Spaced Out on The Hill

IFPTE Letter to Rep. Frank Regarding Defunding of NASA Mars Exploration

"As Vice President for Legislative Affairs for the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (local 30), I was dismayed by your effort last Wednesday to defund NASA's program to send humans to Mars and back. Your attempt was misguided for at least two reasons."

'Mars fever' on House floor, The Hill

"A debate broke out last week on the House floor as members debated the commerce-justice-science appropriations bill that has us asking, "What would Carl Sagan do?" Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) kicked things off by offering an amendment saying that none of NASA's funds could be used for a "manned space shot to Mars."

Reader note: You might recommend reminding folks about what the NASA Authorization Act of 2005 says on this debate. How quickly legislators forget about the debates and existing laws ....

(b) VISION FOR SPACE EXPLORATION.

(1) IN GENERAL.The Administrator shall establish a program to develop a sustained human presence on the Moon, including a robust precursor program, to promote exploration, science, commerce, and United States preeminence in space, and as a stepping-stone to future exploration of Mars and other destinations. The Administrator is further authorized to develop and conduct appropriate international collaborations in pursuit of these goals.
(2) MILESTONES.The Administrator shall manage human space flight programs to strive to achieve the following milestones (in conformity with section 503)

(A) Returning Americans to the Moon no later than 2020.
(B) Launching the Crew Exploration Vehicle as close to 2010 as possible.
(C) Increasing knowledge of the impacts of long duration stays in space on the human body using the most appropriate facilities available, including the ISS.
(D) Enabling humans to land on and return from Mars and other destinations on a timetable that is technically and fiscally possible.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on July 5, 2006 1:27 PM.

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