Rep. Gordon Takes One Last Crack At Molding NASA’s Future

Lawmakers are saying “no” to President Obama’s plans for NASA and the future of human space flight. And one of the many lawmakers standing in the President’s way is Tennessee Democrat Bart Gordon.

Gordon chairs the House Science and Technology Committee. That means any NASA plan has to go through him. The President said NASA was on a flawed path, especially in tough economic times. Gordon says the President’s plan is flawed too.

“Unfortunately it has become clear that the Administration’s proposed human space flight program is not executionable under that budgetary outlook either.”

President Obama wants to cancel the so-called Constellation program — which was meant to replace the retiring Space Shuttle program. He called for increased reliance on the private sector for space flight while NASA focused on new technologies.

The idea was dead on arrival. But Gordon helped broker a compromise with Republicans on his committee. Basically it secures many existing programs, saves jobs around the country and calls for the fast development of a new spacecraft.

“I believe it is important that NASA remain a multi-mission agency with challenging initiatives in science, aeronautics, human space flight and exploration.”

Gordon hasn’t gotten his way yet. The Senate Commerce and Science Committee came up with a compromise of its own brokered by the likes of Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia and Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas. Either way, his footprint will likely end up in the development of American space expl oration for years to come.

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