House Approps Subcommittee Halves Request for FAA Space Office

House Approps Subcommittee Halves Request for FAA Space Office

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) recommended only half of the Obama Administration’s request for the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation.

George Nield, who heads that office, defended the $26 million request in testimony to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee in May. The request was 74 percent higher than what it had received for FY2010 and FY2011. That office facilitates and regulates the commercial space launch and reentry business. Nield said at the hearing that he expected a ten-fold increase in the number of commercial launches and pointed to new initiatives such as the Commercial Spaceflight Technical Center at Kennedy Space Center, FL and a “prize” program. Several members of that committee, which authorizes the office’s activities, were critical of the sharp increase.

The appropriators apparently were skeptical as well. The draft bill they approved on Thursday states that “not to exceed $13,000,000 shall be available for commercial space transportation activities.” That is less than the $15.2 million the office received for FY2010 and FY2011.

This is only the first step in the FY2012 appropriations process.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.