From: Next Step in Space Coalition
Posted: Friday, August 14, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 13, 2009 - During what may be the last public meeting, the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, commissioned by President Obama to study current U.S. human space flight plans, there was a strong consensus for funding a robust commercial human space flight program to provide human space transportation to low Earth orbit (LEO).
Included in virtually every option presented was providing $2.5 billion over four years starting in FY2011 to support development of commercial human space transport capabilities. The panel also discussed options that included commercially-provided heavy lift capabilities for space exploration beyond LEO.
"We are pleased that the panel has endorsed commercial human space flight as an option for transporting astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS)," said Bob Hopkins, a spokesman for the Next Step in Space coalition. "We are confident that U.S. based commercial space companies will enhance the scientific and research capabilities of the ISS and ensure that funding now slated to go to Russia can contribute to high tech jobs here at home."
"The panel's thoughtful approach is appreciated and we look forward to its final recommendations later this month," Hopkins said.
This endorsement of commercial human space flight comes a little over a week after NASA's announcement of a $50 million commercial crew development program to develop and demonstrate human spaceflight capabilities while fostering entrepreneurial activity leading to job growth in engineering, analysis, design, and research.
The committee's findings will be formally presented to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the end of August.
About Next Step in Space
Next Step in Space is a group of businesses, organizations, and people working toward ensuring the future of commercial human spaceflight in the US. Investment in commercial space will allow for full utilization of the International Space Station, enable NASA to focus its efforts beyond low-Earth orbit, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are reinvested in the US and not spent overseas. Visit us at: www.nextstepinspace.com. Become a fan and show support for commercial spaceflight on the Next Step in Space Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/nextstepinspace and follow on Twitter @NextStepinSpace.
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