NASA’s short statement, in connection to the Obama administration’s decision to suspend all non-ISS related activities with Russia, is almost entirely a demand for more funding for its commercial space program.


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NASA’s short statement, in connection to the Obama administration’s decision to suspend all non-ISS related activities with Russia, is almost entirely a demand for more funding for its commercial space program.

To quote:

NASA is laser focused on a plan to return human spaceflight launches to American soil, and end our reliance on Russia to get into space. This has been a top priority of the Obama Administration’s for the past five years, and had our plan been fully funded, we would have returned American human spaceflight launches – and the jobs they support – back to the United States next year. With the reduced level of funding approved by Congress, we’re now looking at launching from U.S. soil in 2017. The choice here is between fully funding the plan to bring space launches back to America or continuing to send millions of dollars to the Russians. It’s that simple. The Obama Administration chooses to invest in America – and we are hopeful that Congress will do the same.

Though I agree with them about accelerating manned commercial space, I can’t help wondering if this suspension of activities was actually instigated to generate this lobbying effort. ISS comprises the bulk of the U.S.’s cooperative effort with Russia, and by exempting that from this suspension the Obama administration essentially exempts practically everything, making the suspension somewhat meaningless.

What the suspension does do, however, is highlight our fragile dependency on Russia, just as Congress begins debate on the 2015 budget.

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One comment

  • Pzatchok

    Oh I just love that quote. The whole thing sounds like it was written entirely by the WH for pure political fluff.

    “This has been a top priority of the Obama Administration’s for the past five years, and had our plan been fully funded, we would have returned American human spaceflight launches – and the jobs they support – back to the United States next year. ”

    Hey Dingle berry brain. The Wh makes the budget. With control of both houses you had every opportunity to fully fund everything you wanted.
    And when was the last actual budget passed? You have been working on continuing resolutions for the last 6 years. Basically no budget.

    And as for launching in 2017. That was always the goal, and a hopeful one at that, from NASA.
    But its not being met by anything orchestrated and designed by NASA. Its now being met by private companies with private designs. NASA is just slowing them down now.

    If NASA had any real desire to put people in orbit and thus provide our own transport to the space station they would have announced a cheap simple rebirth of the old Apollo capsule program and launched the ship on any available rocket. But no they went all engineer and design happy with the orion and sls. Its like they wanted some reason to break the total multi year shuttle budget all in one program.

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