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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 6, 2015 10:00am-12:01pm EST

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reform will analyze the informal care act, also known as obamacare. live at noon eastern time. tonight, more in the health care law. you can listen to the oral argument in the supreme court case, king versus burwell on whether or not subsidies can be provided through subsidies -- it could have effects on the future of the health care law. also today, live coverage of president obama as he visits been a good college in south carolina for -- benedict college in south carolina for town hall meeting. >> here are some of our featured programs for the weekend for a c-span networks.
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the c-span city story takes "book tv and "american history tv on the road. traveling to u.s. cities to learn about their history and literary life. this weekend, we partnered with comcast for a visit to galveston , texas. >> the rising win through them. they watched in amazement as both of these factors that are the beachfront structures. at that time, we had wooden bathhouses and out over the gulf of mexico. we also had peers. we even had a huge pavilion. as the storm increased in intensity, these beach structures literally were turned into matchsticks. ♪ the 1900 storm struck galveston
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saturday, september 8, 1900. the storm began before noon, increased indymac intensity, and finally tapered off toward the night. -- midnight that evening. this hurricane, was, and still is the deadliest recorded natural event in the history of the united states. >> what all of our events from galveston, saturday at noon eastern on these bantus "book tv "." >> during a senate subcommittee hearing, astronaut buzz alger anddrin and other astronauts talked about space. we will also hear from space officials. this is about two hours.
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>> this hearing will come to order. it afternoon. i would like to thank each of the distinguished witnesses for being here. just over half a century ago president john f. kennedy lay down a marker in my hometown of houston, texas. and made a commitment that like the great pioneers that came before us, we too would set sail on a new see and send man to the
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moon. we embarked on that endeavor as a nation because opening the vistas of space promised high cost and hardship, and a norm is roared -- enormous reward. today, we find yourself at a similar crossroads. the year 2000 15 is just as critical of a time for our national space program, as it was a half-century ago. future exploration is certain to present hardships, but it also promises high rewards. new resources, frontiers, and economic opportunities. i'm honored to serve as chairman of the subcommittee. as chairman, my first priority for the space component of the subcommittee will be working to help refocus nasa's energies on its core priority of exploring space. we need to get back to the hard times. to man's a's expiration.
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-- to man's base excla space exploration. we need to make sure that the united states remains a leader in space isolation in the 21st century. oh ryan will be critical to our medium and long-term ability to explore space. whether it is the moon, mars, or beyond. at the same time, i remain deeply concerned about our current inability to reach low earth orbit. we are, right now, entirely dependent on the russian system. which is unacceptable from the perspective of space interest. and also from the perspective of national security. every seat that an american astronaut occupies on the
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russian ship cost $70 million. it is imperative that america has the capability to get to the international space station without the assistance of russians. america should have the capability to launch a rescue mission to the space station showed that prove necessary. and without being dependent on the russians. america should have the capacity to launch our critical satellites without needing to acquire russian engines. the commercial crew program is critical to restoring this capability. i'm encouraged by the progress, both with regard to commercial cargo, and commercial crew. we need a continued focus on accomplishing the stated objectives with maximum
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efficiency and expedition. it is terrific to see commercial companies innovating, and as chairman of this subcommittee, i will be an enthusiastic advocate of competition and the enabling of the private sector to compete and innovate. in 2013, 81 orbital launches were conducted worldwide. 23 of which were commercial launches. revenues from the 23 commercial orbital launches were estimated to be more than $1.9 billion i. the united states accounted for six of these launches. there is more that can be done to create long-term predictability so that launch activity will continue to grow. there is no limit to human imagination, or for the desire for exploration.
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every one of us, every little boys, every little girl, every man and woman, has looked up at the night sky and wondered what lies out there. that is the mistry, the vision behind america's space expiration. america has always led the way in space exploration. we need to reclaim that leadership. with that, i recognize my friend, ranking member of the full committee, senator nelson. , thank you, mr. chairman. blossoms are breaking out over washington because what you just said, you and i completely agree on. as a matter of fact, i offered to in the armed services committee, the amendment to start. it passed.
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it is part of the defense authorization bill to start the process -- as a matter of fact, we authorized $100 million. senator mccain was a cosponsor of that to develop an alternative to the rd 180. indeed we shouldn't be reliant on the russians. we have, in the past, in the 2.5 years that we were down after the loss of the space shuttle columbia, earlier in the last decade, that was our only way to get up to the space station. they were a reliable partner
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then. but now, look at -- we can predict what vladimir putin will do now. this was part of the speeches that i was making a decade ago as we were trying to get this thing off the ground. i certainly agree with you, and i am just heartened that you came out with such a strong statement on the commercial crew because this is going to be a way that we can get americans on american rockets, quicker back into space since the space launch system and the spacecraft orion are going down further in the decade, even though we
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already tested it on its first test flight. so, i've just delighted, and as you know, you and i have talked about this till we are both lou in the face. -- blue in the face. the subcommittee has not only been b partisan, it has been nonpartisan. i'm looking forward to cooperating with you, as we tried last year, it did not happen on getting the authorization. we need to get the authorization act out of here. just for the remaining six months of this fiscal year, then, let's start looking to the additional physical years behind. with that, i will stop my comments. if i may, insert my comments that i prepared in the record
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for opening comments. i will just end by saying, thank you. >> thank you, senator nelson for the very kind comments. i hope those are not used against you in your next campaign here at >> i was going to say the same thing to you. yours is a little more immediate than mine. >> and i want to thank each of the three distinguished witnesses that are here. this is a wonderful way to begin the new congress and the jurisdiction of the subcommittee by focusing on the overarching goals that nasa should be focusing on. i cannot think of a more distinguished, more experienced more respected panel than the three witnesses who are with us today. we have first, colonel walter coming cunningham.
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we, buzz aldrin, former nasa astronaut and apollo 11 pilot. and we have michael massimino. we will begin with colonel cunningham's testimony. colonel cunningham: thank you sir. i appreciate the opportunity to share my thoughts where i think our space program has been slipping. while this is my personal opinion, it is shared by many of my contemporaries. some additional points are in my written testimony that i hope you all read. humans have always been driven to explore the unknown and open new frontiers. opening a new frontier demands three things.
