A roundup of initial Congressional reaction

A statement from Reps. Bart Gordon and Gabrielle Giffords, chair of the House Science and Technology Committee and its space subcommittee, respectively. Gordon:

While I plan to review the Augustine panel’s final report, the Science and Technology Committee’s September 15th hearing to review the panel’s summary report has already provided me with important information on the state of the nation’s human space flight programs. At that hearing, Mr. Augustine reported his panel’s assessment that a meaningful exploration program can’t be carried out under the budgetary projections that accompanied the Fiscal Year 2010 NASA budget request—that more money will be needed if we are to do anything worth doing as a nation. He also reported that his panel had assessed NASA’s Constellation program and found it to be ‘well managed’ and a program that is ‘executable and would carry out its objectives’ if adequate resources are provided.

And Giffords:

While I look forward to reading the Augustine panel’s final report, Congress has already made its decisions on the issues considered by the panel. Now that both internal and external independent reviews have confirmed that the Constellation program is being well executed, we know what needs to be done. Let’s get on with it and cease contemplating our collective navels.

A statement from Rep. Pete Olson, ranking member of the space subcommittee:

It is my deep hope that the Administration responds to their panel’s work with a clear and sustainable path for the future of our human spaceflight program. We cannot at this juncture assume America’s continued leadership in space if we fail to make the commitments necessary to put us on the path to escaping low earth orbit and having a national program that yields scientific benefits, technology innovations, and a new generation of scientists and engineers. I urge President Obama to do the right thing and take this opportunity to enable America to maintain its global leadership in human spaceflight.

From Florida’s Space Coast, Rep. Suzanne Kosmas:

While I am in the process of reviewing the Augustine Committee’s final report, our earlier briefings confirm my belief that the President has both the obligation and the opportunity to reignite our nation’s passion for space exploration… Without question, NASA needs additional funding to conduct meaningful space exploration that will have long-lasting scientific, technological and economic benefits. In addition, aspects of our national security depend on our continuing pre-eminence in space exploration.

Also from the Space Coast, Rep. Bill Posey:

If the President is going to keep his promise to close the gap and keep America first in space he must revise his budget plan and put more money back into the NASA budget. I would fully support such a plan and, in fact, introduced a bill to do just this more than six months ago.

And finally, a note of dissatisfaction from Rep. Parker Griffith (D-AL):

The report released today by the Augustine Commission lacks the ambition and drive that first put our astronauts in space, beat the Russians to the moon, and is synonymous with the American space program. Time and again, the Constellation program has proven to be the best and safest option to continue America’s legacy as the leader in manned spaceflight, but the full report seems to ignore many positive conclusion that demonstrates this.

NASA has made America what it is today, and both our space program and our brave astronauts who risk their lives deserve more than the rigid deductions reached by this blue ribbon panel. We have spent 10 months studying this to only yield incomplete results at best. The arguments that should have been made and the questions that should have been asked were ignored. These findings are incompatible with our national goals to return to the moon, mars and beyond, and we in Congress will not stand for it. We can do better.

Update: I overlooked this statement from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL):

“I’ve asked the president to use money from leftover stimulus funds,” said Nelson, in a prepared statement. “I’ve also asked him to help minimize the job losses after the space shuttle is retired, in part, by transferring other NASA-related work to Cape Canaveral.

“He’s assured me that NASA will get enough money to do what it does best: go explore the heavens,” Nelson said.

13 comments to A roundup of initial Congressional reaction

  • common sense

    Let the big circus commence! Why would we listen to experts, we the elected few know so much better!

  • eng

    “Money”, “president please give money”, “more money” …

    basically why did we elect these if that is the only answer to every problem they have again? …in the end it’s all about money for theses critters, ain’t it? That is all these senators know how to fix problems with.

    The world is so much easier this way isn’t it? Just give’em more money. The universal solution. Rather than examining the spending and programmatic of the thing they are throwing money at.

  • Derrick

    Anyone know if today’s press conference will be rebroadcast? Maybe it will pop up on youtube…

  • Derrick

    And of course, just as I post that I flip on NASA TV and there they are.

  • I find it funny that half of the responses start with the word “While”…

    “While a group of aerospace engineers investigated what the country ought to do, I only care about keeping warm cafeteria seats in my district, so I’m going to ignore the 95% of the report that points out the current approach is an unaffordable waste of time, and just demand that the president wire more money…”



  • Mark R. Whittington

    The interesting thing about the Augustine Report is that it seems to say whatever the reader wants it to say. The Internet Rocketeer Clib seems to think it condemns the current program, even though it specifically states that it is sound. Certain members of Congress seem to think that it supports the current program, though it does suggest some interesting alternatives.

  • […] Space Politics » A roundup of initial Congressional reaction Comments […]

  • Mark,
    Yeah, it definitely is a bit of a Rorschach test isn’t it?

  • “Internet Rocketeer Clib”

    Aside from the typo, I love this label for the online space community. Kudos to coining a term for us space cadets that doesn’t sound condescending.


  • Kudos to coining a term for us space cadets that doesn’t sound condescending.

    Apparently you are impervious to condescension, because it is the height of condescension. It’s Mark’s little fantasy world. And he can never tell us the names of his imaginary friends in it.

  • kert

    Its so predictable. Sorry but this round of Augustine was failure, because they provided something for everyone in the report, so people like Giffords can pull selected quotes,
    Constellation program is being well executed

    end of story, end of attention span, done committed, move on.

  • It is a good thing for Norm that the practice of “shooting the messenger” is no longer in vogue!


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