Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairman Steven Palazzo (R-MS) opened today's hearing on the FAA's indemnification program with a response to recent comments made by John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Speaking to recent SpaceX missions, Holdren asserted last week that Obama Administration policy is responsible for the programs that made possible the successful SpaceX cargo missions to the International Space Station.
"Mr. Holdren's statement is, at best, misleading," Palazzo stated. "The commercial orbital transportation services program was proposed by the Bush administration in 2005 and authorized by Congress. The COTS contract that funded the Space-X mission was awarded in 2006. The Commercial Resupply Services contract won by SpaceX and Orbital was announced at the end of 2008. Let the record be clear."
Speaking before an audience in New York last week, Dr. Holdren claimed that the space policies responsible for the recent, successful SpaceX cargo mission to the ISS are "entirely new" and have been "initiated by this administration."
"This represents an entirely new model for the American Space Program one initiated by this administration and one -despite the hand wringing of nay-sayers - who said it would never work, now promises to change forever the nature of U.S. space exploration and human space flight."- John Holdren, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.