US Senate Approved Spaceflight Plan

The US Senate approved a “compromised vision for future spaceflight that would keep the space shuttle program going for another year.” This also aims to finance the astronauts to be put in private-sector spaceships. The approval also suggests that having a new rocket should start working.

This approval of the Senate left two major concerns for NASA. First, will the House complement with the decision of the Senate? Second, will a 19$ budget be enough for NASA to accomplish those things that the Congress wants them to do? This is considering the budget covers the entire year.

The Senate’s authorization bill gives NASA a chance to let another shuttle mission to fly further than the two shuttle missions that were sent off on the day of launching. This will be done in order to assist NASA in closing the gaps between the shuttle fleet’s retirement and the operation of the next spaceship that comes afterward. The additional mission, which has to be cleared by safety assessments, would likely send the shuttle Atlantis to the International Space Station by the middle of the year 2011.

Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller said in a statement that the Senate’s bill “offers a blueprint to move America’s space program in a smart, fiscally responsible way.” Rockefeller was glad that the Senate has brought it to one more step closer in making it as a law.

“Senate passage of this comprehensive legislation is a critical milestone that will boost America’s human spaceflight program. By embracing this bipartisan vision for the future of NASA, the Senate has spoken with a unified voice. I encourage my colleagues in the House to take up this crucial bill in order to get NASA on track to continue its proud heritage of innovation and exploration.” This is how Kay Bailey Hutchison, a member of the Commerce Committee, sees the approval of the Senate.

With the approval of this bill, another bill should be passed in order to support the plan financially. A parallel appropriations bill is needed to be passes in order to financially support the plan; this means that there is actual money for NASA.