Monday, February 1, 2010

A Free-Market NASA Budget?

America has always performed best when promoting free markets and competition. President Obama's new direction for NASA holds the potential to transform our space agency from supplier to customer and significant market potential for our nation's brightest entrepreneurs and engineers. The budget changes include:
  • Dropping Orion and Constellation (no more "near-term" manned moon focus)
  • Keep ISS supported through 2020
  • Extra $6B over five years
  • Transition to Commercial LEO services (NASA now a customer instead of a supplier)
  • Dollars for Robotic exploration
  • Dollars for Technology demonstration to raise TRLs of some near-term technologies like automated rendezvous and docking and depots (for a crash course on depots – check out Jon Goff’s work – search depots on his blog)
  • Dollars for basic research for some more long-term technologies.
Doug Messier has a nice summary of the proposed NASA budget over at Parabolic Arc. Let the Congressional battles begin!  And here is a fun quote from earlier today by NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden:

"Today we are launching a bold and ambitious new space initiative to enable us to explore new worlds, develop more innovative technologies, foster new industries, increase our understanding of the earth, expand our presence in the solar system, and inspire the next-generation of explorers..."

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