Live Blog - House Appropriations Science Subcommittee Hearing March 23, 2010

Hearing Part 1

The Hearing for the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.

AmericaSpace Note: We’ll be posting hearing video after its over.

AmericaSpace Note 2: We decided to use the hearing recess to upload the first part of the hearing. This is a large file.

AmericaSpace Note 3: All three hearing parts have been uploaded and are linked to their respective points in the hearing. If you would like to watch each one without reading the blog, they are here:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Enjoy!

CHAIRMAN MOLLOHAN
Opening statement.

Starts by discussing how NASA rose came to be.

Now talking about President’s NASA proposals. Under this, NASA’s mission shifts from NASA developing rockets to technology. Exploration will be for a while via robots. Human flight will be by commercial launchers. Do we really want to channel Apollo again?

NASA ADMINISTRATOR BOLDEN
Opening statement.

Oops, audio just dropped-out. We’ll see how long it takes for that to get fixed.

Audio barely back. Just the usual stuff from the Administrator about how wonderful terminating NASA’s human space flight program is, about how we could not afford Constellation, and so on.

Administrator Bolden had forgotten to turn-on his microphone.

Game changing innovations to accelerate our human and science programs…

Green avaiation, NextGen.

Education initiatives (we guess so that NASA can take up a new mission as a psudo-Dept. of Education).

MOLLOHAN
Thank you Administrator Bolden. We will have to leave in 5 minutes for a vote. We’ll recess during vote and then return to continue.

Last month, you said that it was difficult to send astronauts to Mars safely.

BOLDEN
Radiation is the long pole in the tent.

MOLLOHAN
What aobut other destinations?

BOLDEN
The moon trip is 2-3 days so radiation threat is not severe.

MOLLOHAN
What technologies are needed to deal with this problem?

BOLDEN
If I could snap my fingers, would want new propulsion that would shrink mission time. Technologies to deal with radiation are also needed.

MOLLOHAN
Why was Constellation proposed for termination

BOLDEN
Constellation was severely over budget and over schedule. In order to invest in R&D for Moon and Mars trips, Constellation would have sucked up money for those efforts.

MOLLOHAN
Billions have been invested in Constellation. Was that a waste?

BOLDEN
We have seen great technologies. From way of processing vehicles have impacted us. Some of the R&D on ISS came from Constellation. Rovers that could be used to go to the Moon, while not directly from Constellation, funding and research came from Constellation.

MOLLOHAN
Those benefits aside, not continuing is a waste of invested money. Is there a waste in going forward?

BOLDEN
Going forward with Program of Record puts us on an unsustainable trajectory given current budget realities and wouldn’t reach Moon til 2030’s.

MOLLOHAN
I feel Bush announced a great vision but didn’t fund it. Why not stretch it out?

BOLDEN
Constellation was grown the way it was because we stretched it out. Look at stretching ISS with costed $40B. ISS is 3rd or 4th iteration of ISS. I could not in good conscience tell President to keep going to lunar-centric program. Altair had never been funded due to budget issues.

MOLLOHAN
Why shouldn’t Ares I become base of Astronaut transport.

BOLDEN
Ares I is very costly. Keeps us in same paradigm, huge infrastructure, of the past. We can get away from that by using commercial entities who operate their own infrastructure. Shuttle is a commercial vehicle. Operating Shuttle cost $2B a copy. Tomorrow, I’ll just buy the rocket. MOC will be operated as today. Operational concept, which he hasn’t developed today, will be different. (still doesn’t have any details…just like last month)

MOLLOHAN
So, Ares doesn’t cost any less or more than commercial, rather that savings is in operations?

BOLDEN
Develepment costs of human commercial launchers will be less than Ares I…that is too early to say.

MOLLOHAN
Whats the basis of that statement? You’re pretty far down the line with Ares.

BOLDEN
We’re no that far along with Ares…

MOLLOHAN
The commercial vehicles are further along?

