Rohrabacher, Hutchison and Hall Praise NASA Commercial Crew Deal

Key Congressional leaders are praising the deal reached between NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) that will allow the space agency to select multiple commercial crew providers using Space Act Agreements later this year.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)

Washington, Jun 5 – Today, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) issued the following statement on the agreement reached between Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA), chairman of the House Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations subcommittee and NASA on the future of the commercial crew program:

“I am pleased that CJS Appropriations Chairman Frank Wolf and NASA Administrator Bolden were able to come to an agreement ensuring that the Commercial Crew Program will move forward quickly while preserving competition in the program. This leadership will help bring about safe, reliable, domestic access to space for our astronauts on commercial vehicles, saving money, creating jobs in America, and leveraging our greatest strengths to maintain our international leadership in space.”

Rep. Rohrabacher is a senior member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison released the following statement on an important exchange of communications between Congressman Frank Wolf(R-VA) and officials with NASA.

Congressman Wolf is the chairman of the House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations subcommittee. He has reached an agreement with NASA on the future of the nation’s space program.

“I applaud the announcement made today by Representative Frank Wolf(R-VA) on the understanding he has reached with NASA Administrator Bolden.

“I had previously called for NASA to down-select from four potential commercial providers to the top two firms. Today’s announcement follows that prescription and is welcome news.

“This is an important turning point that should keep development of commercial crew capability on schedule and on budget, and assure that NASA will also have the financial and human resources it needs to move forward with developing heavy launch capabilities for deep space exploration.

“We should have two goals: To ensure full manned access to the space station that utilizes the investment made in that unique microgravity laboratory and to reach our nation’s next horizon in space exploration beyond low earth orbit. Both of these goals can be achieved if we invest taxpayer dollars wisely and take advantage of the years of invaluable experience developed within NASA.

Senator Hutchison is the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science.

Rep. Ralph Hall

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX)

Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, released the following statement on NASA’s latest commitment to Congress to revise and improve development of its Commercial Crew Program.  NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. outlined details of the agency’s plans on June 4, 2012.

I am pleased that NASA has laid out a cost-effective plan to continue development of a commercial crew capability that maintains strong reliance on industry competition during the upcoming integrated design phase.  This approach will ultimately ensure best prices for NASA and the taxpayer, foster innovative and robust designs, and hold competitors to a strict schedule.

“I have been concerned about NASA’s ability to enforce safety-related requirements, so I am pleased that NASA has agreed to use a traditional federal acquisition approach for the final phase of design and testing, ensuring that NASA will be able to require commercial crew providers to meet the highest levels of safety for their launch systems.

“This approach answers many lingering concerns voiced by Members of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology about uncertainties plaguing the program’s cost, and its ability to mandate crew safety design features.   The Committee plans to hold an oversight hearing later this summer on NASA’s progress on the Commercial Crew Program.”