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U.S. Senate Hearing: Video, Testimony on Human Exploration Goals, Commercial Space

February 25th, 2015
Recent Senate hearing involved testimony from former NASA astronauts Walt Cunningham, Buzz Aldrin, Mike Massimino, as well as leaders in the exploration, policy, and commercial space industry. Credit: Ted Cruz Twitter Feed

Recent Senate hearing involved testimony from former NASA astronauts Walt Cunningham, Buzz Aldrin, Mike Massimino, as well as leaders in the exploration, policy, and commercial space industry.
Credit: Ted Cruz Twitter Feed

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), chairman of the Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, convened a hearing on Tuesday, February 24, 2015.

The hearing was entitled “U.S. Human Exploration Goals and Commercial Space Competitiveness.”

Former NASA astronauts that testified were Walt Cunningham, Buzz Aldrin, Mike Massimino, joining leaders in space industry.

The hearing was called to provide the Space, Science, and Competitiveness Subcommittee and the American people “a great opportunity to reflect on the past, analyze the present, and examine the future of space travel in the United States,” said Cruz in calling the hearing.

“We will look to ensure that NASA and commercial space have clear and consistent mission objectives and can continue to work alongside our international partners, but not be dependent on them. America should once again lead the way for the world in space exploration,” Cruz said in a pre-hearing statement.

The hearing examined the United States’ goals in human space exploration, including the role of the commercial space industry and its contributions to U.S. global competitiveness.

Among other issues, the hearing was called to discuss the importance of a sound exploration strategy that involves NASA, partnerships with international allies, and innovation and competitiveness in the U.S. commercial space sector.

The hearing examined whether updates are needed to the Commercial Space Launch Act.

Check out this C-Span video link of the hearing at:

http://www.c-span.org/video/?324519-1/hearing-future-us-space-exploration

To read the prepared testimony of each witness, go to these links:

Witness Panel 1

1)
Col. Walt Cunningham (USMC, Ret.)
Former Astronaut and Apollo 7 Pilot
http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=fcb15c53-c53c-4c08-bbe0-cd7b67f5c5ee

2)
Col. Buzz Aldrin (USAF, Ret.)
Former NASA Astronaut and Apollo 11 Pilot
http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=5dd98aa0-32bb-4762-a978-c17cebfd82bb

3)
Mr. Michael Massimino
Former NASA Astronaut and Mission Specialist for Space Shuttle Program
http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=0ca0f7ef-4da7-4f24-b67d-bf0881e70e6a

Witness Panel 2

4)
Mr. John Elbon
Vice President and General Manager
Boeing Space Exploration
http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=b7db287a-6c45-4b62-a3e4-106e918af072

5)
Dr. Scott Pace
Director, Space Policy Institute
Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University
http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=8e97c713-8642-4e75-b999-48ee31751b51

6)
Mr. Eric Stallmer
President
Commercial Spaceflight Federation
http://www.commerce.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=215804c5-33c3-4c29-9eed-638eff02f8ef

By Leonard David