Monday, January 25, 2010

President Obama Wants To Privatize Some NASA Functions

The Center Supports This Proposal Because It Could Increase Efficiencies & Innovation

President Obama intends to propose privatizing some of NASA's functions in his FY 2011 budget. The goal of The White House is to set up a multiyear, multi-billion-dollar initiative allowing private firms, including some start-ups, to compete to build and operate spacecraft capable of carrying U.S. astronauts into space.

We are particularly interested in The White House's stepped-up support for climate-monitoring and environmental projects.

Under the White House proposal, NASA's budget is expected to stay close to the $19 billion in the current 2010 fiscal year. Only a small portion—roughly $200 million—is likely to be slated for the initial phase of opening up NASA's manned space exploration program to private firms. However, that initiative is expected to cost a least $3.5 billion—and potentially much more—over the next five years. (WSJ, 1/24/10)

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