While the House’s version of the proposed stimulus package offers only a modest amount for NASA, and none for spaceflight programs, the Senate appears to be in a more generous mood. A Senate Appropriations Committee press release about their bill notes that NASA would get $1.5 billion, compared to only $600 million in the House. The release is vague about how the money would be spent, specifying only that one-third of it be used for Earth sciences missions. According to Florida Today, though, another third of that $1.5 billion would go to “space exploration” [link updated after Fla. Today broke their own link], including efforts to shrink the Shuttle-Constellation gap; how much of that $500 million would go to that goal, and how, isn’t mentioned. (Also: $500 million would only shorten the gap by a modest amount—perhaps several months—at best.) Another $250 million would also be allocated to aeronautics programs.
The Florida Today article also adds that Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL), who previously announced plans to seek an additional $2 billion for NASA in the House version of the bill, will formally file an amendment today asking for that additional funding. The money would be used either for shuttle life extension or Constellation acceleration, something she mentioned in an Orlando Sentinel op-ed last week.