U.S. Senate Passes Budget for NASA

U.S. lawmakers said that the Senate budget for NASA has the funding for a heavy-lift launch vehicle, development of commercial space taxis, and for another shuttle flight. Reconciliation with a measure in the U.S. House is required for this Bill, following which it has to pass appropriation committees in both the chambers. After both of these, it’ll then move to the White House to gain the presidential approval.

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., a Chief Backer of the Bill, informed that it was on Thursday that this Bill was passed on an undivided vote. The Bill is estimated to be worth $19 billion, and if passed, it’ll help to give a jump-start progress to the planned investments of NASA.

This is going to be ‘a big deal’ for NASA and for the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), where more than 8,000 jobs can be lost as a consequence of shuttle fleet retirement. But, with the development of the heavy-lift launch vehicle, it is projected that 2,000 new jobs will emerge at the space center.

Nelson, who also chairs the Senate Science and Space Subcommittee, said, “That's a near-miracle. A quick start to the development of a super-sized rocket for human expeditions beyond Earth orbit is important to KSC because that means the hiring of about 2,000 people”.

This plan will also reduce the layoffs if the heavy-lift begins by year 2011.