I appreciate the opportunity to appear before the Subcommittee today in my new capacity
as NASA Administrator. My objective throughout my stewardship of this storied
Agency is to ensure that the Congress and the public are fully aware of our
accomplishments, our current efforts and our plans for the future. My job as
Administrator is to remind everyone of what NASA does and what we are capable of
doing. It’s a responsibility I take very seriously. I believe we are at a crossroads in
NASA’s history. We have an opportunity here and now to reinvigorate the Agency’s
agenda and renew the entrepreneurial spirit present at NASA’s beginning – a continued
characteristic of American culture.

The President’s FY 2003 budget proposal for NASA of $15.1 billion reflects the
Administration’s commitment to NASA’s core research efforts and its fundamental
mandate to advance aeronautics and aerospace science and technology. This budget
initiates exciting new efforts in the realms of space transportation and propulsion. It
builds upon our abilities to measure and understand our home planet and the natural Ð
and unnatural Ð forces that shape our environment. I believe it is a well-balanced and
progressive budget that allows us to set the stage for the future. Enclosure 1 displays
NASA’s FY 2003 budget request.

In the four months since my confirmation, I have traveled across the country to visit each
of our 10 Centers to meet NASA’s dynamic workforce and have seen firsthand the
remarkable science and technology efforts that are the underpinning of our endeavors. In
this relatively short period of time, the Agency has taken a fresh look at the long-term
management, resource, and technical challenges while continuing to expertly carry out highly complex day-to-day operations. Together we have charted a vision and mission
that I look forward to sharing with you this morning.

My testimony today will focus on the talent and technology that is embedded in the
NASA organization, the challenges we face, and, more importantly, the steps we will
take as an Agency to chart a clear course for the future. We are intent on continuing the
gains made over 44 years while pushing the edge of the envelope of what appears today
to be impossible. NASA today is working together, as one Agency, committed to a clear
vision and refined mission that will serve as the blueprint for service to America.

What NASA needs now is a roadmap to continue our work in a more efficient,
collaborative manner. I first outlined this roadmap for NASA on April 12 at the
Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University. NASA’s
imperative is not only for the sake of knowledge – it is for our future and our security. I
have introduced a new strategic framework and vision for NASA. It is a blueprint for the
future of exploration. It is a roadmap for achievement that we hope will improve the
lives of everyone in this country and everyone on this planet.

That is a bold statement, I know. But, I am confident in saying this because the unique
work that NASA does truly touches all of our lives.

This is NASA’s vision for the future. Our mandate is:

  • To improve life here;
  • To extend life to there; and,
  • To find life beyond.

This vision is much more than carefully arranged words; it frames all that we do and how
we do it.

So, how do we get to that impressive picture of the future? The answer is by executing
NASA’s mission:

  • To understand and protect our home planet;
  • To explore the Universe and search for life; and,
  • To inspire the next generation of explorers
    Éas only NASA can.

To understand and protect our home planet, NASA develops satellites to study the Earth
form space, and uses their observations to create models of the Earth system to enable
prediction of climate, weather and natural hazards. We are well along in the deployment
of the Earth Observing System to provide the first holistic view of the major interactions
of the key components of the Earth system. On May 4, we successfully launched the
Aqua mission. As its name implies, Aqua will observe Earth’s water in all its phases
(liquid, solid, and gas) and how it cycles through the Earth’s oceans, atmosphere, and land, distributing energy in the form of weather and climate events. We believe that,
working with NOAA, we can use Aqua and other EOS instruments to enable the
extension of reliable weather prediction from the current 3-5 days to7 days by the end of
the decade.

In March, we launched the GRACE mission, which will map the Earth’s gravity field and
its variations with a precision never before accomplished – a precision that will help
measure the effect of these variations on Earth’s climate. GRACE data will be combined
with sea surface topography data from Jason to enable more precise measurement of
changes in sea level, and thus assessment of vulnerability of coastal regions to natural
hazards. At the end of this calendar year, we will launch SORCE to help us understand
the influences of solar variability on Earth’s climate, and ICEsat to measure changes in
the topography and mass of Earth’s ice sheets. We are operating and distributing data
from the EOS missions already in orbit with the EOS Data and Information System,
which delivered over 11 million data products in response to 2.3 million user requests.

