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tv   Hearing on NASA Infrastructure Priorities  CSPAN  July 31, 2021 6:47am-8:01am EDT

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this is an hour and 15 minutes. >> without objection, recess at any time can be clearer declared. the committee is being recorded and i want to announce a couple of reminders to them members. please keep video on as long as you are present here. you are responsible for your own microphone, keep your microphones muted unless you are speaking and finally, if members
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have documents to be submitted, e-mail them to the committee at the e-mail address required. welcome to today's hearing. we listen from the ground up. i want to thank our witnesses for being with us today. this last piece is an awe-inspiring test the space center in mississippi. it's expected part of nasa, the four states of the world's most powerful way. there's a long awaited milestone in the years awaiting an it was a central part retiring and entering the state for the upcoming sos. getting there is not only have a developed estate but their own right and how to restore the test stand designed for it, the larger stage and complete.
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these efforts. this is a stark reminder what it takes for nasa to achieve ambitious goals of discovery, exploration and innovation in space and aeronautics but there's perseverance on march, launching rockets or testing aircraft systems or archiving massive amounts of data, achieving ambitious requirements, i specialize in these facilities and infrastructure. for nasa, the infrastructure comprises of 5000 buildings and facilities including those at field centers, five major facilities located across the states. however, the testing of the market in the following error, 70% of masses facilities are 50 years old. increasingly aging
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infrastructure across vast physical footprint has been an ongoing challenge. $2.6 billion maintenance backlog. roads and bridges reaching the end of it anticipation, it was a long time ago. the subway facility in louisiana, water systems and so much more. these and other urgent infra structure needs have managed the effects of climate change and billings battered by hurricanes, flooding and hurricanes and c-uppercase-letter level rise. in short, assess foundational infrastructure is cracking and reaching tipping points. it's essential we prioritize investments and nasa infrastructure especially at a time democrat and for hulk is across the country are coming together and we have
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modernization, and even demolition. and that we do it now. a future that create jobs, generated 2019 economic impact in people, innovation and inspiration. assess research facility stated institutional capability of the nasa center putting them into toys been critical to the successful execution to the nasa's flight products. these have taken years to develop highly competent experienced personnel in the infrastructure that supports their research. the research labs need to be on par at universities, laboratories and others to sustain aeronautics tract
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investment by the evidence of microbial life and advancing competencies in research and take not only the best these facilities. we talk about nasa's infrastructure, what we are really talking about is nasa's innovation. had house profound economic growth, workforce and international standpoints. as we know from example like cell phone cameras, innovation holds promise i can literally change our lives for the better. i refer to working with mike colleagues to address nasa's infrastructure needs so let me recognize my friend from houston, texas. >> yes, sir. thank you very much. today's hearing is to address
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nasa's complex infrastructure issues, asset is one of the largest property owners in the federal government. they manage nine centers in six others in 14 different states. this includes 40 feeling with an inventory of more than 5000 buildings and structure. as our witness will testify, many of nasa's buildings and labs are the apollo gemini and mercury era. some even predate nasa to the national advisory committee for aeronautics. indeed 83% assess facilities are beyond their design life. it cost up to three times more to repair or replace equipment rather than maintenance that occurred escape. in 2013, the last time the committee examined, deferred maintenance backlog was estimated to cost $2.1 billion so now it's going to cost 2.66.
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probably represent the center owned and nasa's historic mission in houston and many other unique national capabilities like sonny carter neutral operatory that trained astronauts for spacewalk, experiment impact laboratory data studies the effects of high philosophy enchilada material. nasa's critical aircraft and materials acquisition in the office that studies materials for space. the test facility that test materials, because i represent one of the largest nasa centers, i am certainly aware of the challenges that nasa faces when it comes to infrastructure. there is no greater advocacy facilities which are critical asset. unfortunately, long-term infrastructure and maintenance investment take a backseat
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near-term program admission requirements. to adequately maintain and manage to actually compromise nasties ability and a right of mission. let's write nasa offers inspector general highlighted infrastructure 2020 report on top management and performance charge. rather than being an afterthought must go after to manage and and it responsibly. to its credit, nasa attempted to do this through various initiatives over the year. nasa developed an agency facility strategy, master plan, elevated mission support level, developed a mission index and facilities condition index, a technical capability's assessment as well as business
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service assessment and is moving toward a new nasa operating model and mission support program. that is a lot of management jargon but hopefully it will lead to decision-making and research allocation. simply, nasser should do whatever family in this country does, manage his present. they factor in department and upkeep. fy 22 budget request because overall increase 6.3%. nasa's budget request safety security initiative for service which has operations roughly 3 billion. fy 22 request for construction and environmental compliance remediation is 9% reduction from fy 21.
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if nasa's facility and infrastructure are in need, they should be appropriately prioritized in the budget request. administrator felson indicated earlier this year nasa has infrastructure requirements of 5 billion but administration has not formally requested additional funding to my knowledge in that next infrastructure funding has not been cleared by the office of management and budget more has been considered in the larger context of the federal budget including offset deficit or additional revenue requirements. i think we all agree nasser's infrastructure is critical for the overall success but it needs to be prioritized in the formal budget process, not a wish list. we know budget is what every family in this country does and
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i'm confident the administration and congress can and must do so thank you and i will go back. >> thank you for your comments, appreciate them. now let me recognize the chairman of the full committee, chairwoman johnson. >> thank you very much and i want to thank you for holding this hearing today on a very timely topic of nasa's urgent infrastructure needs. the subcommittee held a hearing in 2013 on aging infrastructure. the risk of nasa's ability to successfully and safely achieve its ambitious next mission. infrastructure largely dated back to the apollo era and more than 40 years old.
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on this date 1958, was established. we knew then as we know now that infrastructure has to be kept up-to-date. more than 50 years old, from 2013 still rings true today. for example, what was $2.2 billion in 2013? more than $2.6 billion so nasa is falling behind, not picking up. nasa's infrastructure include the monday but the critical is often forgotten.
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across nine test facilities. they also include specialized r&d facilities that no other entity has including on both sides. enter preliminary spacecraft. one of the most powerful systems on the granite. this is making more challenges with climate change. the critical facilities located in coastal bovine regions and
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severity of extreme weather. in my home state of texas, the center saw significant flooding in 2017 from hurricane harvey. it cleared the challenge needs attention now. if nasa is to continue to lead and succeed in achieving this ambitious mission. it's part of the larger investment and federal rnd infrastructure. while the fast-forward and congress might not get appropriate clear, addressing this, science, research and innovation are without necessary core capabilities, the
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facilities and infrastructure we run the risk of straining that future. that's not what i want for nasa. i want to thank our witnesses and thank you for appearing before us today and look forward to testimony. thank you and i look forward to questions. >> thank you for your opening statement. i'd like to introduce our witness. mission support director nasa headquarters in washington. providing additional support to enable successful accomplishment. assistant administrator to the office of human -- 2013 -- 17, department of energy and member
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of the senior mr. gibbs include furniture nuclear winning program with numerous strategic controls. he's a doctor of jurisprudence from northern virginia area. so welcome. as you know, you have five minutes for spoken testimony and written testimony will be included in the record and then we will begin with questions. you are not recognized. >> thank you members of the subcommittee. look forward to working with you to change the trajectory of nasa's infrastructure national
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illustration of leadership space declaration, technical and aeronautics division. [inaudible] 1958 public investment in space exploration, the infrastructure provided the modern foundation -- [inaudible] over the last 60 years nasa continue to inspire -- [inaudible] learn to live and work in the space advanced signs and develop technologies that have proved life for everyone. today america has spamming face industry for international participation. nasa's role remains crucial. [inaudible] science and engineering no space activity in the global space
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international. [inaudible] expand our understanding of climate science and human impacts to make engineering great and dry economic expansion. however, the majority of facilities -- [inaudible] [inaudible] >> you are cash is coming in-and-out, almost cycling. let's ask the technical folks to help us. >> is this any better? >> just keep talking for a second. >> i'll try to of mike's. >> automatic gain control and it's taking him up and down.
