Aeronautics and Space Administration
Chairman and Members of the Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to appear
before the Committee today to discuss the President’s FY 2004 budget proposal
of $15.47 billion for NASA. The President’s
request demonstrates the Administration’s continued confidence in NASA’s ability
to advance the Nation’s science and technology agenda.
come together to discuss NASA’s space research and exploration agenda, and our
efforts to advance aviation safety and efficiency in this Centennial of Flight
year, still mourning the tragic loss of the courageous crew of the Space Shuttle
Columbia. Before I discuss
the details of the budget, I would like to provide
the Committee an update about the on-going investigation.
26 days after the tragic loss of Columbia, our work continues to honor the solemn
pledge we’ve made to the families of the astronauts and to the American people
that we will determine what caused the loss of Columbia and its
crew, correct what problems we find, and safely continue with the important
work in space that motivated the Columbia astronauts
and inspires millions throughout the world.
I last appeared at the joint hearing between this Committee and the Senate Commerce
Committee on February 12, the independent Columbia Accident Investigation Board
under Admiral Gehman has made significant progress in organizing its work to
determine the cause of the accident. NASA
has kept its pledge to fully cooperate with the work of the Board, and has taken
the necessary steps to ensure the Board’s complete independence.
operations, which began as soon as it became clear that Columbia was
lost, continue on the ground in places along the Shuttle’s reentry path, stretching
where we hope to recover more vital debris from the accident.
We continue to send everything we find to the Kennedy Space Center in
assembly and analysis as part of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board’s
comprehensive accident investigation.
careful search for debris will continue in the weeks ahead, with our best opportunity
to find remaining debris occurring in the next few weeks before the spring growing
season begins. As I told the
joint committee hearing on February 12, NASA is deeply grateful for the support
we have received during recovery operations from more than 2000 men and women
from the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency,
Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department
of Defense, Department of Transportation, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Park Service,
Texas and Louisiana National Guard, and state and local authorities who have
helped us locate, document, and collect debris.
of Suspension of Shuttle Flights
Chairman, you specifically requested that I address the implications of suspension
of Shuttle flight for other programs, including the International Space Station
(ISS), Hubble Space Telescope,
and plans for the Orbital Space Plane
Program. You also asked that I
address near- and long-term contingency planning for the ISS. I will provide
a brief summary, and am prepared to discuss the status with you in detail today,
and in the weeks and months ahead.
respect to the ISS, the Expedition 6 crew--Commander Ken Bowersox, Science Officer
Donald Pettit and Cosmonaut Flight Engineer Nikolai Budarin--continue to perform
science while performing routine ISS maintenance on orbit.
There are no threats to the ISS or its crew in the near term, and we
are working options to be able to sustain both over the long term. All remaining
ISS hardware for the Core Complete configuration has been delivered to KSC and
element ground processing is on schedule. Delivery of Node
2, built for NASA by the European Space Agency,
is on schedule for April 2003. Ground processing
will continue until ready for Shuttle integration.
Only one ISS mission, STS-118, in the critical path to U.S. Core Complete
was manifested on Columbia. The primary mission
objective of STS-118 is the transfer and installation of the S5 Integrated Truss
assembly to the S4 Truss. While
the manifest for the remaining three Orbiters will need to be adjusted to accommodate
this flight, all other previously scheduled ISS assembly missions will be flown
in their original order. A revised U.S. Core
Complete assembly schedule will be confirmed when the
Shuttle is ready to return to flight status.
With respect to the
Hubble Space Telescope (HST), NASA
can continue to service it, and any Orbiter is capable of supporting HST servicing
missions. Furthermore, the
HST is performing well, and is a robust observatory in no immediate need of
servicing. Should a delay
in the planned servicing mission (November 2004) occur that impacts the Telescope’s
ability to perform its science mission, HST can be
placed in safe mode until a servicing mission can be arranged.
respect to the Orbital Space Plane
Program (OSPP), I am pleased to report that NASA recently released the OSPP
Level One Requirements. The OSPP Mission
Needs Statement directs that the OSPP vehicle(s) and associated systems shall
support U.S. ISS requirements for crew rescue, crew transport, and some cargo. The requirements
mandate that the system, which may include multiple vehicles, shall provide
rescue capability for no fewer than four ISS crew as soon as practical
but no later than 2010. The requirements
also state that the system shall provide transportation capability for no fewer than four crew to and from the ISS
as soon as practical but no later than 2012.
These requirements, drafted prior to the loss of Columbia,
already reflect schedule urgency. Immediately following
the Columbia tragedy,
an inter-Center team was convened to consider options to responsibly accelerate
the program while still addressing NASA's requirements.
the absence of Space Shuttle
support, NASA is addressing contingency requirements for the ISS for the near-
and long-term. As I said earlier,
there is no immediate danger to the Expedition 6 crew. In order to keep
the crew safe, however, we must ensure that they have sufficient consumables,
that the ISS can support the crew, and that there is a method for crew return
available. Working closely with
our international partners, we have confirmed that there is sufficient propellant
on-board the ISS to maintain nominal operations through the end of this year. With the docking
of the Progress re-supply spacecraft on February 4 (ISS Flight 10P),
the crew has sufficient supplies to remain on the ISS through June without additional
re-supply. As we move beyond
June, however, potable water availability becomes the constraining commodity. We are currently
working closely with our Russian partner, Rosaviakosmos, to explore how best
to address this issue on future near-term ISS re-supply missions. A Soyuz spacecraft
(ISS Flight 5S) is docked to the ISS and serves as a rescue vehicle for crew
return in the event of a contingency.
These Soyuz spacecraft have an on-orbit lifetime limitation of approximately
200-210 days, and must be replaced periodically. The Soyuz 5S vehicle
will reach its lifetime limit in late April/early May, and will need to be returned.
are currently evaluating strategies with our International Partners to keep
the ISS crewed and supplied with sufficient consumables, and to replace the
Expedition 6 Crew. The ISS Partnership
is committed to maintaining crew on-orbit.
To address the near-term anticipated shortfall in potable water, one
of the strategies that NASA and its partners are considering is bringing up
a new crew of two (one U.S. and
one Russian) on the next Soyuz spacecraft (ISS Flight 6S), scheduled for launch
in late April. to replace the Expedition 6 Crew of
three. We are also working closely
with Rosaviakosmos to evaluate the flexibility and constraints of the Progress
flight schedule to support the crew.
the unlikely event that de-crewing is required, the ISS can be configured and
de-crewed using established contingency procedures. The ISS can remain
without a crew for an extended period of time while maintaining altitude with
Progress and onboard re-boost capability, without crew interaction. NASA will continue
to meet its commitments to our ISS International Partners. Once we understand
what caused the Columbia accident
and can return to flight, we will resume assembly of the ISS.
ISS, now in its third year of human occupancy, represents an important milestone
in history. Due to this capability,
humans are now able to permanently occupy the realm outside of Earth and are
actively conducting ambitious research spanning
such scientific disciplines as human physiology, genetics, materials science,
Earth observation, physics, and biotechnology.
2004 Budget Request
that sunny Saturday morning, February 1st, as I awaited the landing
of the Columbia,
I was contemplating my return to Washington,
to prepare for the release of NASA’s FY 2004 budget. We had worked
aggressively over the past year to develop a new Strategic Plan and fashion
a budget to make it a reality. I
was excited about announcing these plans with the release of the President’s
FY 2004 Budget in two days. I had
no idea how that tragic morning would change my focus over these ensuing weeks. During the days
that followed, I was asked by some whether the Columbia accident
would force us to toss aside our budget and long-range plans.
Mr. Chairman, I will tell you as I told them, I think not.
A test of any long-term plan is whether it can accept the inevitable
setbacks and still achieve its goals.
That is my hope for our plan.
Chairman, in light of the recent tragic loss of Columbia,
we must recognize that all exploration entails risks. In this, the Centennial
Year of Flight, I am reminded of an accident that occurred just across the river
at Ft. Myer in
1908 onboard the Wright flyer. The Wright brothers
were demonstrating their flying machine to the U.S. Army, and a young lieutenant
was riding as an observer. The
flyer crashed, and Lt. Thomas Selfridge died of head injuries, thus becoming
the first fatality of powered flight.
