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To avoid confusion, I want to clarify why I consider Obama’s commercial space budget proposal today to be a decrease, not an increase, from past budget proposals. The history of this budget goes like this:
- In February 2010 Obama proposed to spend $1 billion per year on new commercial space.
- Congress responded by reducing that budget to $312 million for 2011 and $500 million per year thereafter.
- The new Obama budget for 2012 proposes to spend $850 million per year for commercial space, more than presently authorized by Congress but less than proposed by Obama only last year.
It is almost certain that Congress will trim these numbers. Meanwhile, the amount of money to the program-formerly-called-Constellation goes up.