Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Adams Requests Cut in Proposed Commercial Crew Budget

Space Coast congressional representative Sandy Adams sent a letter March 20 to the chair of the House Appropriations Committee requesting a 40% cut in the amount requested by the White House for NASA's Fiscal Year 2013 commercial crew budget.

The request includes $829.7 million for the Commercial Crew program. While this request is $329.7 million over the authorized levels for the program, the prioritization of human space flight within the budget is encouraging. I believe the Commercial Crew Program can continue on schedule under the agreed upon authorized level of $500 million and I support such an allocation of funds. This level of funding will enable NASA to continue encouraging the private development of safe and affordable space transportation systems to carry American astronauts on American rockets built by an American workforce to and from the International Space Station.

I wrote Ms. Adams a month ago asking her to fully support the Administration's request, so that the United States could cease relying upon Russia for flights to the ISS. Ms. Adams' office did not respond.


  1. Hi Stephen.
    On Monday, I got out 60 letters of support for comm crew to the House Republican Tea Party Caucus under the TPiS letterhead. Ms. Adams was one of the recipients.

    With Andrew under the weather, several of us are trying to fill in the gaps.

    Gary Anderson
    NE Coordinator.

  2. Thanks, Gary. I admire what TPiS is trying to do to support commercial space.

    Florida's redistricting plan kicks in next year so Ms. Adams will no longer be my representative in Congress. To say I'll be glad is an understatement.

    You can't even e-mail her through her web site unless you know your nine-digit zip code!

    It looks up your entry to see if you're in her district. If not ... you can't e-mail her. Your five-digit zip code isn't good enough, it has to be all nine digits. I have to go to to look it up.

    That only reinforces the impression she's not interested in hearing from her constituents.

    In the last two years, I've e-mailed her office five or six times. Only once did I receive a reply, and it was to tout legislation she introduced to give yet another tax break to business.

    I don't know if Rep. Posey will be any better, but at least he doesn't ask his constituents for a nine-digit zip code before you can e-mail him.

    1. Hi Stephen. Over the last few weeks as I took time to develop the excel based database of caucus members, (yes I snail mailed at $27 cost of postage), I came across at least a half dozen rep* pages that resemble what you experienced.

      I chose snail mail to do a 3 piece color laser set with TPiS banner letterhead with supporting enclosure documents and I hand fed #10's to put the color label as a return addy. Reason:
      I spent two years under the "Golden Dome" of the Massachusetts State House working as a legislative assistant for a friend who scored a surprise State Rep victory in 11/1996 (He is still there!). Long story short, 'we' (those that met with visitors(lobbyists) and opened official mail) loved to 'get pretty stuff' instead of just boring email, yada, yada, yada.
      So funny, despite the death bell tolling for the USPS, it still has some valid needed service; keeping the legion of legislative staff 'happy'! :)

      Keep the faith.

      Gary Anderson

    2. Hello Gary --

      Having been in local politics for many years in California, I understand what it takes to get the attention of your elected representative. Absent $$$, it takes a huge turnout of angry people with pitchforks and burning torches.

      I'm glad that NSS did a legislative alert last week, although it was very late in the game.

      Watching the hearing, though, it's pretty clear that most of the representatives still don't get it. They want full funding plus more for SLS/MPCV even though that program has no mission or destination, because it directs jobs to their districts and contractors. Commercial crew does little for their re-election campaigns, so they don't care.

      It doesn't bother me in the least that we're investing ("subsidizing") commercial crew. We're paying them to develop a service for NASA. No one complains much about subsidies for Big Oil or Big Tobacco or Midwest agriculture. The auto industry "bailout" saved the U.S. auto industry. And other nations heavily subsidize their space industries.

      Commercial space will give us a new exciting industry that no other nation in the world will have. Combine all these commercial launchers with not just ISS but also Bigelow, and by 2020 the U.S. will have total dominance of human space flight to LEO. By then, we should have the salmonella vaccine approved by the FDA, MRSA not far behind it, and the economic potential of LEO will be well-documented.

      I'm always telling people that the next Gold Rush will be LEO, which is why you see big companies like Boeing investing in it. This is real, and investing a couple billion dollars and what has the potential to be a huge industry seems very wise to me.

  3. Stephen...

    While I think she is wrong about commercial crew funding, don't blame her for needing
    a 9 digit zip code. Congressional district lines are written so precisely by legislators
    that they frequently cross zip code lines. The House of Representatives' system for
    telling you what district you're in uses ZIP+4 also. So Ms. Adams is just using that
    system. But Mr. Posey's district has fewer dense suburban areas on his district border,
    so he may only need the 5 digits.

    - Jim

  4. Hello Gary and Jim --

    If memory serves, the House Republicans instituted a new e-mail server restriction sometime in recent years after they were blasted by e-mails in response to an unpopular proposal. I remember there was a news story about it, although off-hand I don't have a link. In any case, the server looks at the zip code and if it's not in the representative's district, it won't accept the e-mail.

    I ran into this with Posey last year. Posey's web site rejected my e-mail, saying my zip code isn't in his district (although it will be next year).