The House Science and Technology reviewed NASA's 2009 budget today and listened to Administrator Michael Griffin's comments. The following quotes are some excerpts from his testimony. On purchasing Soyuz flights from the Russians after shuttle retirement:
"NASA needs this legislative authorization in 2008, because the Russians require 36 months lead-time to fabricate and build new Soyuz vehicles, and thus we will need to finalize contractual agreements late this year."
"The past several appropriations cycles have resulted in funding reductions for Exploration in favor of other priorities."Ranking member Bart Gordon said:
"American taxpayers are today paying Russian aerospace engineers to do work that should be done by Americans."
"NASA satellites supply more global climate change data than those of any other organization in the world"
"I believe the greatest challenge we face is to maintain a unified sense of purpose throughout the difficult transition from Shuttle to Constellation systems."
"I believe that the Administration has to date failed to provide resources to NASA that are adequate for what it has asked NASA to do and what it agreed to in the Authorization Act."and member Mark Udall said:
"The Administration has chosen not to request any additional funding for the Constellation program in this latest budget request, despite congressional encouragement from both sides of the aisle to do so. . . I intend to work hard this year to develop legislation to reauthorize NASA"Florida Today's Eun Kim reports "Griffin also dismissed the idea of extending the life of the aging Shuttle, citing findings by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board that advised against it. . .'It is in the nation's interest to replace the shuttle as soon as possible,' Griffin said."
The presidents 09 Budget is to small for NASA. Congress can increase NASAs budget above what the president has requested.
The Senate committee on Science will review NASA's 2009 budget on February 27th.
Email, Fax, Call, and Visit your Congressmen and tell them exactly how much and for what they should increase NASA's 2009 budget. Then tell the president that he had better not resist Congresses efforts to increase NASA's budget when they return the budget for him to sign.