Good news: Congressman Frank Wolf (R-Virginia) has backed down and modified the language he had inserted in the NASA budget bill that would have limited the number of commercial space companies NASA could subsidize.
From Clark Lindsey:
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) , who is Chairman on the Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee of the House Appropriations committee, put language into the recent House budget for NASA that requiree NASA to down-select immediately to one primary contractor in the commercial crew program. This would obviously eliminate competition on price and rule out redundancy in case one system is grounded. He has now relented and is willing to allow for “2.5 (two full and one partial) CCiCAP awards”.
As I wrote earlier, the success of Dragon is putting strong political pressure on Congress to support the independent commercial space companies over the NASA-built and very expensive Space Launch System (SLS) that Congress had mandated. Expect to see more elected officials back down in the coming year, with the eventually elimination of SLS from the budget.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
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