NASA Defends Budget Request For Private Space Contracts

Law360, New York (October 26, 2011, 7:03 PM EDT) -- While reporting that its contracts to kick-start the commercial space industry were starting to bear fruit, NASA told lawmakers Wednesday that a $350 million reduction from its 2012 budget request would leave the U.S. reliant on Russian spacecraft for astronaut transportation until 2017.

Whereas NASA had previously expected to use Russian Soyuz spacecraft to send astronauts to the International Space Station until 2016, it adjusted that estimate after Congress proposed cutting funds for the program by about $350 million in 2012, NASA officials told the House...
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