From that accident in 1908 came the use of the crash helmet.
So too from Columbia we
will learn and make human space flight safer.
the budget proposal was prepared prior to the loss of Columbia and
its crew, I am convinced that NASA’s FY 2004 budget proposal is responsible,
credible, and compelling. It is responsible
by making sure that our highest priorities are funded; it is credible
by ensuring that adequate budget is built into the most technically challenging
programs, and that we will fully account for the costs of all our programs;
and, it is compelling by allowing NASA to pursue exciting new initiatives
that are aligned with our strategic objectives.
As I mentioned previously, the President’s FY 2004 budget request for
NASA is $15.47 billion. While I will not
rule out potential adjustments to this proposal that may be appropriate upon
completion of the independent Gehman Board investigation, I look forward to
discussing the FY 2004 budget request and how it advances our mission goals
of understanding and protecting the home planet, exploring the Universe and
searching for life, and inspiring the next generation of explorers, and, in
so doing, honoring the legacy of the Columbia astronauts.
discussion is about more than changes in the budget – which is usually just
a discussion over how one might change a few percent of one’s budget from the
year to year – but instead it is about a new strategic direction for NASA and
how we are planning to shift our resources toward our longer-term goals. In April 2002,
I gave a speech at the Syracuse University that
espoused a new Vision and Mission for
NASA. There are only 13 words in
NASA’s Vision and 26 words in NASA’s Mission,
but every word is the product of extensive senior leadership debate within NASA. And what you see
in our new Strategic Plan is the product of those discussions, and the product
that the entire NASA team is committed to delivering for the American people. Indeed, we did
not need to release this Strategic Plan with our budget – after all, the law
stipulates September 2003 – but we felt that if we are serious about our Vision
we must have it during our budget deliberations and release it simultaneous
with our budget.
strategy for the future represents a new paradigm. In the past, we
achieved the marvel of the moon landing, an incredible achievement that has
shaped much of NASA today, driven by a great external event – the Cold War –
that allowed our Nation’s treasury to be aggressively spent on such a goal.
Today, and in the decades since Apollo, NASA has had no comparable great
external imperative. This, however,
does not mean that we cannot lift our eyes toward lofty goals and move up the
ladder – using the stepping stones we have identified. We believe that
we can make great strides in our exploration goals – not on some fixed timescale
and fixed location – but throughout our solar system with ever more capable
robotic spacecraft and humans to enable scientific discovery.
Hence, we will not be driven by timeline, but by science, exploration,
and discovery. We will pursue
building blocks that provide the transformational technologies
and capabilities that will open new pathways.
We can do this within our means. And if someday
there is an imperative or new discovery that pushes us further, we will be ready
and well along the way.
be successful, we will transform ourselves as follows:
investments will contribute to our goals and traceable to the Vision and Mission. Every NASA program
and project must be relevant to one or more of the goals, and perform successfully
space flight capabilities will be expanded to enable research and discovery. We will continue
to expand human presence in space -- not as an end in itself, but as a means
to further the goals of exploration, research, and discovery.
developments will be crosscutting. We will emphasize
technologies with broad applications, such as propulsion, power, computation,
communications, and information technologies.
and inspiration will be an integral part of all our programs.
We will track performance of our education programs like that of any
other NASA activity.
will operate as One NASA in pursuit of our Vision and Mission. We will reinforce
the shared commitment of all NASA employees to our common goals.
Only NASA Can: We will pursue activities
unique to our Mission --
if NASA does not do them, they will not get done -- if others are doing them,
we should question why NASA is involved.
building block and stepping stone approach already has one important brick in
place: the FY 2003
Omnibus Appropriations Act, signed by the President on February 20.
