Washington (AFP) Dec 16, 2009
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she was personally skeptical of manned space missions and warned that NASA's future funding could depend on whether it was likely to create jobs.
Pelosi vowed "harsh scrutiny" of all spending requests and said she would be asking "what is the mission? How will the money effectively be spent, in what period of time, to create jobs, compared to what?"
"I, myself, if you are asking me personally, I have not been a big fan of manned expeditions to outer space, in terms of safety and cost. But people could make the case; technology is always changing," she told reporters.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Constellation program aims to to send astronauts back to the moon by 2020, and then perhaps to Mars and other destinations in the solar system.
Asked whether she had misgivings about a moon mission, Pelosi replied "the moon would be fine" and said she was "not against the Mars exploration" but added she was skeptical about a manned trip to the red planet.
"There is a debate in the scientific community about the investment that it takes to have those flights be manned -- and I guess we say 'personned' now -- but manned and what the safety of it is," said Pelosi.
Her comments came after US President Barack Obama met with NASA chief Charles Bolden behind closed doors at the White House, reportedly to discuss the space agency's future funding -- which the US Congress controls.
"Everything is in competition for the dollar, and a judgment will be made as to what it does in terms of job creation, because this is what we are doing now," said Pelosi.
The speaker paid tribute to the US moon landing, saying it was "like magic" and underlining "our economy benefited enormously."
"But, again, we have to see dollars well spent creating jobs, accomplishing the mission," said Pelosi.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News
NASA, Saudi Arabia partner on research
Washington (UPI) Dec 15, 2009
The U.S. space agency and Saudi Arabia say they've signed a joint agreement calling for collaboration in lunar and asteroid science research. The agreement between NASA and Saudi Arabia's King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology recognizes the Saudi Lunar and Near-Earth Object Science Center as an affiliate partner with the NASA Lunar Science Institute at NASA's Ames Research ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2009 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|