Short-Fuse Opportunity To Support NASA Reform
Space Access Society Bulletin Thursday 9/9/10
We have a chance to head off
HR.5781 at the pass over the next 24 hours. The House will be back in session
starting next Tuesday 9/14, and is scheduled to remain in session through the
first week of October. Only legislation formally placed on the House
Calendar will be considered, and the contents of the Calendar will be decided
before the end of this week, by Steny Hoyer, the
House Majority Leader.
We ask that you call your Representative's DC office in the next 24 hours (go to http://www.house.gov/zip/ZIP2Rep.html for their name and party, and call them via the US Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121), by first thing Friday if at all possible, and (politely!) tell the person you end up talking to (most likely a staffer or a staffer's voicemail) the following:
- If your Congressman is a Democrat:
Tell him/her that you strongly oppose HR.5781, the House NASA Authorization bill. (Give an appropriate reason if you like - see the list below, or roll your own.) Ask him/her to ask your Representative to contact Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and ask him not to bring HR.5781 to the floor. Ask that he instead either bring S.3729 (the Senate NASA Authorization) to the floor, or no bill at all.
- If your Congressman is a Republican:
Tell him/her that you strongly oppose HR.5781, the House NASA Authorization bill. (Give an appropriate reason if you like - see the list below, or roll your own.) Ask him/her to ask your Representative to contact Minority Whip Eric Cantor's office and ask that Republican leadership tell the Democrats they don't support HR.5781, but might support a bipartisan vote on the Senate version (S.3729).
- Generic reason: HR.5781 guts new R&D that NASA is good at, to pay for in-house NASA vehicle development that the agency is very bad at. NASA Ares 1 development cost is $17 billion and rising. The functional-equivalent industry-developed Delta 4 Heavy development cost was $3 billion. And Delta 4 Heavy is already flying. Why are we even thinking about keeping NASA in the launcher development business?
- Democratic partisan spin, if it seems appropriate: HR.5781 props up a failed Bush era program called Constellation.
- Republican partisan spin, if it seems appropriate: HR.5781 derails privatization of astronaut flights to ISS, in order to continue wasting billions on a ruinously inefficient government space transport program.
For much more background detail, see Space Access Update #117 (http://www.space-access.org/updates/sau117.html) and Space Access Update #118 (http://www.space-access.org/updates/sau118.html).
Late Addition: Others have also weighed in on the matter - check out http://www.reformspacenow.com/ and http://www2.yesspacecan.com/Home_Page.html, which look at the issues from different and interesting angles.
thanks for your time
for Space Access Society
"Reach low orbit and you're halfway to anywhere in the Solar System"
- Robert A Heinlein, as related by G Harry Stine