We noted here earlier this week that, in a speech last week, Office of Science and Technology Policy director John Holdren may have gone a little too far in taking credit for the recent successful SpaceX Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) test flight. “This represents an entirely new model for the American space program,” Holdren said, “one initiated by this administration.” COTS, of course, got its start in the previous administration, although the current administration has doubled down with its support for commercial crew in addition to commercial cargo.
That comment also got the attention of Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-MS), chairman of the space subcommittee of the House Science Committee. In his opening statement at a hearing Wednesday morning about the commercial launch indemnification regime, he took a tangent to bring up Holdren’s comment. “Mr. Holdren’s statement is, at best, misleading,” Palazzo said, citing COTS’s origins in 2005 and the SpaceX COTS award a year later. “Let the record be clear.”
Palazzo also emphasized that point in a separate press release from the committee, which included that portion of his opening statement. A bit of irony, though: the release makes multiple references to “Space-X”. The diminutive form of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is formally spelled by the company as “SpaceX”, not “Space-X”, “Space X”, or even, on one occasion recently in the media, “Space 10″. Let the record be clear.