good. Let me put it this way. I consider NPOESS to be maybe not a NASA program, but I've always considered it as part of the space program. Maybe I'm wrong, because we're dealing with the same companies that we deal with.

OK. I understand it's $14 billion -- it's a $14 billion program. There's five or six satellites, and none of them have been launched so far. OK, if it's not money supposedly going into NASA, maybe that money should have gone to enough of them. I don't know, but there's $14 billion that we don't have anything to show for -- a couple of billion dollars of the X-33.

Tell me about the space station. How much has space station gone over the -- its original budget request?


GRIFFIN:

President Reagan directed that the space station be built for $8 billion, and the best estimate that I was able to obtain while running NASA was that the United States had spent or would spend by the time of station completion about $55 billion, and the partners collectively have spent maybe $20 billion or will spend maybe $20 billion by the time it is deployed.


ROHRABACHER:

So it's almost, you know...


GRIFFIN:

It's a factor of 10.


ROHRABACHER:

Factor of 10. And what about the space shuttle itself, which I remember was sold as something that would bring down the cost of getting into orbit. How much has that gone over the expectations?


GRIFFIN:

The space shuttle was sold, or was directed by President Nixon to be developed by -- within $5.8 billion. NASA's cost estimate at that time was that it would cost around $9 billion. And ultimately to develop the shuttle about $9.9 billion in then-year dollars, not -- not today dollars, was spent.

The projected cost of the space shuttle depends on how old you are and what the lowest cost you remember was, but was invariously in the range of $14 million to $16 million to $18 million a launch. Today it's probably 20 times that.
ROHRABACHER:

Twenty times that. So let me just suggest that when we're talking about we don't have the $3 billion, that maybe if NASA would have been doing a better job, and let's include also totally the American space program, because I will include NPOESS in that, and maybe if we had a space program -- not just NASA, but altogether it was better managed -- that we would have the money to do what we need to do.

And that's not to say that we can't look for new resources. I think that now we're in this fix that maybe stimulus money would be something that would be looked at. Also, and I -- I talked about this idea that we would tax AIG. I know that I did that in jest, but let's face it. We gave AIG $150 billion, and now we're arguing about $3 billion for NASA. I mean, what do we get out of the AIG?

I tell you what we got. We got a lot of rich executives who kept their bonuses. That's what we got. So maybe we should be running things a little bit better. NASA should be doing a better job or space vehicle (inaudible). And maybe Congress should be a better -- doing a little bit better job in allocating money in terms of what America's real priorities should be instead of enriching wheeler dealers from Wall Street, and maybe give it to the American space program.

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
GORDON:

Thank you, Mr. Rohrabacher.

And to demonstrate that we are rich in diversity of ideas, Ms. Giffords is recognized.
GIFFORDS:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

You know, one of the reasons I love serving on the Science Committee is because I -- I think it's truly one of the most bipartisan, nonpartisan committees. So we -- we verged a little bit from it today, but I know the next hearing we're going to get back on track through all of our bipartisan love.

(LAUGHTER)

Dr. Griffin, there's been considerable public discussion about whether the cost cited for NASA's Constellation program's are accurate. Could you give us an insight into your thoughts on the costing methodology used in the preparation of the cost assessments for the review committee?
GRIFFIN:

Well, NASA's cost estimates for Constellation marked a significant departure, an enormous departure from the way NASA had prepared budgets in the past in the sense that they were prepared in a probabilistic sense, which cost estimation experts can -- can discuss with this committee at great length, and were prepared to a much higher confidence level.

So it represented a departure from older ways of doing business. And I was privileged to be provided the methodology by which the independent cost estimates were prepared for the Augustine committee. And those independent cost estimates seemed not to recognize that fact at all.

So essentially, NASA was not being given credit for good behavior, and I would -- it's -- it's one thing to be slapped about when you're doing poorly, but when you've done well, it would be nice to at least have that acknowledged.

The second thing I would add is that there was no distinction made in the independent cost assessments between -- and the phrase has been used here several times today -- view graph programs and field programs. NASA's current program, like it or not, has four years of maturity behind it and $8 billion of -- of money spent on it.

The cost estimates are becoming firmer. More is known about the program. And yet the independent cost estimation methodology applied a factor of 1.5 for -- for assumed cost growth to all programs, whether -- whether young and -- and immature and idealistic or having more scars on them.

That's not a good way to do -- to do costing. You have to look at the details of the individual program and its level of maturity before you can make a conclusion as to how much likely growth you should expect to see. That was not done.
GIFFORDS:

Dr. Griffin, in terms of it's essentially a -- it's a multiple accounting situation, and I look at that in terms of how it must affect the estimated rejected completion date for Constellation and also the cost. Can you -- can you talk about that a little bit?


GRIFFIN:

Well, sure. If you believe that the cost is going to be 50 percent higher, as one example, and you know because you -- you have been told what your budget expectations are, then whatever budget you had, you should now expect the completion date to be 50 percent greater.

But it's worse than that, because when we have to account for inefficiencies that go into a program as a result of stretching it out, it always gets worse.

Joe, you look like you want to comment on that. I know you and -- you and I have both had substantial DOD experience where programs were stretched out. And it's just never is pretty as you'd hope.