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resources, technology, and most important, the will to do it. in 1961, america was willing to take the risk of going to the moon. when president co kennedy made his commitment to land a man on the moon, not a single person had been in orbit. the success of the apollo program was due to collective effort of manag managers, contractors. with the whole world watching, we took a risk. we accomplish the landing on the moon in eight years. today, 45 years later, the next frontier mars, seems decades out of reach. primarily because we do not have a national commitment. our apollo program made america preeminent in space, and the world's most technologically advanced nation. a lead us to the space shuttle the greatest slime machine built by man. international space station, and
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the hubble telescope. the spinoff of infiltrated, virtually all areas of our industry. while nasa's portion of the federal budget peaked at 4%, it has been below 1% for the last 40 years. while nasa has accomplished a lot of things, and made space flight much more routine we have not challenge the next frontier, man's expiration of mars. that will only be possible if our government initiates and provides funding for such a program. over the years, nasa has been subject to more and more political pressure, and agency has grown increasingly political inside. this is left employees much less willing to express their feelings. an example. after years -- after trying for years, nasa is still unable to
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reduce the number of space centers around the country in order to lower their overhead costs. congress and local politicians have always gone out to save the one in the district. a commitment to push back the space frontier with a man landing on mars would drive nasa's budget, while the schedule would be controlled by the rate at which congress funds it. a mars exploration vehicle would have to be an assembled in orbit. a reusable launch vehicle, similar to our space shuttle may be necessary in order to in similar. while this is all costly, it is all essential to move humans out of orbit. any mars explanation program would have international partners. in that partnership, nasa should
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take a strong leadership role, as they did in the apollo program, and not be just one more partner in an international effort. hopefully, it would encompass less politics than the iss partnership. iss, which we gave birth to in the 1970's, is probably one of the most impressive pieces of hardware placed in orbit. while leading the international partnership, we transferred millions of dollars to russia to resurrect their space industry. we are now totally dependent on russia to get america crew men and from the iss. the success of our space program has always been dependent on private industry, and they delivered. as nasa grew less entrepreneurial, less efficient, and more bureaucratic, they establish new companies. while these the companies have been subsidized by government funding, nasa has less control
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over their work. some people suggest that private space company should collaborate with nasa. which means, sharing the cost. while commercial companies will always c contract with nasa for the hardware and technology, the government will always he expected to pay the cost of exploration, funded by tax dollars, of course. space explanation is does not satisfy criteria spirit government agencies are not profit driven, government underwriting allows our companies to manage technology. since commercial companies move much faster than government agency, production by private industry will shorten the timeline for launched a mars. in the absence of a mars
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exploration program, and limited funding, nasa has initiated be destroyed redirect mission. today, they justify as the first step towards expiration of mars. anything they can do to help a mars mission could be effectively done -- while we overcome the problem of radiation, we should return to the moon. many scientist today say send robots to mars because humans are too costly and too dangerous. nasa should continue to exploit both manned and unmanned missions, but humans will always be much faster and much more efficient because we can think and act in real time. two things i believe we should also focus on. a laminated, permanently, any dependence on other countries for launch capability.
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two, five some ways for nasa and ministers to be less subject to changes in the administration every four years. the apollo program took eight years. the benefits to our society have been priceless. a man landing on mars will probably take, twice as long and up to three times as much in today's dollars, that is a fraction of our annual federal budget deficits have been met running. the human desire to explore and reach new frontiers will be satisfied, if not by americans by others. humans somewhere, will certainly return to the moon and go on to mars. i believe we have the resources and technology, but do we have the will to tackle the next frontier, mars? thank you. ted cruz: thank you colonel
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cunningham, buzz aldrin. buzz aldrin: senator cruz, committee on space, thank you for the opportunity to speak to you about the future of future human spaceflight and enterprise. this is truly an honor and i applaud you for raising this issue so early in the session. america must be the world leader in human spaceflight. there is no other policy area which so clearly demonstrates an american innovation and enterprise than human spaceflight. american leadership is more than just simply getting one step ahead of our global competitors. american leadership is inspiring the world by consistently doing
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what no other nation is capable of doing. we demonstrated that for a brief time 45 years ago. if we wish to retain american leadership in space, i believe that early in the next administration, the nation must commit to developing a permanent presence on mars another apollo -like mission. putting flags on mars does not establish leadership. lunar settlements will only require a small step for other nations to catch up. i have a multi-decade old plan with vision that will establish world leadership further remainder -- for the remainder of the century and initial landings on mars by 2038. it is an integrated plan that knits together a return to the
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moon on a commercial and international basis, leveraging asteroid rendezvous and settling mars on a carefully developed architecture. it includes the use of a robotic cycler between mars and earth that will revolutionize the economy, economics and safety aspects of the missions to mars. much analysis has been done on this concept, in partnership with the commercial sector, the international community, and especially the academic community. all this can be done without being a major budget buster for nasa. the architectures i have developed are driven i several technical principles which i believe are essential to achieving this goal. these principles are part of what i call the unified space vision. one, programs for
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commercializing crew and cargo transportation to the space station could expand to provide transport of cruiews with rotations to stations on either side of the moon. the u.s. will lead other crews from the stations for distant controls of the assembly and check out of habitation all structures and their life support systems. also, intricate rovers will provide rocket fuel, and other resources. we also have a reliable system for mars. we should participate in lunar development, but avoid getting our human spaceflight budget captured by lunar gravities
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expensive consumption. let's establish a lunar infrastructure which garners visits to the s surface. number three, reduce the cost of sustaining a presence on mars by deploying outbound cycling spaceships that orbit between earth and mars without requiring a great deal of for full ship. each successive mission will only have to send astronauts landers, and the minor provisions. provisions are reusable on the cycler. radiation protection. the vast majority of the mass would remain in orbit between earth and mars. number four, focus on people to mars to stay. bringing everyone home after a relatively brief stay is a
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cost driver. i envision many of people to go to mars to remain and establish a permanent settlement. we have developed an inbound cycler as means to bring in people back for certain contingencies. the cost of effectively sending the entire launch system to return everyone home on every mission can make the entire venture prohibitively expensive. i've provided most of the detail in my written statement then we will have a much more complete version of this plan once the study of my cycler concept is conducted by a study to be finished near the end of april. in closing, i encourage you to think about the ability of free markets in space to reduce the cost and power of american
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ingenuity to solve the most difficult technical challenges. in my opinion, there's no more convincing way to demonstrate american leadership for the remainder of this century, then to commit to a permanent presence on mars. i thank you for your time and look forward to the committee's leadership. senator cruz: thank you very much. dr. massimino: i want to describe its use some of the things i learned as an astronaut. some of the benefits that our space program has divided.
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it is three of them from my personal experience. and i want to tell you a story from one of my spaceflights to wrap it up. the first benefit i want to tell you about is how dehumanized ration program can benefit science and life on earth. there's lots of examples that we can use. the one that i'm most familiar with is one that i got to participate in first-hand, hu with hubble. so far, it won the nobel prize. i save so far because i think there's a lot coming. it has given us a window into the universe out there. it has found black cold, dark matter dark energy. it has inspired people to continue studying the universe and it has shown us the beauty and wonder out there. none of this would have been possible without human exploration, space exploration ground control to be able to react to problems.
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the human expiration program and how it can affect science and benefit earth. the second thing i want to point out is international cooperation. when i was a new after not in 1986, we were starting to work with our international partners to build the space station. none of the elements have launched yet. sitting here listening to the briefings, as a new person, i wondered, how will we take this work, how will we work with all these countries from europe, japan, canada, russia. the u.s. would clearly be a leader, but how would we work with everyone? differently which is, different systems of measurement. how would we make this all work? what i realized was when we all have a common goal, it did not matter which country you were from. we all wanted to build a space station. with that comment goal, we were able to create a great thing.
