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tv   NASA Administrator Bridenstine Testifies on Future Missions  CSPAN  October 2, 2020 3:36am-5:22am EDT

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2020 has been a year of challenge and triumph for america's space agency. the covid-19 pandemic has
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disrupted planning and day-to-day operations, but nasa and its commercial partners have achieved many successful outcomes. these include launching american astronauts to the international space station and returning them safely to earth. and returning that launch vehicle safely to earth. launching a perseverance rover to mars and preparing the space launch systems sls rocket and orion crew capsule for the first deep space exploration program mission next year. i'm pleased that nasa administrator jim bridenstine is here to provide us with an update on the missions and programs and the agency's plans for the future. further progress on the program is critical to achieving the goals of landing the first woman and next man on the moon by 2024 and establishing a sustainable presence opresent on or around r circus by 2028. congress has given support for many key components of the
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arguments, notably the sls rocket, the orion, the crew capsule, human lander competition and various rovers and instruments to study. last week the administrator announced a detailed plan for the program predicting total cost of 28 billion between fiscal years 2021 and 2025. attending bipartisan support for the arguments is essential. but the members need confidence and that is a small term plan. the administrator will lay out t the detailed cost and schedule to help give us that confidence. the program receives a justifiable large amount of attention. but we should also recognize the tremendous success of the commercial crew program on may 30th the greta launched american astronauts on american rockets from american soil for the first time since 2011.
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commercial crew represents a true public-private partnership where the government binds services from space companies. it would be helpful if the administrator would highlight how nasa is implementing the lessons learned from the commercial crew development. november last year the committee passed the nasa authorization act demonstrating strong support for the commercial crew. the legislation also strongly supported the key science priorities, aeronautics research, planetary exploration, stem education and other initiatives. today the administrator bridenstine can provide an update on these missions and describe the major impacts on cost. nasa plays an important role in america's whole of government approach to security in the space domain for exploration science.
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great power competition is a reality. the space ambitions are well known and the chinese communist party is devoted enormous resources to military and civil space programs. nasa recently signed a memorandum of understanding that nearly created the space force to bolster collaboration on standards and best practices for space operations, scientific research and planetary defense. administrator bridenstine may want to comment on the memorandum of understanding and where he sees opportunities for collaboration with the space force. even with the successes, program vulnerabilities remain as the program progresses we should remain vigilant to protect and strengthen international partnerships particularly those built around the international space station and low earth orbit research. we should ensure that groundbreaking initiatives such
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as robotic missions and planetary observatories continue making progress and maintain forces, maintain focus on other missions will require continued support and funding from congress. so i look forward to today's conversation with the administrator i now turn to my dear friend and colleague, the ranking member, for her opening remarks. >> thank you mr. jermaine and thank you for the bipartisan leadership on that reauthorization bill. i'm pleased to join you to offer the act of 2019. among other things the legislation would provide authorization for the human exploration programs including the lunar lander needed to return humans to the moon. there is agreement between the bills authors about how to proceed on the authorization and i hope the senate will consider this important bill this year. the recent economic impact shows that in 2019 the agency generated more than 64 billion
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in economic output and supported more than 312,000 jobs nationwide, and nasa and the space industry particularly in washington where the space activities account for 1.8 billion of the state's economy is with companies like blue origin, space x and aero job, thousands are dependent on this growing space industry. i always say there's a reason we have the space needle. 2020 was significant for nasa. for the first time in nine years, astronauts were launched from the u.s. soil and for the first time ever those astronauts launched on the commercial spacecraft marking the dawn of a new era. it promises to be an even bigger year. two commercial providers will begin regularly carrying astronauts to the space station. 2021 will also see the first launch of the space launch system that will return astronauts deep space in a few years. i look forward to watching americans exit the lunar lander
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which will be built in the state of washington and step onto the surface of the moon for the first time in more than 40 years, and i'm very enthusiastic about the program that will put the first woman on the moon. we need more than just the women's first step, we need women and minorities to be represented at every level of the programs. so i look forward to working with you and the chair man on how we increase the diversity in all of the aerospace industry. given the new rockets and spacecraft they will fly over the next decade it is in. if the agency remain committed to safety. it must always be the top priority and for that to happen, engineers and program managers must have insight into the design and testing of new spacecraft. a major safety issue is the threat of orbital debris. just last week the space station was forced to move her away from a piece of space debris. february the committee held a hearing on threats to space, and
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i called for increased investment and mapping of debris and improved space situational awareness. i know you are also committed to addressing the threat and i look forward to working with you on that issue. while the human spaceflight programs are often in the spotlight, the agency's other missions and research are also critical for the country. as i said in washington, many western states we face an unbelievable threat from wildfires nasa satellites provide data that enables disaster management teams to measure the intensity as they learn and i also want to highlight the space grant program. again a consortium at the university of washington is doing work to engage high school students, undergraduates in these areas of research and study which i think helps us get the next generation of workforce. the covid-19 pandemic has impacted many programs as well as the people that support them,
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whether they are employees, contractors or researchers, so i look forward to hearing how the committee might work to keep the program on track and keeping people safely employed. this is a challenge but obviously we want to keep moving ahead so we look forward to your comments and testimony. thank you for being here today and thank you for holding this important hearing. >> i think i heard the state of washington mentioned several times in senator cantwell's opening statement. clearly i should have mentioned it in my opening statement of the important role of the state of mississippi in all of the activities that we have planned particularly at the space center in hancock county mississippi. at this point, administrator bridenstine, we have your prepared statement consisting of seven pages in the small type and we will enter that into the
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record at this point and you are recognized for five minutes or so to summarize your statement. >> thank you, chairman and ranking member cantwell. it is an honor to be here. i will tell you i want to start by thanking you for the support we've received in the cares act, which ultimately enabled us to move forward on some of our very important missions. we call them mission essential functions of nasa. we needed that personal protective equipment and ability to make sure that our bruise could socially distance and do all the things necessary to be safe and the cares act was a part of that and we thank you for that. so, nasa is up to some amazing things. the two of you highlighted them very well. low earth orbit we are commercializing very rapidly. we've been underway with commercial resupply for a number of years and now we are moving
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forward with commercial crew which we are all excited about. demo number two is complete, it was geared at the end of october we were going to launch crew number one and have a full complement of the astronauts including one international partner from japan. this is a very exciting time for the agency as we move to commercialize space, but it's not just about the commercial resupply and crew. we also want the space stations themselves eventually. the international space station has been an amazing asset to the united states and it will be for years to come. but we all know that a day is going to calm when it comes to the end of its useful life. when that happens, we need to have funded the resources necessary to commercialize the low earth orbit for habitation. we want to make sure that in the united states and with your help we can ensure we have no gaps in low earth orbit. we think about apollo. we had during the apollo era as
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much as we loved it it came to an end and we had a gap of about eight years before the space shuttle and after, we had another gap of about eight years before the commercial crew. we want to make sure there is no gap in low earth orbit for the united states of america as we transition from the international space station to the commercial space stations. but as both of you have identified what's happening in the low earth orbit as often as it is pales in comparison to what we are going to see when we land the first woman and next man on the surface of the moon under the program. we are going to the moon for a lot of really important reasons. but the chief reason to go to the moon is because it accelerates our path to mars and we believe that it's important for the first person to land on mars to be an american astronaut and we want to make sure when we do go to mars we go with our international partners. this is about american leadership, and of course what we just saw yesterday, japan
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announced its biggest budget for its space agency and its history. in fact, it was a 50% increase over the previous year. that is a massive increase for a nation like japan and they are focusing it on the artemis program. they are focused on supporting us as we lead the world to the moon. i will say that that is not unique though. we have seen budgets coming from europe that are also increasing, commensurate with the artemis program and nasa's budget, so a lot of exciting things in the future and of course i'm grateful to you, mr. chairman and ranking member cantwell for the continued bipartisan support for these important missions for the country. with that, i will yield back whatever time i have remaining and certainly i'm open to any questions. >> thank you very much. you recently announced that the
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mission will take place at the end of november of next year. part of the amount of mississippi is in the testing space launch system engine. how is the green run testing as it is progressing and do you have a target date for the full duration hot fire test? >> it's progressing very well. this is the stage of the rocket and it is proving itself to be an extremely capable system. we have a good bit of testing including where we fire all engines at the same time and that's going to be an amazing sight to see, likely to happen in november so we are moving rapidly towards that. we've had challenges of course
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with hurricanes and some other challenges with covid, but we've also had some successes, so we are moving forward and we think that the test will be done in november, early november and we also believe that this sets us up for the first launch with and orion crew capsule in november of 2021, so we are moving rapidly towards that. >> do you think we are still on track to meet that date? >> as of right now, yes, sir, we are. there are challenges for sure and depending how covid affects us, it could be more challenging. but i would say because this is a mission that is so unique, we do have margin in the schedule. we have reserved in the schedule and the cost and nasa does it for all of its missions. as of this point, we haven't determined that we need to move
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off of the november date of next year. >> i've been very impressed with how nasa has moved forward on any number of target dates. let me ask about the continuing resolution. the continuing resolution this week obviously that is never idea, but the covid-19 pandemic pretty much dictated that. this is a brief cr. doesn't carry on into next year. you have spoken about the problem long-term continuing resolution. if you will, please discuss the broad impact if we can't get our job done in november, december, what that would mean for your programs. >> yes, sir. the hardest part right now is the human landing system.
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that is what right now we are not funded to develop in its entirety. we are funded through the base period. we've got the resources to go through basically february of 2021. and so, between now and february of 2021, i think we are okay. if we get to february of 2021 without an appropriation, that's going to put the brakes on our ability to achieve a moon landing by as early as 2024. and so, it is important to get these appropriations. i will also tell you, sir, the sooner we get the appropriations, the higher the probability of success. we are very grateful and i know the house and the senate are moving towards acr rather than a shutdown. we are very grateful for that. and i speak for the entire workforce when i say that, but i would also say the sooner we can get an appropriation, the higher
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the probability of success to the moon landing as soon as 2024. >> that's the appropriation. what about the authorization bill, how important is it to pass an updated authorization bill? >> in my view, very important. i was an authorizer in the house of representatives and i can tell you what it enables me to do as the administrator. it demonstrates that this has strong bipartisan support that is lasting. appropriations are one year in nature and they give us what we need to fund the program. but an authorization bill, this is a fundamental question i get everywhere i go is a nasa administrator. people ask how do you ensure the program doesn't get canceled. like we've had a program of seeing programs develop and then cancel. the answer is we need the authorization bill that codifies that what we are doing as broad
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national consensus and bipartisan support. i think we are there but putting that into law would be meaningful for the agency. >> thank you very much. senator cantwell. >> thank you mr. chairman. administrator bridenstine, one of the things we hear a lot about again as we change and innovate is the skill level of the workforce. we work very hard on stem education in the state of washington and certainly want to work on it on a national perspective, so want to hear your thoughts on what else we need to be doing and what does that a skills gap look like and also interested in nasa's program for the transonic wing. one of the things we are interested in the composites and continuing to the development of composites and manufacturing, so i want to understand what you think we should be doing on that kind of technology for the future as well.
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>> yes, very good questions. and i will tell you the transonic trust break wing has me very excited about the future of aviation. when we think about the value of an asset to the united states of america, a lot of people they think about space and the moon and mars and robotic exploration of the solar system, but the aeronautics piece is probably the most impact to the american economy. because this is a major export for the country and we have been leading here for so many generations. of course we have the challenge with covid and when we think about aeronautics, right now it's being stressed significantly, but i think as a nation, we have to take this opportunity and lead. when i say that, that transonic
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trust break wing we are talking about increasing what we call the aspect ratio of the wing making it longer and thinner. the thing that does is reduces what we call induced drag which is what you get from the lift created by the aircraft. basically it spreads out the amount of downward thrust you get from the wing. it does increase what we call the parasitic drag but that is less than the induced and so overall you get a much more efficient air craft and it drives down the amount of fuel you have to use and drives down the amount of carbon emissions. it drives down the cost for the airline. the challenge with that high aspect ratio weighing, the challenge with that is that it becomes really long and thin so it doesn't have the structure necessary to hold up a large body aircraft. so, i'm a huge proponent of that. we have been advocating for that inside not just the agency, but
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inside of the administration in general, and we are getting some traction on it. any support that you can provide would be fantastic. let's see -- >> in this case it's a composite issue so we need more composite and more understanding on the composite manufacturing side. >> this is important when it comes to stem we need that next generation workforce and so we've got to be inspiring people at a young age. i think the best thing nasa can do for getting people to go into stem is to inspire them and do these stunning missions like landing the first woman on the moon and those kind of activities. we are also very involved at the mission directorate level and funding programs like first robotics, which is a capability that gets high school kids and
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even younger involved in robotics, so we do those things direct impact and if you look at robotics on mars and throughout the solar system with satellites and orbiters of other planets, i think that there's a lot they do and we need to continue to do. >> i don't know what it is about material science, but more women as structural engineering may not be something that appeals to them but certainly we attracted them into aviation. we are having more success on the material science side and i don't know if it is a marriage of chemical engineering and other things but we should figure out how to put this challenge to as you said, the youngest of americans if they are thinking about these issues. and i don't know why this isn't a marriage of ideas given that you are talking about fuel
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efficiency, american jobs, leadership, all these things that would come from this. it is as exciting as the other missions. so thank you. >> yes ma'am. >> administrator bridenstine, the ranking member mentioned space debris. let's drill down on that just a little bit. is the frequency of the avoidance maneuvers increasing? just a few days ago they maneuvered the international space station to avoid a piece of unknown space debris. this happened three times now this year. so is that increasing -- >> yes, sir, it is. now i will tell you this year we have maneuvered the space station three times in order to avoid orbital debris. that has not happened since
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2015. and now in this year we've done it three times. >> is that a coincidence? >> i don't think it's a coincidence. i will also say in the last two weeks or maybe three weeks at this point, we have had three potential conjunctions that made us very nervous, and that's just the last 23 weeks apart from the maneuver that we actually had to make. >> we knew about them but it was far enough away you didn't have to maneuver. >> we monitored them very closely and made a determination that it didn't require a maneuver. >> what is the source of the debris? >> there's a lot of reasons for it. there's a lot of commercial activity in space right now which we fully support. we've got to be able to use space for all of its benefits
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for humanity. and a lot of that commercial activity is launching low earth orbit satellites and communications satellites. low earth orbit is valuable for communications because of its low latencies of the types of signals that you can use and the standards that you use are more like a cell phone technology, whereas when you think about geostationary orbit which is far from earth, you have to use different protocols. so, low earth orbit is where all these constellations want to be. the challenge is we don't have as a nation or even as the world a robust architecture for how we are going to integrate all of these capabilities into a small space. and it's becoming more and more of a problem. >> not a small space, but finite. >> and the probabilities of
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impact are measured based on the amount of data that we have received. the probabilities of impact are measured on one in a thousand chances, one in 5,000 or 10,000. and for us as an agency with the international space station which is 100 billion-dollar investment, we take those probabilities and say okay we need to maneuver. >> are these functioning objects or are they junk? >> both. >> when i hear debris i think of something left over. >> the object we had to maneuver for just a few days ago is unidentified. we don't know what it is. we don't know where it came from. it is not something that is operated -- it is junk. it's literally junk in space. now there are also satellites that have become debris because they came to the end of their useful life, and of their useful
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lives and they do not deorbit themselves. they will over a number of years, but they are still there now. and then we also have a lot more activity from our international friends if you will, and they don't necessarily follow the debris mitigation guidelines established by nasa and supported by the u.s. government. >> so, there is no international protocol yet on space debris. >> we have international guidelines. the u.s. government adopts and then those get adopted at the un and other places. the question is what are we doing to make sure people adhere to those guidelines. anybody can say they follow them, but the question is how do you follow up and make sure they are and how do you prove that they are not if they are not? >> there are guidelines that have been developed by the
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united states and have been adopted by the united nations. and some individual countries then need to sign on, is that ideal lacks. >> it's better that they sign on them to not sign on, but a lot of countries sign on and then they don't fully adhere to those principles. >> one other thing and then i will recognize senator gardner. ..
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>> and with the space worse and you a space command. the challenges, we are having them as a combined space operation center having them operate so they are doing conjunction analysis and warning with all the commercial activities in space all of the international activities and those using the facility and the capability they are not paying for it so basically no space traffic management to the world for free. think about the 19 fifties with the department of defense responsible for a traffic
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control of the nation and it wasn't as crowded back then but in 1958 when president eisenhower said we are done with this because there are too many midair collisions so to take that and classified data and flow that to the department of congress it's about quantity and quality to combine with commercial and international data that can be shared with the world.
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and that now creates a big problem. >> with that consensus. >> yes sir 100 percent. >> it is done administratively i understand. >> right now these activities are done by the department of defense. under executive order and then they don't have the authorities nor do they have the appropriations. we are in limbo right now. >> you need the appropriators to address this issue and hopefully late in the year or early next year. and the needs to be provision. >> i would be very supportive of that. >> thank you for your service
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and all the work that you do for the aerospace companies in colorado and beyond. and adversaries are working diligently to undermine our leadership and those programs continue to be the envy of the world and those that try to steal our ingenuity. >> i would like to enter into the record and has stolen the ip within the last year. and in may 12 the space for space command or china cannot be allowed in the and how they seem to invest to be squeezed by the covid-19 pandemic.
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>> and it was entitled exclusive white house asked to detail funding which outlines the request by omb to understand how funding may be aiding china. and using that system in a worrisome way and many other criteria to require the transfer of technology to make it easier for intellectual property. a report on the commission estimate china steals up to $600 billion worth of intellectual property every yea year. every single year china steals property from the united states three times the size of the entire gdp of the nation of portugal that is enabled through internet security law
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that allows them to review sensitive company information that puts people at risk. and freedom several times throughout the globe women to stop them. administrator do you agree china has a clear history? >> senator, you asked for three items to be admitted into the record. without objection that will be done. >> administrator do say that china has a history of stealing intellectual property. >> no question. >> and with the omb request that reads a spokesman for that agency effort to ensure that remain strong in that
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position omb has asked for those that meant to counter china do you share the white house is concerned we should take a hard look and to benefit china? >> yes. >> do you agree we should be concerned with the chinese interest in what that could mean to economic and national security? >> yes. >> the were that only makes sense for chinese investment as part of the contracting process? >> yes. >> we are grateful for your leadership. how that is done really matters to nasa. as an agency we have to make sure we don't ourselves in the role of the department of
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justice or the fbi or cifius will we are good at like getting to mars. we are not really the investigative agency to be careful how we do this. >> we are investigating chinese investments to make sure we are treating nasa as we are with the chinese investments and concerned with tick-tock and that is equally important if we pay attention to that as we do with tiktok thank you administrator and thank you chairman. >> let me say there are no other senators in line. i have another question but
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other offices are listening and members of the committee to ask questions they should let us know. so mr. administrator, and then allow nasa to make full use of the sls. i'm concerned the budget request to first spending. how necessary is this and what suggestion do you have for the senate and the house? >> because congress and the senate have fully funded all of her activities just so you
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know those activities are underway and we are getting to the point now where key decision points over critical design review right in front of us. >> we're talking enhanced. >> yes. >> some people call enhanced some call it exploration but it is the same thing. >> to the extent to have that exploration that will be gratefully beneficial and we can use that. that's important to note. it's also true that when we go to the moon by 2024 we will be going with the interim
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cryogenic proportion stage. that is a system in place to get us to the moon by 2024. thinking of what happens beyond that if the senate and the house make it available , we can use the exploration and at this point there are opportunities to use commercial vehicles in the future but of course all options should be considered. >> thank you senator udall. >> thank you mr. chairman for the recognition and let me will come the administrator. i remember having a good conversation with him. good to see you.