The FY 2003 appropriation contains many of the needed elements that will
help NASA address important constraints in power, transportation, and human
capabilities. The FY 2003 budget
contains funding for NASA’s:
Systems Initiative to
develop new power and propulsion technologies that will enable solar system
exploration missions that are inconceivable with current conventional chemical
propulsion systems. This initiative
has been incorporated in Project Prometheus as part of our FY 2004 Budget
including full funding to assure we can successfully reach the milestone
of U.S. Core Complete—which will enable accommodation of International Partner
elements--maintain progress on long-lead items for enhanced research, and continue
to build out this research laboratory platform for overcoming human limitations
in space. It also includes
authority to proceed with establishment of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)
for ISS research. This funding
and authority builds on our major achievements over the past year. We have received
endorsements by two independent cost teams that deemed the program’s cost estimates
as “credible” and the ISS Management and Cost Evaluation (IMCE) independent
task force, chaired by Tom Young, that commended our
progress against their recommended management reforms. We have revamped
our science program towards the highest priority research as identified by the
Research Maximization and Prioritization (ReMAP) independent task force. We have put in
place a new management team to control program content, ensure science requirements
are met, and refocus program from development to operations. Finally, we are
implementing new financial management tools to better manage our resources.
Transportation Plan (ISTP)
that will address our Nation’s near and mid-term requirements in human space
flight by making investments to extend
the Shuttle’s operational life for continued
safe operations; developing a new Orbital Space Plane
to provide a crew transfer
capability as early as possible to assure access
to and from the International Space Station;
and, funding next-generation launch
vehicle technology in such areas
as propulsion, structures, and operations. Since providing
our ISTP as part of the FY 2003 budget amendment in November 2002, we have moved
out aggressively on this roadmap. We
are refining the Shuttle’s Service Life Extension Program to better identify
priorities and long-term investments.
We also have completed top-level requirements for the Orbital Space Plane
and awarded contracts to address priority technologies and areas of risk. Finally, we are
refining our investments in long-term launch technologies as part of our recently
initiated space architecture activities. We believe the
ISTP is a good plan, but we are committed to re-examining it if necessary in
light of future investigation findings on Columbia.
must ensure that we have a sound foundation -- our people, processes, and tools
-- from which to build our programs. It
is only from such a sound foundation that we can go forward to more ambitious
plans. We have placed
the highest priority on achieving the goals of the President’s Management Agenda,
which contain five Government-wide initiatives that promise to significantly
improve our management foundation:
Capital: We have begun
to implement our strategic human capital plan, including a tracking system to
identify workforce deficiencies across the Agency.
I will address this very important issue at the conclusion of my remarks.
Sourcing: We have achieved
the government-wide, 15 percent competitive sourcing goal, and are pursuing,
wherever feasible, new opportunities for competition, including the renewal
Performance: We have addressed
all issues contained in the disclaimer opinion on NASA’s 2001 audit and been
given a clean opinion for 2002.
E-Government: We are addressing
information technology security issues and reviewing and enhancing other IT
& Performance Integration:
We are budgeting for the full cost of NASA’s programs and have integrated our
budget and performance plan starting with FY 2004 Budget.
Chairman, I would like to specifically highlight NASA’s newest Enterprise,
Education. The Education Enterprise
was established in 2002, to inspire more students to pursue the study of science,
technology, engineering and mathematics, and ultimately to choose careers in
those disciplines or other aeronautics and space-related fields. The new Enterprise will
unify the educational programs in NASA’s other five enterprises and at NASA’s
10 field Centers under a One NASA Education vision. NASA’s Education
vision will permeate and be embedded within all the Agency’s activities.
