The Iran Nonproliferation Act (P.L. 106-178), as originally enacted, prohibited the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from purchasing Russian goods and services for the U.S.-led International Space Station (ISS) unless the President certified that Russia was not proliferating certain technologies to Iran. On July 12, 2005, the Bush Administration submitted to Congress an amendment to allow NASA to purchase goods and services from Russia to support the ISS. That presented a classic policy dilemma. Without access to Russian spacecraft, the U.S. use of the ISS could be extremely limited. Yet Russian entities were continuing proliferation activities relating to missile proliferation according to the Department of State. This report explains the Bush Administration proposal and resulting congressional action.
Spaceflight fascinates and inspires many Americans, but in a time of constrained federal budgets, it must compete with a multitude of other national priorities. As the 114th Congress conducts oversight and considers authorization and appropriations legislation for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), an overarching question will be how NASA should move forward within budget constraints. This report discusses a number of issues that arise within the framework of that question. This report begins with some context: a brief survey of NASA’s organization and programs, a summary of recent NASA authorization legislation, and an overview of NASA’s budget.
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