Nuova lettera di Armstrong, Cernan e Lovell

Ecco il testo della lettera inviata ieri dai tre comandanti Apollo ai Senatori Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) e Richard Shelby (R-Alabama), rispettivamente Presidente e Capogruppo di minoranza del “Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies”, che a breve dovranno decidere sul “NASA’s FY2011 spending plan”.

[i]Dear Chairwoman Mikulski and Ranking Member Shelby,

Nearly a half century ago, President Kennedy explained, “The exploration of space … is one of the great adventures of all time. Our leadership in science and industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve theses mysteries, to solve them for the good of all, and become the world’s leading space-faring nation.”

This past week, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Technology, chaired by Senator Rockefeller passed a bi-partisan Authorization bill for NASA for FY 2011- 2013 that does much to maintain President Kennedy’s vision and align the agency with its original charter. Led by Senators Nelson, Hutchison and Vitter, the bill was passed unanimously confirming the committee’s commitment to the importance of United States space leadership.

This week, Chairman Gordon of the House Committee on Science and Technology released his Committee’s version of the NASA Reauthorization Bill. Cosponsored by Committee Ranking Member Hall, Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee Chairwoman Giffords and Space and Aeronautics Ranking Member Olson, the bill reflects the Committee’s belief of those plan components necessary to assure a worthy national space and aeronautics program.

Each of these pending bills represent tremendous progress relative to our concerns expressed earlier to the Congress, and we hope that you will continue that progress as you prepare to adopt your NASA spending plan for FY 2011, and fully fund NASA at the requested level, as your House counterparts have done. We recognize that there are differences yet to be resolved. However, we are encouraged that these actions in both Houses of Congress have set the stage for our country’s future in space.

We commend all those who worked so diligently on these bills and thank you for your valuable personal leadership.

Most respectfully,

Neil Armstrong
Commander, Apollo 11

James Lovell
Commander, Apollo 13

Eugene Cernan
Commander, Apollo 17 [/i]

Questo pomeriggio alle 16 (ita) è prevista la session del “The Commerce, Justice, and Science subcommittee” che deciderà sullo spending bill per la NASA.

Incrociamo tutti le falangi…

Ecco alcune dichiarazionii del Sen. Shelby presenti oggi sul suo sito che fanno ben sperare per i finanziamenti:

[i]“The Administration cancelled the only realistic approach for the United States to return to low earth orbit and beyond,” said Shelby. “The President’s budget proposal surrendered our nation’s leadership in space to the Russians, Chinese, and Indians and instead chose to set up an entitlement program for the so-called commercial space industry.

“This proposal was simply unacceptable. The overarching point is simple: No so-called commercial space company has ever carried anything successfully to the space station, much less safely launch and return a human being. We cannot risk human lives or the entire future of the space program by deploying an unproven commercial crew concept. The risk is too great.

“The Administration’s plan was not a responsible or realistic approach to human space flight and was not approved by the subcommittee. Instead, the bill restores NASA to its historical purpose, a preeminent leader in space flight.

“The CJS bill solidifies American’s human space flight program by funding a robust heavy lift vehicle based on demonstrated technological reality.”[/i]