Bridenstine Releases American Space Renaissance Act

Rep. Jim Bridenstine
Rep. Jim Bridenstine

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) has released a draft of the American Space Renaissance Act, which he says will

  • project military strength and protect our space based capabilities
  • provide certainty to encourage commercial space innovation
  • promote stability, accountability, and mission clarity at NASA

The 110-page (!) bill is aimed at a major overhaul of American military, civil and commercial policies. It includes such changes as appointing the NASA administrator to a five-year term, creating a Congressional appointed board to oversee the space agency, and giving NASA a clear mandate to pioneer space.

Personally, I can’t imagine any sane president handing control of NASA over to Congress. And yes, I realize sane may not describe some of the current candidates for that office, so anything could happen.

Bridenstine has created a website where the provisions of the bill are explained and people can submit comments about them.

I will provide a more in-depth analysis of the provisions on Parabolic Arc once I get an opportunity to review them.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Space policy from the office of the president has been a failure for a very long time. I know the Congress is dysfunctional now, but even in that dysfunction as an institution it can keep a program going across presidential terms of office. Love it or hate it, (I hate it) SLS has survived the Obama administration. Congress also kept the Voyager, Pioneer, and the MER rovers going. It’s the best institution we have to keep long term projects going. Now the question is how to steer the institution in a less wasteful direction. I think the past 40 years have been a in the laboratory experiment that shows the office of the president is no place to maintain and keep a stable space policy.

  • Douglas Messier

    Obama actually showed leadership in cancelling Constellation. Congress decided the hits to individual states and districts were too painful to endure, so they blocked it. We’re now left with two programs that employ a great number of people but will burden NASA with high operating costs for decades to come as we try to move out beyond LEO.

    I would look for more of that with a NASA governing board dominated by Congressional appointees. I don’t see that this change would solve much of anything.

  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    I would agree with you on the leadership claim if he actually advocated his mission desires by working with the Congress in setting up the long term programs and setting aside the funds and working with the contractors and local stake holders. That would have meant working with the Congress before he announced his policy. Included in that would be working with local states who would have something to lose and something to gain with the loss of Bush’s program and the advent of Obma’s new program. If you’re about to say ‘But the Congress had/has no intention of working with the president.”, I agree, but it looks like he did not even try (I’m ready to be wrong on this.). Also if I were in office and the Congress would not work with me, I’d try to do an end run around them. He’s done it for other issues. Space does not matter for this president, it gets lip service.

    Now one thing that Obama will be remembered for, will be advent of Space X and Blue Origin. Letting those seeds take root, is going to this administrations greatest contribution to tomorrow. Forget health care, or Syria, 100 years from now this administration will be remembered as the era of the beginning of the second space age.

  • That would piss off a LOT of people if they weren’t dead.

  • savuporo

    In a way, it sucks that he cancelled CxP. Letting it draw out its own painful death would maybe have put us in a better position now.

  • therealdmt

    Is it just me, or is that guy’s head unusually small?

  • therealdmt

    Like someone from Beetlejuice or something…

  • That’s exactly where we are now, six years later. Constellation isn’t dead, it’s alive and well. It’s hard to kill a Monster, and they keep emerging from the Doctor’s castle with regularity.

    Just wait, the doctor with six degrees will be back to try again.

  • windbourne

    how would that have helped us?
    Both Constellation and SLS were/are budgetary nightmares.

  • savuporo

    Letting it draw out to an inevitable disaster sooner would have maybe had a chance of killing the entire shuttle derived whatever idea for good. SLS just drags it out further

  • Considering we are something like 25 years into it, I doubt that will make much difference.

  • Douglas Messier

    He’s new in Congress. Give him some more time in office for head to swell up.