NASA

NASA's announcement that it will exchange U.S. astronaut Michael Foale for David Wolf on Mir via a space shuttle flight to be launched tonight follows two hearings on Capitol Hill last week. NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin summarized his agency's position today as follows: "We move forward not only because it is safe, but for the important scientific and human experience we can gain only from Mir. As we prepare for the June 1998 launch of the first element of the International Space Station, nothing can beat the hands-on, real-time training aboard Mir."

25 Sep 1997

When the budget process started in late winter, there was uncertainty about how a major HUD rental housing program would affect the FY 1998 budget for the National Science Foundation and NASA. With less than two weeks to go, there is still major uncertainty. House and Senate conferees remain in disagreement about the way to reduce federal housing subsidies. Senate conferees included a solution in their appropriations bill which House conferees are wary of -- both as to process and substance.

17 Sep 1997

Senate floor debate on S. 1034, the VA/HUD Appropriations bill took place on July 21-22 (see FYI #94.) Significant discussion centered on an amendment by Sen. Dale Bumpers (D-AR) to terminate the Space Station. Bumpers has offered a similar amendment each year since 1992, without success. In arguing for his space station termination amendment this year (which ultimately failed), Bumpers made use of statements and testimony opposing the station by The American Physical Society.

11 Aug 1997

With Tuesday's Senate passage of H.R. 2158, the VA/HUD appropriations Bill, House and Senate conferees now need to meet to reconcile their versions into a final bill. The two versions have very different report language on NASA: The Senate would provide funding equal to the amount of the President's request, while the House would give $148 million above the request.

24 Jul 1997

As the two Russians and one American aboard the MIR space station struggle with repairs to the damaged craft (see FYI #81), here on Earth NASA continues to struggle with concerns over cost and schedule for construction of the International Space Station (ISS.)

2 Jul 1997

At two recent Senate hearings, NASA's FY 1998 budget request of $13.5 billion - although $200 million below FY 1997 funding - was treated as good news in comparison with last year's projected FY 1998 budget. In a May 6 Senate VA/HUD Appropriations hearing, Chairman Christopher Bond (R-MO) remarked that although the space agency was the only major agency in his subcommittee's jurisdiction requesting a reduction, it was of a size "we and NASA can live with."

8 May 1997

Important Appropriations Hearing for NASA If public hearings are an accurate reflection of congressional sentiment toward an agency, last week's appearance of NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin before the House VA, HUD, Independent Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee is a good sign. In a surprisingly brief three and one-half hour hearing, House appropriations, while having deep concerns about some difficulties NASA is facing, nevertheless exhibited confidence in Goldin and the programs he is administering.

3 Mar 1997

The NASA FY 1998 request includes enhanced funding for the "Origins" program, described in background material as "a unifying theme" for space science focused on "the origin and evolution of the Universe, and about the possibility of life elsewhere..." Current and future planned missions include Hubble Space Telescope upgrades; the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility; the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF--a new start, scheduled for launch in 2001); the Cassini mission to Saturn, to be launched in October 1997; the Relativity Mission/Gravity Probe-B, scheduled for launch in October

12 Feb 1997

The NASA FY 1998 request includes enhanced funding for the "Origins" program, described in background material as "a unifying theme" for space science focused on "the origin and evolution of the Universe, and about the possibility of life elsewhere..." Current and future planned missions include Hubble Space Telescope upgrades; the Advanced X-ray Astrophysics Facility; the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF--a new start, scheduled for launch in 2001); the Cassini mission to Saturn, to be launched in October 1997; the Relativity Mission/Gravity Probe-B, scheduled for launch in October

12 Feb 1997

The major news in NASA's fiscal year 1998 budget request is the absence of an anticipated plunge in funding beginning in FY 1998. Instead, the budget request projects what NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin referred to as "stable funding for the next five years." This funding, Goldin said at NASA's February 6 budget briefing, "shows the commitment this Administration has to science and technology."

12 Feb 1997

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