S. Hrg. 111-863: Challenges and Opportunities in the NASA Fiscal Year 2011 Budget Proposal, Hearing Before the Subcommittee on Science and Space of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, United States Senate, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, Second Session, February 24, 2010   [open pdf - 514KB]

From the opening statement of Bill Nelson: "We have had quite a discussion about the future of our Nation's space program, and it all started with the new Administration impaneling a very prestigious blue ribbon panel, the Augustine Commission, headed by a former space expert and former CEO, Norm Augustine. And after that--it was such a comprehensive report-- many of us urged the White House, as they started to develop their budget, to fund NASA at the level that the Augustine Commission said. Essentially, if you wanted to have a robust space program, other than the existing budget, you would have to have a fairly significant increase in funding. Well, the White House decided a significant increase in funding, that they would recommend to the Congress--$6 billion over 5 years--and that, in this budgetary environment, is no small matter. But, it was only half of what the Augustine Commission was recommending. And over and over, as I shared with the White House staff and with the President as well, that there's only one person that can lead the space program, and that is the President, and that the President--who I know, personally, to be a space fan, a space aficionado--would have to make that declaration of support. And what happened was that, instead of a declaration of support, the NASA budget, which has a lot of very forward-thinking and cutting-edge ideas were rolled out just as part of the regular budgetary message. In the process, it ended up, in some cases, being misinterpreted, in other cases, giving a false impression, and in other cases, became overlooked as part of the President's budget." Statements, letters, and materials submitted for the record include those of the following: Bill Nelson, David Vitter, George S. LeMieux, Charles F. Bolden, Jr., Robert Gibson, Miles O'Brien, Michael J. Snyder, Thomas A. Young, John D. Rockefeller IV, and Kay Bailey Hutchison.

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S. Hrg. 111-863; Senate Hearing 111-863
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