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Concerning Obama’s proposals for NASA’s 2012 budget, a closer look by me since yesterday has caused me to reconsider my earlier post. I think I spoke too soon, before I had time to review the Obama budget proposal entirely.
Though the Obama administration has pulled back somewhat from its initial 2011 budget proposals for commercial space, it does appear that they are not abandoning that effort as I had thought at first. Their 2012 proposal ($850 million per year) is still significantly higher than what Congress had authorized ($500 million), which suggests a willingness to fight for this program.
As for the program-formerly-called-Constellation, however, it does appear that this pork program is going forward. Instead of trying to cancel it like last year, the administration now appears to have become resigned to its existence, and this year includes significant funds for its construction.
Regardless, considering the insane state of the federal deficit, it seems to me both unrealistic and foolish to fund either of these programs at this time. Pork politics unfortunately will probably help keep alive the funding for the program-formerly-called-Constellation, while the lack of a powerful constituency for commercial space leaves these subsidizes very vulnerable to Congressional trimming.