Is Obama Shortchanging NASA?


Lawmakers Concerned about NASA’s Human Spaceflight Future
Space News

During a series of budget hearings last week, lawmakers pressed acting NASA Administrator Chris Scolese to concede that U.S. President Barack Obama’s five-year budget plan does not support a robust human spaceflight program capable of delivering astronauts to the Moon by 2020.

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations commerce, justice and science subcommittee, enthusiastically endorsed the White House’s 2010 NASA budget which proposes spending $18.7 billion, an increase of $903.6 million or 5.1 percent above the agency’s current budget. “Unfortunately, these gains don’t continue into the future,” she said during a May 21 hearing. “This is where we are deeply troubled.”

Obama’s budget request sent to Congress May 7 proposes a spending plan for NASA that dips slightly in 2011 to $18.6 billion and remains near that level through 2013. Under the new plan, the space agency would spend approximately $3.4 billion less on the Moon-bound Constellation program between 2011 and 2013 than was forecast under former President George W. Bush.

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  • Kris Ringwood

    The problem is not spending. It is a fatally flawed technical “solution” to VSE bootstrapped by NASA brass from the ATK(SRB Manufacturer) proposal of 2004. Because it does the opposite of the original Vision in the sense of using as much current hardware as possible it will be even more expensive than the “cheap” STS approach which also proved the exact opposite and thus was a failure in terms of it’s original brief.
    On the current budget and using the (originally NASA’s ’90’s proposal) DIRECT configuration proposals we can achieve the goals using STS money in the post Shuttle phase. But we won’t and Constellation will be cancelled because of HUGE coat overruns – and Obama intentions.

  • Ron Carlson

    Let’s see, Congress can afford to spend hundreds of billions and trillions of dollars that may never be seen again on bailing out crooks and thieves on Wall Street but can’t come up with $20 billion per year for NASA?

    As Mark Twain said:

    “Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”