In a Senate subcommittee hearing today, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden has reiterated that Congress' limited funding for commercial spacecraft development is likely to delay their flights of astronauts from Florida to 2017.
NASA's "inital analysis" shows that with its current acquisition strategy, even funding of $500 million in the 2012 fiscal year "would delay initial capability to ISS to 2017, assuming additional funding is available in the out-years," Bolden said in written testimony.
In fact, only $406 million has been approved for the program this year.
NASA had requested $850 million, and warned anything less could delay commercial flights from the "middle of the decade" and extend reliance on Russian vehicles.
The hearing's focus is not the commercial crew program but NASA's human exploration program, including the Space Launch System and Orion rocket. Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana will offer testimony after Bolden.
Watch at Webcast of the hearing here.