It was a vision that enabled ambitious investments in

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: on what NASA should be doing. "That gives us a mission, a reason to move forward," Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said Thursday of President Barack Obama's proposed budget for fiscal 2012. It wasn't that way last year when the White House sent a budget to Capitol Hill that proposed killing Constellation, NASA's rocket program of record at the time. It was being developed here, and Huntsville has a key role in NASA's new mission, too. The president wanted to replace Constellation with long-term research by NASA on a new deep-space rocket and a government-stimulated commercial fleet to carry astronauts and cargo to the International Space Station. With the space shuttle winding down, Congress rebelled at the idea of no NASA-manned rocket coming behind it. In one of its few bipartisan acts last year, Congress passed and President Obama agreed to sign the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. It ordered NASA to build - not just design - a new heavy-lift rocket for deep-space missions by 2016, but it also supported the president's push for commercial rockets. "Bottom line, after months of negotiation, the White House and Congress agreed to a plan for exploring space in law," Steve Cook, a Huntsville aerospace executive and former NASA Constellation manager, summed up Friday. This year, the alliance faces a two-front budget battle. The first front is spending for 2011. Congress is still fighting over 2011 spending because it never passed a budget for the year. Instead, a short-term spending agreement called a Continuing Resolution that expires March 4 is keeping all government entities, including NASA, going at 2010 spending levels. On Saturday, the House gave final approval to its version of a 2010 budget, and it moves $298 million from NASA to community policing in America's cities. The NASA cut was led by Democrats in what is supposed to be a House ruled by Republican budget-cutters, and it shows the threat to NASA on both sides of the aisle. "We have to help people (in Congress) understand the difference between what the federal government's duties and responsibilities are (versus) the duties and responsibilities of state and local government," U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, said after a preliminary vote on the cut. The House "got it backwards," Brooks said. The second budget front is next year's 2012 budget, and here's where cracks are showing in the united front. The White House budget proposes level funding for NASA next year. It gives $1.8 billion to the new heavy-lift rocket. But it cuts another $850 million from the amount Congress authorized last year for heavy-lift in 2012 and gives the same amount to commercial space companies. That would be $350 million more for commercial space flight than Congress authorized. Congress didn't like a big move toward as-yet unproved commercial rockets last year, and it probably won't this year, either. But NASA supporters say privately they feared White House support for heavy-l...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 01/14/2013 for the course POL 090 taught by Professor Framer during the Spring '13 term at Shimer.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online