NASA’s contribution to security comes from increased cooperation and the sharing of
imagery and unique technology with the federal agencies charged with the defense of our
homeland. Aerospace innovations developed at our centers prevent civilian aircraft from
being used as weapons. Improved air traffic control safety systems and engineering that
will make future airplanes more efficient and environmentally sound are clear examples
of our role in the changing nature of transportation and our Nation’s security.
Hypersonics and quiet aircraft are efforts to speed transport and, in doing so, bolster the

Our mission’s second theme is to explore the Universe and search for life. NASA will
exploit advanced technology, robotics, and will eventually use humans to explore and
seek the answers and the science behind our most fundamental inquiries: How did we get
here? Where are we going? Are we alone? If we are to achieve our ambitious objective
of exploring the universe and the searching for life beyond our Earth, be it through flights
to Mars or observing faraway planets, we must continue to learn about and overcome the
technical hurdles that remain in our quest to answer our most probing questions.

NASA’s recent achievements are only the beginning of the Agency’s role in rewriting
tomorrow’s textbooks for America’s children, as well as for today’s astronomers and
astrophysicists alike. Just last week, NASA released the first images received from the
newest science instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope, the Advanced Camera for
Surveys (ACS). The new ACS was part of the recent and highly successful STS-109
servicing mission, during which astronauts helped take Hubble to the next level of
excellence. This new and improved camera now offers us 10 times the discovery power
than the camera it replaced. With the ACS, our view into the depths of our Universe has
been taken to a new level.

Later this month, we will launch the GALEX, Galaxy Evolution Explorer, which will use
ultraviolet light to conduct an all-sky ultraviolet survey and detect millions of galaxies
located billions of light years from our earth. Next year, we will travel further into our own solar system with the launch of the Mars Exploration Rovers and Mars Express
missions. The Mars Rovers will take us beyond the success of the Mars Pathfinder
mission in 1997 and allow us to analyze rock and soil samples on the Martian surface at a
microscopic level. Mars Express, a mission planned by the European and Italian space
agencies, will be the result of international collaborative efforts with NASA. This
mission will take us another step closer to our search for evidence of past or present life
on Mars. In January 2003, we will launch the last of NASA’s great observatories, the
Space InfraRed Telescope Facility, destined to be a cornerstone in our Astronomical
Search for Origins Program and allowing us to peer into regions of space currently
hidden from our view.

If we are to achieve the mission of exploring the universe and searching for life, there is
much we must still learn and many technical challenges that must be conquered. Today’s
chemical energy rockets that have been the engine of exploration since the inception of
space travel are today at the limit of what they can deliver. Using current technology, if
we were to embark to explore Pluto in 2006, the earliest we could arrive there is 2014-
2016; and then, upon our arrival, we would only be able to obtain meaningful research
for 4-6 weeks. That is an 8-10 year travel period for 4-6 weeks of science. NASA’s FY
2003 budget includes nearly $1 billion for a nuclear systems initiative as a first step in
addressing this challenge. Nuclear propulsion is a mature technology that has been used
safely by the U.S. Navy since 1955. Since that time, the Navy has sailed over 120
million miles encompassing 5,000 reactor years without incident. This technology may
hold the key to overcoming the time/distance challenge, and its application to space travel
has great potential.

Propulsion is only one of the challenges facing further human exploration of space. Still
unknown are the long-term effects of radiation and exposure to a microgravity
environment on humans. The FY 2003 budget includes funding for a new initiative for
space radiation research.

Our third mission objective is to inspire the next generation of explorers. America looks
to NASA to build an unequalled scientific base of knowledge and motivate our youth to
embrace math, science and engineering. While opportunities in the technology sector are
expected to quadruple this decade, the pool of college students enrolled in science and
engineering courses continues to decline. NASA has an obligation to the nation and its
own workforce to reverse this trend.

NASA faces similar challenges with its scientific and engineering workforce. During one
of my recent Center visits, I found that only 62 engineers out of a 3,000-person
workforce were less than 30 years old. In fact, as an Agency, our over-60 population is
three times larger than the under-30 workforce. Inspiring the next generation of explorers
to enter fields of science and engineering is integral to NASA’s success in reconstituting
our workforce for the 21 st Century challenges.

Students are only part of the education equation at NASA. Our Nation’s educators are
also a critical component of NASA’s revitalized education focus. Teachers at all levels already possess the skills to inspire and plant the seeds necessary for this Nation to grow
the next generation of science and technology leaders. NASA can best introduce itself
and the science that it represents into the classroom by teaming up with educators,
especially at the younger grade levels.

Inspiring future generations works in synergy with NASA’s mission to protect our home
planet. The U.S. Commission on National Security for the 21 st Century (the Hart-Rudman
Commission) concluded that advances in technology and changing economies
mandate an increase in the level of technology literacy across society. It is clear that
technological human capital is an essential component of our national security equation.

