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

12 Mar 2004

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

17 Sep 2014

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

27 Feb 2004

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

9 Feb 2004

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

30 Jan 2004

Earlier this month, President George Bush outlined a new space policy in a major address at NASA Headquarters. Under this plan, the space station will be completed by 2010. Station research will center on the effects of space travel on human biology.

30 Jan 2004

NASA Administrator Michael D. Griffin addressed the American Geophysical Union, a Member Society of the American Institute of Physics, at its annual fall meeting earlier this month. "I'm here today to talk about what science at NASA means to U.S. leadership in space exploration, and in the world at large. I will also address specific components of our Science Mission Directorate plans, and discuss the opportunities in science that we expect to result from both our new exploration plan and our ongoing decadal research plans," Griffin told the audience.

16 Dec 2005

A House Science Committee hearing earlier this month had two bottom lines: support by committee members for NASA's return to the moon and an eventual manned mission to Mars, and worry that the Administration's projected budget for the agency will not get the job done. Said committee chairman Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY): "while NASA may have relatively smooth sailing right now, we ignore the clouds on the horizon at our own peril. . . . There is simply not enough money in NASA's budget to carry out all of the tasks it is undertaking on the current schedule. That's a fact."

29 Nov 2005

NASA will receive slightly more than a two-percent increase to its budget under the FY 2006 Science, State, Justice and Commerce Appropriations Act. This compares favorably with the Bush Administration's plans to reduce domestic discretionary funding by 1.0%. The House-Senate conference committee, led by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), reached an agreement that "supports both the new vision [for space exploration] and NASA's other core functions," according to the conference report.

11 Nov 2005

Earlier this week, NASA Administrator Michael Griffin described how the agency intends to fulfill President Bush's vision for a manned return to the moon, human exploration of Mars, and beyond. Immediate reaction from Capitol Hill was guardedly supportive.

NASA's new plan will be the subject of many congressional hearings which will be reviewed in future issues of FYI. Below is a brief description of the exploration architecture, followed by from excerpts from Griffin's September 19 briefing and initial statements from Capitol Hill.

22 Sep 2005


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