Happy Friday! Or maybe not, if you work for NASA or dream of going to the moon.
President Obama’s budget set for release on Monday effectively proposes the end of the agency’s planned Constellation Program to send Americans back to the moon by 2020.
Or, in the words of the the Orlando Sentinel, “There will be no lunar landers, no moon bases.”
That’s because Obama’s proposed budget adds $6 billion over the next five years to NASA’s budget to help extend the life of the International Space Station to 2020. But most of the funds would bankroll the private construction of spaceships that can ferry astronauts into space, the White House said Thursday.
“My initial impression is that this is a real significant indication of support for NASA in a time of tight budgets,” former astronaut Sally Ride told Bloomberg News.
The New York Times reports, however, that the changes have angered some lawmakers from Texas, home of the Johnson Space Center, and Florida, the location of the Kennedy Space Center.
“It is simply unacceptable and I will fight back, along with my colleagues from both parties, to maintain a robust space program and to preserve as many Space Coast jobs as possible,” said Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.), whose district is home to thousands of NASA employees, their families and space contractors.
Advocates for commercial space flight said they could help preserve or create those jobs.