Space Foundation: Mixed Assessment of NASA’s New Direction



It’s not going to be business as usual. That is perhaps the only definitive thing we can say about President Obama’s FY 2011 NASA proposal, released on Feb. 1. The proposal calls for completing the current Space Shuttle mission schedule even if it slips into 2011, canceling the Constellation program and scuttling plans to return to the Moon by 2020, shifting human space transport to commercial entities, extending the life of the International Space Station to carry out additional scientific research, investing in research and development with a significant emphasis on new technologies, cost reduction, and commercial partnerships, and focusing on education to prepare our workforce for further space endeavors.


Congressman Urges More NASA Funding to Stimulate Economy

Increased funding for NASA would stimulate economy while keeping American industry strong
Op-Ed by Rep. Ralph M. Hall (R-Texas)
The Hill

Former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin recently stated that these technologies contribute an estimated $220 billion per year to the economy. Moreover, according to the Coalition for Space Exploration, NASA programs and the contractors who support them represent approximately a half-million highly skilled and highly paid American jobs.


MIT Weighs In on Future U.S. Space Program


A team led by MIT researchers releases today the most comprehensive independent review of the future of the nation’s human spaceflight program undertaken in many years. The report recommends setting loftier goals for humans in space, focusing research more clearly toward those goals, and increasing cooperation with other nations and private industry.


Analysis of the Space Policies of Clinton, Obama and McCain

Rand Simberg has an interesting analysis of the emerging space policies of the three major U.S. presidential candidates over at Popular Mechanics. It’s an interesting analysis that’s worth reading in detail.

“For voters already behind NASA’s targeted human spaceflight, don’t get your hopes up—none of the three major candidates are likely to fund the current plan, because they’ll all face the budgetary pressures implied by an aging population and a burgeoning federal deficit,” Simberg concludes.