Investments to Strategic Plan
with the submission of the President’s FY 2004 budget request, we submitted
to the Congress the Agency’s new Strategic Plan, our Integrated Budget and Performance
and our Performance and Accountability Report. I believe the
sweeping changes we are proposing in our FY 2004 Budget represent the most ambitious
in our history and will enable us to vastly improve our ability to align our
investments with our goals, assess progress, and make sound economic and technical
decisions based on accurate and timely information. These improvements
In response to our new Strategic Plan, we have restructured our budget. NASA’s new Strategic
Plan recognizes that we are organized by those Mission-driven activities that
deliver our end products—Space Science,
Earth Science, Biological and Physical Research, Aeronautics, and Education—and
by those activities -- International Space Station,
Support, and Crosscutting Technology -- that enable our Mission-driven activities
to succeed. To mirror the
organization of activities in our Strategic Plan into mission-driven efforts
and supporting capabilities, and to recognize the reality that there is no arbitrary
separation between human and science activities, the FY 2004 budget replaces
the previous structure with two new appropriation accounts: Science, Aeronautics
and Exploration; and, Space
Flight Capabilities. For FY 2004, the
request includes $7.661 billion for Science, Aeronautics and Exploration
and $7.782 billion for Space
the budget is structured
in 18 goal-oriented Themes, which aggregate
programs to be managed as a business portfolio in pursuit of common goals and
Cost Accounting and Management –
In a landmark event, we have allocated all our costs by program areas.
Throughout our history, NASA has treated the cost of institutional activities
(personnel, facilities, and support) separate from the programs they benefit. This has made
economic trades difficult to analyze. In this budget,
we have placed all costs against programs so that, for the first time, we can
readily determine the true total costs of programs and allow managers to make
more efficient and effective choices.
Budget and Performance Document –
We have revamped our Congressional justification with a new document that merges
our restructured budget with our performance plan. The document highlights
the 18 themes and associated performance measures.
Moreover, it clearly identifies projects approved for full scale development,
including promised cost, schedule, and technical parameters.
Financial Management System –
After a decade of trying, we are successfully bringing online a new integrated
financial management system. For
the first time in the agency’s history, we will have one financial system for
all our Field Centers, a major step in our One NASA goal. The core financial
module will replace the legacy systems at all our Centers by this summer. This new system
implementation is critical for enabling successful management of the budget,
cost, performance, and the accounting changes mentioned above. Moreover, this
new system will significantly enhance our ability to maintain a clean financial
Critical New Opportunities
NASA, we are developing building blocks that open new pathways of exploration
and discovery. Today, our telescopes
peer billions of years into the past to witness the beauty and unlock the mysteries
of the early universe. Our satellites
view the entire planet from space, allowing us to study global change and its
consequences for life on Earth. Our
spacecraft travel throughout the solar system and into the uncharted territories
beyond, exploring the processes that have led to the incredible diversity of
the planets and the emergence of life. Our aeronautics
research has given people the routine ability to travel safely and reliably
all around the world. Our astronauts
are living and working in space, and from them, we are learning how to expand
our sphere of exploration far beyond the bounds of Earth.
our ability to fully achieve our Mission is
constrained by the need for new technologies that can overcome our current limitations.
We must provide ample power for our spacecraft as well as reliable and affordable
transportation into space and throughout the solar system. We must deploy innovative
sensors to probe Earth, other planets, and other solar systems. We must be able
to communicate large volumes of data across vast distances, so that we can get
the most from our robotic explorers. And we must learn to mitigate the physiological
and psychological limitations of humans to withstand the harsh environment of
address these and other challenges, we must build upon the strategic investments
we are making in the FY 2003 Budget and pursue critical new opportunities. Consequently,
our FY 2004 Budget request includes nine new initiatives:
use breakthrough nuclear propulsion and power systems to fuel an ambitious mission
to Jupiter’s icy moons, which astrobiologists believe could harbor organic material,
and lay the groundwork for even more ambitious exploration missions in the coming
decades. The FY 2004 budget request
includes $93 million for this initiative, and $2.07 billion over five years.
Research Initiative will
conduct biomedical research and develop technologies to enable safe and efficient
long-duration space missions, including potential future missions beyond low-Earth
orbit. This initiative
will provide knowledge and technology for efficient life support on the ISS,
and has potential medical benefits for millions here on Earth. The FY 2004 budget
request includes $39 million for this initiative, and $347 million over five
Communications Initiative will
invest in revolutionary laser communications technologies that will allow planetary
spacecraft to transmit large volumes of scientific information, and will be
demonstrated on a Mars mission in 2009. The FY 2004 budget
request includes $31 million for this initiative, and $233 million over five
Einstein Initiative will
launch two Einstein Observatories: LISA (Laser Interferometer
a deep-space-based gravity wave detector that will open our eyes to the as-yet-unseen
cosmic gravitational radiations; and Constellation-X, a mission that will tell
us what happens to matter at the edge of a black hole.
