Sun, Mar 01, 2009
Follows Goals Set By Bush Administration
The release of next year's fiscal
budget proposals by President Barack Obama spells good news for the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the US space
program as a whole, with more money going into its coffers for
returning US astronauts to the moon and pushing robotic exploration
deeper into space.
Obama's plan allocates $18.7 billion to NASA in fiscal year
2009, representing an increase of $2.4 billion over FY2008 figures.
His budget package calls for the retirement of the space shuttle
program in 2010, renewed exploration of earth's moon, and sending
robotic missions to places... where no robot has gone before.
Also mentioned in Obama's budget is the possible addition of
another flight to the space shuttle's dwindling schedule for work
on completion of the International Space Station, Reuters
The plan includes $1.3 billion in funding to the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for the development and
acquisition of weather satellites and climate sensors, presumably
in part to replace the
NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory, a
CO2-emissions-monitoring satellite that crashed into the ocean near
Antarctica last week after failing to separate from its rocket
Obama's space program budget proposals drew mostly supportive
remarks. Christopher Scolese, the acting NASA Administrator, said
the proposal was "fiscally responsible."
Aerospace Industries Association president Marion Blakey said,
"In this remarkably difficult economic atmosphere, we are
encouraged to see a budget proposal that recognizes the importance
of our national security and invests in space and aviation
Underwhelmed by Obama's budget plans, Space Foundation Chief
Executive Officer Elliot Pulham said, "The budget proposal for NASA
represents a disappointingly small step in the right direction. It
is far from what is needed if the US is to stimulate the economy,
create more high-tech jobs and hold on to its eroding leadership
position in space."
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