BOLDEN
Those companies like ULA and others are ready to launch cargo.

MOLLOHAN
But cargo transport isn’t the goal, its people?

BOLDEN
Whether crew or cargo, we are at the same stage for certifying them for human rating. (We haven’t heard anything about that…)

Hearing Part 2

AmericaSpace Note: Hearing is about to restart. Many more Subcommittee members are present than before.

MOLLOHAN
Hearing has resumed. Going to ask more questions about time and cost of Ares I and commercial.

B
Yes, Mr. Chairman, I do. To fly Ares I, it would cost $4B – $4.5B per year. Infrastructure is the biggest cost driver.

M
What if you used a different upper-stage? A different crew module? And focusing on only on ISS missions.

B
To design and build a crew vehicle, an Orion Lite, could fly on EELV’s but we could not send it beyond LEO.

MOLLOHAN
How are commercial companies going to do this?

BOLDEN
Commercial human launchers will pay for thier development. Whether Boeing, SpaceX, the vehicle which carries the crew will vary by company. Maybe we can help them develop a common crew module. Everything today is tailored and individual. Orion will not fit on a SpaceX, Atlas, or Delta vehicle. No interchangeability.

MOLLOHAN
Moving from cost to timing, what is the fastest to get us back into orbit.

BOLDEN
The fastest is to go to the commercial entities, which I helped the President

MOLLOHAN
Aren’t you describing a faster, better, cheaper.

BOLDEN
Well, you’ll never hear me say that.

MOLLOHAN
Well that is what it sounds like.

BOLDEN
It will be cheaper to get to LEO and ISS cheaper and faster using commercial launchers. For getting to the Moon, we can’t do that if we continue with Constellation. I want to get NASA back in the exploration business. Big difference in management vs. oversight.

MOLLOHAN
In Financial Times March 18 issue, couple of quotes. Opponents to President’s proposal means risking national capabilities and world stature.

BOLDEN
I disagree. We’ve talked with AF Secretary and others and we all agree going commercial is best for nation.

MOLLOHAN
I’d like you to respond to this. NASA would pursue new technologies that would take us to new destination. But there is not time-table and destination? Is that the problem, that you’re not articulating a vision that inspires? Why is this not grabbing a lot of people.

BOLDEN
The destination is Mars. I wish I could tell you the date certain. I need time to develop the capabilities to get there. Americans will still be very active on ISS for years. As for National Security and leadership, ISS is what allows us to lay claim to world human space leadership. Sometimes people confuse bigness with boldness. Sometimes you lead not by being out front, but by doing what needs to be done. We’re the integrators of the ISS. We are the leaders until we say we are not.

MOLLOHAN
How many Shuttle flights did you participate in?

BOLDEN
4.

MOLLOHAN
That would suggest you have some insights into these issues. In our report last year. Reading the Shelby language. There is some concern that provision is being complied to.

BOLDEN
We are complying. We have not terminated any contracts or asked for slow-downs. I have authorized the cessation of procurement activities, which I have explained. These were downstream Constellation contracts for things that would not have been realized by 2011. Bob Cabana recommended some procurement terminations.

MOLLOHAN
Couldn’t that be construed as a termination?

BOLDEN
No, there was no contract.

MOLLOHAN
Regarding your decisions, or others that could be construed, have you consulted lawyers?

BOLDEN
We consulted NASA’s general counsel. When I’ve asked for multiple views, I’ve gotten multiple views. I welcome the GAO’s examination of this.

MOLLOHAN
So with regard to these questions and your decisions, you’ve complied with the language?

BOLDEN
Yes.

REP. WOLF
Everyone thinks you’re a fine person. But not many agree with you. Kris Kraft has said that the US space program is at great peril if the President’s program is adopted. Apollo 17 Harrison Schmidt has criticized this move. I would like this submitted to the record.

The President’s plan has not been accepted by many in Congress. I’ve asked people, leaders in space, what they think off the record. One of the most frequent criticisms is that there is no goal.

