National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2010

Passed. (finally)

Its 168 pages (not horrible for a thing congress “wrote”). I’m going to read the entire thing and jot my thoughts here.

It authorizes NASA funding for the next three years:

  • 2011: $19 billion
  • 2012: $19.45 billion
  • 2013: $19.96 billion

In that is about $1.2 billion to support the commercial space flight industry, or around $400 million per year.

$12.21 billion over the next three years for the development of a new space flight system.

About $5 billion per year for Science!

Say good riddance to Constellation. This act authorizes NASA to develop a new “Space Launch System” that can service the ISS and go to Mars and stuff. There seems to be a bunch of language talking about going beyond the moon. I’m looking forward to a new program name. Maybe Phoenix (rising from the ashes of Constellation comes PHOENIX!) or something cool like that. They want it ready by the end of 2016. Same for the crew capsule.

They use the word “evolvability” to describe what kind of vehicle they want.

Ah! Page 36, we get the commercial stuff. they lay out a bunch of requirements for testing, technology transfer, etc.

ISS extended to “at least 2020.”

I like what I see. I’m very happy to see the $1.2 for commercial spaceflight. Its less than Obama’s proposed amount of $6 billion, but more than the House’s proposed $750 million. I’m a strongly believe that we need to do all we can to develop the commercial space industry. I’m glad the minority lobbying for the continuation of Constellation were not listened too. All NASA has to do is come up with something better. Easy, right? Now, instead of sitting around kind of working on stuff, NASA can move forward to the future. We have six years to see what they can do.

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