I am delighted to see Dr. Griffin here again, a little over a year since we confirmed him as NASA Administrator. It has been a busy year, for him and for the Committee.
We passed and enacted the first reauthorization bill for NASA in five years, and put the Congress on record in support of the Vision for Exploration.
We authorized funding levels that were carefully drawn up to help NASA meet the challenges of shifting to the new Vision with a minimum of disruption to important ongoing programs in human exploration and to other important NASA programs in Space Science, Earth Science, and Aeronautics Research.
Unfortunately, the White House asked for over a billion dollars less than we authorized, so we are seeing some of those disruptions we had hoped to avoid.
This has placed many challenges on you, Dr. Griffin, in trying to divide a smaller piece of the budgetary pie, and you have been asked here to tell us about those challenges and how you are dealing with them.
We will also be looking into steps we might be able to take in the Congress to help you meet some of those challenges, and I look forward to working with you to see if, together, we can find some helpful answers.
The space program is an important part of our nation’s ability to keep our competitive edge, and to stimulate interest in science and education, and we will be addressing those issues in future hearings and in legislation we may be considering in the future.
Thank you for your service at NASA and I look forward to your testimony today.
Witness Panel 1
Dr. Michael D. GriffinAdministratorNational Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)