The astronauts show

You probably aren’t too surprised to find out that Tuesday’s hearing by the House Science Committee’ space subcommittee didn’t cover a lot of new ground about space flight. It was successful in garnering media attention, given that this was the first Congressional hearing featuring a witness testifying from space, but the questions asked by members were either pretty basic or were policy-level issues that were beyond the scope of the three witnesses, all astronauts. It only got worse during the brief Q-and-A session with John Phillips, the astronaut on ISS; Congressmen acted more like giddy schoolkids, asking elementary questions about what Phillips can see from space and what orbit the ISS is in. (One Congressman, apparently alarmed by seeing Phillips standing upright, asked why he wasn’t floating; am I the only one who wish Phillips responded that he was wearing heavy boots? In any case, Phillips floated on cue.)

The press release by the committee about the hearing did offer one note of interest: the committee plans to hold a meeting later this month (no specific date given) where NASA administrator Michael Griffin will testify.

1 comment to The astronauts show

  • I said that the hearing would be a dog and pony show; evidently my prediction was exactly correct. It is striking, if depressing, that so many Congressional hearings descend to the level of elementary school.