NASA Receives Bi-Partisan Support for Budget, Exploration Plan
"This appropriations bill reaffirms support for the bi-partisan space exploration plan agreed to by the President and Congress. The bill keeps NASA's deep space exploration program (the Space Launch System and Orion) on track and provides funding to formulate the agency's Asteroid Redirect Mission, an important stepping stone on the path to Mars. The bill also provides funding for our plan to return American space launches to the U.S., ground-breaking scientific discoveries, game-changing technologies and cutting-edge research into cleaner and quieter airplanes. The $17.6 billion provided in this measure will continue to spur American innovation and keep the U.S. the world leader in space exploration."
Keith's note: Contrary to Charlie Bolden's happy thoughts (he and Rich DalBello have been talking, it would seem), commercial space is strongly hampered by this bill while SLS and Orion are clearly the agency's most important projects - even if they have no approved destination or funded payloads. Congress really does not like the Asteroid Redirect mission and has tried to kill it more than once. Congress has also has cut the new technologies needed to get humans to Mars and elsewhere, and has left the planetary program on a slow road to decline. But Charlie is happy.