It looks as though the battle over the future of America’s human space flight program may be nearing an end. According to AvWeek’s Frank Mooring in House Sets Compromise NASA Language, House Committee on Science & Technology Chairman Bart Gordon has released revised, compromised language to the original text of HR 5781, the House 2010 NASA Reauthorization Act.
It appears that, while the House did move in the direction of the Senate’s 2010 NASA Reauthorization Act, both sides have compromised. Mooring reports,
“This is House compromise language, with bipartisan support,” Gordon stated. “It reflects months of discussions and input from many members. As a result, we believe we have a bill that both builds on and improves on H.R. 5781, the NASA Authorization Act that was marked up by the Science and Technology Committee earlier this year. Moreover, we believe this compromise helps move the discussion about the future of NASA closer to a final product.”
For Constellation supporters, the good news is that the Orion spacecraft survives. For Ares I supporters, the bad news is that it likely is scrapped. In its place is the Senate’s new Heavy Lift Vehicle, the design of which appears almost identical to the Ares V.
All-in-all, the compromise language gives hope that America will not cede its leadership in human space flight while moving forward to build a rocket that will eventually reach the throw-weight of the venerable Saturn V.