Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

The U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee held a hearing on February 25, focusing on The Space Leadership Preservation Act and the need for stability at NASA despite changing presidential administrations.

Those testifying took on the key challenges facing NASA today, as well as what organizational changes might be made to ensure more stability for America’s civil space program.

Consistency in goals, constancy of purpose

In the past there have been suggestions of changing the management structure of NASA, perhaps modeling it after other agencies, such as the National Science Foundation. Doing so would perhaps provide more consistency in goals and constancy of purpose.

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The hearing featured input from former astronaut and first female Space Shuttle pilot and commander, Eileen Collins, former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, and Rep. John Culberson, author of the Space Leadership Preservation Act.

$20 billion+ of waste

Congressman Culberson pointed out that over the last three decades, “NASA programs have been cancelled due to cost-overruns, mismanagement or abrupt program changes at the start of each new administration. In the past 20 years alone, 27 programs have been cancelled resulting in over $20 billion wasted on uncompleted programs. That is unacceptable. Our space program is too important to continue on this path.”

Resources:

A background/hearing charter is available at:

https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-114-SY-20160225-SD001.pdf

Prepared testimony is available by going to:

— Michael Griffin, Former Administrator, NASA

https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-114-SY-WState-MGriffin-20160225.pdf

— Eileen Collins, USAF (Retired); NASA Astronaut, Commander, STS-93 and 114; NASA Astronaut, Pilot, STS-63 and 94

https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-114-SY-WState-ECollins-20160225.pdf

— Cristina Chaplain, Director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/HHRG-114-SY-WState-CChaplain-20160225.pdf

To view the entire hearing, go to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hirj23OuJb8

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