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>> i'm looking at our tech guys and hopefully get this straightened out. if you could hear me, i'll continue. >> yes please. >> leads us to one thing, nasa's infrastructure is success. eighty-two% of the facilities are beyond the height. 5000 plus buildings and structures consistently underfunded due to competing priorities resulting in deferred maintenance of 2.6. recent nasa budget request is absolutely essential requirements and ensure mission success but nasser continues to carry significant threat of infrastructure failure. requirements for repair, modernization recapitalization from you capability across the center's.
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these requirements represent infrastructure actions that nasa would go far to offset mounting risk and schedule. hardware and personal safety to complete guide one. here are some examples we need to maintain technical abilities to enable these achievements. the wind tunnel would enable future investment to high-speed travel and more efficient air travel. robotics lab in california would propelled now support the expiration of mars and other planets. we recently opened a human performance lab space center in texas which provide nasa collaborative research environment to understand impacted potential of space travel. green infrastructure is just as vital to nasa's operation and
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assembles the space launch and the one in johnson space center in 2020 mission activity help, timelines and delays and prepares cost. other examples, degradation of the region virginia which is the only access to large complex of the space station and necessary side right infrastructure improvements to enable nasa, dod and commercial partners at the space center. in closing, greater investment is needed to modernize and build capabilities of the future. employees and stakeholders demand that. investing needs directly to scientific innovation, more efficient space travel, the next
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generation of scientists, engineers and nationals. this will accelerate 21st century advancement in climate science and green technology and so much more. given nasa's role as an economic driver dropped greater investment in nasa's infrastructure and next-generation investment in american jobs. >> looking at your map, relies more than 5 billion in nasa investments in virginia and alabama and 4 billion 16 million
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california. mr. ballard talked about you have families plan the project and we shouldn't be doing emergency up the books for something like that. are we in a different. now? riser crisis looking about after last five to 15 years? has nasa asked to keep up with this on an ongoing basis?
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>> i see where you're going with this and it's a fair question. our budget we've received was less than what we've asked for. this becomes a circular program. you need more money to invest in it goes around like that. i do think we are at a critical time with infrastructure right now. my portfolio has a lot more than infrastructure and i will tell you i am concerned. >> when we had secretary nelson here in may he said 5.4 billion in infrastructure, one of the cap?
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the gap. >> deferred maintenance and $5.4 billion investment portfolio are slightly different thing. it would retire a substantial majority of the deferred maintenance. 5.4 is subpoena across the entire complex of mass are driven by the mission, what are the things we need to investment in going forward? all of the investments we need to make. there categories like modernization, where do we build new capability? it should be a national capability. we talked about modernization and repair, all these facilities back up to acceptable standards.
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>> national research council, significant concerns about research laboratories. re: where infrastructure is ahead of it? >> i think we are able to continue with scientific cover. it is in the near future. >> in your written testimony you talked about making systemic issues and electrical systems, are these, is this a new problem or something we've been dealing with for a long time? >> after talking about this, is electrical explosions on energized equipment.
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infrastructure has aged. now it requires you can't and work on it, you have to energize systems, sometimes laboratories or structures or parts of our centrist to work on it like a personal safety issue and unpredictable failure mode we have to put safety first requires us to make additional steps in their required more often. >> six or seven years ago we had one in the tunnel in washington d.c. that killed several. 134 cleanup products, hazardous waste, are we doing and are responsible to in this? >> we put public safety and protecting the environment as one of our greatest priorities. the budget we have and 23, 22 is enough to maintain fiscal
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responsible these statutory responsible use. we talked about the bridge, there has been an issue in the water supply and we've done a good job water filtration clements and providing them with clean drinking water and showing all results of contaminants and doing all this is a way to enjoy we hold up our end of the questions that face the agency. >> thank you. >> there it is, thank you very much for being here, we appreciate you. my question, hunch of a cure
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ration our first, as nasser plans on the mission from is an ongoing debate whether return samples will be processed and have up. a hearing earlier this year, nasa indicated they had not decided on that location. government infrastructure infrastructure perspective, is it makes sense to build a new capability somewhere else other than utilize existing facilities? particularly when nasa has a backlog. >> to answer directly, jsd is the center owned the mars, the sample return program. where the facility is going to be located yet. >> okay. is nasa planning to use the existing structure to support
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this are what are the thoughts? >> i would have to take that to the record. i know we have not made a decision. >> nasa released a request for proposal, the space center maintains the extra vehicular activity. how much funding have they received from the mission directory and eva facility? >> i apologize and i will have to take for the record. i do not patrol the program budget for spacesuits. >> i want to hear your opinion men. if nasa outsources spacesuits abilities, with the budget maintain facilities and safety security mission services
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account to offset any funding shortfall caused by the acquisition strategy? >> i have no intention of lowering the budget if that answers your question. >> for additional cost to maintain critical infrastructure necessary to enable development and training considered in any cost-benefit analysis of acquisition approaches to determine best values of the taxpayer. >> the document folks, my gut tells me yes. >> okay. how does nasa ensure a cost-benefit analysis is an apples to apples comparison? i can envision a scenario where service contract would be cheaper at face value but when the necessary facility and infrastructure costs were accounted for, the overall
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taxpayer cost larger facilities to be commissioned. >> will and generically as we go through these propositions we spent a lot of time ensuring that we have data. you're looking at procurement opportunities, total lifecycle all in, what did it cost us to procure this service? additionally what we have our folks from across the agency with multiple stakeholders getting in as we go through humor and other decisions when short all the folks impacted by these decisions get that voice heard and we have a strong honestly but does this work at the agency. >> the ig semiannual report in congress recently highlighted the fact that a recommendation from 2014 is still not implemented by nasa the recommendation interest lifecycle milestone reviews and
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cooperate technical risks conducted with the associated administrator for human exploration and operation commission directory and other senior agency officials. why hasn't nasa implemented this recommendation? >> i would have to take that for the record. >> can you ensure that nasa provides a response to these questions for the record we would appreciate the answers to these. >> happy to do so. and i yield back. >> thank you very much. i recognize the chair of the full committee. if she's not here then let me recognize chairwoman so --
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>> thank you very much and thanks for holding this hearing. obviously we have infrastructure needs throughout this agency and no matter where those needs are, matters to all of us because it's the signs mission that drives our decision-making but i do want to mention the ames research center. it's not in my district but it is in the county i represent is the second oldest center. my perception of the infrastructure need sometimes has fallen off the priority and the sense that one of the biggest barriers is lack of strong advocates of the top of the agency. that could be other centers are dominated by specific programs.
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aeronautics, a blend of smaller programs across all divisions so that advocacy is used. what kind of evaluation we are going to use so that a program doesn't get lost in the best, if you will. what kind of objective evaluation is going to be used. i thank you for your advocacy. it's possible, we help not that not every priority will be funded. if there's not one 100% funding, how are you going to prioritize what is funded? >> thank you, i appreciate your question. first on the concept, how we make all of these things work across the agency? we have competing priorities and needs and in limited resource
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environments, it's tough. this is a tough problem to solve. we have a master planning process which involves representatives from all mission directorate essay here are our requirements and capabilities. when we look at this and say okay, cross our infrastructure portfolio, how do we put them in buckets? one of the things we know we need today to complete our mission? those are things we know we don't need a should be on our list. let's focus on those things in the middle that could be out branched as we enhance authority. there are things we can detained at a minimal funding level so we can continue to stretch our dollars to the greatest extent possible. i think there's good representation within the agency incident importance to the
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overall mission. >> i appreciate that. so much of the science fair, some live in my district. it's tough because ames is in the middle of silicon valley. you've got kids walking out of college running two or three times the scientists are earning and they stay because of the commitment to the mission and i respect that and appreciate what they are doing and we need to make sure their service is sacrificed and honored. would be possible to share the document you described is of the committee can understand the agency issues and challenging decisions you need to make? >> we are happy to work with the committee and get that information. >> i would love to see that. thank you so much for holding
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this hearing. it's essential and as we know -- part of me. the national research council has deemed nasa's infrastructure need to be trailing and other facilities doe, university facilities can permit that to continue and i appreciate your leadership to make sure that changes. i yield back. >> thank you very much. now a member of cape canaveral. >> thank you so much for holding this hearing. great to see nasa making great strides.
