Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, released the following statement on NASA's latest commitment to Congress to revise and improve development of its Commercial Crew Program. NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Jr. outlined details of the agency's plans on June 4, 2012.
I am pleased that NASA has laid out a cost-effective plan to continue development of a commercial crew capability that maintains strong reliance on industry competition during the upcoming integrated design phase. This approach will ultimately ensure best prices for NASA and the taxpayer, foster innovative and robust designs, and hold competitors to a strict schedule.
"I have been concerned about NASA's ability to enforce safety-related requirements, so I am pleased that NASA has agreed to use a traditional federal acquisition approach for the final phase of design and testing, ensuring that NASA will be able to require commercial crew providers to meet the highest levels of safety for their launch systems.
"This approach answers many lingering concerns voiced by Members of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology about uncertainties plaguing the program's cost, and its ability to mandate crew safety design features. The Committee plans to hold an oversight hearing later this summer on NASA's progress on the Commercial Crew Program."