Senate Committee's NASA Plan Cuts Moon Program, NY Times
"The committee acceded on the cancellation of the Ares I rocket, which is part of the return-to-the-moon program known as Constellation, but called on NASA to start development of a larger heavy-lift rocket in 2011, likely to be based on shuttle components, that could be ready for launching by the end of 2016. The administration had proposed waiting until as late as 2015 to start work on a heavy-lift rocket, which would be needed for human missions to asteroids and Mars."
A small step for bill - but a leap for JSC, Houston Chronicle
"Although the White House has not formally signaled its approval of the Senate plan, there may be enough carrots in the proposed legislation to win Obama's support. "We think this is a great start," said Lori Garver, NASA's deputy administrator. "It accomplishes the major shifts the president set out to have for the space program." An unnamed White House official not authorized to comment said "the bill appears to contain the critical elements necessary for achieving the president's mission for NASA."
Panel approves compromise plan to save space jobs and add shuttle mission, Reuters
"The NASA plan approved by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee supports President Obama's call to end the moon-bound Constellation program, the human space flight successor to the shuttle program. But the three-year NASA spending plan passed by the committee adds a $1 billion shuttle mission to the International Space Station for next summer or fall and leaves contracts, equipment and personnel in place in case other flights are needed."
Adoption of NASA compromise means continued leadership in space exploration (Rep. Frank Wolf), The Hill
"In a rare victory for bipartisanship and the legislative branch, Congress has rallied behind an important compromise plan to ensure continued American leadership in space. Six months after the release of the president's budget -- which effectively mothballed NASA's exploration program -- the Senate and House have sent a clear signal to the White House that such cuts are unacceptable."
Mayor Battle: New NASA Bill Is Good For Huntsville, WHNT
"I am very pleased with many provisions of this bill as it returns us to a balanced mix of commercial and government funded space travel and research and development for future systems. This bill is a breakthrough in moving us much closer to the positions established by Senator Shelby. This bill is good for the Nation, good for Alabama and good for Huntsville."
Senate committee orders a new course -- and new rocket -- for NASA, Orlando Sentinel
"However, Space Coast officials had bought into Obama's plan to spend $10.1 billion to develop capacity for commercial rockets to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, more robotic missions and technology research that the administration had said would produce a new rocket capable of flying humans to an asteroid by 2025. Brevard officials had hoped that Kennedy Space Center and surrounding businesses could compete for more commercial launches and robotic missions as well as chunks of the research money."
Space Deal Would Allow Shuttle To Continue, Aviation Week and Space Technology
"In exchange for slowing work on commercial space taxis and gutting the Obama administration's proposed five-year, $7.8-billion new-technologies initiative, the Senate authorization would add at least one more shuttle mission to the two remaining flights on the manifest, and maintain the capability to fly a contingency mission to the space station through at least Sept. 30, 2011."