Sat, Sep 17, 2011
SpaceX Founder Elon Musk: U.S. Needs Alternative To Dependence
On Russia 'As Soon As Possible"
The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a NASA budget
that includes $500 million for the development of commercial crew
capacity for transporting U.S. and other astronauts to the ISS.
The summary of the appropriation, provided by the committee,
indicates that NASA is funded at $17.9 billion, a reduction of $509
million or 2.8 percent from the FY2011 enacted level. The bill
"preserves (the) NASA portfolio balanced among science,
aeronautics, technology and human space flight investments,
including the Orion Multipurpose Crew Vehicle, the heavy lift Space
Launch System, and commercial crew development. It also provides
funds to enable a 2018 launch of the James Webb Space
SpaceX Founder Elon Musk issued a statement following the vote
saying that the United States needs "alternatives for carrying
American astronauts, and we need them as soon as possible. The
investments made by this legislation will accelerate efforts to
return America to launching astronauts and reduce our dependency on
Russia. With the failure of the Soyuz booster last month, this
effort is more important than ever.
Elon Musk SpaceX Photo
"NASA's Commercial Crew Development Program is the most fiscally
responsible means to rapidly advance human spaceflight. It has
protected taxpayer dollars with fixed-price, pay-for-performance
contracts. It fosters competition that forces companies to compete
on reliability, capability and cost. And it leverages private
investment - making taxpayer dollars go further.
"SpaceX applauds Chairwoman Mikulski, Ranking Member Hutchison
and the Members of the Subcommittee for recognizing the value of
the program. With the support of Congress, American companies will
soon be able to end the flow of tax dollars to Russia and instead
invest in high-tech American jobs."
SpaceX is one of four companies that have received funding under
the CCDev program.
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