Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Congress tries to alter Obama's plans for NASA. "The Christian Science Monitor"

Upset over Obama's plans for NASA, two US lawmakers from Florida plan to introduce a bill that would keep the space shuttle launching through 2011 and throw a lifeline to the endangered moon exploration program Constellation.

The bill, being circulated by Florida Reps. Suzanne Kosmas (D) and Bill Posey (R), is the House companion to similar legislation filed last week by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) of Texas.

"When the shuttle retires, that leaves the US with no way into space," except by turning to Russia for seats on its Soyuz vehicles to ferry US astronauts to and from the International Space Station, says one congressional aide familiar with the bills. NASA's fiscal year 2011 budget proposal would undercut US leadership in space and in effect outsource jobs to Russia, he says.

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