Funding Is Human Exploration’s Big Question

By Frank Morring, Jr.
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology
January 14, 2013

A systems review in Houston this week will decide if all of NASA’s advanced exploration hardware can work together.

Congress took time out from its last-minute hustle away from the “fiscal cliff” to declare its continued support for NASA’s plans to send human explorers beyond low Earth orbit. The White House position is a little less clear. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) still hasn’t responded to the space agency’s internal budget proposal, known as a “pass-back,” leaving program planners guessing on the critical question of future funding even as they march ahead on the technical work.

Top exploration-systems managers will meet for three days in Houston this week to review how well the separate human-exploration systems will work as an integrated whole, and identify the issues that must be resolved before humans fly into space on the vehicles they are developing. They don’t expect any major technical issues, but their funding expires in March, and that is a problem.

Read more: Funding Is Human Exploration’s Big Question — Aviation Week & Space Technology.

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