Thursday, May 07, 2009

NASA: Ares, Orion To Continue During Review

NASA will press ahead with its plans to return astronauts to the moon by 2020 while an Obama Administration review of the agency's human space flight program unfolds, the acting head of the agency said.

"We're going to keep on moving on with the plan that we have. We're going to keep on moving on with the assembly of the space station, continue flying the shuttle and continue the development of the Ares I, Orion and associated Constellation systems," Acting NASA Administrator Chris Scolese said in a news briefing at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

"We're also relying on and funding the service to deliver cargo to the space station commercially. That's something that's new, that hadn't been heard of before. And we're also stimulating the commercial crew access to the space station with this budget."

Scolese also said NASA still aims to complete the International Space Station and retire the shuttle fleet by the end of September 2010. But some of those flights could slip into 2011.

"They could. The commitment is to complete those nine flights. Today, with the manifest as we understand it, we're confident we can complete those by the end of fiscal year 2010," Scolese said.

"If we run into difficulties, of course we'll have to go off and address that, and that could mean that we spill over beyond the end of fiscal 2010."

NASA has no money budgeted for shuttle operations beyond fiscal 2010. But members of Congress with ties to the human space flight program have been lobbying for an additional $2.5 billion in case NASA fails to finish the International Space Station before the current deadline.

Scolese made his comments during a briefing on NASA's $18.7 billion proposed budget for fiscal year 2010.

Click HERE to download and save a NASA Budget Summary.

Click
HERE to download and save a copy of an introduction to the proposed 2010 budget.

Click HERE to download and save a copy of the Exploration Systems Budget.

Click HERE to download and save a copy of the NASA Space Operations Budget.

Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana said the budget maintained the spaceport's status as the nation's premiere launch site for human space exploration and science research missions for decades.

"Clearly, the next several years will be challengeing with the retirement of the space shuttle by the end of fiscal year 2010," Cabana said. "But our tremendous workforce will help make sure we safely finish building the International Space Station during the shuttle's last nine flights and help take the next steps forward in human space exploration with the development of our next generation spacecraft systems."

ABOUT THE IMAGE: Click to enlarge and save the Associated Press photo of shuttle Discovery blasting off March 15 on a mission to the International Space Station.

4 comments:

Matt said...

The headline on foxnews.com: "Obama Puts Entire NASA Space Program On Hold"

Really? The ENTIRE space program? lmao what a hyped up joke. Of course, after the dreaded swine flue kills everyone in the world, there won't be anyone left to work on it.

I know. said...

Brevard will get hit hard. For every KSC employee laid off, 2.3 non-ksc workers like teachers, fireman, ect, will be laid off. 4,000 x 2.3 = 9,200 people. As Brevardjoblink if you don't beleive it. Think homes are cheap now? Wait till 2010.

Anonymous said...

**NEWSFLASH** ARES 1-X flight on hold until after the review is in. IOW...put a fork in it. It's done.

Obama didn't lie. Kill space and give money to education.

I have one word for KSC people who voted for this shiz (with a z)....morons!

Todd Halvorson said...

To anonymous:

Not sure where you got that, but preps for the Ares I-X are continuing and the test-flight still is scheduled for no earlier than Aug. 30. You might want to re-read the headline....