Our mission concludes with the statement, “as only NASA can.” Our Agency is one of
the Nation’s leading research and technology Federal agencies with unique tools,
capabilities and expertise that represent a National asset. The Agency contributes to
America in a broad spectrum of areas. Medical technologies, aerospace innovations,
spin-offs, nano-technologies, and countless commercial applications are rooted in NASA
discovery. Our commitment to the American taxpayer is to continue providing a direct
and very tangible means of improving life on our planet. Extending life beyond the
reaches of our earth is not a process driven by any particular destination, but by science
that will contribute to the social, economic, and intellectual growth of our society.

NASA provides a constant return on taxpayer dollars with each new discovery, telescope
picture, launch, patent, and newly inspired child or adult. That being said, none of the
ambitious plans that I have detailed for the Agency will take root if we fail to improve the
management of our resources, commit to fiscal responsibility, and establish a clear set of
priorities. A clear vision and integrated mission are important foundations for NASA’s
future success, but success requires that we embrace a wide variety of tools to move us

At NASA, and at other departments and agencies across the Federal government, we are
vigorously implementing the President’s Management Agenda as a powerful
management initiative. Each of the five items included in the Agenda applies directly to

First on the Agenda is the strategic management of human capital. As I mentioned
previously, we face challenging times as we reconstitute and reshape our workforce for
the 21 st century. Today we have an extremely experienced workforce in terms of overall
capability. The downside, however, is that almost one-third of the workforce will be
eligible to retire within the next 3-5 years. We must aggressively deal with this
leadership and workforce challenge. I have recently forwarded a series of legislative
provisions to the Office of Management and Budget, which address this challenge head-on.
These provisions will complement the Administration’s Managerial Flexibility Act,
and I look forward to working with the Congress to ensure that these essential tools are
enacted into law.

The second element of the Agenda is competitive sourcing. We are thoroughly
examining the best ways to motivate a competitive sense in all we do. By focusing on
results and outcomes, we will find the most efficient means to accomplish our goals.

The third element of the Agenda is expanded electronic government. We must pay
specific attention to information technology and ensure that the information technology
process is integrated into Agency decision-making.

The fourth element of the Agenda is improved financial management. I am pleased to
report that we are aggressively implementing our integrated financial improvement
program, which is now in the third year of its implementation schedule. I have tasked the
staff to explore all options to determine whether we can accelerate implementation
throughout the Agency.

The fifth element of the Agenda involves budget and performance integration. We must
become results-oriented and link our budgets to performance. We will breathe new life
into the Government Performance and Results Act. We in NASA are spending a great
deal of effort into developing metrics to measure performance.
I would now like to provide a status of two of our major programs.

International Space Station

The International Space Station (ISS) is without precedent in the history of the U.S. space
program. The ISS Program has had a year of spectacular technical achievements, which
include ground preparation and checkout, launch integration, and on-orbit assembly and
operations. To date, the ISS program has achieved remarkable technical successes;
however, it has not been equally successful in controlling cost growth. Last year, NASA
projected an overrun in the amount it needed to complete the space station, as then
planned, of up to $4.8 billion. While some of that growth may be attributable to such
factors as inadequate initial requirements definition, added content, late delivery, and
development problems leading to cost variance, there are clearly areas of fiscal
management and program control that need improvement.

The President’s Budget Blueprint for FY 2002 laid the groundwork for attaining cost
control and regaining credibility for the program to reach its full potential. As a result, a
course of action was prescribed to get cost growth under control and restore confidence in
NASA’s cost management, and to achieve the science priorities for which the Nation has
made a large investment. We are continuing with the reassessment and review activities
that we began last year that followed the Blueprint, but did not eliminate the cost
challenge. The President’s FY2003 budget projections include about $600 million of
savings that NASA will realize through the implementation of identified program
initiatives, and a process that continues to seek additional savings while containing the
threats to further ISS cost growth. While steps taken last year were designed to contain
cost growth and to gain better understanding of its source and nature, this year will be one of corrective action – putting in place the right processes, tools, management
controls, and measures to improve and evaluate the ISS program.

Thanks to the efforts of the ISS Management and Cost Evaluation (IMCE) Task Force,
led by Mr. Thomas Young, we are well along in effecting proper controls and regaining
credibility. I have reviewed the Young team’s recommendations and have endorsed them
as a roadmap to improve the ISS Program management. As a result, the ISS management
has already taken actions to develop implementation strategies.

