Several hearings this week by House and Senate committees will examine NASA’s 2014 budget request and its overall space exploration plans. The hearings start this afternoon with one on “Challenges and Opportunities for Human Space Exploration” by the Senate Commerce Committee’s space subcommittee. Scheduled to testify are NASA associate administrator for human exploration and operations Bill Gerstenmaier, former astronaut Tom Stafford, and Steve Cook of Dynetics.
The House Science Committee’s space subcommittee will hold a hearing Wednesday afternoon on NASA’s fiscal year 2014 budget request. NASA administrator Charles Bolden is the sole witness.
Last, and perhaps most important, is a hearing by the Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee on the NASA FY14 budget proposal, scheduled for 9:30 am Thursday. Bolden will testify at that hearing, along with NASA inspector general Paul Martin. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), who chairs the full appropriations committee along with the CJS subcommittee, said last week she would support the administration’s new asteroid initiative included in the budget request, but raised concerns about the level of funding for Orion included in the proposal.