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NASA's Lori Garver  (Source:
NASA urged Congress to provide the full $850 million, because if it is not paid now, the U.S. will be forced to pay the Russians $450 million for every year that the U.S. delays its own commercial crew vehicle starting in 2016

Lori Garver, NASA's deputy administrator, is pushing for increased funding for NASA's commercial crew vehicle development, or warns that the U.S. will be paying the Russians over the long-term instead.

The retirement of NASA's space shuttle fleet throughout 2011 has made U.S. astronauts dependent on Russia to travel to the International Space Station (ISS). The cost per seat for this rendezvous is estimated to increase to $63 million by 2015, and NASA is hoping to have commercial spaceships of its own to avoid having to pay the Russians. NASA is looking to Boeing Co., SpaceX, Blue Origin and Sierra Nevada Corp. for such spacecraft.

But these spacecraft developers will require assistance for the creation of NASA's request. NASA put aside $388 million to support such development, while the agency put forth another $800 million for spacecraft to be developed by SpaceX and Orbital Sciences Corp.

But now, NASA is moving on to its next phase of its commercial crew vehicle development, and needs $850 million.

So far, Congress has put aside $312 million in the House and $500 million in the Senate.

Garver urged Congress to provide the full $850 million, because if it is not paid now, the U.S. will be forced to pay the Russians $450 million for every year that the U.S. delays its own commercial crew vehicle starting in 2016.

According to Garver, paying U.S. companies the extra money needed now will outweigh having to pay the Russians $450 million per year in 2016 and beyond, which will obviously benefit the Russian space effort instead of the U.S.

But NASA's money troubles don't end there. Even if Congress comes up with $850 million in 2012, the cost of the commercial crew vehicle development will only increase as time goes on. Garver estimates that NASA will require $6 billion "over five years."

The next step is a hearing for funding the next phase, known as CCDev 3, next Wednesday. It was scheduled by the House Science Space and Technology Committee.

Source: MSNBC

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RE: SLS waste
By ameriman on 10/26/2011 1:23:04 AM , Rating: 2

1) Your claim/belief that we 'must have' or even 'need' a super heavy launcher, or SLS for leaving LEO is unfounded and specious... Of course we can easily assemble/fuel craft on-orbit, and we certainly don't need a ISS, SLS, or Orion to do it...

2) Current NASA schedules (LOL) are a 150k LEO payload by 2018, and a possible 280k payload BY 2030... 20 frigging years FROM NOW!!! at a bankrupting $50-60 billion!!! That is CRAZY!!! We can launch 500 Falcon Heavys, put 60 million lbs in LEO for less than that..

3) The SpaceX Falcon Heavy, requiring NO NEW/UNTESTED COMPONENTS, should fly in 2012-2013... with 120,000 lbs LEO payload!!!

4) The SpaceX Dragon capsule is MORE CAPABLE than Orion... we should cancel Orion, fund SpaceX...

NASA has WASTED 40 years and $500 billion on manned space... while killing 2 crews... WITHOUT LEAVING LOW EARTH ORBIT... Basically ZERO space science, technology, exploration to show for it..
Talk about a horrible cost/benefit!!!
NASA promised Space Shuttle as CHEAP, SAFE, RELIABLE access to space at $7 m/launch.. What NASA delivered cost $1.5 billion/launch, killed 2 crews, had 5 years of outages...
Then NASA promised ISS at $8 billion, promised it would be justified.. instead we have a $160 billion white elephant boondoggle which needs to be dumped in an ocean...
NASA blew 10 years and $20 billion on failed/canceled Constellation..

3 strikes and NASA is out..

You need to quit pretending that big govt NASA is the answer to any question...
You may have another 40 years to waste watching NASA tread water at $20 billion/year, but I DON'T...

If we stop this NASA waste/pork on SLS and Orion, and instead fund SpaceX, we can be on Mars within the decade...

Otherwise, SLS and Orion will SUCK UP ALL FUNDING, the greedy pols, existing space establishment, and NASA big wigs will kill SpaceX and commercial space...

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