Saturday, September 27, 2008

Congress Steps in to Protect Travel to the Space Station

As I posted recently, the Congress has waived a provision of a previous law which prohibits buying technology from Russia and other countries supporting Iran, in order to allow NASA to purchase voyages on the Soyuz rocket to the space station in the absence of the Space Shuttle.

The Washington Post today reports that:
The Senate, meanwhile, has added language to the NASA Reauthorization Act that would prohibit NASA from taking any steps to make it impossible to resurrect the space shuttle fleet after 2010, when it is scheduled to be grounded.
Comment: Of course, it is prudent to keep the Soyuz option open while the Space Shuttle program is in its current state. It sounds to my inexpert ears, however, like the Senators are trying to open an option for the next president. With a bad economy, it seems likely that Bush's strategy of making big announcements of manned space travel. leaving the heavy lifting of funding the program to his successors is coming home to roost. We may have to fund a more modest, more cost effective program of unmanned scientific space activities. JAD

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