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international cooperation is at benefit that i discovered. the third is the inspiration for young people. i'm sitting next to two of my boyhood heroes. i watched this man walk on the moon when i was six years old and it changed my life and inspired me to become and asked him. and people my age or older that i train with will point to that episode as inspiration for young people. at the nassau, i think what will we do now that will give the next generation of american kids interested in studying math and science to go to space. it was never clear to me until lately. this past year i have been teaching up at columbia. there are some smart kids up there. what i found is they are just as excited as me and my colleagues were years ago about the space program. it's not just nasa, lots of
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students have gone to work for nasa, different centers, nasa contractors, but these kids want to change the world and they want to be entrepreneurial. ac this point -- they see the space program as a way to be entrepreneurial. they want to help the economy through space. it's almost better as when i was a case, in some ways. it's not just nasa doing big projects, it's also the entrepreneurial spirit in which they think they can provide economic benefits for the world as well. the story i want to tell you. on my second -- on my first spaceflight, my second space walk unon hubble, i was able to see the curvature of the
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earth, all my second , i wanted to see what it was like. i can tell you what was going through my mind. my first thought was, if you were in heaven, this is what you would see. if you could be out there in heaven and look down on the planet, and see how beautiful it was. i was thinking about it and it wasn't enough. i thought, know there's more to it. it's more beautiful than that. this must be what heaven looks like. at that moment i thought was look into paradise. that's how beautiful our planet is. it is fragile and a paradise, and we need to take care of it. thank you. senator cruz: thank you for that and thank you for the evocative imagery as well. i appreciate each of you being here. i appreciate your expert judgment. i think all of us here agree that america should lead the world and space exploration.
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we have done so for decades. but, i would like to start by asking the panel, how good at job are we doing today leading the world in space expiration and how can we do better? colonel cunningham: we are not leading the world. we have a space station it, have gone to it. and we changed our spacecraft. that program did not come together because of problems with the booster not being powerful enough so we had to go to another booster to take a spacecraft from a company that had not built as based before. it was gaining weight and was not able to put itself and the
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lander into lunar orbit. we had to make the land or even bigger. that same rocket was being used on ares five. it appeared that we were not able to get the crew out there with the existing rocket, so we continue to develop the orion. without override going somewhere, there was no point in continuing the lander. the program fell apart. excuse me -- senator cruz: tell us if that is a call from the space station. [laughter] colonel cunningham, you talked about what you perceive to be
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excessive politicization at nasa and the challenges president. i was curious if you could elaborate on that and what steps could be taken to help nasa focus on what should be its core mission. colonel cunningham: i mentioned a little bit of the politics outside of nasa the increasingly, and over the years, have grown increasingly. it has a lot to do over controlling projects. it also, in my opinion, from outside looking at it has infected the agency itself. people inside of nasa are just not as willing to speak their mind on things to get them done. some of these programs that money has been spent on, money has been canceled, i think $1
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billion on one program. what has happened, in my opinion, nasa has been becoming a more risk averse agency. for example, we all realize the hubble telescope is the greatest telescope we have ever had. we will have use of the hubble telescope for at least another five years, it looks like. that would not have happened had we not had the last servicing mentioned that -- mission that went up there. that mission was originally going to go up a couple years earlier, and was canceled by the administrator at the time because he said it was too risky and they canceled it because they lost the people on columbia. back in apollo, we lost a crew on apollo one. we had people that are fortunate
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to be alive from apollo 13. fortunately, we had another minister and it came on after that one, looked at it, it was worth the risk and had a servicing mission, and we have the greatest telescope in history. i don't know how to do this, but because our society seems to be moving more risk-averse, but we need an agency that understands, you pay your money, take your chances, and push the frontier. when it comes to priorities and nasa, there are a host of expiration priorities that have been discussed, whether it is asteroid retrieval, going to the moon, going to mars, or going beyond. i would welcome their views of the witnesses on this panel as to the top priorities of nasa which of those projects yield the greatest benefits, what
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order surveys be staged in, and to what extent should the focus beyond man's exploration versus robotic expiration? colonel cunningham: i can't tell you to what degree, but as i watch it, i find that what massa has been trying to do over the last couple of decades, they recognize that the public at large is looking for a demand for going to the next frontier which happens to be -- it is mars now. they've also attempted to rationalize whatever they were working on as a step along that program. some of the things that they have proposed, certainly will have scientific value to scientists. will they help us on that program? i doubt it. there are other ways of doing
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it. for example, you do not hear about nasa returning to the moon now. i used to be one of those that was not wild about stopping at the moon in order to get to mars. i began to realize that we have to have a facility that will keep people alive on mars and it will be a whole lot cheaper and easier to develop on the moon than the other way. i just think we need to get back on a program that will have the moon as an intermediate step, only as it st fits ongoing to the next step. mr. massimino: you can make an argument, i think for anyone. i think the thing we have in common is that we need to go somewhere. i do think that nasa has a
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program to take us away from orbit. we are working with the companies that are provided. we arty have cargo going to the station. now we will have astronauts going to the station with a commercial crew. that is the plan. it seems like it is going the right direction. but, the opportunity, the ability to leave the planet, to leave our orbit, is common to all those things. i've been thinking about all these things. with the destination, which one do you take? you will get different opinions. people change their mind in the same day. maybe we don't know exactly where we want to go, but we know we want to go somewhere. if we can get the list of ability, the overriding capsule -- orion capsule ready to go. a lot of my friends they are still working on the displays. people are spending money, building hardware to go. whether that destination is to the asteroid, mars, or the moon,
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i think we will get clear on that as we get a bit further. maybe we can go all the way to mars. may be we can get there quicker. maybe not. maybe we can go to the moon, maybe not. maybe we can go to the asteroid, if that is the closest case and will keep us in budget, maybe that is the answer. i think they are taking the right steps. if you can make an argument for each of these maybe it will be clear where the destination is a few years from now. buzz aldrin: let me see if i can integrate these things together. in the 60's and 70's, we learn how to go to the moon and do things there. to do that again, 50 years later, does not seem like something that would be attractive to the people involved or the people who are supporting this. we did not build permanent
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there. other countries will build landers, while they are doing that, we can build a permanent structures. those permanent structures will be the same ones, in the same base design, that we will do on the moon. in order to build those on the moon, we need a fairly redundant facility on the near side and the far side to robotically build those. we can design them with our concepts of a base, and we know that europe has a company that built pressure vessels for the space station, and they can get additional resources in south korea and india, so they can build a module that will go to the moon. based on our design, they need to be standard, and we have uneven terrain antigravity field. you pick one off the lander and
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put it where you want it. another lander is over here, you pick this one up and ring yet. they will not lineup. you have to level of them. you have a difference in elevation. you have to account for that. too much for the students at purdue. it will be done, but i am going to another resource to help the students at purdue in their study to do that. the habitats that will be based on what we want in morris will then be exercised at the moon. before we do that, we will use the big island of hawaii to make sure that they're all the things come together. we need an inflatable -- develop a rigid, and put it at two places. those ridges are what we construct things on. they are the ones that will be similar to what we will build
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and sent to mars with a build that, so that at the time, our cycling system deposits the first people on mars. not build will be complete. so, we have something -- now, what can we do with that inflatable orion? we can send it to an asteroid and send a robot, a year and a half mission, and the crew get ths there, and it has 60 days at the asteroid with a scientist that knows about asteroids. that is a cruel and a robot at the same aste asteroid in place. that is at the inflatable. we get to the rigid on a round flyby of venus, we can do that in one year. it takes a whole lot longer to do it on mars. when we come back, we can
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exercise arrow capture maneuvers that need to be done at mars. we will be doing these things and landing different people -- different people will be landing and building and these habitats, we will take three of them and condition it for the recycler. we get it in its cycle, and then we use free landers for redundancy. all a lander has to do is get on the cycler. the cyclist -- perm cycler provides it with everything it needs and lands. the facilitator is there to take care of it. outbound, we reuse the same facility so we want to build them again and we can have an inbound cycler that can bring people back in an emergency. this is a plan that is built and and t integrated, it involving
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as we go along. senator cruz: thank you. senator nelson. senator nelson: i would say with our goal of going to mars, going to an asteroid or the moon -- if we are going to the moon, show me the money. that is the question as we are going forward on the budget that we are projecting. i'll get into that a little later when i get to my questions. center you'd off -- senator udall: thank you for allowing me go forward on questioning on the side. thank you to the witnesses. you have given some impressive testimony. thank you for your service today. scientific research
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commercialization is smart investment. there's no doubt about it. in his -- it is vital to our nations future, national defense, and our economy. in my home state of new mexico, we know this firsthand. nasa workers in new mexico support crucial missions, including communication with the international space station astronomers making new discoveries about black and planets outside our solar system. one of those astronomy operations is a new mexico and does a lot of that work. researchers at our national labs and universities are working hard to keep america safe and create jobs through innovative technology. i look forward to working with chairman crews and the ranking senator nelson on legislation before this committee, including the commercials race launch act
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and nasa's reauthorization. i also want to thank senator nelson, as our previous chairman under his leadership, the senate passed a bipartisan nasa act of 2010. very few senators have been astronauts like senator nelson. he may be the most passionate advocate that has served in congress. i'm honored to serve with him on this committee. now, dr. massimino -- and i put the rest of my opening statement in the record. congress passed the last authorization act into dozens and, as i just mentioned, this law continues to guide nasa as a multi-mission agency, and to quote that multi-mission from the statue -- balance and robust set of core commissions in science, aeronautics, human spaceflight and exploration.
