U.S. Senate Approves $500 Million in NASA CCDev Funding
[Satellite TODAY 09-19-11] The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved $500 million in funding for commercial spaceflight as part of NASA’s 2012 budget, NASA confirmed Sept. 15.
The funding will support the Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDev) – a NASA initiative that aims to safely and rapidly restore the United States’ capability to carry astronauts into space and to the International Space Station. Following the retirement of NASA’s Space Shuttle earlier this year, the United States became wholly reliant on Russia to carry American astronauts to the space station.
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, who leads one of four companies to receive funding under the CCDev program, applauded the Senate’s decision, stating that it would help end a flow of tax revenue to Russia and help companies invest in high-tech domestic jobs.
“NASA’s CCDev Program is the most fiscally responsible means to rapidly advance human spaceflight. It has protected taxpayer dollars with fixed-price, pay-for-performance contracts. It fosters competition that forces companies to compete on reliability, capability and cost and it leverages private investment – making taxpayer dollars go further,” Musk said in a statement.