Top US lawmaker skeptical of new space funding

December 17, 2009
Astronaut Mike Foreman waves at the camera during the Atlantis mission last month to the International Space Station. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said 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.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said 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 send astronauts back to the moon by 2020, and then perhaps to 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 " but added she was skeptical about a manned trip to the .

"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 met with NASA chief Charles Bolden behind closed doors at the White House, reportedly to discuss the 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 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.

Explore further: China plans manned moon mission by 2017

Related Stories

Russia, China plan moon exploration

September 11, 2006

(AP) -- Russia will cooperate closely with China on moon exploration, and the two nations could sign space cooperation agreements by the year's end, the Russian space chief said Monday.

NASA aviation cuts could slow research

September 28, 2006

Members of the U.S. Congress from both parties warned that cuts in aeronautics research at NASA could harm the U.S. aviation industry.

Recommended for you


Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Dec 17, 2009
Nan's vision of the future is a gigantic, obese, and slightly psychotic mother-government that controls its people like perpetual children in need of Mommy's care. Children shouldn't dirty themselves trying to build spaceships to play with. They should be paying their carbon taxes and taking their medication so they don't disturb the bankers who are hard at work protecting all the money.
1 / 5 (1) Dec 17, 2009
Is Pelosi out of her mind?

99% of American industry evolved from the space program. Even her beloved botox treatments owe their origination to space based bacterial research.

You can't just say "JOBS!" and have that be your rallying cry to fuck up the country. Especially when the Republicans do it continuously to shoot down your own pet projects.
5 / 5 (1) Dec 17, 2009
Statements like these form a bizarre front of chaotic, useless presentation; perhaps the helium flash of a collapsing illusion of great magnitude.

The imploding power center at the core of the illusion will soon blast itself into bewildering dust and a nebula of liberty will again coalesce into verdant, green worlds.
not rated yet Dec 18, 2009
It's a shame that some of our lawmakers seem to make some of the most uneducated remarks. Ever watch a debate on cspan, sometimes I feel like its elementary all over again.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.