Monday, July 12, 2010

Conflicting Rumors from the Sausage Factory

Two Media reports provide differing accounts of the specifics in the NASA authorization bill being developed in the Senate Commerce Committee’s space subcommittee. One, from Florida Today, indicates that the subcommittee has settled on a compromise that accelerates a Shuttle Derived Heavy Lift Vehicle (SDHLV) and a "flexible path" human exploration program while leaving the Obama Administration's commercial space and technology development largely intact, albeit with some trimming of funds and schedule stretch out.

The other report, from the Orlando Sentinel, indicates the subcommittee bill would represent a more drastic repudiation of the White House policy, drastically cutting commercial to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and technology development funding.

I really hope that the first report is more accurate, as I support the expediting of heavy lift and human exploration but also the commercial engagement and technology development that are so vital to becoming a true spacefaring civilization.

I suspect that the sausage factory (another name for the legislative process, according to Otto von Bismark and others) is still grinding away, though we'll know the result no later than Thursday when the subcommittee is due to report its authorization bill.

No comments: