Despite the SpaceX’s successful Dragon test flight last week, the incoming chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee remains skeptical about relying on commercial providers for supplying and accessing the International Space Station. In a Dallas Morning News article Monday, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX), who will take over the committee next month, said he was wary of SpaceX and other providers seeking to transport cargo and, later, crews to and from the station. “I do have [concerns] because it’s so important and it’s so dangerous and it’s so subject to failure,” Hall told the paper. “I want to be assured that they’re not going to run out of money.” He added that he plans to ask SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and other industry executives to testify before the committee at an unspecified future date.
Last Friday, Hall made similar comments to Dallas public radio station KERA. “If you’re really a conservative you long for the day when anybody… can launch their own missiles and not have NASA, the government, do it. But that day’s not yet,” he said. “It’s a time when you still need government backing and sure tax money to see that you have successful launches and safe launches.”