Happy Birthday NASA!

This year is celebrated NASA 50th anniversary... and it seems like Congress decided to give a nice birthday present by passing a bill that could be funding it with $2.6 billions more than what many expected, thus totalizing a $20.2 billions budget for next year!

This is great news for the entire space community! In addition the bill clearly highlights the private and commercial space industry, allows for COTS D (the manned part of the COTS program) and calls for international cooperation for space exploration (Go France and Europe!!!)

A meaningful analysis is offered by Taylor Dinerman at The Space Review.
The Office of Management and Budget is also presenting a breakdown of mandated NASA activities for this budget.

Best of all, the future lunar outpost has a name!!! Looks like Neil Armstrong will return to the Moon (or at least his name...):

Oh et j'allais oublier, pour nos amis français - ou plutôt francophones - voila un lien vers un article en français, intéressant surtout parce qu'il décrit un peu comment le budget se répartit dans les différentes activités de la NASA.

Nick said...

Interesting bit from that analysis:

"For the first time the bill orders NASA to consider international participation and cooperation, as well as commercial involvement in space exploration activities."

And from Obama's space plan:

"...achieving this vision, Obama will reach out to include international partners and to engage the private sector to amplify NASA's reach."

Sounds like Obama is on the same page as (and/or had a part in?) the authorizaion. Obama's plan also, when talking about int'l cooperation:

"[NASA] has been working with 13 other space agencies to develop a globally coordinated approach to space exploration; Barack Obama will not only continue but intensify this effort."

Could be a good four years :)

And it's exciting to see them naming an outpost, but it seems inelegant or clunky as just "Neil A. Armstrong Lunar Outpost". "Armstrong Station" or even--like many other selenographic features (maria, mons)--to have a latin suffix or influence could add a little, ah, panache to it :)

Chris said...

Perhaps we will also see more permanent changes to ITAR which would allow us to fully cooperate with interested nations...

Paolo Amoroso said...

Speaking of the Armstrong lunar base, it would be of great symbolic value to have an Apollo astronaut as a "honorary CapCom" for a key event of the first lunar return mission. For example, he might give the "GO for TLI".

Happy birthday NASA!

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