Budget cuts could slow commercial space progress

Budget cuts could slow commercial space progress
This image released by NASA shows the SpaceX Dragon capsule in orbit around Earth. The unmanned capsule splashed down in the Pacific on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 after a supply run to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/NASA)

The head of NASA says federal spending cuts could eventually slow progress on commercial efforts to fly to space.

Charles Bolden sounded the warning Thursday two days after SpaceX's Dragon capsule returned from a supply run to the with a splashdown in the Pacific.

Bolden says there's no significant impact to the commercial space program this fiscal year, but automatic budget cuts could affect how much the space agency can dole out to private companies down the road. With the shuttles retired, NASA is relying on private enterprise to fly cargo and eventually astronauts to the orbiting lab.

The latest trip started off with a mechanical problem. CEO Elon Musk says engineers have found the cause and says it won't happen again.


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