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and satellite servicing and debris removal is increasingly part of no space operations of low earth orbit in heavily populated orbits to be increasingly congested by small satellites i introduce senate resolution 386 supporting improvements in space situational awareness and technology and calling for international cooperation with the increasing dangers do you support those improvements and enhancements and situational awareness technology called for in my resolution? >> yes sir. the challenge that we have as a federal government is data. we need the ability to get his information as much
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information and low as orbit as possible. we need more and better technology and data. >> i appreciate that answer. >> how important is it for international cooperation on this issue? and with the sustainability with that outer space. >> with international support we end up not getting the results that we need. so without question the united states of america is the preeminent space nation but others are rapidly developing and appalling space assets creating debris that needs to be dealt with i am very supportive of international agreements that mitigate the
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debris and that enable us to see and respond very well. >> new mexico space industry is growing rapidly, virgin galactic spin launch and up arrow call new mexico home and i'm glad to hear it is beginning to partner with these commercial space as well as others as well as using these entities to take individuals to the international space station and so is this an opportunity for nasa to increase other experiments like space force and what type.
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>> we do these activities through the flight opportunities program that is resident in the space technology mission. that program has already conducted over 700 different experiments technology demonstrations using vehicles everything from vertical takeoff and landing rockets to horizontal takeoff and high altitude balloons. we have done hundreds of these and there are huge opportunities in front of us. who try to get access to microgravity the drop tower that you draw from the top of the building and you have a second or two of microgravity. after that parabolic flight where you take an airplane put
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on the trajectory was 20 or 30 sense of microgravity. after that you have to fly all the way to the international space station which is tens of millions of dollars that is very challenging. takes years of training. but that suborbital capability is a great opportunity to do experiments for five or ten minutes of microgravity which is more than the ten or 20 seconds from parabolic flight. what does that mean cracks right now we're using it to do 3d printing in microgravity. it's very difficult it can be done and we can create the technology capable of doing that it is hugely valuable was space flight because you want to take as few things as possible that make things in space.
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we think of cryogenic management how does fluid move on the microgravity movement? we use these five or ten minute flights to these activities flew it is critically important and to understand that is necessary and not find those to the iss is usually valuable to the taxpayer of the united states of america. one of the initial initiatives as nasa administration or what about a lot of those are conducted by university researchers or private institutions and some of them want those payloads we now have an opportunity to accept those not nasa astronauts that commercial suborbital
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scientist or researchers to fly on these commercial vehicles funded by nassau. this is a huge development forward and eventually we can use these vehicles to fly american astronauts for training and experiments and other capabilities i think there is a great future here for commercial suborbital vehicles. >> it's good to see the work you are doing and nassau. >> the bipartisan sentiment expressed by senator udall is widely shared. senator o-uppercase-letter. >> thank you administrator bridenstine good to see you again although remotely. i enjoy your visit to west
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virginia and quite a pioneer and those jobs across the state millions of dollars of that output of nasa is a great partnership throughout the state particularly in the region we were in. and on the appropriation side , i support nasa leveraging and investment and what they bring up out but to develop a moon lander that take - - that nasa has taken. occurred you talk about that. >> it is a critically important question so if you think about the successes you
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have had with the commercial crew program which we just launched our american astronauts on a commercial vehicle which was fantastic as well as commercial resupply is ultimately for nasa to be in a robust commercial marketplace for human activities and lower orbit. we want to have numerous suppliers competing against each other on cost and innovation and safety. we have commercial resupply and also commercial habitation and space stations. this is a progression. the question we had to answer is given all the programs finance - - nasa has had in history if we go to the moon as quickly as possible, how do we want to organize our
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efforts? we will model this after commercial resupply and partner with commercial industry to go sustainably to the moon. and then competing against cost and innovation and and then the sustainability on the moon that the apollo program never delivered on and ultimately our goal is to figure out how we have a program to go to the moon and stay. that is what we think is a big part of that success that we will see in the future. >> and those that want to join the space or is this something
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of an educational institution that could be developing and what are you finding in that space? >> initially when we had this program we had five souls with those large capital investments from the private sector already. there are a lot of capabilities here already we selected three of those five muscles but we are grateful for the funding we got from the house on the senate floor what we call the base. with three commercial lunar landers under development which ends in february 2021 and from that point we make a determination whether or not one or two or three of those companies we believe can get to the moon as soon as 2024.