DYER:

Congresswoman Giffords, my previous trips to the -- to the Hill to testify have always been when I was in uniform, and I had to be well behaved. I've got something I always wanted to share, and you've given me an opportunity.

(LAUGHTER)

Resourcing major programs, and our country has a lot in kind with airline overbooking -- we just plan for an efficiency that's not real. And consequently, programs stretch out and the overheads are applied over time and the cost of a program grows dramatically vis-a-vis that which good resourcing would support.

So this harmony, Mr. Chairman, that we appeal for in terms of resources and requirements and acquisition strategy is an important undertaking, that, if we could fund it at a proper and sustained and stable level, would solve many of the problems that Dr. Griffin has highlighted here.

Thank you, ma'am.


GIFFORDS:

Mr. Chairman, you know, this is something I think that we really need to tackle on this committee is how to we get to the bottom of these apparent discrepancies so that when we really look at the numbers and -- and the data that we know what the actual numbers and the data really truly represent.

And I think that's just important to hear from our panelists on, because again what -- what the panel's -- at least the summary report has ignited is from a public and from a press standpoint, this -- you know, this set of beliefs that are out there. And now we're finding because of the hearing today and the testimony by our -- our panelists and the questions brought up by members is that it's just not that, you know, cut and dry.

So, Mr. Chairman, I'm looking forward to seeing the full report and -- and working with our panelists and others to try to get to the bottom of this.


GORDON:

Madam Chairman, I'm looking forward to your hearings as you take the lead in getting to the bottom of it and report back to -- to us.


GIFFORDS:

Thank you.


GORDON:

And so let me conclude by again thanking our witnesses today. You've been with us to a long time, and I believe we're going to -- our timing is going to work out just about right, with votes coming up shortly.

I'll also announce that the record will remain open for two weeks for additional statements from members and for answers to any follow- up questions the committee may ask of the witnesses.

So the witnesses are excused, and the hearing is adjourned.

CQ Transcriptions, Sept. 15, 2009
List of Panel Members and Witnesses
PANEL MEMBERS:

REP. BART GORDON, D-TENN. CHAIRMAN

REP. JERRY F. COSTELLO, D-ILL.

REP. EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, D-TEXAS

REP. LYNN WOOLSEY, D-CALIF.

REP. DAVID WU, D-ORE.

REP. BRAD MILLER, D-N.C.

REP. RUSS CARNAHAN, D-MO.

REP. DANIEL LIPINSKI, D-ILL.

REP. BRIAN BAIRD, D-WASH.

REP. JIM MATHESON, D-UTAH

REP. CHARLIE MELANCON, D-LA.

REP. GABRIELLE GIFFORDS, D-ARIZ.

REP. JERRY MCNERNEY, D-CALIF.

REP. CHARLES WILSON, D-OHIO

REP. BEN CHANDLER, D-KY.

REP. HARRY E. MITCHELL, D-ARIZ.

REP. BARON P. HILL, D-IND.

REP. STEVEN R. ROTHMAN, D-N.J.

REP. DONNA EDWARDS, D-MD.

REP. MARCIA FUDGE, D-OHIO

REP. BEN LUJAN, D-N.M.

REP. PAUL TONKO, D-N.Y.

REP. PARKER GRIFFITH, D-ALA.

REP. LINCOLN DAVIS, D-TENN.

REP. KATHY DAHLKEMPER, D-PA.

REP. ALAN GRAYSON, D-FLA.

REP. SUZANNE KOSMAS, D-FLA.

REP. GARY PETERS, D-MICH.

REP. RALPH M. HALL, R-TEXAS RANKING MEMBER

REP. LAMAR SMITH, R-TEXAS

REP. DANA ROHRABACHER, R-CALIF.

REP. ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, R-MD.

REP. VERNON J. EHLERS, R-MICH.

REP. FRANK D. LUCAS, R-OKLA.

REP. JUDY BIGGERT, R-ILL.

REP. TODD AKIN, R-MO.

REP. BOB INGLIS, R-S.C.

REP. MICHAEL MCCAUL, R-TEXAS

REP. F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER JR., R-WIS.

REP. RANDY NEUGEBAUER, R-TEXAS

REP. MARIO DIAZ-BALART, R-FLA.

REP. BRIAN P. BILBRAY, R-CALIF.

REP. ADRIAN SMITH, R-NEB.

REP. PAUL BROUN, R-GA.

REP. PETE OLSON, R-TEXAS

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE, D-TEXAS

REP. JOHN CULBERSON, R-TEXAS

REP. BILL POSEY, R-FLA.

WITNESSES:

NORMAN AUGUSTINE, CHAIRMAN, REVIEW OF U.S. HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT PLANS COMMITTEE, NASA

EDWARD CROWLEY, MEMBER, REVIEW OF U.S. HUMAN SPACE FLIGHT PLANS COMMITTEE, NASA

ADMIRAL JOE DYER (USN), CHAIR, AEROSPACE SAFETY ADVISORY PANEL, NASA

MICHAEL GRIFFIN, EMINENT SCHOLAR AND PROFESSOR, MECHANICAL AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA IN HUNTSVILLE

Source: CQ Transcriptions

All materials herein are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of CQ Transcriptions. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.



(c) 2009 Congressional Quarterly Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Share with your friends:




The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page