Friday, March 10, 2006

Remarks made by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

From SpaceRef.comhere:

"The decision to base the new Crew Exploration Vehicle and launch systems heavily upon the well understood and proven systems is the right decision. It provides the key ingredients for successful development that avoids the time, cost and risk associated with inventing new technologies, as well as ensuring a smoother transition that makes the best use of existing skills, expertise, and vehicle processing capabilities."

"The current plan is to terminate space shuttle flights in 2010. Our legislation initially prohibited a gap between the end of shuttle flights and the start of CEV operations."

"In the end, we compromised with a statement of policy that the US should maintain an uninterrupted capability for human space flight, and required NASA to inform the Congress, at least a year before the last scheduled shuttle flight, if a gap appeared likely and what steps they would take to fill it."

"In my view, the options they might have at that point, if necessary, could include extending shuttle flights beyond 2010, utilizing crew launch capabilities that might be developed by the private sector, or establishing agreements for the use of international partner crew launch capabilities."

"The NASA Authorization Act endorses and encourages the private sector involvement in space station crew and cargo support, and I am pleased to see NASA moving forward in its efforts to help spur that development."

"The Congress should--and will--continue to take the steps necessary to encourage and enable those developments."

"I believe we have an exciting and bright future in space exploration. We are on a course that will bring important new knowledge, and inspire new generations of scientists and explorers in ways only space exploration can do."

"All of you will have a role to play in this national undertaking and I look forward to working with you in accomplishing the best future we can for space exploration and the enhancement of life for all of us--on the Earth and in the universe that awaits."

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