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The Not-So-Great Compromise: Commercial Crew

26 Aug 2010, 03:06 UTC
The Not-So-Great Compromise: Commercial Crew
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If you've been reading this series of posts from the beginning, by now you will have noticed a pattern. In the areas of the NASA budget where there is some disagreement, the Senate bills cut funding for the Administration proposals so much that those areas cannot accomplish what they are intended to accomplish. I don't intend to discuss all of them. Commercial crew is one example that deserves some discussion, though. Here's how commercial crew fares in the Administration and Senate Authorization proposals (the Senate Appropriations Committee was less favorable to Commercial Crew in the year it covered, FY2011):FY----Administration----Senate 2011..500...............312 2012..1400..............500 2013..1400..............500 2014..1300 2015..1200If we extrapolate the Senate's post-Shuttle, post-COTS figures, over FY2011-FY2015, Commercial Crew gets $2.3B from the Senate, and $5.8B from the Administration. That's a dramatic cut by the Senate, especially considering the concern that some members of the Senate say they have for astronaut safety. Some members of the Senate are also critical of one commercial space company in particular, but it seems that if the Senate has a Commercial Crew line but drastically underfunds it, only companies like that one with a focus of low cost will be able to compete for the money in the ...

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