BOLDEN
With the President’s new program, the goal is to put people on Mars in the foreseeable future. We can’t answer when because we don’t have the technologies. We need to develop those technologies. Those criticizing this program are learned but they are using the Cold War paradigm. We didn’t do anything in partnership. Now we have a different paradigm, we do international partnerships. We won’t be able to go to Mars without international partners. ISS couldn’t have been built without international partnerships. Loosing out to China on the race to the Moon is impossible, we already won. China will find 6 US flags. And Chinese footsteps will be on American ones.

WOLF
Many of the individuals I’m referencing are young, younger than you.

The Shuttle program is being shut down at the end of the year. Now you want to propose to shut-down Constellation. How many civil servant jobs will be lost and what will be the industrial base impact.

BOLDEN
Obama Administration did not bring about the Shuttle end. We have learned many lessons in transitioning out of the Shuttle and that will be useful later. We think we know how to transition a workforce to a new program.

WOLF
How many jobs will be lost?

BOLDEN
Will get that for you for the record. At KSC, that could be 5,000.

WOLF
Charles Krauthammer wrote that in the interim space will be owned by the Russians and China.

Once you are ahead in the race and fall behind, what are the implications of the Chines reaching the Moon before we do?

BOLDEN
The Chinese may reach the Moon when we reach Mars…

WOLF
If the Chinese reach the Moon before we do…

BOLDEN
This isn’t that important…it doesn’t matter to me…

WOLF
This does matter. Astronauts are the only people that others stand in line for without knowing their name.

Will we reach the Moon before the Chinese?

BOLDEN
We will win and get much faster to the MOon than the Chinese if I can follow the PResident’s program.

WOLF
Was this vetted with NASA staff?

BOLDEN
This was vetted with senior staff.

WOLF
Well that is not what we hear when we talk to some of them…

BOLDEN
It’s like any budget, you put in what you want and don’t always get what you want…

WOLF
Understands this. His experience was an in-depth conversation about the impact. Were Center Directors a part of the review?

BOLDEN
All Center Directors and Associate Directors were a part of the discussion before I met with the President.

WOLF
Ok…I just have one more question. After talking to a number of these people, in light of the wide-spread opposition, on March 11, we wrote to you asking for a test of the current proposal. Will you be conducting this review?

BOLDEN
I think you will find that we are looking long and hard on continuous access to LEO. But we are unable to do that.

WOLF
Are you or have you looked at an effort compromise of the President’s NASA proposal or its this the way it is?

BOLDEN
We will work with Congress. But there is not alternative plan or budget and I stick by it. There is no Plan B.

WOLF
Waht if this is rejected?

BOLDEN
I think with exception of Constellation termination we have an incredible budget.

WOLF
I can take that as a yes or no. It troubles me. I’m already getting calls from lobbyists and companies looking to making a profit. ARe you open to new ideas?

BOLDEN
Personally, I am open to new ideas. We have an incredible budget that will get us to Mars quicker than the program of record.

REP. RUPPERSBERGER
I respect your need to follow the President’s budget. My concern is that if you look at the history of the country, it came from Sputnik. We came together and put a man on the Moon. Since then, we’ve had many failures. The issue of canceling a program is risky. My concern is the way this was done. Way too quick. I’m concerned that we don’t have the roadmap. We have 25,000 jobs at stake and competing with Russians.

So, you feel we are number one but have many challenges before us.

BOLDEN
We have many challenges without Russians.

RUPPERSBERGER
The launch issue is the big one.

BOLDEN
We are too reliant on old systems. Working on in-space propulsion.

RUPPERSBERGER
I understand that. When you have so many jobs and strategic issues before you, you have to work with others and with Congress. There’s no balance, moving so quickly, that we don’t know where our priorities are. I agree with you on commercial. Europeans are doing well with commercial. But commercial will not get us to MOon or Mars. And based on the President’s budget, we are not focusing. We are giving the Chinese a half-way head start. What is your opinion on working with us to put together a plan whether its with intel and defense?

