House Science Committee Launches Investigation into NASA Press Release

Lamar Smith
Lamar Smith

WASHINGTON (House Science Committee PR) – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) and Space Subcommittee Chairman Brian Babin (R-Texas) today sent a letter to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Charles Bolden regarding the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). NASA recently issued a press release that implies the ARM has gained acceptance by advisory bodies.

“As the incoming Administration evaluates ARM, it would benefit from clear guidance from both NASA and its advisory bodies. Similarly, it should be unencumbered by decisions made in the twilight of this Administration’s term. Contrary to the assertions made in the press release, numerous advisory bodies have questioned the merits of the President’s ARM mission. The NASA Advisory Council, the Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG), and the National Research Council have all raised concerns with the mission since its proposal by the Administration,” the letter states.

Today’s letter requests documents associated with the consideration, development, formulation, drafting, production, and dissemination of the press release and a recent SBAG Special Action Team report.

The late Frank Grimes

Editor’s Note: The House Science Committee is investigating a press release? Are you serious? Of course you’re serious. You guys went all cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs a long time ago.

Trump needs to be “unencumbered by decisions made in the twilight of this Administration’s term.” What decisions? To put out a press release? And when has Trump ever felt encumbered by anything? Decency. Precedent. Truth.

And a 10-page letter? You needed 10 pages for that?

Don’t you have anything better to do with their time? Like passing a budget so agencies like NASA can do their work properly? The fiscal year ended on Sept. 30. Now I hear you guys are going with a continuing resolution until March.



  • Andrew_M_Swallow

    There is no mystery about NASA talking about contracts. The draft budget bill produced by the Committee contains money for ARM. NASA has to convert the money into action including the issuing of contracts. The bill is late, Congress was meant to deliver it to the President in September.

  • I can’t wait until this ignorant lying cretin takes over NASA completely. By the time he is done with it, there will be nothing left of NASA, and we can finally bury Constellation.

  • windbourne

    Hopefully, Trump’s actions cause a major breakup of the gop. I’m tired of wasting our tax money do that gop can do their politics.

  • ThomasLMatula

    It’s not hard to understand, they need an excuse for a good old fashion “witch hunt” to cleanse NASA of the legacy of President Obama – BYOP. (Bring Your Own Pitchfork) 🙂

  • mlc449

    Those tax dollars hard at work.

  • windbourne

    well, the legacy was keeping the CCXdev going while the GOP was working to kill it off. If SpaceX flies their FH and Dragon V2 next year, then O has a decent legacy.

  • Snofru Chufu

    Hey, fake scientist, go away! Escape to Canada for ever.

  • I might, or I might not. I’m still waiting for January 20th anyways.

    But I can tell you definitively, is that I don’t take advice from religious people, authoritarians and fascists. That’s really just not my style.

  • JamesG

    That wasn’t very professional Doug.

    Generally things like this are political signals and “soft pitches” to give agencies and proponent organizations an opportunity to reframe/cast a program’s details and merits. In this case with ARM going from a “shits and giggles” exercise in money spending, I mean, a science and technology demonstrator, into something more tuned to the incoming administration. You know something about doing great things. Great!

  • Douglas Messier

    They needed to send a 10-page letter in public to do that? Are there no other channels of communications available to them? NASA already knows Congress doesn’t like this plan. They’ve been expressing it for years through a lack of actual funding. Is there a chance in hell of this surviving Trump?

    As for professionalism….We’re still waiting them to pass a budget for FY 2017 and it’s now two months into the fiscal year. I’m hearing they won’t get around to it until the spring now. It would be easy to blame this on the change of administration if it didn’t every year. This is like their main job, and they #FAIL at it ever year.

    And don’t get me started on all the other stupid things the science committee does….

  • JamesG

    Much like promises, words (and paper) are cheap in DC. They don’t call our politics “sausage making” for nothing you know.

    But you shouldn’t complain, this year’s CR has an increase to NASA and most everything’s budget. Next year you’ll probably see a budget passed and signed. Careful what you ask for. 😉

  • therealdmt

    That’s true — when compared to what could be coming, the continuing resolution this year could actually be a relatively good thing…

  • therealdmt

    Let the inquisitions begin!

  • publiusr

    Well with Hillary down–the GOPpers get crabby–so it’s best to keep them distracted.