Congress, NASA

Shuttle/ISS hearing today

The space and aeronautics subcommittee of the House Science Committee will hold a hearing today about the shuttle and station programs at 10 am in Rayburn 2318. Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for space operations, will be among the witnesses, along with former NASA official Tommy Holloway, who chairs the ISS Independent Safety Task Force; the other witnesses are a Georgia Tech professor and a GAO official. The hearing is intended to take on a number of issues, ranging from the ability of NASA to complete the assembly of the ISS by 2010 to the station’s post-2010 utilization to the status of the shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope next year.

8 comments to Shuttle/ISS hearing today

  • are we done yet

    This thing is getting more obsolete by the second with minimal payback. Let the Russians take on this other failing MIR. The best out of this is getting several nations to work on one project in space. Hopefully this irons things out and helps smooth things over so several countries can work together on projects worthwhile.

  • Andy Motherway

    I don’t even know where to start commenting on your comment, “are we done yet.” The most articulate comment I can conjour is: huh?

  • Donald F. Robertson

    Are we done yet: You forget the one critical role the Space Station must play. It is the only realistic, near-term, large market for commercial launch vehicles for the foreseeable future. You want a large commercial launch industry that can develop its own second generation reusable vehicles, you gotta have a market first to provide the political and economic justification for the up-front cost. For better or worse, for right now the Space Station is the only potentially large one we’ve got.

    – Donald

  • i_s_s_alpha

    I think the best thing coming out of the ISS is showing just how hard it is to conduct a long term (hint: read Mars) mission in space. Given the problems they have had with Elektron, Control Moment Gyroscopes, Computers, power systems, etc, and above all, the sheer logistics required to maintain the crews, I hope it serves as a (rather expensive) wake up call to all the Mars explorers (WE ARE NOWHERE NEAR READY). And we think we are ready it will require testing at . . . guesss where . . . in near-Earth orbit (the bitter irony)!

    And yes, I also agree that International Cooperation angle will pay huge dividends in the future.

  • You forget the one critical role the Space Station must play. It is the only realistic, near-term, large market for commercial launch vehicles for the foreseeable future.

    As the ISS serves no inherent purpose, if you are set on providing welfare to the primarily expendable launch vehicle industry, it would be quite a bit cheaper to simply pay them to launch cargo into LEO and let it either sit there or deorbit and burn up. Why spend the extra billions to maintain the “destination”? In fact, you could buy many more launches with the $1.5b in ops costs for ISS you could save by not having the station….

  • Donald F. Robertson

    Shubber, taking as read your conclusion that the Space Station is completely useless (which I don’t agree with) rather than only far too expensive for the likely results (which I do), while your proposal would work economically just as well as the Space Station, it is not politically feasable. Politicians have to at least be able to pretend they are getting something for their money.

    – Donald

  • After reading these comments, it becomes apparent that the real value just isn’t getting out and being understood. The shuttle, the ISS, exploration, the Moon program, is all about the technology that pours out of these programs and work to enhance and save lives here on earth. Don’t just look at these programs on their face, but acknowledge them for what they ultimately accomplish. We all benefit from the thousands of spin-offs and Tech Transfers that the extremities of space force. We should all wake up to this very important social and economic contribution and quit with the NASA bashing the media has embraced. I admit there are issues with the Agency, but not any more than would be found in a corporation of this size; private enterprise just doesn’t have to expose its dirty laundry like a public agency. Let’s back off and watch as NASA’s genius makes our lives better by the second.

    http://www.sti.nasa.gov/spinoff/spinsearch?BOOL=AND&ALLFIELDS=&CENTER=&BOOLM=AND&MANUFACT=&STATE=&CATEGORY=&ISSUE=&Spinsort=ISSUED

    http://www.techbriefs.com/

  • Paul Dietz

    The shuttle, the ISS, exploration, the Moon program, is all about the technology that pours out of these programs and work to enhance and save lives here on earth

    Ah, the naive space kool-aid drinker. You’ll grow up one day, god willing.

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