BOLDEN
That is what I intend to do.

RUPPERSBERGER
Let me give you an example. Propulsion R&D is one example. The funding is not adequate over 5 years. Are we going to build and test and fly anything or just study?

BOLDEN
IT is my hope that we do.

RUPPERSBERGER
What will that be? I don’t see it.

BOLDEN
We need to build smartly. I think there are better capabilities than we have today.

RUPPERSBERGER
Getting back to my question, if Constellation is canceled, and that’s too quick, should we be looking at more than $3B to get us there?

BOLDEN
Our HLV team is assessing what we need to build a HLV. That work is on-going.

RUPPERSBERGER
Where is NASA now on cyber-security? Working with NSA? What is your plan?

BOLDEN
I brought in a new cyber chief officer and we are working with new agencies. We are getting maybe not as many but more severe hits. Before, we didn’t devote the funds needed to secure our network.

RUPPERSBERGER
Are you working with NSA?

BOLDEN
I will get back to you. I don’t know which organization we’re working with.

RUPPERSBERGER
Let’s talk about Constellation. At this point, if we don’t re-eval Constellation, where are we going to put those people? I hope you really re-eval the 20 year span. We are going to work with you.

BOLDEN
I share your concerns about a target 20 years away. Talking on about launching small payloads on commercial vehicles. Money for tech dev. will allow NASA to do that.

REP. VISCLOSKY
In many ways, you’ve asked the questions I’m going to ask you about launch capabilities. As you’re looking ahead, are you going to use the EELV? Or will there be a new system?

BOLDEN
For a heavy-lift launch vehicle, we need a new system. EELV’s are good for LEO for satellites. But they will not be the HLV.

VISCLOSKY
I’m not talking about Mars. I’m talking about this nation’s space launch capabilities. This isn’t about human space flight.

BOLDEN
My intention is to develop in concert with other agencies to build a HLV and engines that can not only lift a NASA crew and cargo, but also for national security.

VISCLOSKY
And you would see that flight within 5 years.

BOLDEN
No I didn’t say that we could have that in 5 years.

VISCLOSKY
When?

BOLDEN
Within the next 10 years.

VISCLOSKY
And you’re in consultation with DoD?

BOLDEN
Yes,.

VISCLOSKY
and you have enough money for that?

BOLDEN
I believe I have enough to begin that.

VISCLOSKY
You do you have a list of programs and projects that cannot be funded because of human spacelfight?

BOLDEN
I have a long list that Constellation sucked the oxygen out of. In the 2011 budget, let’s talk about the 90% of the 2011 budget that is really good such as for science. When we start flying these missions in 2013 and 2014 there’s going to be a lot of science.

VISCLOSKY
What beyond earth sciences, what more will you be able to do?

BOLDEN
There’s the FAA’s NextGen, which NASA is a big cog in, in the 2011 budget through aeronautics increases.

VISCLOSKY
Any additonal planetary sciences?

BOLDEN
There are some we are hopeful that we can fly but were earlier doubtful about. Europa mission for one.

REP. CULBERSON
Thank you Gen. Bolden for your service to the nation.

I’d like to follow-up onm Rep’s. R and V’s of protecting the nation’s national security interests. A human space program and HLV are necessary. A Hubble mission.

BOLDEN
Yes, I launched the flawed Hubble.

CULBERSON
A robot could not have done that.

BOLDEN
I was on the group that tried to service Hubble with a robot. The technologies were not there.

CULBERSON
Humans in space can deal with the difficulties of such as a solar panel. We need humans in the high-ground of space.

BOLDEN
Robots can’t think.

CULBERSON
Glad you mentioned Europa mission, the highest priority of the decadal survey. Very exciting and looking forward to its flight. But they asked the question of HLV capability that we don’t see in the budget. Rep. Wolf’s letter about preserving the capability to have a manned capsule and spacecraft would give us the fall-back position we feel we need.

