Wednesday, September 29, 2010

House to vote on NASA's new direction today.

The U.S. House is expected to vote later today on a bill that would reshape NASA, but which lawmakers have criticized as "flawed."

The House agreed to put forward the NASA authorization act, already approved by the Senate. The bill would transition to the development of a commercial crew taxi service to the space station instead of relying on a NASA-built rocket.

It also would add one more shuttle flight and accelerate the development of a heavy-lift rocket for exploration. And it would extend space station operations to 2020 and fund improvements to Kennedy Space Center's launch infrastructure.

The bill will be the sixth of six bills to be considered under the suspension of the rules, which means no amendments can be added. But to pass, it requires a two-thirds majority vote.

It looks like the vote might happen later this afternoon.

Some House lawmakers have criticized the bill for its reliance on commercial crew services and questioned whether there is adequate funding to speed up development of heavy-lift.

-Bart Jansen, Washington correspondent for FLORIDA TODAY


Mark Lopa said...

What would this do to Constellation?

Anonymous said...

Mark, its my understanding that this bill has no other impact other than to guide NASA to the direction they intend to take in the actual budget, which may not be passed until after the election, after January or not at all. Continuing resolutions will be used to fund all current programs at current levels until a budget is passed. This means that Constellation is alive and well and continues to be funded at F2010 levels since no changes are made to the F2010 budget. The reason is if they tried to make even one change, they would be so deluged with other requests for changes so as not to be able to pass a CR at all. So they just continue what was in place and that means that Constellation remains. If no final F2011 budget is passed, it falls to the F2012 budget, which would likely be passed around November of December of 2011 so Constellation work would continue for another year.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what the new direction is...bearing due East until you hit China.