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there is something like three, get it together with what we have seen since those days. between civil and commercial spaceflights at the space center, it's a strain on the infrastructure and now this is something we've been doing, we should address these needs space center. this is increasing by fine capacity and adding to accommodate transportation for
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the next generation vehicles. florida has been addressing the infrastructure challenges and shuttle programs have pivoted to support not only space but also commercial sector. critical national capabilities and other underutilized facilities and launch pads available for commercial use. how can they maintain? that's key not only for nassau but florida. >> i think that is a great partnership. the indian vertebrates we worked with the state of florida, florida department of
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transportation and u.s. department of transportation to recapitalize the bridge. right now nasa is paying to relocate utilities, obstruction will be this fall with completion by 2025. is a great example of florida working with nasa to achieve that joint program of expanding the space industry. i would tell you we are going to have to make additional infrastructure investment to support this. 2021 will be the most mantras nasa has ever done meds expected to continue 24 and 25. we have to make investments and infrastructure to support commercial and nasa's launch in the future. >> understand request for fiscal
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year 2022, 63.8 million but only 33.3 million improved in the budget request. a new platform on the rl ten. do you know why the infrastructure budget were not supported? >> yes. that's an exploration operation program and that's what they are funding but i will tell you again the same, limited resources, you have to make those resources across the agency to meet requirements and i think those are not necessary, i think they were later progress that i would have to check with our program folks to make sure it's accurate. >> you think our plans to address the shortfall? >> i do not.
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>> they give. i see my time is about to expire. i go back. >> thank you and i recognize the past and future governor of florida. >> thank you very much for being with us this money. the agency releases underutilized property for academic institutions and state and local governments. while along that is key proceeds to cover maintenance cost and other activities. it is my understanding nasa used support with great success at the kennedy space center to transfer facility for robust multiuser space work to include space origin and others. it is innovation that gave the new name following shuttle's retirement resulting layoffs
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2011. not near testimony that authority expires at the end of the calendar year. what is the impact nasa this authorization allows and what would happen to the leases? >> the impact would be significant. it allows us to have a fair market value for infrastructure we've underutilized. we taken these proceeds and applied it to infrastructure and needs in other areas critical meeting dollars to maintain or go back to adequate levels. those relationships in these authority forms are just as important as we go forward. the impact for those who currently have them, it's probably fairly minimal to continue through the period of
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the agreement the issue becomes are we have 15 we are looking to enact in fy 22 and i couldn't do any of those and a lot of them relate to space activity not only here but in virginia as well so i think you will be critical for our success going forward. >> thank you. admitted sheriff nelson identified infrastructure needs of $5.4 billion so the kennedy space center is on the atlantic coast of florida which makes it vulnerable to climate change. addressing the need for climate adaptations for kennedy? >> they do. working with the impacts of climate change are incredibly important. a great example of something we are working on to solve.
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we felt 17, we built waterways launchpad that we use recycle floral when they were during dredging operations, it's 17-foot tall. and native grass and plants. those efforts to ensure we can continue to conduct our mission are incredibly important so yes, we do look at the coast line registration efforts not only their. we look at laboratories in california as part of the program as well so there is quite a bit. >> beyond 5.4 billion, does nasa have the planet the impact was included in the plan and what
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does nasa need to carried out? >> at this time, we plan this into our infrastructure project, it's about every three years and other things that go on to support. that's about as much of an answer i can give you. >> at 2022 budget due to the covid closures at nasa center. project was halted in the absence the project may be different. can you discuss which project was significantly impacted by covid closures and what impact will it have on nasa missions carried out at kennedy including the launching of the mission? >> i'll take the complete answer for record but i'll give you the overall picture. there are a lot of adjustments that went on but that isn't
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telling you the entire story. the whole story is that we have to delay, differ in scope projects on a regular basis because construction times are lower than requested. i've had to delay, before it scope projects cycles but i didn't have the resources. >> thank you. >> i will now move to -- member came from california, who are now recognized him? it is your turn to proceed.
