A House Subcommittee on Space carried out a hearing on March 7: An Overview of the NASA Budget for Fiscal Year 2019

The sole witness was NASA’s Robert Lightfoot, Jr., Acting Administrator.


Moon: proving ground

In an opening Statement Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas) noted that Mars has been, and will remain, the first interplanetary destination for humanity.

“And along the way, NASA has been encouraged to carry out any mission necessary, including cis-lunar activities, to advance future interplanetary exploration,” Chairman Babin said.

“There are many benefits to this strategy. The moon offers a proving ground closer to home for advancing the technologies necessary for deep space exploration. The opportunities for commercial and international participation could greatly enhance a lunar mission. And the more frequent operational cadence will better prepare astronauts, mission crews and the commercial partners for future missions.” Babin noted.


Range of questions

Subcommittee members served up a wide range of questions for NASA’s Lightfoot on Moon and Mars exploration plans to a variety of topics, including the James Webb Space Telescope and other future missions, including the space agency’s plans for fending off asteroids.

To view a video of the hearing, go to:


The written testimony of NASA’s Lightfoot is available at:


The full opening statement by Babin is posted at:



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