The following five points are guiding our efforts at reform and revitalization of the ISS

  1. Research Priorities-Establishing an integrated portfolio of science and technology
    priorities that maximize the benefits of space-based research within available
    resources. In addition to addressing the cost challenges of the ISS, we must make
    a renewed determination of the research goals and on-orbit capabilities that we
    want the ISS to achieve. Our priority should not be to simply build an ISS to a
    specific hardware complement and then seek research and experiments to make
    use of the hardware. The ISS Program should be driven by high-priority research
    objectives. NASA has recently established a Research Maximization and
    Prioritization (ReMaP) Task Force to assess how high-priority research objectives
    can be best met by ISS within available resources, and how the resulting research
    strategy might evolve, given the possibility of research-driven enhancement to the
    ISS beyond U.S. Core Complete.

  2. Engineering Development/Deployment-Development of a program road map that
    focuses on successfully achieving a “core complete” configuration within budget.
    This will not be easy, but we are dedicated to making it happen. Therefore, it is
    imperative that Congress provide us with the requested funds so that we can meet
    our commitment to achieving a core Station. Should NASA demonstrate that
    reforms are implemented and cost credibility is regained, this will enable future
    decisions towards a requirements-driven “end state” that will, defined in terms of
    science priorities, allow an expanded research potential for us and our
    international partners.

  3. Cost Estimation and Analysis-The ISS is the largest and most complex
    engineering development program ever pursued by the United States.
    Implementation of improved methodologies, tools and controls are underway and
    will allow us to regain credibility and improve our ability in financial forecasting
    and strategic planning capabilities. An independent cost review is underway to
    better understand our costs. These projects will also be beneficial to the Agency
    at large.

  4. International Partnerships- An important challenge is maintaining the ISS
    international partnerships. Our partners have expressed their concerns stemming
    from NASA working to get the fundamentals right to achieve U.S. core complete;

    and then to identify options beyond U.S. core complete to realize the full potential
    of the ISS. Although the configuration of the ISS has been modified to meet the
    cost challenges we face, the fundamental purposes remain – research and
    international cooperation. To reaffirm NASA’s strong commitment to its
    international partnerships, I have formed a team to meet with representatives of
    all our partners to understand their concerns and to work with them in the spirit of

  5. Mission and Science Operations-Advanced planning for Space Shuttle and ISS
    operations to maximize the productivity of on-orbit research and ensure the safety
    of real time operations.

Space Shuttle

NASA is proud of its historic record of 106 Shuttle missions and, in particular, the
accomplishments of the last year in support of the ISS. Last year, seven Shuttle missions
were flown with five of those missions launched during a six-month period.

This budget continues to invest in safety and supportability improvements for the Space
Shuttle and increases the investment in repairing aging Shuttle infrastructure. These
investments, totaling $1.35 billion over the next five years, will ensure that the Space
Shuttle can meet NASA’s space transportation needs for at least the next decade. NASA
seeks to implement these upgrades as quickly as possible, and is working to accelerate
the availability of planned upgrades. These investments are an integral part of NASA’s
Integrated Space Transportation Plan (ISTP), which also includes investments in the
Space Launch Initiative (SLI) for NASA’s next-generation reusable space transportation
As recommended by the IMCE Task Force, reducing the Space Shuttle flights to four per
year appears to be sufficient to meet ISS needs. However, we are reviewing this decision
to determine whether any additional flights are necessary.

The President’s budget also provides for the continued pursuit of Shuttle competitive
sourcing. The anticipated benefits of competitive sourcing include: 1) greater flexibility
to recruit and retain the skilled personnel necessary to safely operate the Shuttle; 2)
avoiding potential continued cost growth for Shuttle operations by moving to a private
organization that has greater flexibility to make business decisions that increase
efficiency; and, 3) significant culture change in Human Space Flight at NASA by making
it a purchaser of services rather than an operator of infrastructure.

Mr. Chairman, I believe the vision, mission, programs, initiatives and budget I have
described represent a strong commitment to a healthy and forward-moving NASA. I
believe it is deserving of the Subcommittee’s strong support and I look forward to
working with the Subcommittee to achieve an appropriation that supports the President’s
budget request.

I have mentioned the opportunity I have had to meet the men and women of NASA,
working in our installations across this land. We have a diverse and resilient workforce,
and they are proud and excited about the work they are doing. They are our greatest
assets and I believe our greatest hope for the future of this Agency. They have shown me
their desire to be a part of the work contributing to even greater meaning in the larger
dreams represented by this Agency. Their eagerness and dedication and the strength of
their resolve tell me that, together with the support of Congress and this Subcommittee,
we can achieve what we have set out in this budget to accomplish – and more.

Thank you.