A House of Representatives Committee approved a bill designed to make NASA the only governmental body doing space research and development.
“Today’s bill is a step in the right direction to ensure that NASA will continue to innovate and inspire,” stated Chairman Lamar Smith. “The Authorization levels for FY16 and FY17 included in this bill provide NASA with the resources necessary to remain a leader in space exploration in a time of tight budget realities. For more than 50 years, the U.S. has led the world in space exploration. We must restore balance to NASA’s budget if we want to ensure the U.S. continues to lead in space for the next 50 years. And we must continue to invest in NASA as the only government agency responsible for space exploration.
That last sentence says that only NASA, and not other redundant work in other agencies, will be funded for space exploration.
There is strong need for refocusing NASA after the fuzzy direction it has been getting from President Obama. For example from Space.com:
”The White House and NASA on Tuesday defended comments that the nation’s top space official made on the Arabic news network Al-Jazeera about one of his “foremost” tasks being to reach out to the Muslim world. NASA chief Charles Bolden’s remarks caused a stir among commentators. “When I became the NASA administrator, (President Obama) charged me with three things,” Bolden said in the interview which aired last week. “One, he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math; he wanted me to expand our international relationships; and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering.”
The Committee, Science, Space, and Technology, release also says this:
“The Obama administration has consistently cut funding for these human space exploration programs, while increasing funding for the Earth Science Division by more than 63 percent. “
The Committee release also discusses this: The Committee cited the need, for example, to be able to support the International Space Station (ISS). We now have to pay millions to Russian to transport our people to and from the ISS as we no longer have the capability to do so.
Making Muslim nations feel good about themselves, being no longer able to reach the ISS, doing global warming studies—this is not the work that the American people want NASA to do.
We need Congress to pass the Committee’s bill.