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Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison: NASA's new champion? Or just more lip service?

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posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 09:47 PM
In the news today.

Today U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Texas' senior Senator, Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Member of the Subcommittee on Science and Space, submitted the following remarks to the Human Space Flight Panel, a 10-member committee of former astronauts, aerospace executives, and academics commissioned to evaluate America's manned-spaceflight program.

Link to original article

And here is a little backround on NASA's Human Space Flight Review Panel, including it's members, for those who are curious.

It's kind of sad that I actually stumbled on this article, rather than it being introduced via MSM. Pretty big news I'd think. Importanat decisions regarding our space program are set to be made and it seems no one cares...Except Sen. Hutchison? You can read the article and decide for yourself, but it seems to me that she is possibly just appeasing NASA and their supportors with her speech. What sticks out to me:

We in the Congress and, I believe, the Administration, must be given a clear picture of what is attainable and what resources would be required. We will then be in a position to make the judgments necessary to achieve the best possible and most affordable result for the American taxpayer.

To me this translates to: "Sure, dream a beautiful dream, you intelligent and ambitious ten member panel, you! Just keep it cheap because, you know, GM needs funding too."

Is this administration going to take our space program seriously at all? (And if they have made strides, other than promises, to improve our program please correct me! ) Or is it going to be just more time spent in limbo.

Your Thoughts?

[edit on 17-6-2009 by Juston]

posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 12:42 AM
reply to post by Juston

I don't think Hutchison is encouraging the panel to do it on the cheap. She isn't asking for a beautiful, cheap dream. She's asking for realistic goals and plans to reach them. With realistic plans come realistic budgets.

From cynical point of view Hutchison has every reason to encourage as much funding of NASA as possible. We know which state Houston is in, right? The less funding NASA gets, the less pork for Texas. If anything she's I think she's looking for as much as NASA can get in these tough times.

posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 09:18 AM
I tend to digress often, so sorry if it confuses anyone.

I never did consider her connection with Texas / Houston , good point. But based on what I understand, and it may not be much, the money that is allocated to NASA is widely distributed, and in some instances, it's mandated by congress exactly how the money is spent, so my great state probably wouldn't see that much.
For example, with the passing of the $787 Billion, Omnibus Appropriations Act, NASA received 1 Billion, on top of the 17.6 Billion they already received (more on that later). Sure, that sound's like a lot of money, but check this out:

Out of that extra one billion they were reluctantly given, NASA was directed to use:

400 million for science
150 million for aeronautics work
50 million for facility repair.

That left them with 400 million for space exploration. Sound's like a lot but,

Unfortunately, even $400 million won't go very far. NASA officials previously estimated that each extra $100 million would speed up development of Ares and Orion by only one month. Trimming a five-year hiatus by just one third of a year doesn't help much...

So you can see how the rest of their budget is apportioned. It's not as if NASA has that much say so in their own program really. A good, quick look at how their annual budget is to spent is located here.

So ya, Texas would not really see that much I bet.

I dunno. I just long for the day's when NASA was more of a passion, rather than a nuisence for our lawmaker's etc...




posted on Jun, 18 2009 @ 10:00 AM
...And more Texans speak up for NASA. Go Texas!

NASA panel hears case for return to moon

Still, a White House ordered public hearing and alas, it seems no one, including MSM cares

[edit on 18-6-2009 by Juston]

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