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>> i don't think she heard you. there we go. >> congresswoman kim? if you can hear us, is now your turn to ask questions. if you are having technical problems, we can move on and come back to you. that would be okay there we go. i think we have you for a minute.
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please proceed. >> mi up? okay. sorry about that. i want to thank you for yielding and i want to thank you for testifying before the subcommittee today. nasa currently has a maintenance backlog of over $2.66 billion so how is it that spending broken down by nasser's condition based maintenance approach and prioritize risk assessment process and do all of these fall under the same priority are some more than others? can you provide the committee with a prioritized list of the maintenance backlog? >> yes, we can provide you with that list. i understand that it's not a sort of been, if there's additional resources from needs
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changed but we are happy to provide information to show you how we establish priorities and what the priorities are. >> understanding that maintenance is a priority, why would this not be included in the fiscal year 22 budget request? >> again, it's one of those things where you have limited resources, you have to apply the resources to first support the mission, ensure health and all of those things. ... and landing on mars and doig
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all the really cool really important science that we do in aeronautics and the rest of it. some of this is you can't see it. it's the infrastructure behind the scenes you don't invest in if you have a new lab. you have to remember that they are so supported by this horizontal infrastructure most of which is pre- world war ii or in that era us it becomes a very difficult problem. >> how is it the maintenance backlog affecting our ability to meet timeline goals with the space launch system and programs? >> right now it's not. it's not impacting our ability to achieve those goals but i
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will tell you as you don't do maintenance, infrastructure systems equipment dk's. you have an issue with it becoming obsolete so you have to do certain maintenance and if you don't do that maintenance, the bill at the other and i think you heard someone who said the three times it is a good strong industry number it's about three times if it fails with an unplanned issue as opposed to doing the deferred maintenance. but again it's the environment that we have been operating in for a long period of time. >> let me ask one more question. how can nasa better engage with the private sector and other agencies to better utilize on a reimbursed basis and not wind tunnels and other facilities? >> i think using the agreements we discussed earlier to create vehicles, but i will tell you working with others, industry,
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academia, which we do on a regular basis today, is absolutely crucial to our success going forward. it has to be part of our program. a. >> with that, thank you and i will yield back my time. >> thank you. >> we now introduce the congressman from the great state of colorado mr. perlmutter. >> thank you, senator chair. you can see my bumper sticker in the background you know where i'm coming from i want to get us to mars by 2033 so i guess all i hear you and i apologize as a member of congress that to do the plumbing and to do the road work and basic things for any facility, you are kind of put in the back of the bus. personally, i want to be an advocate for you as we go
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through this infrastructure package and the reconciliation. i would like that list of deferred maintenance projects that you have. all of us to be advocates as we go through this infrastructure moment that is definitely infrastructure in my opinion and i do not want to be a pollyanna about it because you had to deal with the shortfalls year in and year out. but at this moment, given what we are trying to do, give me an idea second my question would be the program, the moon, mars.
