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Nelson: Budget Shortfall Delays NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

NASA's Commercial Crew program will send astronauts to the International Space Station via commercial partners SpaceX and Boeing. Photo: NASA

Sending American Astronauts to the International Space Station on U.S. rockets may have met a delay. Both chambers of Congress have budgeted less than requested for NASA’s commercial Crew Program.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson says the cut in funding will delay NASA’s goal of sending U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station from American soil. “It’s going to delay us from launching Americans on American rockets. Instead of 2017, just two years from now, it will delay us four years,” he said on the Senate floor Wednesday

The U.S. Senate Appropriations committee approved $900 million for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, $300 million  less than what NASA asked for.

Nelson says NASA will have to pay Russia around $70 million a trip to the I.S.S. until the Commercial Crew Program is up and running.

“That’s the whole point of us being able to rely on our own spacecraft and our own rockets, instead of relying on the Russians,” he said.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Are We There Yet?' Host

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts WMFE's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration. Brendan is a native Floridian, born and raised in Broward County. He moved to ... Read Full Bio »