Apparently, among the many other idiotic things that the Senate authorization draft does is to kill the CRuSR program, the NASA initiative to encourage more suborbital science, which will be helpful in growing the industry. There is an effort afoot to fix this.
[Update a while later]
Jeff Foust has more.
[Update a few minutes later]
John Gedmark of the Commercial Space Federation is sending out an alert:
URGENT: Commercial Space in Jeopardy — Call Your Senator TODAY
A new authorization bill for NASA includes major cuts to commercial spaceflight, but Senator Warner has offered an amendment to restore those cuts and move commercial space forward.
The NASA Authorization Bill being proposed cuts the proposed Commercial Crew Program by $2.1 billion (up to 66%), seriously affecting commercial space efforts by such companies as SpaceX, United Launch Alliance, Sierra Nevada Corporation, Boeing, and Orbital Sciences. Senator Warner’s amendment will restore full funding to the program, but he needs YOUR help to get support from other Senators!
The Warner Amendment will be voted on Thursday morning. Now is the time to call your Senator to say, “Please support the Warner Amendment for commercial spaceflight that will create over 10,000 jobs, and reduce our dependence on Russia!” This is your chance to make a difference in the course of space history! (The phone numbers for each Senator on the committee are below, so please check to see if you or your parents are a residents of one of those states!)
Rockefeller (D-West Virginia)-Chair – 202-224-6472
Inouye (D-Hawaii) – 202-224-3934
Kerry (D-Massachusetts) – 202-224-2742
Dorgan (D-North Dakota) – 202-224-2551
Boxer (D-California) – 202-224-3553
Nelson (D-Florida) – 202-224-5274
Cantwell (D-Washington State) – 202-224-3441
Lautenberg (D-New Jersey) – 202-224-3224
Pryor (D-Arkansas) – 202-224-2353
McCaskill (D-Missouri) – 202-224-6154
Klobuchar (D-Minnesota) – 202-224-3244
Udall (D-New Mexico) – 202-224-6621
Warner (D-Virginia) – 202-224-2023
Begich (D-Alaska) – 202-224-3004
Hutchison (R-Texas)-Ranking Member – 202-224-5922
Snowe (R-Maine) – 202-224-5344
Ensign (R-Nevada) – 202-224-6244
DeMint (R-South Carolina) – 202-224-6121
Thune (R-South Dakota) – 202-224-2321
Wicker (R-Mississippi) – 202-224-6253
LeMieux (R-Florida) – 202-224-3041
Isakson (R-Georgia) – 202-224-3643
Vitter (R-Louisiana) – 202-224-4623
Brownback (R-Kansas) – 202-224-6521
Johanns (R-Nebraska) – 202-224-4224
If one of these is your Senator, let them know.