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Senate Proceeding on Dec 2nd, 2010 :: 2:20:00 to 2:32:05
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Bill Nelson

2:19:56 to 2:20:16( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: quorum call: the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: madam president, i ask consent that the quorum call be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: madam we had a hearing in the commerce committee yesterday about the future of nasa.

Bill Nelson

2:20:00 to 2:32:05( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson

2:20:17 to 2:20:37( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: we had the president's science advisor, the head of the office of science and technology policy, the chief financial officer of nasa, dr. robinson, and point-blank asked both of

Bill Nelson

2:20:38 to 2:21:00( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: them if they intended to follow the new law, the nasa authorization bill, that sets out a visionary course for the future of our manned and unmanned space program. they both indicated that absolutely -- that in the

Bill Nelson

2:21:01 to 2:21:21( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: direction of policy within the administration they would follow the law. clearly, this is the -- has the president's stamp of approval, for once we passed the bill unanimously here in the senate and by a three-quarters vote in

Bill Nelson

2:21:22 to 2:21:43( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: the house of representatives, the president then signed the bill into law enforcement it is the president's policy, and it is a policy that balances a number of things. we continue the international space station, at least until the year 2020, a space station,

Bill Nelson

2:21:44 to 2:22:07( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: by the way, that is just now being completed after over a decade of construction. it is designated as a national laboratory, but a host of nations are all participants in the international space station, and cutting-edge research will

Bill Nelson

2:22:08 to 2:22:28( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: be done utilizing the unique property of zero draft o gravity of orbit as the space station orbits the ench at 17,500 miles an hour. we will start to develop new

Bill Nelson

2:22:29 to 2:22:49( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: rockets that, as we speak, are being developed to carry cargo to and from the international space station, and those rockets will be in a competion -- commerce companies -- a competition conducted by nasa

Bill Nelson

2:22:50 to 2:23:10( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: for making those rockets safe enough in order to take crew to and from the international space station. and, at the same time, realizing that nasa's real vision is to go

Bill Nelson

2:23:11 to 2:23:31( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: out and explore the heavens, the nasa authorization bill starts the development of a heavily heavy-lift rocket that will be able to take proponents up into low-earth orbit to fulfill the president's goal that he has set, which is

Bill Nelson

2:23:32 to 2:23:53( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: to go to mars. the path by which we go to mars is yet to be determined. a lot of that will depend upon the development of technology%, and there is within this nasa bill, a robust technology development program for just

Bill Nelson

2:23:54 to 2:24:17( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: such missions as going to mars or to an asteroid or whether or not we go back to the moon. we were on the moon 40 years ago. now it's time to venture on out into the cosmos. under conventional technology, it would take 10 months for us

Bill Nelson

2:24:18 to 2:24:38( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: to get to mars. and by the time you got there, the real realignments of the planets as they orbit the sun would cause us to have to stay on the surface of mars a year,

Bill Nelson

2:24:39 to 2:25:00( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: until the planets were realigned where earth was going to be close enough to mars for the ten-month journey returning. so, naturally, there's development going on by a number of entities, but one in particular headed by the

Bill Nelson

2:25:01 to 2:25:22( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: astronaut that has flown more than any other astronaut -- seven times -- dr. franklin chang dai diaz. he's been developing over the years, even from the time that he got his ph.d. at m.i.t., a plasma rocket, and that rocket

Bill Nelson

2:25:23 to 2:25:43( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: is being now sufficiently developed that they're ready to do the testing stage and carry a small version of the rocket to the international space station, where it would be attached -- a plasma rocket giving a constant stream of plasma energy that

Bill Nelson

2:25:44 to 2:26:05( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: would keep the space station boosted to its height instead of constantly having to boost it every year or so because the orbit degrades. that plasma rocket would take us

Bill Nelson

2:26:06 to 2:26:28( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: to mars, if perfected. would take us to mars in two months instead of ten months. and if you go to mars, that fast -- and by the way, that's going at 400,000 miles per hour to mars. if you go that fast, then you don't have to stay on the

Bill Nelson

2:26:29 to 2:26:50( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: surface of mars a year because you can stay there for a first trip for a few days, and the planets are still aligned so that they're close enough so that in a two-month journey back, you'd be able to get on back.

Bill Nelson

2:26:51 to 2:27:12( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: these are exciting things for the future of both the human space program and the nonhuman space program. the development of technologies in earth science, the unmanned portion -- we have a fairly

Bill Nelson

2:27:13 to 2:27:34( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: significant increase in the nasa budget with regard to the science portion. there is a huge increase in the budget of nasa for aeronautics. remember the first "a" in nails is a, its it's the -- in nasa, it's the n.a.s. aeronautics and space administration. the first "a" is aeronautics.

Bill Nelson

2:27:35 to 2:27:55( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: there's a huge increase in the research angdz for aeronautics. a lot of the airplanes that we take for granted today or the cutting-edge advances in our military aircraft, where do you think that originally came from? it came from the research and

Bill Nelson

2:27:56 to 2:28:19( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: development through nasa. so naturally, the commerce committee wanted to make sure that the administration, given some of the uncertainties of the actual funding levels, is on

Bill Nelson

2:28:20 to 2:28:40( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: point to follow the nasa authorization law. we received those's ainsurances yesterday -- assurances yesterday. now, it is our hope that, as we now come into deciding how we're going to fund the rest of the governmentegovernmenter for the rest of the fiscal year, and we're already into the fiscal year october and

Bill Nelson

2:28:41 to 2:29:01( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: november and going into the third month of the fiscal year, a fiscal year that started october the 1st -- we're hoping that at the very least we can take the existing appropriations from last year,

Bill Nelson

2:29:02 to 2:29:24( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: the fiscal year 2010, and carry that forward -- at the very least. for nasa, what that would mean, instead of having funding at $19 billion for 2011, the funding would be at last year's level of

Bill Nelson

2:29:25 to 2:29:49( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: $18.724 billion. that would be $276 million less than the authorized level. nasa can live with that. and the exceptional goals that are set in this nasa bill can be

Bill Nelson

2:29:50 to 2:30:11( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: achieved if that cut, which is less than 1.6% of the total nasa authorized level, a cut of 1.6% clearly can be done under these very austere times. and so i am hopeful on the basis

Bill Nelson

2:30:12 to 2:30:32( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: of what we saw yesterday and heard in the commerce committee that we will be able to go forth, a third shuttle flight that will be added that will fly next summer, as we transition into the new commercial rockets, as we transition into the

Bill Nelson

2:30:33 to 2:30:55( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: development of the new heavy lift rocket, along with its spacecraft known as a capsule, as we transition into the extension of the space station, the modernization of our space facilities, particularly at the kennedy

Bill Nelson

2:30:56 to 2:31:18( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: space center, as we transition into all of that, we will have less of a disruption of the employment in the space community than otherwise would have been the case with employment dropping off precipitously off of a cliff because of the shutdown of the

Bill Nelson

2:31:19 to 2:31:39( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: space shuttle program. i'm encouraged, i'm optimistic, i'm grateful, and i was happy to hear the unequivocal statements by the administration yesterday in support of the nasa bill. madam president, i yield the

Bill Nelson

2:31:40 to 2:31:52( Edit History Discussion )

Bill Nelson: floor and i would suggest the absence of the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.

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