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we have had a lot of support from private industry for this activity. >>. >> and i thank you and i have talked about how the space program benefits is across the country or are you still processing the proposals. >> as of right now we are okay. but it will be more challenging as time goes on for sure. we provide grants to universities for them to delive deliver. of course they are having challenges delivering the same as nasa if we have an outbreak at the center our people
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cannot go to work anymore than those that university. there is a day in the future to make tough decisions maybe we don't start a new project in the funding for the continuation that has fallen behind. and come back to the house and the senate to do the new start. i want to be clear there is an impact from covid. we have been successful as an agency going forward with those called essential now we wrap one - - opening to mission-critical which would have an impact to the agency
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and there is an impact for those categories and those early technology readiness level capabilities will see challenges. >> i yield back. >> senator peters. >> thank you chairman and mr. bridenstine it's good to have you here. congress recently passed bipartisan. swift actress senator gardner to mitigate the threats and if covid-19 has taught us anything to up and the economy in a significant way. you are the author of a similar bill in the house and to get a sense of your in a
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significant it that they pose and that this legislation is important. >> and you should be absolutely commended for leading on this issue i was happy to support it at the house but without your leadership and in of the american and human spaceflight capabilities and going to the moon. because of the human landers and then of the 1969 and then to be hit with a solar flare from the sun and in fact i
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could've ended their lives early. we didn't know that back then but understand the solar radiation and the solar flares these are things we have to understand very well to have a presence and that is our goal to explore space and this bill will go a long way to enable us to have the early warning that we need and have the research necessary to even predict and warn people based on the direction one - - prediction. >> as part of the subcommittee i was pleased to see in the memorandum of understanding the space worse completed the
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near objects these hazardous objects that pose a threat to safety and security and to our military. the defense authorization act to direct the secretary of defense of nasa's work in the area with the discovery that was previously unknown and likely came from another star system. talk about the importance of completing hazardous objects that americans consistently list as a top priority and the department of defense with respect to the deployment of a new space space telescope to attract these threats. >> critically important to the nation and to the world.
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and the dinosaurs didn't have a space program. and to explode over russia and then thousand people with damaged people and broken windows and buildings i remember but it was 30 meters in diameter. so we think of those incidents and there has been others. in the early 19 hundreds there was an incident that took out 800 square miles in russia for
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example. so yes we need to detect these objects and make sure that we have a neo- near earth object mission we are doing that already with the space surveillance telescope down in australia and to partner at the time with air force space command to put our own algorithm into their mission. that is to detect nefarious activities. we put our algorithms now in australia delivering great work for space force and we can detect that and it is a great partnership and extending that into new domains we would be very supportive of that. >> thank you. >> thank you mr. chairman
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administrator bridenstine did you make your annual trek to south dakota? >> i have not covid might have gotten in the way. >> you are a little busy. we appreciate that. but that is more critical now those discussions around here of allocation of tax dollars so can you describe how the american taxpayer stands with continued investment of national missions and programs and what this means for job growth technological advancement and economic prosperity in the united states? >> i will start with some history with the apollo program. people didn't know what would
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materialize. but right now we are having a hearing and the cameras are on all over the country use the directv or dish network or internet broadband for listening on the radio, these are communication capabilities and how we navigate with gps to transform and using the space assets right now and every part of the electromagnetic spectrum and how do we increase crop yields for increasing water usage by 25 percent. and to produce energy cleanly
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with the pipeline to detect leaks early and shut it down but how energy companies don't get defined by the epa. and disaster relief depend on technologies that nasa has developed. and that the government benefits from and how we understand climate and national security and defense in so many capabilities that nasa is still to go back enter continental ballistic missiles launching alan shepard into space so that has been what we
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don't know where it goes but we do know the investment is huge. those are things we cannot measure. but here the nasa administrator like tang and. with those nostalgic capabilities promoted in the apollo era. go so far beyond that but there was the end impact study that is the impact and disregarding everything that just mentioned to the united states through 2019 was $64 billion. 300,000 jobs in the united states of america directly impacted from nasa investments and capabilities. so that is tremendously valuable and i think if you
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want to get a specific return on investment we have been working remotely, that camera was developed for a mars mission in the 19 nineties and then licensed by no kia now everybody on the corpus of cameras used to communicate all over in the world. that return we get from nasa is overwhelming.
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maybe it's missed by the public that one third of 1 percent of the budget and the return on that is astonishing. >> and if we appreciate the impact that has had. and with the potential of those innovations and beyond? >> optical communications with a very high frequency to pack more data with more data rates and that spectrum is very narrow. you can prevent jamming like you can't with radio communications or a lot further away. it focuses the energy specifically we wanted to go. with a high aperture antenna it hits the entire earth and just wasted energy.
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so optical communications have tremendously viable impact. and to fly on their behalf to use that technology to communicate that data and information for future missions to mars and other places. >> thank you senator. >> thank you mr. chairman and to the administrator for testifying today. and that is with a significant with the rest of arizona university the one - - university northern arizona to provide hands-on stem education research opportunity
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for other nasa partnerships. for example university of arizona will bring the first astra temperatures at the first time the university has led once a spacecraft launches in 2023 there with the first scientist to study an asteroid which is similar to the planetary core. i appreciate your continued support for these partnerships. and to learn of potential changes of the near earth mission at the university of minnesota. in 2005 congress required congress to be able to identify all objects by 2020 and as a leader on this issue the precursor project three
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months ago nasa approved with the survey director but last week without any complication decided to remove the director role to transfer to the jpl center can you explain the decision to transfer leadership? >> yes. thank you for the question senator sinema. i have been briefed on this. we are 100 percent committed to the neo surveillance mission and also someone that
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is highly regarded on the project and will be the lead on this project. the issue here was a communication error and i word also say that doctors are broken is the head of science mission director at nasa has 100 percent committed to this mission and i want to be really careful what i say and it has been resolved in a way that is favorable to all parties. and we want to make sure we get this done right and we went to make sure that the doctor is in communication with your office regularly on this issue. >> i would appreciate that we have not heard any information since last week and as you can imagine we are very interested to retain this partnership
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with nasa. we notice on a statutory requirement and appears should they be led out of the nasa center or blood? >> what you highlighted where these and these are not small missions and that we never been able to orbit an object like we are now orbiting it is in deep space and for the first time in american history
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we will grab some material for the first time ever to bring it back to earth. an asteroid return mission and of course that is led by the university of arizona. and then you mention the asteroid belt on the other side of mars but a huge ball that is likely to be a planetary core. have never been able to study that before now we can do that led by arizona state university. and what can happen with the university lead? i know you are well aware and you are a champion but when the university leads you get the scientist and engineer sitting side-by-side to make determinations. nasa says here is the budget and the schedule what can you do? universities propose and other
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nonprofits research. when nasa selects the university who get scientist and engineer's and they are forced to make trades early in the process and because of that they can keep schedule and budget. and then to evaluate this way instead of that way and early in the process to have a schedule and budget to be maintained and even better is students get involved graduate students are undergraduate student students, government, academia and students that come together and make it happen to keep cost and schedule
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students graduating with hands-on experience tremendously valuable for our agency and her partners on - - our partners i'm a huge advocate for universities as much as possible. >> thank you mr. chair. i yield back. >> thank you mr. chairman. can you hear me? >> thank you mr. chairman and administrator bridenstine. we talk about this quite a lot but a massive history of young americans with the apollo mission last year and american
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moonshot is frankly the apollo mission and with the work you are doing right now and the work with other agencies and space x and others are doing it is an incredible moment of the next generation to be inspired and to get involved with this mission and you are just talking to senator sinema with the collaboration raising the issue of the movie the martian a couple of times and
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what we're doing to inspire the next generation of young americans to rely on science and technology expertise the next phase of national mission. >> the biggest thing we can do as an agency to inspire the next generation is to do stunning achievements and that is where the american moonshot was all about in the sixties that is what the artemis program is about today. if you walk around today and say what made you get involved in the space business they can tell you exactly where they were when the armstrong was
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man walking on the moon. every single one of them was impressive and that generation inspired and then we know where they were when these events happened. >> i mean to interrupt but word is nasa doing are you going to campuses or recruiting or collaborating with hollywood?
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and the people i talked to in the specific and then get to the point to inspire a next generation of americans to lead and of course have all kinds of knockoff like the apollo mission has. we invest one - - through first robotics which gets young people involved in robotic capabilitie capabilities. our agency is filled with people and first robotics and high school before. we are engaging universities
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from space grants and those opportunities these are all things that enable us to reach into the younger folks and share with them what we are doing and get them engaged and contracting with universities throughout the united states is very big as well. we started the lunar surface innovation and initiative where we partnered with 130 institutions across the united states using the johns hopkins applied physics laboratory and then to create surface power and the moon and how we were
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maneuvering on the moon and how we are using those resources and then of course we have programs that reach into elementary and junior high school through stem engagement. you mentioned hollywood. >> there is an opportunity to inspire and those that have that ability are you doing anything with them or other media types to get the word out?
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>> we are creating a new program with private astronaut missions and working every day to make sure people who are every day people we are making space and those national missions, the price tag we are not fine people to space for free. and leverage all that capability and then to inspire the next generation of americans it is the to get the good work and with that enthusiasm senator blumenthal.
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you are absolutely right there is bipartisan enthusiasm and then to reflect my age and then sputnik now without the mishaps and obstacles but very inspiring and those that they
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explore right now is the dad being laid off. or contracting coronavirus. three of a pandemic and with that arrows - - no space industry with early career scientists. and losing companies that are struggling i see them in my state of connecticut. and in the area of aeronautics i know that investment is just 3 percent of the total budget is that sufficient given the important impact of aeronautics and then quite
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honestly jobs and economic progress and with the aerospace alley we are part of our role that the budget should be increased. >> a lot has changed in our country thinking about the coronavirus pandemic and the challenges and that has a devastating effect on aeronautics in general. i do believe at this point in american history, now is not the time to rest on our laurels and there is time for additional support. this is a huge export for our country and to offset the
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trade deficit around the world and in a significant way. we saw when boeing had its challenges it speeding the gdp by half a percent that is huge because of aeronautics. if we were to make the right investments earlier senator cantwell asked me and there is one investment that would be tremendously valuable. and then we need small core engines with advanced material and higher pressure and temperature capabilities because they have a higher bypass ratio for carbon emissions that is what we are investing in with this budget but as we go forward and thinking years in the future
