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Capitol Hill News

Mollohan in Tough Primary Race Today

May 11th, 2010

Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) is in a tight primary race today.   With anti-incumbent fervor shaping political races this year, Rep. Mollohan’s close to 30 years in the House may work against him rather than for him as would be typically true.   He chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA.   How a loss today would affect the congressional debate over NASA’s new plan for human spaceflight is unknown.  Even if he wins today, he faces Republican opposition in November.   His opponent today, state Senator Mike Oliverio, is quoted as saying that “Congress is broken” and “we need to clean House.”    Stay tuned.

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Capitol Hill News

Mollohan Loses Primary

May 11th, 2010

UPDATE:  Rep. Mollohan lost the primary.  He will remain in Congress for the rest of this year, of course, but the extent to which his lame duck status affects the outcome of the debate on NASA’s FY2011 funding and the Obama plan for human space flight is an unknown at this point.

ORIGINAL STORY:  Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV) is in a tight primary race today.   With anti-incumbent fervor shaping political races this year, Rep. Mollohan’s close to 30 years in the House may work against him rather than for him as would be typically true.   He chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee that funds NASA.   How a loss today would affect the congressional debate over NASA’s new plan for human spaceflight is unknown.  Even if he wins today, he faces Republican opposition in November.   His opponent today, state Senator Mike Oliverio, is quoted as saying that “Congress is broken” and “we need to clean House.”    Stay tuned.

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Who’s Who of Space to Testify At Senate Commerce Hearing

May 10th, 2010

In a rare public appearance to talk about the future of the human spaceflight program, Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the Moon, will testify to the Senate Commerce committee on Wednesday.   Mr. Armstrong will be joined by fellow Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan — the last man to walk on the Moon.  Armstrong landed on the Moon along with Buzz Aldrin on Apollo 11 in 1969.   Cernan and Harrison (Jack) Schmitt (later a U.S. Senator) visited the Moon on Apollo 17 in 1972.  Also testifying  Wednesday will be Presidential Science Adviser John Holdren, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, and Norm Augustine who chaired the 2009 Augustine Committee that provided options to the Obama Administration on the future of the human space flight program..

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