Senate Commerce Committee assignments

On the same day that the House Science and Technology Committee announced its committee membership and subcommittee assignments, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, announced its subcommittee structure and leadership assignments. The “Science and Space” subcommittee is now called the “Space, Aeronautics, and Related Sciences” subcommittee (other sciences are covered by the “Science, Technology, and Innovation” subcommittee). The space subcommittee will be chaired by Bill Nelson of Florida with Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas as the ranking minority member, an exchange of roles the two had on the subcommittee in the last Congress. The other members of the subcommittee have not been announced.

1 comment to Senate Commerce Committee assignments

  • concerned citizen

    I sure hope the staff on these new committees pay attention to what’s happening with Ares I performance and Orion’s mass. See presentation at:

    Ares I is still underpowered to the tune of 10,000 lbs. If Orion can’t shrink by that amount, Ares I will have no mass margin to accommodate the weight growth that naturally occurs during development. And 10,000 lbs. is almost 20 percent of Orion’s total mass — that’s a huge (read unlikely) mass reduction.

    On top of that, insiders indicate that Orion is getting slightly heavier, not a lot lighter. They also indicate that Ares I is using a few-second burn from its launch abort system just to deliver its current, inadequate performance to orbit. Of course, the launch abort system is only intended to be used in an emergency — not a good sign.

    And all this before the system requirements review for the Stick’s J2-X upper stage, which could (is likely to?) also get heavier.

    Again, I sincerely hope that the staffers on these new committees get their heads up and start exercising some strong oversight on Ares I and Orion. Setting budget and other rumored technical issues aside and just based on mass alone, the Ares I train appears to be headed for a huge derailment.

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