…will save the space program from a Shuttle-derived parasite eating up all the technology funding?
This bill, however, will probably not get very far. Note Jim Muncy’s comment to the NASA Watch item:
Fortunately, most authorization bills can’t proceed in the Senate without unanimous consent. Which means one Senator can stop this monstrosity.
We continually hear about how “The” Congress is opposed to the Administration’s plan for NASA. However, most all of the vocal opposition to the plan has come from a limited number of Congresspersons protecting Constellation related projects in their states and districts. They deliberately biased the hearing witness panels to eliminate voices of independent support for the administration’s plan.
I’m thinking maybe Sam Brownback.
As a commenter somewhere (maybe over at Space Politics?) said, the key to settling space isn’t going farther now — it’s reducing the cost of access and making it routine. Commercial crew will do that for LEO, and the new technology development programs will do it for beyond. And heavy lift, particularly a Shuttle-derived version, will just continue to delay the day that we become spacefaring, as the falsely perceived need for it has done for forty years.
[Update a few minutes later]
A draft of the bill, obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, was presented to NASA last week by the committee, chaired by Florida Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. So far the White House has not commented on the bill, but several Florida Space Coast leaders have expressed concern about its impact here.
Of particular concern is the fact that Nelson — Florida’s main space supporter — would take away billions of dollars from commercial rocket and technology development that over the next decade would have diversified the aerospace industry in Florida and provided KSC with new jobs and prestige.
…Frank DiBello, the president of Space Florida, the state’s aerospace development body, is not pleased. “We don’t want to sacrifice Florida seed corn for an increased R&D role to be politically expedient and save jobs for Utah and other states,” DiBello told a Brevard County jobs-development meeting Saturday.
“The Senate bill kills outright the promise of a real R&D opportunity for KSC. It’s not good for Florida. I don’t know who Bill Nelson is listening to, but it’s not his constituents,” DiBello said.
Of course, the question itself is generous in its assumption that there is any cognition at all going on here. Bill Nelson has never struck me as the sharpest tack in a drawer of pretty dull ones, and this is just more evidence of it.