Speculation on NASA's Future Heats Up As Budget Release Nears

Speculation on NASA's Future Heats Up As Budget Release Nears

Release of President Obama’s FY2011 budget request is just days away and speculation over what it will hold for NASA is heating up. Whether NASA will get no increase or a small increase (less than the $1 billion earlier rumored) and what it will say about the future of the human spaceflight program remain topics of conjecture. The budget is scheduled to be sent to Congress on Monday (February 1).

The New York Times quotes an unnamed source as saying that a technical review is being planned to put “meat on the bones” of the options identified by the Augustine committee last year. It also quotes White House spokesman Nicholas Shapiro as saying that “The President is committed to a robust 21st-century space program” and the budget request “will reflect that dedication to NASA.”

Whatever is in the request on Monday, it is only a request. Congress holds the purse strings and the fate of NASA and the human spaceflight program will not be known until it completes action on NASA’s FY2011 appropriations bill.

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