Space Access Society Political Advisory 07/09/99 

This one is important.  Please give it (and next week's similar push 
on the House NASA Appropriation) everything you've got. 

Summary: The Senate HUD/VA (NASA) Appropriations bill goes through 
subcommittee then committee "markup" this coming week of July 11th.  
If a Senator from your state is on the Appropriations Committee (see 
attached list) please call or fax them at their Washington office as 
early in the week as possible, and ask them to do two things in the 
NASA Appropriation markup: 

1) Add $50 million to NASA Future-X for reusable rocket low-cost 
operability demonstrations.  Ask them to support NASA doing this as 
a small business setaside, to encourage new entrants to the space 
launch business. 

2) Provide no funding for initiation of NASA's premature and 
oversold "Spaceliner 100" airbreathing launch vehicle project. 

Background, Item 1: We're pushing for startup funding for one or 
more NASA Future-X low-cost fast-turnaround high-speed reusable-
rocket flight operations demonstrators, done as small business 
setasides, with a goal of $100 million or less ("Pathfinder" class 
projects, small enough not to attract too many vultures) per flight 
vehicle program.  The majors all have their own X-rocket projects, 
none to date very promising as far as significantly cheaper launch 
goes.  We think it's time to give one or more of the entrepreneurial 
startup launch companies a chance to show what they can do on a 

Background, Item 2: The "Spaceliner 100" RBCC-engined (RBCC is a 
notional hybrid rocket-airbreather) space launch vehicle project has 
been repeatedly oversold in recent months, to the point where we 
think the overstated and sometimes downright deceptive claims being 
made are actively damaging the already-fragile commercial investment 
environment for more proven near-term low-cost launch approaches.  

We approve of ongoing research aimed at bringing the various 
"Spaceliner 100" technologies closer to ready for prime time.  We 
strongly oppose attempts to fund a half-billion-dollar flight 
vehicle project based on an as-yet hypothetical engine at the 
expense of real current commercial reusable launch vehicle projects.  
We think initiation of a $500 million "Spaceliner" flight vehicle 
project is both grossly premature in terms of the state of the 
technologies involved, and damaging to the near-term chances of 
implementing far more mature low-cost launch technologies. 

                            How To Do It 

If one or more of the Senators listed is from your state, get their 
DC office fax number (or phone number) from 
(Alternative: make a call to your local library information desk.) 

Compose a polite concise one-page latter to them, identifying 
yourself as a constituent of theirs, telling them what you'd like 
them to do, then briefly explaining why - just hit one or two high 
points, don't overexplain.  Thank them for their attention, sign the 
letter, and send it.  Fax is best on this short notice, a voice call 
is second, and email is a distant third, as far as the chances of 
getting attention - staffers are aware paper mail, faxes, or phone 
calls take more effort, so they take these more seriously. 

If you can't fax, then phone their DC office number, ask for whoever 
handles NASA appropriations questions, then when connected to that 
staffer (or more likely their voice mail) tell them briefly who you 
are ("I'm Joe Smith from Missouri") and what you want them to do, 
then (unless they have questions) thank them for their time and ring 


   Henry Vanderbilt 
   Space Access Society 

Senate Appropriations Committee Members 
    * HUD/VA (NASA) Subcommittee member 

 - Republicans
Ted Stevens (AK), Chair 
Thad Cochran (MS) 
Arlen Specter (PA)
Pete Domenici (NM) 
Christopher Bond (MO) * (Subcommittee chair)
Slade Gorton (WA) 
Mitch McConnell (KY) 
Conrad Burns (MT) *
Richard Shelby (AL) *
Judd Gregg (NH) 
Robert Bennett (UT) 
Ben Nighthorse Campbell (CO) 
Larry Craig (ID) *
Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) *
Jon Kyl (AZ) *

 - Democrats
Robert Byrd (WV), Rnk. Mem. *
Daniel Inouye (HI) 
Ernest Hollings (SC) 
Patrick Leahy (VT) *
Frank Lautenberg (NJ) *
Tom Harkin (IA) *
Barbara Mikulski (MD) * (Subcommittee RMM)
Harry Reid (NV) 
Herbert Kohl (WI)
Patty Murray (WA) 
Byron Dorgan (ND) 
Dianne Feinstein (CA) 
Richard Durbin (IL)