The House Science committee will have a hearing at 10:00 am ET on Thursday morning to discuss an Inspiration Mars type of Venus/Mars flyby mission but with NASA astronauts using SLS/Orion.

[ Update: Notes on the hearing are being posted at

Here is the Democratic opening statement (pdf).  And here is the Republican opening statement (pdf).

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It will be interesting to see where the Congresspersons think they can get the money for this and how, after endless attacks on the safety of commercial crew systems that will fly on well-tested rockets,  they will defend the safety of such a mission on the rocket’s second flight and first crew launch.

Witnesses:

  • Dr. Scott Pace, Director of the Space Policy Institute, George Washington University
  • General Lester Lyles (ret.), Independent Aerospace Consultant and former Chairman of the Committee on “Rationale and Goals of the U.S. Civil Space Program” established by the National Academies
  • Mr. Doug Cooke, Owner, Cooke Concepts and Solutions and former NASA Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems Mission Directorate
  • Dr. Sandra Magnus, Executive Director, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

[ Update 2: Stephen C. Smith  has kindly posted a video of the hearing:

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More space policy/politics related links:

Space policy related webcasts:

Update: