European and Japanese space agencies are awaiting further developments as the U.S. puts the finishing touches on its new policy for exploration, adopting a wait-and-see attitude until Congress funds a compromise space plan and NASA fills in the details.
Speaking at a Washington conference organized by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, representatives of the European Space Agency (ESA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Franceâ€™s CNES and Germanyâ€™s DLR all expressed caution in the face of continued U.S. uncertainty.
â€œThe NASA authorization bill does not provide information on which way we go,â€ says Andreas Diekmann, head of the ESA Washington office. Diekmann referred to the three-year NASA reauthorization bill President Barack Obama signed Oct. 11, which wonâ€™t be funded by an appropriations measure until a â€œlame-duckâ€ session of Congress after the mid-term elections Nov. 2.
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