Andy Pasztor (I know, I know) has a piece in today’s Journal about the NASA budget proposal that was released a few minutes ago. As Jeff Foust notes, when he writes:
Commercial-space projects are years behind schedule, and critics still worry about placing undue reliance on them.
…compared to what? At least they weren’t slopping more than a year per year, as Constellation was, and they were spending orders of magnitude less money. Jeff also says:
…the article doesn’t say what that cutback in commercial crew funding is in respect to. If it’s compared to the 2012 projection in the administration’s FY11 budget request, which called for $1.4 billion, that is almost certainly correct, especially since the NASA authorization act passed last year included only $500 million for commercial crew development in 2012. It would be more newsworthy if the administration’s commercial crew request was less than that $500-million figure, especially since the article also indicates that the budget proposal “would be broadly consistent” with the act.
Actually, my reading of it is that it’s a cut from the $500M figure:
The White House last year initially proposed NASA spending of more than $1.2 billion annually on commercial spacecraft. Congress later reduced that figure to less than $500 million a year, and the latest budget envision further trims.
That sounds like a cut from the half billion to me. But then again, it is Andy Pasztor. Anyway, we’ll know today.
[Update a few minutes later]
Clark Lindsey has more thoughts, and there’s a lot of discussion in comments.
[Update a few mintues later]
Jeff Foust has more over at The Space Review today.