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could you share your thoughts on keeping nasa a multimission agency which in com and compass is not just human spaceflight? dr. massimino: during my time as a nasa not, there were a lot of things going on in our country. we had military situations, economic effects, a lot of things happen. i kind of got the sense that as a government agency, if we had resources that could help -- whatever that meant to whatever our country needed -- it was important for us to contribute what we could. you make the example of -- you mention earth observations, on the international space station, it was a great engineering project this great laboratory, and we can do a lot of basic research up there. in addition to that, we are able
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to have this perch above our planet where we can take imposing photos. in fact, students in my class are doing a project to happen after not help them take photos. it's not just a fun photo, you can get a lot of information from them. changes and the planet, whether it be irrigation pr problems, volcanoes arresting, whatever it may be. it can help our planet by astronauts taking photos from the international space station. it may be a simple example, but i don't necessarily think it is. we are helping our -- using our resources to help other agencies . if there is a way that nothing can contribute to that, and i'm not a nasa guy anymore, but i would spell as an astronaut, if there was anything i could do to help the country or the world we must do it.
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it may not be our primary focus, but we can make a copy contribution. senator udall: it seems to me that there is potential to develop stem fields. can you talk about that? dr. massimino: in my more recent experience at the university professor, the kids need something to be excited about. studying math and science -- i'm not as smart as buzz was that m.i.t.. it was tough and i didn't inspiration to get through. think a lot of students need that. it's not easy studying this stuff. if you have at the end of the day, if i can finish this up, maybe i can make a contribution. that's the kind of motivation that they need. i have not found any field. i would throw the challenge out there. if you can find anything that would inspire kids, young people to study those fields, other
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than the space program, i have not found it. it encompasses only different areas, it excites them, it's something that they think is really cool, it's the future, making contribution back to the planet. they just love it. now, when you have this opportunity to be on new is, i think you're onto something. i can't think of anything that would excite them more. in new york city, not so much of a presence as other parts in the country, they still great interest. senator udall: thank you very much. i have seen that with astronauts that travel from new mexico. in terms of all the stem fields. sorry to excuse myself but senator kerry is in foreign relations, i hope to get back and ask some additional questions. senator cruz: thank you very much. senator garner. senator garner: i will be
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following my colleague from new mexico to the formulations committee. mr. acylamino, i don't think there's anything that captures the human emotion like space expedition. i wrote a letter i would have been nine years old, to nasa. i took a picture of the copy. it's a hard copy. this is the first -- the response back from nasa. the first paragraph of they wrote back to me. thank you for your recent letter and interest in being an astronaut. we are especially happy to have the young people of the world interested in our space program. we have received hundreds of letters similar to years. i doubt they are receiving letters today, and i doubt they are receiving only 100. they are receiving thousands.
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they also spent -- sent a photograph of the crew. i think it was sally ride, the first woman in space. obviously, the first woman in space from the united states, but that was 28 years ago. actually more than that now. it was 2011, 28 years since i wrote this letter to na nasa. i still love -- i stood with my colleagues in the house of representatives as we saw the chapter -- closing of a chapter of space exploration. 28 years ago, watching this program come to an end -- the program that had babies so interested in achieving what i wanted to achieve. we have explored and thought
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pioneered, that is who we are. i'm so concerned about the testimony today. the comments that you made, that we are not capturing the imagination might we once were. we are not driving new innovation. we are driving innovation, but how do we instill that notion of expiration and make it a reality. i think it goes to the heart of what you talk to today about the orion program. we did the test launch. december 5, 2014. we tested this. now, it doesn't look like we are planning to carry astronaut until 2021. can this country afford to wait that long? what can we do to push this up how do we, again, capture the inspiration that drive so many of us to imagine, inspire space ? what is it that we need to do to really drive his mission, this
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idea, this value of space? not just reports and paperwork, something we have to do ourselves. colonel cunningham: i think we need to focus nasa back on what gives them that inspiration. to give you a thought on the stem. i am a strong believer in that. it's how might education was. we worked with the astronaut scholarship foundation, now we are up to 32 awards, every year for this kind of education. but, if we look at the organization nasa, it is also giving out many scholarships now. now, nasa is the space agency. i think if they are going to be giving scholarships, maybe the funds can be diverted to
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someplace where they focus on that. nasa needs to be spending their time and focus on those things that inspire people to do things. exploration is what i happen to believe in the long-term -- look at it. they need to be spending their money on those things that inspire others to make their scholarships derived from other places. i work with scholarships all the time. i believe in them. but, i think the agency -- it just one more thing that they probably have, let's guess, a couple dozen people working just done that, as opposed to doing what they did before, and letting the inspiration drive those things. it's just another alternative. i'm grazing about it. buzz aldrin: i like to tell a story about a month before i
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left nasa in 1970. i was asked to go down to another center where the next program to apollo was being looked at. there were hundreds of aerospace engineers. and, let me describe what the next system was. this was 1970. we may had flown apollo 12 or 13. it was fully reusable with wings and wheels. he carried the crew. it did not carry cargo. you used to reusable booster and put the cargo on top of that. i went to look at the assembly of people. they had seven teams contractor for the booster and orbiter. seven of those. some of them doubled up here and there. they built models.
