Congress, NASA

More calls for NASA and stimulus funding

Days after the majority of the Texas Congressional delegation pushed for diverting stimulus funding to NASA to support the agency’s exploration efforts, members of Florida’s delegations are making similar calls. In a speech on the Senate floor on Thursday, Sen. Bill Nelson also asked for a transfer of $3 billion of stimulus funds to NASA, adding that his staff “has identified other possible revenue sources for future years”, without mentioning specifics. Besides the usual arguments about maintaining US leadership in space, inspiring youth, and more, Nelson mentioned the ability of that funding to, well, stimulate the economy:

The Augustine Commission notes that the time may finally be upon us when commercial space companies can begin to carry some of the burden of our access to space. Many of these companies are already developing capabilities to enable the commercial resupply of the International Space Station.

This ability, according to Augustine, is critical to ensuring our ability to operate the Station beyond 2016 and to maximize the return on what has become a substantial investment.

But these commercial endeavors serve another equally important function: they create whole new industries, and with that, new jobs for Americans.

Opening up to the private sector what has historically been limited to the realm of the government will enable economic growth, stimulus, and prosperity for many Americans.

The Orlando Sentinel reported that Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL) is arranging a request for stimulus funds from the Florida delegation that’s similar to the Texas letter. Left unanswered is where the stimulus funding would come from (while unspent, it’s not unallocated, and Congress would have to reappropriate it) and how NASA would spend it.

Meanwhile, Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) gave a speech on the House floor Thursday about space. Most of the three-minute speech, part of special order speeches at the end of the day before a mostly empty chamber, focused primarily on the spinoffs generated by NASA. Only towards the end did make a general request to help the president keep his promises to keep his promises to close the shuttle-Constellation gap and remain first in space. He didn’t make any specific calls for additional funding, only that Congress should do “our level best” to keep those promises.

7 comments to More calls for NASA and stimulus funding

  • Robert Oler

    lovely morning here in Santa Fe…the 12.5 and 4.5 inch tubes are tracking the moon high overhead (just on top of Orion)…if the clouds dont blow in…

    Stimulus funding…more futile gestures

    off to see what we can see in an hour or so

    Robert G. Oler

  • CharlesTheSpaceGuy

    Proof that the Congress is serious is if they will identify funds – will they move the “money” over from rural airports ($15 billion)??? Too bad we already “spent” the $3 billion for Cash for Clunkers.

    The easy thing is to just ask for additional deficit spending and hopefully if that is the solution the additional money will NOT be allocated. Our debt is already large enough.

  • common sense

    Hmm. So. Regardless of the call for the $3B of unspent stimulus cash that may or not happen:

    Sen. Nelson is back in the camp of commercial space? Is this for real this time?

    Also, is he finally making a “transition” to Garver’s plan of addressing national interests (here the economy)?

    Are these real changes?

    Should we not support him in this particular instance rather than deriding him?

    Just asking.

  • Major Tom

    “Are these real changes?”

    Well, they’re at least real in the sense that Sen. Nelson or his staff have probably realized that Falcon 9 launches from Florida and Space-X provides employment in the state. But I would remain skeptical that his commercial space conversion amounts to much more than that.

    Too bad Sen. Shelby and his staff have not figured out the same with respect to ULA’s Decatur production facility and Alabama employment.


  • common sense

    “But I would remain skeptical that his commercial space conversion amounts to much more than that.”

    Precisely what I meant in light of his recent flip-flopon that matter. Any idea of his relationship with Sen. Shelby if any? Is it more important to have him onboard or Sen. Shelby? Or it does not make any difference?

    But I would add that if the WH chose Charles Bolden and that they stick to their space policy as shown during the campaign then Sen. Nelson may be “onboard”, since Charles Bolden was “his” pick. Especially considering that Lori Garver and George Whitesides are in the top executive spots as well. And also in view of the Augustine report about commercial space in the options…

    Hmmm. Change on the horizon?

  • eng

    The whole self serving scramble for freshly printed/borrowed federal money funding for their states from the porkers in both of our 2 pathetic ‘parties’ is humiliating to me as an American citizen. The world greatest democracy?! Ha. The terrible thing is that this is actually considered normal around DC.

  • […] week the Orlando Sentinel reported that Florida’s Congressional delegation was considering a call for reallocation of stimulus funds t… much like the Texas delegation has requested. On Friday the office of Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas […]

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