In addition, the FY 2004 budget request provides funding to initiate
Einstein Probes, three spacecraft that will answer:
“What powered the Big Bang?” (the Inflation Probe); “How did
black holes form and grow?” (the Black Hole Finder Probe);
and, “What is the mysterious energy pulling the Universe apart?” (the
Dark Energy Probe). The FY 2004 budget
request includes $59 million for this initiative, and $765 million over five
Change Research Initiative is
an interagency effort to accelerate research targeted at reducing key scientific
uncertainties to help the Nation chart the best course forward on climate change
issues. The FY 2004 budget request
includes $26 million for this initiative, and $72 million over five years.
Security Initiative will
develop technologies to help reduce the vulnerability of aviation to terrorist
and criminal attacks. The FY 2004
budget request includes $21 million for this initiative, and $225 million over
Airspace System Transformation Augmentation will
accelerate the development of technology to help address efficiency, capacity
and security needs. The FY 2004 budget
request includes $27 million for this initiative, and $100 million over five
Aircraft Technology Acceleration will
develop technology to help significantly reduce community noise impact and achieve
significant savings in amelioration programs. The FY 2004 budget
request includes $15 million for this initiative, and $100 million over five
funding for NASA’s Educator Astronaut Program, NASA Explorer Schools,
NASA Explorer Institutes, and Scholarship for Service.
The FY 2004 budget request includes $26 million for this initiative,
and $130 million over five years.
there have been additional funding provided to NASA’s previous five-year budget
runout to provide for these new initiatives, the balance of the funds for the
initiatives has resulted from reprioritization of future funding to more appropriately
pursue the Agency’s Vision/Mission and goals. These initiatives
will plant the seeds to enable future achievements.
From them, we will continually advance the boundaries of exploration
and our knowledge of our home planet and our place in the universe. We seek answers
along many paths, multiplying the possibilities for major discoveries.
The capabilities we develop may eventually enable humans to construct
and service science platforms at waypoints in space between Earth and the Sun. Someday, we may
use those same waypoints to begin our own journeys into the solar system to
search for evidence of life on Mars and beyond.
Chairman, as I indicated above, there is one additional point I wish to make. I would like to
briefly discuss the state of our workforce, the lifeblood of this Agency. Last year, NASA
submitted to the Congress a series of legislative proposals to help the Agency
reconstitute and reconfigure our workforce. These provisions,
for the most part, mirrored tools contained in the President’s proposed Managerial
Flexibility Act, and three of them have since been enacted on a Government-wide
basis in the Homeland Security Act. We have worked
extensively with this Committee to refine the remaining proposals, and we appreciate
all the Committee’s efforts to date. NASA’s
workforce is an aging workforce. At the time of
Apollo 17, the average age of the young men and women in Mission Control was
26 years; today, we have three times as many personnel over 60 years of age
as under 30 years of age. Since 1999, there
have been at least 18 studies and reports concerning the workforce challenges
facing NASA. Within five years,
nearly 25 percent of NASA’s current workforce will be eligible to retire. The potential
loss of this intellectual capital is particularly significant for this cutting-edge
Agency that has skills imbalances. I
strongly solicit the support of the Committee to ensure expeditious enactment
of this critical legislation.
to my testimony, as Enclosure 1, is a chart displaying NASA’s FY 2004 five-year
budget request. Also appended,
as Enclosure 2, is a summary of the significant progress that NASA has made
in the past year on a number of important research and exploration objectives,
and a detailed summary of NASA’s FY 2004 budget request.
has reminded me that we cannot stop dreaming.
We cannot stop pursuing our ambitious goals. We cannot disappoint
future generations when we stand at the threshold of great advances. Mr. Chairman,
I believe that NASA’s FY 2004 budget request is well conceived and worthy of
the favorable consideration by the Committee.
I am prepared to respond to your questions.