From: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology Democrats
Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Subcommittee Reviews the NASA Budget Proposal for Fiscal Year 2015
(Washington, DC) – Today the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology’s Subcommittee on Space held a hearing to review the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget request for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. testified before the Subcommittee.
Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said in her prepared statement, “I hope that my friends across the aisle will agree with me that NASA and its programs are worth a little effort on Congress’s part to identify the needed funds. The ball is now in our court to do so.”
Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Space, Donna Edwards (D-MD) said in her opening statement, “I’m pleased that the $18.3 billion dollars proposed for NASA for Fiscal Year 2015, which incorporates the funding being requested as part of the Opportunity, Growth, and Security Initiative, is close to the level specified for Fiscal Year 2015 in the NASA Authorization Act bill that I and full Committee Ranking Member Johnson introduced last July. I support the President’s Growth Initiative to make further investments in research and development that will help grow the nation’s economy and create jobs.”
Democratic members highlighted several issues related to the Commercial Crew Program, including safety and funding levels. Ranking Member Johnson raised her concerns on NASA’s decision regarding the priority of mission safety in Commercial Crew contract proposals. She said, “Rep. Edwards and I expressed deep concern last fall over NASA’s intention to prioritize price over safety in its evaluation of vendor proposals leading to upcoming contract awards for development and certification of commercial crew systems. Unfortunately, NASA chose not to make any changes in its final solicitation before it went out.” Ranking Member Edwards said in her opening statement regarding the budget for Commercial Crew, “We need to know what we will be getting for that money, and how NASA will ensure that both astronaut safety and the interests of the taxpayer will be protected.”
Democratic members also discussed NASA’s education activities, the proposal to end the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) in FY 2015, international partnerships, and funding for planetary science programs.
During her questions to General Bolden later in the hearing, Ms. Edwards emphasized the need for the Subcommittee to obtain a roadmap for a human mission to the surface of Mars accompanied by the analysis of the options for potential interim destinations.
“Give us an analysis… an analysis that will help us in our decision making. What you want and what NASA needs is for this Committee all to be on the same page about the direction. That will help you as well as it will help us.” said Ms. Edwards in conclusion to her discussion with General Bolden.
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