NASA's future still far from certain, as money issues and politics causes problems

President Barack Obama's decision to open even more future NASA space missions to private contractors was met by heavy criticism from representatives in Florida and Texas.

Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, a Florida Democrat, along with Rep. Pete Olson, who is the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, implied space travel for the U.S.-run space agency should stay in-house and not be contracted out. California representatives are more optimistic, as SpaceX and other private contractors prepare to earn millions in government contracts.

A recent meeting at the House hosted the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, Congress General Accounting Office and the NASA inspector general -- NASA officials weren't present at this meeting, but the U.S. space agency is expected to be involved in future meetings.

The next-gen space rocket that is currently in development could be scrapped, even though it likely would require additional research money and development time for an alternative rocket system.  The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket could be used, as it meets all NASA human flight launch requirements.

Politicians are not as enthusiastic about allowing SpaceX to be involved in astronaut launches, saying the rocket still may not be safe enough to send NASA astronauts into orbit.

Continued turbulence has cast further doubt as to whether or not NASA will be able to return to the moon in the future.  China, Russia, Japan and several other developing space countries also have tentative plans to reach the moon in the next 20 years.

Russia reportedly is facing similar problems as NASA, and must now find ways to revolutionize its space fleet. 

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