BOLDEN
I will.

CULBERSON
We’ve only found one member in the House that supports the President’s NASA plan.

BOLDEN
The tone of your comment…there is not alternative plan, no Plan B.

CULBERSON
The President has made a proposal and we’ll…

The President’s budget was announced on Feb. 1, when did you hear of Constellation’s termination?

BOLDEN
That was pre-decisional and I can’t talk about that.

CULBERSON
Constellation termination was a surprise…

BOLDEN
The budget

CULBERSON
The Constellation term was a surprise to you, to Center directors to everyone. Because the Constellation was unsustainable due to funding. Because Bush didn’t fund fully. I to thought that there are no inherent flaws. Constellation was on track.

BOLDEN
I wish I could say it was only funding. Constellation was unsustainable and had degraded to a lunar program without a lander.

CULBERSON
You said earlier that you envision is that NASA will not longer buy but lease vehicles.

BOLDEN
Lease was my term.

CULBERSON
The analogy is that the concern is that could you ever imagine leasing the U.S.S. Harry Truman from Grumman, that’s really what you’re talking about. Every time we wanted to take that carrier out, we’d have to get permission, we’d have to lease it. Or the nuclear subs? Like leasing the U.S.S. Texas. There’s a big problem there.

Lori Garver gave a speech on March 10 at Astronautical Society in which she said NASA was being aligned with the priorities of the nation, to fight poverty, societal advancement, and that the president’s budget will allow to align with those national priorities. This is very disturbing. Is this your vision?

BOLDEN
I know Lori well and I don’t want to get into this.

MOLLOHAN
Was she asserting that this was the sole mission of NASA?

CULBERSON
Yes. NASA is aligning with the priorities of the national agenda.

MOLLOHAN
So she said this is NASA’s mission.

CULBERSON
She said it was NASA’s mission. It’s a mission.

MOLLOHAN
Ahhh…Rep. Honda?

REP. HONDA
There are many visions we have in the projects we get involved in. It’s probably her hope that these things happen.

BOLDEN
Education is important to me but it’s certainly not NASA’s sole mission.

HONDA
The way NASA has been managed and budgeted, we’ve lost a lot of good scientists and workers. It seems like the Administration is trying to capture what it can.

BOLDEN
President Obama’s 2011 Budget gets us back on track. Now talking about inspiring kids.

HONDA
What can we do to hold on the contractors and civil servants while we transition?

BOLDEN
I deal with both heads and we were going to loose jobs in the transition from Shuttle to Constellation. Now we have a challenge in canceling Constellation in working to transition as many as possible in what we are doing. Will help others go into the high-tech community.

Hearing Part 3

AmericaSpace Note: Hearing’s back on…

MOLLOHAN
What are the challenges in HLV?

BOLDEN
Mass is the chief issue. Getting mass down is key. Friction stir welding is a new technique that get’s mass down. Propulsion is a big challenge. Not real confident that we’ll find a real revolutionary propulsion system to leave this planet. A LOX/Methane engine for example might make amount of payload less.

REP. ADAM SCHIFF
In many respects, your predecessors had it easier. A few questions.

It has been testified that cancelation of Constellation cost is unknown? Are contracts written so that tax-payers get a return by contractors putting the tech. they got in Constellation will go to the new program?

BOLDEN
That is something that tiger teams are looking at. Sound is cutting out…

How can we take advantage of Constellation so that they can go to a new system?

SCHIFF
3 advantages. Jobs. Skilled workforce. I would hope that we put the contractors to work if that’s the direction we move in.

What budget did you need if you wanted to build Ares V? In context, it would be very beneficial for DoD and Intel to have access to our satellites. We may not be able to redirect workforce, if we take an Intel or DoD investment to build capability to repair sates and does that get you close to Ares V funding? What time-line?

