Actually, Obama Hasn’t Decided on the Future of NASA

You may be forgiven for thinking that President Obama had decided on the future of NASA’s human spaceflight plans yesterday, but in an official (note: official) statement from the White House today, Obama says that he has made no such decision.

Quoting “knowledgeable” (yet anonymous) sources, Science Magazine’s ScienceInsider blog said:

The president chose the new direction for the U.S. human space flight program Wednesday at a White House meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, according to officials familiar with the discussion. NASA would receive an additional $1 billion in 2011 both to get the new launcher on track and to bolster the agency’s fleet of robotic Earth-monitoring spacecraft.

In a nutshell, NASA would get an additional $1 billion in funding and start work on a new (yet undetermined) heavy-lift launch system. Good news for NASA, but not-so-good news for the Ares I (and possibly Ares V, although the larger rocket wasn’t mentioned). Also, this magical silver bullet of a “new” launch vehicle would be ready for blast-off in 2018.

However, Space Flight Now has just reported that the White House hasn’t made a decision yet:

NASA and White House officials claim such reports are mere speculation, but they are providing no information on when a decision could be announced. The administration will file its fiscal year 2011 budget request in February.

Still mulling over the findings from the Augustine Commission report, Obama and Bolden have yet to arrive at an agreement as to how to progress with NASA’s human spaceflight plans. It’s now very clear that ex-President Bush’s bold “Vision for Space Exploration” was lacking a little thing called money, and the commission’s findings indicated that NASA needs an extra $3 billion in funding to keep the agency’s human spaceflight plans alive.

Although these anonymous sources are no doubt credible, it’s wise to wait until the final word from the White House is known before saying “bye-bye” to Ares.

Via: @SpaceFlightNow

3 thoughts on “Actually, Obama Hasn’t Decided on the Future of NASA”

  1. I read some where that Rick Carter had said that The Obama administration's vision for NASA in the future should primarily focus on more joint international missions in the future, particularly in deep space, and to this end ideally we also need a future International Space Agency.Professional speed dating

  2. WELL, HERE IS MY TWO CENTS WORTH ! THIS IS MY FIRST TIME POSTING HERE, PLEASE FORGIVE ANY TRANSGRESSIONS OF STYLE, ( YES, I ALWAYS WRITE IN CAPS AND NO, I'M NOT ” YELLING ” ), THANK YOU ! OK, HERE IS MY TAKE ON THE FUTURE OF NASA, I BELIEVE THAT THE TIME HAS COME FOR NASA, TO BECOME A ” PUBLIC / PRIVATE ” ORGANIZATION, I THINK THAT THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, TO RETAIN A 51% INTEREST IN NASA, FOR SCIENTIFIC AND MILITARY RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT PURPOSES, WHILE OFFERING THE REMAINING 49%, BE OFFERED IN AN INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING ( I.P.O. ), I BELIEVE THAT SUCH A A TRANSACTION WOULD CAPITALIZE THE AGENCY AT A MINIMUM RATE OF , AT LEAST, $500,000,000.00 DOLLARS U.S., WITH A TOTAL RESTRICTED, ALLOTMENT FOR FOREIGN OWNERSHIP, AT 20 NET, WHILE THE REMAINING STOCK, ALLOWED TO BE PURCHASED ON THE STOCK EXCHANGES FOR AMERICAN CORPORATIONS AND U.S. CITIZENS , ONLY , WHICH WOULD ELIMINATE, THE BURDEN OF AMERICA DOING ALL OF THE FUTURE ” HEAVY-LIFTING “, OF SPACE EXPLORATION AND FUTURE COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT, COLONIZATION- ( REAL ESTATE OPPORTUNITIES ) AND ULTIMATELY, SHOULD OUR WILDEST DREAMS COME TO PASS, UNLIMITED, FUTURE TRADE & BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES WITH OTHER GALACTIC CIVILIZATIONS ! I SEE ABSOLUTELY NO REASON , WHY, THE I.S.S. -( INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION ), SHOULD BE CRASHED INTI THE INDIAN OCEANIN THE NEXT TEN YEARS, THIS ” ASSET “, HAS BEEN BOUGHT AND PAID FOR , BY, THE U.S. TAXPAYER AND SHOULD BE RETURNED TO THE PEOPLE , AS A LAUNCHING PLATFORM, FROM WHICH PRIVATE INDUSTRY , CAN DEVELOP FUTURE COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ! REMEMBER FOLKS , BUY SPACE BONDS !

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