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my job was to look at the upper stage, the orbiter to see what people could see during launch, orbit, to come down in land. i saw windows in the booster. i can explain that now. i asked the guy, what of the windows here for? when we go up on a normal mission, we have a cockpit with two people in the booster. i said what? we have seven teams. before they started their study, we asked them to do a short study. man versus unmanned booster. if you are one of these seven teams and know what the client wants, if you give him what he wants, you are going to make more money. obviously, all of those reports said yes, you are right. we are going to put a cop of two in cockpit -- we are going to put a cockpit of two in the booster. unnecessary. by the time that started being
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implemented, george said to another person, i wonder if we should have put a cop in the booster -- cockpit in the booster. it was canceled. we had to rush into the shuttle. we would love to have a program like that now. but it was because jealousies of individual centers and wanting to do things. companies wanting to take a bid that would get them more money and maybe bring it back to where the states were doing things. that was inexcusable to me. there are other examples like that. we have three different spacecraft commercial spacecraft, and one advanced one that has been looked at by the russians, the air force. it brings things back. what do we finance? the two capsules with not new
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technology and we don't finance the one that can land on the runway. i think we are making lots of good choices many times. >> thank you. senator nelson? senator nelson: thank you for what you have done for this country, each of you in your own contribution as we have built this amazing thing we are discussing today our american space program. the goal is to go to mars. the goal is to get nasa beyond low earth orbit. the question is, over the course of these years as we target the decade of the 2030's with the budget we are going to have, how
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do we do it? how do we develop the technologies, techniques systems, life-support systems propulsion systems that will get us to a foreign body such as mars with a crew and return them safely? so, we may want to go back to the moon as we develop this. as i said earlier, show me the money. dr. massimino i want to ask you to comment on the plans to capture an asteroid, bring it back into a stable lunar orbit and send a crew up there to land on it. that, as part of the steps as we prepare all of those things i
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just mentioned eventually to go to mars in the decade of the 2030's. dr. massimino: i think we need to remember one thing overall. going to space is hard. i think we need to remember there has only been one country that has put people out of earth orbit. that is us. we did it a long time ago when we spent -- sent buzz and his colleagues of their. the united states is the only one that has done it. it is harder to go on the earth orbit to places like the moon or mars. if we decide we are going to take an incremental approach, which would be the asteroid mission, i think there's a lot that can be learned. we can test this big rocket that can take us places beyond low earth orbit. we can test the space craft that will do it.
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space is a hazardous place. there is a lot of radiation. it gets worse as you get further away from the planet. hubble is higher than the space station. going to the moon is worse. we need to understand how to protect our people. we are taking the steps with the research we do only space station. cap to keep them healthy with all the changes that happened in body, how to keep people healthy enough to land a spacecraft and work and come home. this is tough stuff. we may or may not be able to do that in one big swing. it may be too much to do that in one swing. but i think we need to start taking the first steps. the first step is to give the launch vehicle going like we have with the successful test flight and the others planned. they are far in the future. these are tough things to do. i don't know if more budget would make it quicker. maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't.
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maybe it would give you a better chance of getting there. these are hard things to do. if the asteroid mission is the right thing to do, i think there is a lot we can learn from it. i think we can work out the spacecraft keeping people healthy, understanding how to work the want system --want system. -- launched system. it is a destination. it is a place you can go to. we can learn a lot from it. is it necessary? i don't know. you might be because we might need the incremental step before we take the big leap. the important thing is to be consistent with it. to pull the rug out from where we are, there might be penalty as well. there were a couple of programs in my career as an astronaut. we worked on different spacecraft. i had dinner with two of my friends last night, former astronauts in washington.
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we talked about all the stuff canceled while we were astronauts, all the stuff we trained on while we were astronauts. to make a big direction change is not always the best thing. senator nelson: you were there in the astronaut office when the constellation program was canceled. it was way behind. it was over, waiting for budget -- way over budget. that is what you are talking about. what you sacrifice if you make a major change in the human spaceflight program. dr. massimino: that was a big one. there are other ones. on the space shuttle, they started doing the wiring on that in one of the space shuttles. we spent a lot of time designing the upgrade. that got cut. the story we had was it would cost almost as much to pull it out as to finish the job. there were other options for spacecraft that we were
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developing. they did test in the desert, drop them out of airplanes landing test. these projects were cut. i think there is a penalty to pulling everything back. whether we go to the asteroid, the moon, or mars, i think it is important to keep the momentum going up getting the space shift ready, getting the rocket ready keeping your options open until you're sure which one you want to go to because you might find you might not pick the right one right off the bat. maybe we can go to mars in one swoop. maybe we can't. the astronaut -- asteroid mission is a great week test our systems because we want to be successful when we go to mars. that is a long journey. we need to make sure we get it right when we do it. if the asteroid mission or something with the mental help us get there, that is great. -->> it is always going to be
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expensive for what they are trying to do. for 40 years, the nasa budget has been less than 1% of the federal budget. for the last 15 years, it has been driving down to 0.4% of the federal budget. unless the country, which really is congress, decides to put more money in it, this is just talk here. the budget has got to go up for nasa. that is another reason why i feel strongly nasa has to be operating more efficiently and not doing some of the things which would be marginal. you have to focus it on what has to be done. nasa's budget is too low to do the things we talked about doing here this afternoon. >> absolutely. i like to point out i have this
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study being done at purdue near the end of april. i have assembled 25 other academic institutions that deal with exploration. academic institutions are supposed to be unbiased. they are supposed to teach the general background. if we can come up with a number of questions, some are yes/no, maybe. some are tell me shortly. how do we get the public behind what we are trying to do? they will know what i am trying to do briefly because i will show them. i'm going to give them my assumptions i have had to make. what is the strategy to get the public behind us? what kind of strategy do we need to fund something in 2040? do we step increase to make up for things? do we have a ramp up? not just cost of living, but a ramp up because expenditures are going to be greater. they did it during the apollo program. another question, do we have a
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relationship with china? it is very significant if we are going to do with leadership. i don't want it to get into a lot of that. if we are in between, we should not do things differently at the moon. we still should build things they are -- there so we can build things somewhere else. we don't have to lend their. china needs to things we can build. we have to exert leadership by working with them in low earth orbit. 1975 was contentious in the cold war. much worse than our relations with china today. why did we refuse them to come to our space station? it does not make sense to me. we should be doing that sort of thing together, building on sharing what we are doing. they have got a lot of things to do at the moon. we can help them because it
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helps us with our permanence at mars. if i ask them about asteroid, you can fly it the way it is, you can cancel it, or do something smart in between. if you understand what the smart is in between by sending a robot to an asteroid, then a crew. on board the crew, you have asteroid scientist and robotic that can stay there 60 days. the combined mission is better than he robot or a crew mission. don't these people talk to themselves in washington? why do i have to come up and save if you combined mission, it is a lot better. and you can do it where an asteroid is like the resource councils that we should do. maybe that is not essential. i think it is where you can fly orion with a long-duration support system.
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that is what we will do when we go. we will take orion up. there will be a system that lets a stay for much longer. we will be rotating commercial cruise up and down. not just to the space station but commercials will go to the vicinity of the moon. we will do these things and build. but we don't have to put all our money in building those habitats because the foreigners are going to want them. we are going to want them there and at mars. the foreigners have to land. we are going to develop a sophisticated lending system. we are going to be landing so many people at mars that we can take them along on the first landing. take us along as visitors on your landings. let's not go broke by doing things back at the moon. let's astutely learn to do things that make sense.
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i think if you ask industry or government, he will get a biased answer. if you ask academia, i'm looking forward to this on significant questions coming back from 25 different academic institutions. >> thank you very much. i want to ask one additional question. each of the three of you are learned scientists and national heroes. if i have understood your testimony today correctly, each of you has discussed as a major objective, a grand goal for nasa, going to mars. i would ask each of you to take a moment to address the american people. in your judgment, explain the benefits to america and the world of going to mars and what
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will be required to accomplish that objective. >> i would start by saying the technology required to get us to mars, such things as radiation or finding new velocities and the like to do that, that will create the kind of spinoff. we benefited for 40 years from solving the problems we had to go to the moon. some were started before. but some of it was totally unexpected. you did not know what was going to come u that you solved the problemp,. now it is a list like a cancer in our industry. they are benefiting from it. they have to be willing to pay the money. i am not optimistic about us being able to put the funds out there that we ought to because we are busy spending money in the government for all kinds of
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things for which there is no return. and for all kinds of things which do not inspire people. i happen to believe it is a good use of money. >> rarely does a time, long -- come along in the advancement of human time on earth that we gain the potential of demonstrating to ourselves and the rest of the people the fullest of the challenges. we can put together what is necessary to send people to mars in an efficient way. we can do it by stepping up, by using some things at the moon, but not getting bogged down with a lot of investments that are involved in landing humans, building the rockets to lend them, and in storing them. we don't need to do that anymore. can observe how other people --
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we can observe how other people take care of them. where we want to do that is at mars. we need to invest in things to get to mars. if we invest in an asset stage to go along with the people going to, it will cost more money -- going there, it will cost more money. going there interferes with just the lander. building back assent stage and return capability is taking longer to do that in time. the cost per person on the surface of mars is less if they stay there. if we start bringing people back -- the biggest thing to me is all of this comes along on earth with humanity being able to advance, do all the wondrous things and it is going to cost billions of dollars.
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and we are going to select some human beings to do that. we are going to train them. dear going to send them there -- we are going to send them there. i have gone and come back from a place. let me ask you. what do you think you are going to do with the people that go there and bring them back to continue to pay off the investment of their being the first pioneers, the building up of a growing settlement? they can do far more by keeping mars occupied, helping the new people that come in. you bring them back and they can visit different places. but if you broadcast from mars, you can reach everybody in the world because they will be listening in. you can give them the stories of what you have been doing while you are there. there is no doubt in my mind value we have invested in people
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from whatever the country is, and we put them there on mars, that is where they need to stay. they need to know and understand that this is their opportunity to serve humanity. >> thank you, sir. >> benefits for the american people, what we could get out of this what only imagine we could get if we do this grand exploration. i think eventually we will have to get off this planet to learn how to do it for our own survival. learning what else is out there is great would help our understanding of where we are in the universe, but also to have another place where we could live. another place where we could survive with a good thing for us to have -- would be a good thing for us to have. mars might be that place. if we decide to go there, it is giving us another option.
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if we decide to do this, can you imagine what would be developed to get us there? when you look back at when we developed the shuttle program the benefits in other industries were tremendous. now we are going to make a giant leap and go all the way to mars. can you imagine what would come out of that? i think it will probably have some international flavor to it. i think the united states would be the leaders i hope. i hope we would be doing it with our friends. i think he would be great for international cooperation with other countries providing that benefit for us. i get back to the inspiration. not just because it is a nice thing to do for kids. but that is because that is where our future his. they may not all go and become astronauts. hopefully, more people will have that option and keep them
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interested in the space program. they may not go on to do that and work for nasa. i do think exploration particularly like something you are describing going to mars, would inspire them to stay in school, get their education. maybe they will find something along the way they like better than space. maybe it will be better for us for students to go into medicine or study with a can study in the classroom other than space. i certainly think it will keep their interest. that is an intangible benefit we would get from it as well. i see it as an investment in our future to inspire young kids and help our country, our economy for many years to come. i think it would be a glorious thing to do. >> thank you very much. i want to thank each of the three of you for joining us. this has been a very productive panel. google -- we will conclude this
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panel and move on to the second panel that will start momentarily. thank you very much. >> the hearing will come to order. want to move on to the second panel. we have the vice president and general manager of boeing space exploration. scott pace director of
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the policy institute at george washington university. and president of the commercial spaceflight federation. we will start with mr. elbon. mr. elbon: thank you. members of the committee, thank you for this opportunity to provide boeing's perspective on human space exploration goals and commercial space competitiveness. i want to applaud you both for your opening comments, that spirit of cooperation is heartwarming and essential to our path forward. thank you very much for that. america's economic growth and competitiveness depend on our capacity to innovate, to reach beyond today's possibilities stretch farther and faster than our competitors around the world. our future depends on developing the next generation technologies.
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more important are the next generation mines. just as seafaring ships explored and return home bringing unforeseen discoveries, so too will space faring nations we the benefits our exploration. robots are helping --great at helping a scratch the surface. we humans are needed to truly explore. the success u.s. space missions have achieved and the recognition these innovations have gained have made the united states the most attractive global partner for other nations seeking to advance their own space aspirations. this plays a significant role in the united states' soft diplomacy efforts to increase influence in global affairs and strengthening our alliances. the international space station has been orbiting earth for more than 16 years. astronauts have been continuously living aboard the iss for 14 years. we have been learning valuable lessons about living and working in space in preparation for sending humans beyond lower
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orbit it a model for space cooperation counting 15 nations among the international partners. space is an area where international corporation remains constant and serves as a bridge for other diplomatic discussions. as a leader and major supporter the united states is in a position to supply a vision for space global exploration. we have demonstrated the ability to build long-term space habitats affectively domestic effectively. they're working to understand the effect of extended space travel on the human body. what we have found from the development and operation of i.s.s. isff large space programs do best with three conditions are met. industry involvement long-term stable government investment
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and international cooperation. with nasa's space launch capability we can apply lessons learned in building and operating the i.s.s. two new endeavors and deep space. we must rally a shared commitment for nasa's vision or we risk losing an important investment and the your placeable brain trust of decades. nasa has the foundation for sending humans farther into the solar system than ever before due to the nasa authorization act of 2012 which this committee passed. you must continue down that path in support of the building blocks so important to future success. we have invested years of brainpower and billions of dollars in the international space station preparing for the next week -- leap. we have a commercial program that ensures crew and cargo transport to the i.s.s. boeing combines proven design in
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spaceflight technology with modern innovation for reliable and sustainable crew and cargo transportation systems. use of commercial transportation to sustain i.s.s. lowest-cost and leaves room in nasa's budget to develop the capabilities for exploration beyond low earth orbit. i.s.s. provides unprecedented payload capability that can enable deep space missions not previously achievable. the flawless launch of the crew capsule returned agreed to a data which is a huge step towards mars. the world space agencies agree to mars is our ultimate destination. tessa has programs in place to move toward the path of mars starting with the international space station as a testbed. commercial transportation systems, and for superheavy left and transportation the old lower orbit. thank you for the opportunity to
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testify. i look forward to answer questions. >> thank you. dr. pace. dr. pace: it is an honor to follow the previous panel. thank you for this opportunity to discuss the important topic of the future of human spaceflight. space touches every aspect of modern life. i would like to focus on human space exploration as that topic is the one his future -- whose features most and out today. this is unfortunate because they are among the most interdisciplinary of enterprises requiring skills from every field. successful accomplishment requires engineering skill found only in the most complex and many programs. the ability and willingness of the nation to lead such endeavors conveys much about the nature and intentions of that society. it is my argument that international space cooperation commerce and security discussions could be used three
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enforce each other in ways that would advance u.s. interests in the sustainability and security of all space activities. at present, these activities are largely conducted on individual merits and not part of an integrated national strategy. international space cooperation is not an end in itself but a means of advancing national interest. those can be for security, commerce, science, international influence, or any combination thereof. the human space exploration effort would provide and does provide the historic model and rationale for the unit states -- united states. the next steps will require international partners for practical and political reasons. it makes sense to ask what our partners would like to do and are capable of doing in the future. the answer is, the moon, mars -- with mars and other destinations in the distance. the effort to lead a multinational exploration of the moon would be a practical first
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step as well as a means of creating a broad international framework for cooperation. the geopolitical benefits of improving relations with growing space powers through greater u.s. engagement could support more ambitious exploration efforts than science alone might justify. on the commercial side providing cargo delivery to the lunar surface would be inan attractive market. the volume would be more attractive to industry than the i.s.s. alone could be. the moon not just a physical destination, but also a means of answering questions training, and forging new relationships to serve the interests of the united states and allies. through authorization and appropriation bills congress should provide clear direction for nasa on expiration mission for the 2018-2025 time frame as systems under development begin
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operation. progress -- congress should direct nasa with private sector partners in anticipation of a new administration in 2017. united states is reliant on space systems. future sustainability and governance are key strategic interests for us. if we are to have an inductive -- effective strategy, we need to align our priorities with enduring national interests. that is the way they will be sustainable. this means looking beyond individual missions seeking to determine what future humanity might have beyond the earth and what values will be part of that future. i would like those values to include the things we value today. democracy, human rights, rule of law, free markets. the rules on the front tier are made by the people who show up, not by the people who stay behind. we need to be there to ensure them.
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i close with a quote from oliver wendell holmes. "i find the great thing in the world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving. you must sail sometimes with the wind, sometimes against it. totally must -- but we must sail. you must choose the path that has the most value for our nation. >> thank you. i would note in afternoon when we are listening to learned scientists as a lawyer, i appreciate you throwing a supreme court justice in there . >> thank you. i want to thank you for holding this hearing and providing me the opportunity to testify as president of the commercial spaceflight federation. csf is an organization working to make sure commercial spaceflight is a reality.
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nasa and the commercial sector our partners in america's great national enterprise, space. since the dawn of the space program, cooperation between the government and the private sector has been critical to our accomplishments in space. this cooperation allows us to achieve great things. the relationship has evolved over time. the relationship has given way two more modern and innovative approaches to ensure a wide variety of capabilities and services. my testimony provides detailed examples of these partnerships. i would like to highlight a few of these areas where this new alliance has moved articles the--our space exploration goals forward. and areas we could help with in the future. the crs programs have led to affordable and robust domestic cargo access to the
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international space station, increasing utilization for research and development. the variation of this model has been applied in the commercial crew program, which is developing reliable access to and from low earth orbit. private companies are working on building a variety of capabilities to explore destinations beyond low earth orbit, of which nasa should leverage support. further expansion of the commercial spaceflight industry will create a self reinforcing ecosystem. it will enhance our leadership in space. for the past six months, i have made it my priority to visit all of our member companies. from midland to mojave, this is
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what i have seen. u.s. orbital companies are increasing access to space for a wide variety of customers. this is a positive trend for the u.s. after decades of decline, we are finally we capturing market share in the commercial launch sector. in order to support growth states have been competitively investing in commercial spaceports to ensure state economies have a role in this 21st century business. finally, within our grasp are limitless resources of great commercial value on earth. these resources can be used to press onward deep into the cosmos. several companies are working to
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unlock these resources. as you can see from the growing commercial ecosystem it is not a , surprise we are experiencing private sector investment unlike any seen in history. to continue this progress, we need thoughtful policies and regulatory certainty. congress must set policies that encourage growth and innovation and maintain the u.s. space sectors competitive advantage. as you prepare to reauthorize the commercial space launch act, you can provide critical updates. extending the learning that helps the industry developed rapidly, solidifying launch identification, and addressing the question of how to handle astronauts and vehicles. these and other issues are just
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-- these and other important issues are addressed in my testimony. codifying these policies increase our global competitiveness, promotes industry growth, and strengthens our space-based and keeps the u.s. at the forefront of space technology. the commercial space sector will continue to be a valuable partner in america's ever more ambitious missions to expand our reach in space. i have children who ask me when they can go to space. i am confident that the answer is very soon. thank you for your time. i look forward to your questions. >> thank you. i will begin by deferring to senator nelson for opening questions. senator nelson: my congratulations to your commercial spaceflight sector. they are very successful. indeed, with the competition
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proceeding for the commercial crew, we are seeing a lot of innovation coming out. it is going to be exciting. this will be coming more into focus for the american public over the course of the next couple years. i want to ask you how important do you think extending the i.s.s. beyond its existing termination date in law 2020, how important is that? >> it is an important step. it is a gem of a gnat -- national laboratory. the research taking place is incomparable. i was talking to a colleague about the scientific and medical research that is being conducted up there, the practical applications on earth are incalculable.
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the other great aspect of the international space station is the partnership it has with the commercial sector. the experiments we are doing -- i was inspired by a trip to the west coast and a company called made in space. through nasa programs, it was able to build and test 3-d printers on a suborbital level and they are on the international space station right now. astronauts on the international space station needed a five-inch ratchet and did not have it. they were able to, from california, send up the image from this ratchet and they were able to print it on the space station. fantastic. that is the kind of innovation that we are seeing through these partnerships.
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i am very inspired by that. senator nelson: dr. pace, how could we encourage international partners to help us continue the space station beyond 2020? dr. pace: i think first of all the u.s. has already taken the first important step, which is to have taken the lead on the effort to go to 2024 and to work with the other partners to make that possible. it was important for the united states to move first. we are the indispensable nation in that regard. the second thing we can do is we can help our partners show how to improve utilization on the station by things the commercial industry is able to do. at my university, we had a workshop for a company called
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nanoracks, which is putting small payloads aboard the space station. there has been a creation of an ecosystem around the reality of a government facility, and other commercial people have been able to build around it. a small educational establishment went from signing a contract to deploying a satellite in less than nine months. that is an amazing turnaround time. it was made possible by the private sector innovation working with government facilities. when the antares vehicle was lost, the company was able to work quickly to be manifest all of those payloads and was able to find rideshare opportunities for other satellites.
