Crunch time for NASA's space vision

by Sara M. Langston with the blog faculty Source: Cosmic Log Update for 11:25 a.m. ET July 15: The Senate Commerce Committee has cleared an authorization bill for NASA that would add one more space shuttle mission a year from now, speed up development of a heavy-lift rocket and slow down the move toward private-sector resupply of the International Space Station. Amendments have reportedly been accepted to boost funding for robotic missions (from Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.) and suborbital research (from Tom Udall, D-N.M.). But an amendment from Mark Warner, D-Va., that would have kept space commercial funding on the track sought by President Barack Obama's original proposal was not incorporated into the bill. The White House is on board with the changes to its space policy, according to Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. Further revisions in NASA's spending plan could come in the months ahead as legislation moves through Congress' sausage-making machine. We'll have a fleshed-out report later in the day. In the meantime, read on for the earlier background on Thursday's committee action…more

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