Still he said certainly we would be happy and less

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Unformatted text preview: getary woes," said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group. "At one point, the administration was trying to lead NASA out of that, but congressional politics protecting parochial interests have forced the agency to waste money in the recent short-term continuing resolutions and are forcing a specific approach down NASA's throat in the yearlong spending bill." The latest $3 billion will likely be awarded to the same major companies that had contracts under the Bush-era Constellation program, most notably Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Alliant Techsystems - firms with extensive operations in Alabama, Maryland, Texas and Utah. As a whole, NASA is facing its own budget crunch, with its $18.5 billion budget recently trimmed by about $275 million. A top space expert, Scott Pace of The George Washington University, testified last month that NASA spent at least $21 billion over the past two decades for various programs, including manned space flight, that were later canceled. But Congress has no desire to let the agency slow down its work to return to the moon and beyond, even if that potentially could take decades to accomplish. Lawmakers from those states say their push is not parochial - that it's rooted in the national interest to ensure the U.S. remains the base for an industry that supports thousands of highly skilled jobs. Moreover, they say it makes sense to give money to contractors with proven track records in this technical field, especially ones who have already begun work on the next generation of rockets. "Dismissing [the 130-ton rocket], or the capsule work, as constituent concerns misses the point that these are unique, national capabilities necessary to remain a leader in space exploration," said Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.). "The Chinese are building a 130-ton rocket to go to the moon. We are dependent on the Russians for access to the International Space Station. The greatest nation on Earth, the one who stunned the world and inspired a generation by sending a man to walk on the moon, cannot afford to be eclipsed by Russia or China." One of Obama's central promises in his February 2010 budget was to end the Constellation program, which called for sending humans back to the moon for the first time since 1972, transitioning instead to private companies that could carry astronauts to the International Space Station. Under heavy criticism from Congress, Obama later insisted he wasn't abandoning the manned space mission. Last October, he signed the NASA authorization law in which Congress laid out its vision for future space travel, including the initial development of a smaller rocket that could enter the Earth's lower orbit, before upgrading to the massive heavy-lift rocket to go to the moon and beyond. Gonzaga Debate Institute 2011 84 Mercury Politics NASA Funding – Popular – Congress (2/3) NASA allies want to secure future funding in Congress Space & Missi...
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This note was uploaded on 01/14/2013 for the course POL 090 taught by Professor Framer during the Spring '13 term at Shimer.

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