Augustine Panelist Rallies Support for Senate’s Plan for NASA

Augustine Panelist Rallying Support for Senate’s NASA Bill
Space News

A former member of a White House-appointed committee that reviewed NASA’s human spaceflight program last year urged fellow panelists to back a Senate bill that supports commercial space and technology development efforts detailed in the group’s final report.

“Those who want to change the way things have been done as an important step forward to a human future beyond [low Earth orbit] should, in my opinion, strongly support the Senate version of the NASA authorization,” wrote Princeton University professor Christopher Chyba in an Aug. 25 e-mail to all nine fellow former members of the Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee. See below for Chyba’s e-mail

Chyba, a professor of astrophysics, said he prefers the bill passed by the full Senate Aug. 5 because it recommends more funding for privately-developed crew vehicles and advanced technology research than companion legislation currently moving through the House. In his e-mail, he said reconciliation of the two bills is underway at the congressional staff level “and any efforts to influence that process probably has to happen by the end of September or so,” after lawmakers return from a six-week summer recess.

“It will not be easier to get what we’d like in the next Congress,” he wrote.

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