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there were very few investments i could think of with a bigger impact in the american economy. >> this is an area that we have to consider even more. >>. >> i can commit and the nasa general of the impending on it with an asset management of the next generation of
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spacesuits and feature deep space exploration and with the current acquisition strategy and the potential it could have on companies in connecticut i.c.e. and should we be concerned with the next generation spacesuit and what are you doing about that so when we go to the moon the spacesuit we use on the international space station
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and how to develop that internally that what you want to see in the future as our production capabilities with the spacesuits be transferred to the commercial sector. and then to be developed commercially if there are specific things we can work on together i'm happy to. >> but may i suggest engaging the industry. >> thank you mr. chairman and
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am bringing back a lot of the childhood memories that was a big deal for us that was a big deal and then some other states like nevada to participate in aeronautics we sure research. and those that they mention but the goal is to diversify the nasa workforce and then to
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be selected for the fellowship and the doctoral student with the robotics mobile platform but despite the success of other programs for the stem engagement and propose drastic cuts to funding . . . . what tht
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request does is focuses on the mission directorate and what they are trying to achieve as national goals and it focuses on those activities that will help achieve those goals. now to be clear, if the senate funds the office of engagement, we are going to move forward and execute and those programs are going to serve very well. they would be more in alignment with of the nasa mission and that is where the budget is
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focused. for example, when we think about contracting with universities, we initiated a program within the aeronautics mission director for example that is a university leadership initiative where the aeronautics mission directorate is partnering directly with universities to include unmanned aerial systems and things like that that have a direct impact to the mission as it relates to robotics for the surface of the moon and other things. i think we are committed to achieving what you've highlighted is so important which is creating that diversity for the workforce and for
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students. and i think i can very clearly say that we are committed to that agenda. >> speaking about the budget, are we going to then inspire the future generations to go other places if we don't invest in the next generation now? >> yes ma'am. i think we are 100% committed to investing in that next generation and amazing and stunning achievements like the artemis program where we are going to take not just the next man but the first woman to the
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surface of the moon, and i can tell you nobody is more excited than that then my 12-year-old daughter and so i think these are the kind of things that we are focused on and we want to move out on and certainly engaging all along the way other institutions that encourage the next generation to get involved in the fields. >> thank you. i appreciate your service and yelled back. >> thank you. senator scott. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for hosting and i want to thank chairman wicker for his commitment to space exploration. he's got a lot of years up here and where i've watched over the years as you've had a significant commitment, and i know it's important to your home state, so thank you for that.
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as you know, nasa is pretty important to florida as it is to mississippi and a few other states. i think we lost over 7,000 jobs in 2009 it's unbelievable what's going on there the commitment to use the private sector to do things. it was exciting to be there and i'm sure your 12-year-old daughter is excited. my 8-year-old grandson is committed to be the first man on mars. he told his mom he's picked jobs
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that are not dangerous. he told me it isn't dangerous to go to space anymore. >> that means we are doing a good job. you've created i think what you've done a good job creating excitement for these young people, and i think that is going to pay off not just for the space industry but stem education in the country. what do you need that you don't have to continue the goal to continue to explore space and to do it in a responsible manner? >> i think the biggest thing especially for florida, and i want to say that with the establishment of space florida and all the commercial activities and leadership and now the kennedy space center and
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cape canaveral being this spaceport, so the vision and execution has been very helpful to us as an agency, and we are grateful for that. a couple of things that i think are important to note, we all know that the international space station is going to come to me and end of its life at some point. it cannot last forever and of course it's been in november we are celebrating 20 years of a continually occupied space station. that's a long time, but we need to start making the investments for what comes next and what comes next is the commercialization of low earth orbit. as you've seen, we've done commercial resupply and we have now done commercial crew from the space coast there in florida. the next big thing is commercial space station. all of those missions and commercial crew missions need a place to go.
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if we don't have commercial space stations, there's going to be a lot of rockets that are not going to get launched and i think it's important that we fund our efforts as an agency or those commercial space stations. we put that in the budget request in the years passed and it hasn't gotten funded. that's critically important for the country. china is building what they call the international space station. they are working hard to attract our international partners which we have helped to build their capacity and now they are going to potentially take that to china. we are working to prevent that from happening but at the same time, it is important for us to think about the architecture that we need. we need to change the paradigm
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for habitation in space and then apply. we are happy and excited. >> i wonder which state. a. >> without mississippi, we cannot get the rocket to florida so it is in all of the above strategy and certainly we are excited about launching that next year. you asked what we need and i'm making the best case we can we need to start thinking about what happens next in the low earth orbit. >> the chairman may be supportive trying to do the space exploration. you have been a partner at the visitor center and i think you've done an unbelievable job of exciting families about what
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goes on in space so thanks for being a partner. i know they work hard to try to do a great job and find kids to want to explore space. >> it is an amazing place. >> thank you, senator scott and for that shout out in mississippi. administrator bridenstine, you had a little bit of a rocky confirmation process before the committee. let me just say you have one over a number of skeptics and bipartisan support for the job that you are doing it has been indicated very profoundly today, and i appreciate the job you are doing. let me just say every time you
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come on the screen today, you've been in advertisement for mountain dew, and i think that pepsi's to make a great contribution to nasa based on all of the publicity that you've given them today. [laughter] that said, the hearing record will remain open for two weeks during this time. senators are asked to submit any questions for the record. upon receipt, our distinguished witness is to answer questions as soon as possible. with that, we conclude the hearing and express our appreciation to the administrator bridenstine. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you all, so much.
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[inaudible conversations] we will make sure that you are invited. we will get you a front row seat. [inaudible conversations]
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this is just under one hour. >>


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