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Widespread Reports: No Funding for NASA Return to Moon; $6 Billion for Private Space January 27, 2010

Posted by Nick Azer in Constellation, NASA, Obama, private sector.

Ahead of Obama’s 2011 budget proposal in February (which officials have said will be where he reveals his direction for NASA), widespread reports have surfaced confirming that there will not be funding for NASA’s plans to return to the moon, effectively ending any attempt by NASA to establish a lunar base without international or private cooperation.

At the same time, there’s word that Obama has authorized that NASA’s budget actually be increased over the next few years, namely with a $6 billion project to spur the development of commercial rockets (e.g., SpaceX‘s Falcon 9 and Lockheed/Boeing‘s Atlas V and  Delta IV):

“We do believe it is time for American companies to come into this program. The investment in that will be $6 billion over five years. This is serious, serious investment that we believe will reduce that gap [in human spaceflight] from what it would have been with the program of record between shuttle retirement and the Ares I and Orion [capsule] coming on line.”- An unspecified administration official;Obama officials: NASA to get $6 billion for commercial rockets“, Orlando Sentinel

This was foreshadowed back in Obama’s 2008 campaign space plan—where he planned to “amplify NASA’s reach” with the private sector.

With the Ares 1 rocket facing cancellation and Constellation seeing severe delays as a result of that, private space may have managed to land a man on the Moon long before NASA got there, even with full budgeting. So I see this as acknowledgement of that inevitability–and of the economic benefit of taking all those billions and directing them back into the economy (via private space), while effectively accomplishing the same thing.


1. Google Lunar X PRIZE Roundup #9 « Luna C/I: Moon Colonization and Integration - February 6, 2010

[…] Development [CCDev], Google Lunar X Prize, Google Lunar X Prize Roundup, NASA. trackback With the cancellation of NASA’s Constellation program this week—and subsequent shift to a focus on private space—the Google Lunar X PRIZE has taken on […]

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