BOLDEN
The numbers I was given were for Ares I were $4-4.5 billion per year on top of President’s current budget. In 2011, Constellation would need $5.9 billion. And that wouldn’t get us there faster.

SCHIFF
If we decide that Ares V is the way to go, how will that take longer than other HLV technologies and building them.

BOLDEN
The biggest thing would be that we would not be able to…if we decided to put the money into Constellation to develop Ares V finding money wherever it is, to give us a heavy lift launch vehicle because we wouldn’t have money for a lander. One of the studies I stopped was for Altair, which had not been started yet.

SCHIFF
Budget does a great job of science missions but doesn’t move planetary missions are not moved forward, for example Europa. NASA says it’s waiting for Decadal study, but this was affirmed in last Decadal study. How many decadal studies need to recommend Europa before we stop kicking the Europa can further down?

BOLDEN
I will need to get back to you, but this needs to be a priority.

SCHIFF
This did rank very high. This year and last we went through a similar permutation and NASA said it would look at it and now here we are again.

BOLDEN
I’ll get back to you since I got excited after talking with you and Ed Weiler.

SCHIFF
What is the planned launch for OCO?

BOLDEN
As memory serves me, it will be 2013.

SCHIFF
Progress report on MSL?

BOLDEN
Reports are good. Titanium issue has been cleared as have actuator issues. Cleared for 2011 launch date. The delay has allowed James Cameron to put a 3D camera system on MSL.

MOLLOHAN
Mr. Aderholt

REP. ADERHOLT
There are some reasons to question the Augustine Committee came up with Constellation. Can you update those numbers for us?

BOLDEN
Yes, I’ll get that for the record.

ADERHOLT
The numbers for Ares I are?

BOLDEN
The $1.3 – $1.6B per flight for Ares I.

ADERHOLT
It says the cost of 3 flights is $1.3B per year.

It has been rumored that NASA is sending letters to contractors that funds for contract termination needs to be preserved.

BOLDEN
Contractors know that they need to preserve funds for contract termination.

ADERHOLT
SO no letters like that are going out.

BOLDEN
So, no letters were sent unless a contractor thought we would cover their termination costs. I’m legally responsible for that.

ADERHOLT
What do you think contractors will do in response?

BOLDEN
I don’t want to conjecture that.

ADERHOLT
Are similar letters going to Shuttle contractors?

BOLDEN
Don’t think so. The transition from Shuttle is going well. Shuttle was a phase-out, not a termination.

ADERHOLT
The anti-deficiency Act has been around for 20 years, do you know how many have been prosecuted? We’ve heard none according to a book, The Anti-Deficiency Protection Act.

BOLDEN
I would love to hear that.

ADERHOLT
Since Congress has told you not to terminate these programs. NASA’s head of contracts was about to send letters that NASA would cover contract termination costs but was told to stop.

BOLDEN
I’ll find that out and get back to you.

ADERHOLT
My understanding in Spring of last year to develop Ares V for 2020 launch was $16.5 billion. If Ares I is not finished, then Ares V development will rise to $27 billion. An independent HLV would cost $35 billion. Later numbers were $50 billion.

BOLDEN
I was unaware of that figure and will have to get back to you.

REP. FATTAH
Want to walk you through a couple of things, even though we have a budget deficit, NASA’s budget is increasing. Is that true?

BOLDEN
Yes.

FATTAH
My interest is in astrophysics. There’s an increase of $1.5 billion for astrophysics. What programs are funded.

BOLDEN
I’ll have to get back to you on that.

FATTAH
I complement NASA on its education push. President is coming to host a space summit. Any ideas?

BOLDEN
Still in the planning stages. This will provide the President to put his vision forward on space and to see KSC and meet the workers.

FATTAH
Has this occured before by past Presidents?

BOLDEN
Yes, but never a President meeting with the area.

FATTAH
Well, the fiscal challenges mean that the Administration should be complemented on NASA’s increase.