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the innovation with the private sector is aiding and supporting the conduct of research aboard the station, which i believe, in turn, will help our partners. i would also have to say that continuation is not guaranteed. our partners are under great pressure in europe, canada japan, and we know the volatility in russia. it is by no means an assured thing. it is very fragile. we need to be looking at what will come beyond the space station in order to ensure people that they will continue beyond today. senator nelson: you're right in the middle of it. we are counting on you to be one of those means of transportation for crew to get us up there. you have a proven workhorse. that launches a lot of cargo into orbit. are you positive about this
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commercial section maturing? >> i am. i will put it in this light. boeing is going through its 100 year anniversary as a company. during that reflection, you can see the aviation industry growth -- grow from just the beginning industry to the incredible industry it is today. i think commercial space is at that same pivot point now. the effort being done to have nasa serve as the foundational customer for that growth is similar to the way the government participated in the early days of aviation. as we develop vehicles to meet those needs, the capability will grow. >> thank you. i would like to shift to asking
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each of you, what do you see right now as the greatest impediments to the continued development and expansion of our commercial crew and cargo capacity? >> i would say that having the market develop is important. commercial industries follow the market. continuing -- extending iss -- continuing the research on i.s.s., which, by itself, is a great thing independently, it can provide a starting point going forward. it is important that we maintain the industry in such a way that it is safe and reliable. and don't let public opinion you wrote -- the road -- and don't
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let public opinion erode because we have accidents that could have been avoided. we need to keep it as a robust industry. things like the legislation which helped with the cost of insurance for launches. we need to develop working relationships with regulatory agencies like the f.a.a., similar to the way we do with commercial airplanes. it is a good partnership. keeping that going is important. those are things to stimulate the growth of the commercial sector. >> dr. pace? dr. pace: market demand in a predictable environment. that is generally driven by government, to the extent that we can see nongovernment demand come from activities, things beyond the space station, then it will be more sustainable. that begs the question, what comes after the space station? although we are talking about
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extending to 2025, in aerospace terms, that is right around the corner. one of the things i worry about is, if you are not planning today as to what you will be doing next, what you are doing is planning to go out of business. we need to have very thoughtful discussions very soon as to i.s.s. extensions and post-i.s.s. extension what that will look like. without that, there will not be that investment environment, nor will be international partner environment. that uncertainty is the greatest thing we could address. >> you mentioned in your testimony some suggested reforms in reauthorization of the space launch act. i would welcome your elaborating. >> regulatory uncertainty is a major barrier that launch
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industry could face. with indemnification it is , critical for our global competitiveness. right now, china, france, japan all indemnifiedy more than the u.s. extending the learning. extending the learning period. if we want to foster this space economy that we have, we have to extend that to continue to work together as partners. nothing is more paramount to the commercial companies than safety. if you do not have a safe product, you will have a the less you will not have a commercial product. the regulatory uncertainty is critical, but also the funding. knowing the commercial crew. i find it completely unacceptable that we have to depend on the russians to launch u.s. astronauts to the iss.
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any sort of disruption and the -- in the commercial crew program i think be a tremendous setback. i know how much it pains the nasa administrator to have to extend those flights to 2018. for contingency purposes. i think if we continue with the prudent budgetary measures through the commercial crew program, i think that is one of the best ways we can move forward, especially with the commercial space launch act. >> you mentioned concerns about safety. obviously, there is an element of risk. the safest option would be never to go into space. what is the right way for regulation to balance the safety concerns with the desire to continue expanding our capability and exploring new frontiers? >> you have to test and learn. we found that out the hard way
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this past october. as americans, we will continue to push the envelope. this is what we want to do. we have mentioned our westward expansion goals -- the manifest destiny of the united states. safety will always be an issue. as my colleague, my predecessor once told me the thing you have to number is that 10,000 things can go wrong. only one thing can go right. that is something you always have to keep in mind. it is the redundancy of safety testing, evaluating, learning from the testing that you are doing, the data you collect to move forward. i think the commercial industry is doing that. i think the commercial industry is doing that in spades. >> what is the shortest timeframe we can reasonably know -- no longer be dependent on the russian soyez and the rd180?
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what would be required to accelerate that timeframe? >> i will address that from the perspective of launching the commercial crew. we are on a path to be able to launch crew in 2017. that path is paced by the internal work we are doing with suppliers. going to the certification process that will allow us to certify that vehicle based on the lessons we have learned on the shuttle and station so that it is certified and ready to fly. our program at the moment is not being paced by dollars. if the question was hunting if we could apply more money to go faster, we need to apply funding that we proposed in our contract.
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we will be able to achieve that on the pace we are on. relative to the rd180, i would say this. the atlas 5 is an incredibly dependable launch vehicle. it has had 53 successful launches. that is the reason we selected it as our launch vehicle. it would seem that over time, it would make sense to work to transition away from dependence on russians. i would hope we don't do that in an abrupt way that would cause us to impact our national security. and also, our commercial launch industry. i am hopeful that that is a thoughtful process and that we work through that in a way that addresses the geopolitical concerns but also the technical concerns. >> how would you define a thoughtful process? there is always the risk geopolitically, that if things
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escalate with vladimir putin and he decides to use access to space as a weapon, where he to -- were he to cut off access to the soyez or rd180, that would impose hardships on the united states. how would you propose we deal with that potential threat? >> we have an inventory of existing engines. they are available to use with engines on order coming. keeping that pipeline open is good. i do not have insight into where it is going, but we are working with another company for a replacement engine for the rd1 80. working through that in a way that doesn't declared no more but using the assets we have and
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keeping the pipeline open as long as we can to facilitate transition. >> i think it depends on where you think the immediate risks are. if you thought there was a risk tomorrow or today, the answer is that we have the inventory that we have. beyond that, you have an expensive option but a doable option, which is manifesting on the delta. looking beyond that, the answer ultimately of course is to have a united states source. the proposals that have been put forward for building a replacement engine, the numbers i have heard have been three or four years. perhaps that could be accelerated. i think there are probably parts that you cannot accelerate. if you think that the crises with russia is not going to go away, it is going to be with us for some time, the answer is to begin development of that engine. and to do so now.
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if it turns out everything works out great or we have other options come up, that is fine. but if we do not have that option then we will find our negotiating leverage much reduced. >> i would add that one of our companies -- they are working on developing a new engine to help alleviate the rd180 problem. i have been to that facility in seattle. it is tremendously impressive what they are doing out there. as well as what spacex is doing. i think they would like to be online and get us off our russian dependence as soon as possible. unfortunately, i think that date is no sooner than 2017.
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>> thank you very much. i appreciate the testimony you have given. this was i think a very productive hearing. i would note, for each of you, the question of regulatory uncertainty was a question all three of you raised. that is a significant concern of mine. in moving forward with reauthorization of the commercial launch act, regulatory reform is going to be a component that we are going to look at. i would welcome from each of the witnesses your specific ideas on reforms that would provide greater certainty, to accelerate the development of either commercial crew or commercial launch or commercial cargo, and expand the commercial capacity we have. i will also note that the hearing record will remain open for two weeks. during that time, senators are asked to submit questions for the record. upon receipt, the witnesses are requested to submit their
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written answers to the committee as soon as possible. with that, i want to thank each of you for being here. i want to thank our witnesses on the first panel, and hearing is included. thank you.
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>> coming up in a few minutes, we will be live from the alliance for health reform. their hosting a forum on obamacare. it is due to get underway at noon eastern on c-span. president obama is trembling today. he is in columbia, south carolina, where he will be speaking at benedict college. pictures of the president leaving the white house at about 10:30 this morning. the president will take part in a town hall meeting. live coverage will get underway at 2:15 eastern.
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the president and his staff left this morning about 10:30 eastern. here is how a newspaper is covering today's visit. barack obama making his first visit to south carolina since becoming president delivering remarks at benedict college. the president has not visited the state since winning the state presidential primary in january students from other area colleges have been invited to hear the president speak at that addict -- benedict. live now to the alliance for health reform and a discussion on the heal affordable care. -- affordable care act. this session will focus on provisions that impact private and public insurance