U.S. Senate economic stimulus package is better than the one passed by the House!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

At least in one area:

The U.S. Senate passed an $838 billion economic stimulus package Tuesday that includes $1.3 billion for NASA - more than double the amount the House approved Jan. 28 for the U.S. space agency in its version of the bill.

The Senate voted 61-37 on its version of the bill, which proposes spending $450 million to narrow the five-year gap between the scheduled 2010 retirement of the space shuttle and 2015 debut of its successor. The House put no money into addressing the gap.
$1.3 billion is still pretty small though in the whole scheme of things, and amounts to less than 10% of NASA's yearly budget.

Also note that the CSA (Canadian Space Agency) also got a slight funding increase to the tune of $100 million extra over the next three years:

Canada's top astronaut Steve MacLean said Monday he was pleased with the government's contribution of $110 million towards robotics research in the federal budget, saying it would allow the Canadian Space Agency to be ready when other nations announce major projects.

"We have a heritage in robotics," said CSA head MacLean, speaking at the agency's headquarters in Longueuil, Que., outside Montreal. "What this $110 million does, given that we are at a crossroads where the International Space Station is finishing its assembly, is it allows us to protect that heritage it allows us to protect the leading-edge technologies that we have."

The federal budget announced Jan. 27 called for the agency to get $110 million over three years to support the development of space technology and advanced robotics, with an eye towards developing a next-generation rover to travel on the Moon or Mars.

But the budget also calls for the space agency to trim $10 million over the same three years from its existing budget by doing more collaborative work with academia and industry, putting the net gain at closer to $100 million.


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