Congress Considering Additional Shuttle Flight and More Science Funding

Article written: 21 May , 2008
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
by

A bill directing NASA to fly an additional space shuttle mission to deliver the $1 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station cleared the House Science and Technology space and aeronautics subcommittee. The NASA Authorization Act of 2008 (H.R. 6063) was quickly approved sent on to the full committee for consideration. The bill also authorizes a $19.2 billion budget for NASA for 2009, or about $1.6 billion more than the White House is requesting. Additionally, it would authorize an additional $1 billion in 2009 to accelerate development of the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle and Ares I launcher. Rep. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), the subcommittee’s chairman, introduced the legislation five days ago, stating concerns about the five-year gap between when the shuttle is retired to when the Orion vehicle will be ready to transport crew and supplies to the ISS.

The legislation would still put NASA on pace to return to the Moon around 2020. But it also would provide more funds for climate monitoring satellites, such as a new Landsat satellite, and Glory, which would gather data on aerosols and black carbon in Earth’s atmosphere. The additional shuttle flight to bring the spectrometer science payload to the ISS would ease concerns of the international partners and reverse a controversial cut to the ISS’s science capabilities.

If you are a US citizen and agree with these appropriations, consider contacting your congressmen to encourage their support of this bill.

Text of full bill.

Original News Source: Yahoo News

Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.


9 Responses

  1. Member

    Great, this is a very positive step, there might be some bright research news on the horizon. Thanks Nancy for getting the word out, I might get my research funded after all! 😀

    Cheers, Ian

  2. Shawn says

    Looks like the Yanks are starting to get thier priorities straight.

  3. kevin koski says

    Their finally using their heads and thinking ,hopefully it will pass and the budget will stay large and we’ll move forward.

  4. Sakib says

    Wow this is great! Although development of Ares shouldn’t be accelerated because it might result in a improper build.

  5. David says

    Why would they want to spend another billion on a project that doesn’t have any guarantees of even being promoted by the next administration? Where is the rest of the money going? Does spending correspond to responsible, thoughtful, strategic plans to further space exploration? Probably not if your space agency has a cozy relationship with politicians who think science is another political debate. Encourage the private sector instead.

  6. von Dawson's Express says

    At last a bit of imagination, but I do think they may be rushing things now before Barack Obama gets in to power, don’t he want to cancell manned spaceflight? Spend more now, get further down the line and perhaps it would be more difficult for him to scrap these important programmes??

    von Dawson’s Express

    PS Best of luck for Sunday NASA!

  7. @ von Dawson’s Express: Assuming Obama gets into power (I’m rooting for McCain…although he wasn’t my first choice).

    This is good news indeed, and long overdue! 🙂

  8. Vanamonde says

    We are seeing the benefit of the laming of the duck. I see a Dawn coming after election day!

  9. s0l says

    I hope Obama doesnt cancel manned flight… I think it’s highly unprobable, it would humiliate the US just when China India & Russia are getting their manned programs well underway.

    But above all i wish for all of America that McCain doesn’t win because if he does, then get ready for even more military-industrial sponsored wars, instability and poverty both at home & out there.

    I think the whole world will judge the US this autumn based on the result of the election ; either a close-minded rednecky warmongering country or a country that realized the gigantic mistakes that have been made since 2000 and wishes to appease its population & the rest of world.

    Seriously, a nam vet as president?! 😉 That would be as populist as it can get and a complete validation of the previous administration’s policy.
    And it would spread even more anti-americanism around the world, and not just in the “middle east”.

    Space is the best uniting solution we have right now. Barrack’d better not under-estimate that.

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