Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .

Committee Democrats Emphasize Need for Human Space Exploration Roadmap
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 05, 2014

File image.

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology has held a hearing to examine the need for a strategic human exploration roadmap and whether a potential manned Mars flyby mission might fit in such a roadmap. Although the hearing was also called to examine how NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) and the Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle being developed might contribute to a potential Mars flyby mission in 2021, there were no witnesses from NASA to provide further details on their status.

Ranking Member Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) said in her opening statement, "It's time for NASA to tell us how they intend to achieve that goal [of a human mission to the surface of Mars].

What technologies will be needed, what sequence of intermediate destinations should be pursued and why, and what are the risks that will need to be addressed? We also need to hear from NASA about the progress being made on the Space Launch System and on Orion, the two systems that are critical to our exploration efforts beyond low Earth orbit.

What are the challenges they are facing, how will they be used to support NASA's roadmap to Mars, and are they being adequately funded to meet the milestones laid out for those two programs?"

The witness panel included Dr. Scott Pace, the Director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University; General Lester Lyles (ret.), an independent aerospace consultant and former Chairman of the Committee on "Rationale and Goals of the U.S. Civil Space Program" established by the National Academies; Mr. Doug Cooke, the owner of Cooke Concepts and Solutions and former NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Mission Directorate; and Dr. Sandra Magnus, the Executive Director of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Members and witnesses discussed the importance of developing a roadmap that will lead to a human mission to Mars. Subcommittee on Space Ranking Member Donna Edwards (D-MD) called for NASA to create such a roadmap in the NASA authorization bill she introduced last July. In her statement for the record she said, "NASA does not currently have such a roadmap or integrated strategic framework.

As a result, NASA cannot provide us with specifics on Mars mission risk areas, potential risk mitigation approaches, and the rationale for planned intermediate destinations. Nor can it articulate how its programs or selected interim destinations contribute effectively to making progress on such a roadmap."

Several other members and witnesses also discussed other needed aspects of a roadmap, including technologies, commitment, and sustainability. In addition, they discussed the need for continued NASA funding, setting long-term priorities and goals, as well as the role of NASA's human spaceflight missions in inspiring the nation.

General Lester Lyles' expressed concern with the Mars flyby mission in his prepared statement saying, "In my own opinion, the Inspiration Mars proposal is high risk, poses significant challenges to the crew because of radiation and life support concerns, has unidentified cost, and is being proposed at a time that NASA's budget is already over-constrained." He added,

"[W]hat will it all cost, and is this the best way to spend limited resources? Before making any major decisions concerning such a mission, it is vital that the proposal undergo a vigorous independent technical evaluation."

Dr. Sandy Magnus said in her prepared statement, "The Mars Flyby thus can only be discussed in the context of that larger strategy and the associated missions and operational goals. I would also like to underscore that any plan, whether its goals are to retrieve an asteroid, establish a lunar base, or send people to Mars - or any combination thereof - is doomed to failure without the resources to support it - resources provided in a sustained and sustainable manner based on realistic projections."

Ranking Member Johnson called for a future hearing with a witness from NASA to discuss the progress being made on SLS, Orion, and related investments, as well as on NASA's progress in developing a clear human space exploration roadmap.


Related Links
Washington, DC (SPX) Mar 05, 2014
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Last Shuttle Commander Virtually Flies Boeing CST-100 to ISS
Houston TX (SPX) Mar 03, 2014
Chris Ferguson, Boeing's director of Crew and Mission Operations and commander of the final Space Shuttle flight, virtually returned to space recently in the Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 simulator to satisfy a NASA testing requirement for the spacecraft. Ferguson performed manual piloting activities including on-orbit attitude and translation maneuvers, docking and backing aw ... read more

Russia to Start Building New Manned Rocket Launch Pad in 2015

New Vostochny space center a key priority for Russian Far East

'Mission of Firsts' Showcased New Range-Safety Technology at NASA Wallops

First Copernicus satellite at launch site

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover Views Striated Ground

NASA Mars Orbiter Views Opportunity Rover on Ridge

Curiosity Adds Reverse Driving for Wheel Protection

Curiosity Drives On After Crossing Martian Dune

China's Lunar Lander Still Operational

China Focus: Uneasy rest begins for China's troubled Yutu rover

Is Yutu Stuck?

Japan's Pocari Sweat bound for the moon: maker

New Horizons Reaches the Final 4 AU

Thanks America, New Horizons Ahead

Countdown to Pluto

A Busy Year Begins for New Horizons

Kepler Mission Announces a Planet Bonanza, 715 New Worlds

Water is Detected in a Planet Outside Our Solar System

NASA cries planetary 'bonanza' with 715 new worlds

Detection of Water Vapor in the Atmosphere of a Hot Jupiter

Japan Calls For New Launcher Proposals

US considers launching production of Russian rocket engines

Orion Stage Adapter Aces Structural Loads Testing

Teledyne unit wins $60 million contract to build NASA launch adapter

The Next Tiangong

No Call for Yutu

What's up, Yutu

China's Jade Rabbit rover comes 'back to life'

Radar Images of near-Earth Asteroid 2006 DP14

Astronomer spots asteroid smashing into Moon

Subaru Telescope Detects Rare Form of Nitrogen in Comet ISON

Rocks around the clock: asteroids pound tiny star

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.