REP. WOLF
When you you foresee NASA letting a contract for HLV.

BOLDEN
I have a team looking into this but we are years away from settling on a contract. That will depend upon the technology we’ve gotten frm ISS and other capabilities.

WOLF
FYOA requires NASA to release a report on Shuttle workforce updates. It’s been a year since the last report. When will that occur?

BOLDEN
I take responsibility for that and we will release something this Spring. Hopefully that will occur soon. Things were so in flux I didn’t feel comfortable issuing such a report.

And I’d like to apologies for my comments on China and Russia…starting to…cry??? Who reaches China and Russia does matter. I want to apologize for my flippant response.

WOLF
Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the past comment be removed from the record.

MOLLOHAN
We’ll excise that.

WOLF
If we restore all of Constellation, can we be assured that the changes you’re making won’t hurt Constellation?

BOLDEN
I can assure you of that. The activities I took to stop going to contract can be continued.

WOLF
If Tiger Team studies of $3 billion are enough for shut-off are wrong, what will we do?

BOLDEN
We hope it is more than enough. We hope that is a conservative number. Oh, July 2009 was the last Shuttle workforce

WOLF
Steven Squyres has raised several issues, one of which is Plutonium 238 production. How much is budgeted and how fast will it restart?

BOLDEN
We have been in discussion with OMB, DoD to find out how fast it will take and how much it will cost.

WOLF
ARe there other alternatives?

BOLDEN
We are trying to keep from buying it from Russia.

WOLF
Have you spoke with Squyres about Plutonium 238? He has some serious concerns. The are others who you need to call. He also has issues with the program at large.

BOLDEN
I didn’t know these were issues Steven had. I will talk to Mr. Squyres and get back to you.

WOLF
Appreciate education being a priority for NASA. I think one of the biggest parts of NASA is to inspire. Yet the budget decreases education.

BOLDEN
The Budget has a $20 million plus-up. You’re the second person to say that.

WOLF
It went from $180 to $140 million.

FATTAH
It’s an increase from last year’s request but a decrease from what was appropriated.

WOLF
After Shuttle retirement, you’ll need to buy rides from Russia, what are the agreements, costs?

BOLDEN
It’s $50 million per seat. I’ll get back to you on past cost. The primary means to get to ISS for a number of years has been Soyuz. Shuttle is for delivering large components, not crew. Agreement was that primary crew transport was Soyuz. Because (Bush) didn’t want to follow-through on a Crew Rescue Vehicle (CRV), Soyuz was decided as that role.

WOLF
Do you expect the Soyuz contract prices to increase?

BOLDEN
I do not. The Russians think only increase will be inflation.

WOLF
FY 2011 sees an increase in COTS budget. How soon will commercial cargo and crew launches occur?

BOLDEN
Crewed flight could happen by 2015 and cargo will fly in May 2011. That was just the first round of commercial vendors. We are starting a new round and that should draw-in well known vendors. Such as ULA.

WOLF
Just to say, since there is not strong support–or strong opposition–and I worry about lobbyists looking to make a lot of money but not worry about where nation is. I know that nobody wants to back down, but this is very important. We are ahead of everyone else. I think it would be helpful to get a group of people to tell you where we go from here. I’m really worried about this. I know the President is busy. But I think it would be helpful in the spirit of reconciliation biblically speaking about the decision being made, whether the impacts is education or International relations. I worry about every Administration feeling that changing the Administration’s position is resisted. We need to come up with something to resolve the issues, it would be helpful.

BOLDEN
I will do that. The President is engaged in space policy. I spent 1/2 hour this morning with the deputy chief of staff looking for a solution to this problem. We’ll find a way to come together. It’s not a matter of anybody backing down but of finding common ground on an incredible budget. We’ll find a common ground.

FATTAH
We’re going to wrap-up. We appreciate your leadership. We are all looking forward to the President’s summit. Thank you very much.

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