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what is your top two or three infrastructure needs for you to be able to support the program? >> that's a great question. let's talk a little bit about the $5.4 billion infrastructure list. what i will tell you is i will execute that 5.5, $5.4 billion investment. we have a lot of stuff already in the box ready to go to start investing in this infrastructure. we've spent a lot of time on this. we started with a larger list and then we cut it down and said what are our real needs to support those things and what are the opportunities we can explore going forward and things we can do so our house is in order if we ever get this opportunity we would be ready for it so i think that is one incredibly important thing. i would tell you and i would be happy to provide the list it's about $608 million in that
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bucket ready to go to support artemis going forward. i don't have all of the projects and programs specifically laid out but i would be happy to take that for the record. >> i represent the federal center in colorado and have the energy lab and sort of the lockheed plant so there is a big presence. i have a laboratory not something you have to worry about but at the same, many of your facilities and literally, the roof is ready to fall in. it was a world war ii era laboratory, a couple hundred scientists and engineers and we have to get a new facility for it. over the years it has outgrown itself, it's aged. when i'm looking at some of the
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statistics here, 83% of your infrastructure is beyond the design life and more than 70% is at least 50-years-old and approximately half of the facilities were built at or below the mercury gemini and apollo program; is that true? >> yes, it is true. honestly, congressman, having come from the department of energy i am familiar with just outside of denver as well, the administration. the investments. i will tell you the infrastructure of mass is significantly degraded when you talk to that of the doe. i can tell you that from having been in both agencies and seeing those things. so, yes that is true. we have some unbelievably difficult challenges to take that don't have heat and air conditioning it went without air
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conditioning the summer while they are doing critical work. it goes on and on the cross. now, we do have an opportunity at this moment if there is investments we can work on the other side of it and replace these facilities that will support not only nasa but the nation's interest going forward so hopefully we will have an opportunity to do those things. >> to be an advocate for you i think the other members of the committee, democrats and republicans will advocate, and i am saying to my colleagues this is the moment for us to advocate for something like this because it fits squarely within the infrastructure package in my opinion. >> thank you for your testimony. >> i've been told by my folks that the $5.4 billion list has been provided to the committee staff so you do have it.
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>> let's make sure the committee staff gets it and i would ask them to provide it so that we can start pounding away at some of our colleagues to make sure that all of it or at least a chunk of it is in the package as it went through the senate. >> what we recognize the gentleman from new jersey who is also an expert on space, traffic and orbital debris. >> thank you very much, chairman. appreciate it. it's great to have you here. when we mention quite often nasa has been one of the organizations that we all look up to that was always on the cutting edge and gave hope for the future and has done great
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things. i look at the assets. fourteen states, 43 billion in assets, 5,000 buildings with a massive infrastructure. what i hear today is rather distressing and sort of focusing on the infrastructure needs you talk about limited resources. have you ever had adequate resources to run the organization? has there ever been a time in your career? >> not since i've been in the job but i will tell you in 2012, the mission support directorate comprised about 17% of the agency budget for which to supply the mission support.
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>> exactly where i'm headed. we have the deferred maintenance and you have a list and is it urgent and does it have to be done, does it distract you and the likelihood of an asset failure this is a decision that is made on a yearly basis on where the resources go. i want to talk about the culture of what is going on. one of the easiest things in the business spectrums is deferred maintenance. not a preventative maintenance. that is where i want to focus on how important it is that each time you deferred maintenance,
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you are making the choice to increase risk. we've seen example after example what happens when that risk is taken on. sometimes you win but sometimes you lose and in your business when you lose, people's lives are on the line so let's talk about that when you put together a budget when is it that you say we have to fix things or we can fix this. it seems they will get it done no matter what and that is what i was going to ask you about. how are you dealing with that and at what point do you say no? it's the other side of the coin of engagement. we have the best workforce in the federal government, the best place to work and all those things are true. folks are engaged and leaders
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care. the other side of that is we are going to get stuff done. we want to work to get things done and i think that's the sort of mentality that sometimes can have unforeseen repercussions and that is we can give them a little bit less and they will make do with that so i think that has sometimes come into the thinking of a lot of folks. i will tell you though when it comes to safety, that is a line i will not cross. if i'm endangering personnel safety and if we get to that point we figure out how to recover the programs and projects but personal safety is paramount. that is the point that we are making with that preventative maintenance and that approach it
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is stunning to me. there've been the risk in place for decades. that's nothing new. it's like a transformer. that's nothing new. these are things preventative maintenance can figure out before it happens. we have great advocates here because of what you do for the country this -- that culture has to change. you have to put the maintenance up there in certain degrees as a risk to life and if you don't know the risk, you don't know when it's going on. so, mr. chair man and certainly to my colleague mr. perlmutter, we are there to help you, but we cannot always get it done and with the consequences later on. with that i will yield back.
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>> you may not realize this, but when an accomplished electrician talks about this, he knows what he's talking about. we have people with a lot of great skill set. representative gonzalez has been with us for most of the hearing. if you are here we would love to recognize you for questions. >> i think representative gonzalez is in the financial service hearing. our friend mr. weber from texas has arrived. if you are ready to talk to mr. gibbs, we would recognize you. >> actually my car belongs to the bank and you know how that goes. [laughter]
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anyway, thank you. i read that the infrastructure is beyond the design line with penalties as of 2017 being 50-years-old. the document today explains the repairs have a growing share of the maintenance budget with unscheduled maintenance costs up to three times more than scheduled so my question is how long has the problem been continuing and how do we make sure we don't end up in a similar situation or worse in ten years? >> that's a great question. if the opportunity is presented for additional resources where we can build new and retire the old, that could find ways to get rid of some of the deferred
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maintenance. that is one way for us to attack this problem. i think it is absolutely critical as we go forward that we continue to invest in those facilities and get ready to shrink our footprint to the portfolio as manageable in the future getting to the future conversation. you know, i don't think we are in a place where they have each of everything or 5,000 pieces of infrastructure. we need to work very closely with the mission directors to develop a sustainable portfolio that supports the mission today and going forward. so there's a lot there and hopefully i answered the question. >> thank you and i appreciate that as you talk about a smaller footprint. so, with that in mind do you believe the existing infrastructure for the prioritizing repairs and upgrades and the funds is the best or are you able to
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extrapolate that you're going to reduce the footprint, are you able to identify ways to do that and then kind of categorize those at the back of the end of the line? >> the shorter answer is yes. when we built the process, the one we are using now at the agency level, we worked with industries heavily to see how did you do it. we saw people that had scientific and laboratory and high sciences portfolios and infrastructure and asked them for their advice saying how would you manage this. we then took that and overlaid it into a process that involved the mission directorate, who determined the future missions of the agency and the centers to understand what is the condition of the things we are dealing with today. i think that process is going to lead us to be pretty good place and like i said, we are well on our way in that. >> do i have any time left,
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mr. chair man? >> still two minutes. >> i should have started a timer. so, who lays out the plan and how do we coordinate that? i know this is a tricky political question in some regards with the changing of the guard every so often every say two years in congress or four years in the white house, how do we maintain that continuity? >> i think that the agency master plan that will be published in fy 22, we worked very hard on all of the things we are working on. while the missions may change and we have to deal with those missions changing as the administration's priorities change, the thing that doesn't change is the knowledge and understanding of the infrastructure as it exists today. that is the backbone that tells us what the capabilities are and allows us to do the measurement of what we need and what we don't need depending on the mission. so, i think that we are in a pretty good place, sir.
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>> as the commercialization of space continues and nasa becomes a test for it if you will, are you able, is that going to necessitate for the lack of a better term on an ongoing basis changing that plan as we see working with companies and as we see this specialization process gaining a foothold or speed or what have you? >> that is a great question. i would say it's interesting when you talk about the commercialization of space, even if we are buying the services from private companies or the private industry, they still genuinely end up relying like the spaceport at kennedy. so, while the service may be cheaper on the front-end, those commercial companies come to me and say we need greater electricity and ability to dispose of waste.
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create and ability that comes right back around and you still have to continue to invest in our infrastructure to support the commercial space. >> that's good to hear there's a plan in place to ensure that we can do that. thank you and i will yield back. >> thank you, mr. weber very much. >> mr. gonzalez any other committee hearings we heard from the members thank you very much. we appreciate you coming in with a great knowledge of what nasa means. thank you mr. chairman and thank you to the committee. >> before we bring the hearing to a close, thank you. the record will remain open for two weeks and for any additional questions for the committee to
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ask of the witnesses. i will make sure that we get the distribution of the full committee of the $5.4 billion both urgent and looking forward infrastructure needs and with that >> building infrastructure, upgrading technology, empowering opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us. >> charter communications, along with these television companies, support-s


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