For those hoping that the White House’s plans for human space flight might survive, not such good news last week. On July 21, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the NASA Authorization Act of 2010, according to the Committee’s press release, Full Committee Approves FY 2011 Energy and Water, CJS and THUD Appropriations Bills. The Commerce, Science, Justice, & Related Agencies markup states,
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – The bill provides $19 billion for NASA, $278 million above the Fiscal Year 2010 level and equal to the President’s request. The total funding includes $1.6 billion for Space Shuttle operations; $2.78 billion for Space Station operations; $3 billion for development of the next generation Crew Launch Vehicle and Crew Exploration Vehicle; $5 billion for science; and $904 million for aeronautics and space technology research. The bill restructures NASA’s human spaceflight programs, providing for a new heavy lift launch vehicle and crew capsule for exploring beyond low-Earth orbit, extending the life of the International Space Station through 2020, supporting the burgeoning commercial space industry, investing in new technology development, and allowing one additional Space Shuttle flight, if determined to be safe.
The vote was 17/12 for/against, which was the vote balance for all of the markup’s by the Committee that day.