Monday, 02 April 2007 01:00
Nelson on MarsWritten by WGCU Newsroom
NASA will delay the first manned flight of the new spacecraft designed to take humans back to the moon because of budget constraints.
U.S. Senator Democrat Bill Nelson of Melbourne spoke last week at a Senate Commerce committee hearing on the future of human spaceflight at NASA.
The space shuttle program will be retired in 2010 and the next manned phase – called Constellation – won’t start flying until 2015. It’s supposed to eventually go to the moon by 2020. Because Cape Canaveral, Florida is almost completely devoted to launch operations, that gap in human flight is going to hit hard. Senator Nelson says that worries him.
“Obviously there’s going to be some loss of employment because if you’re not launching the vehicle you need less of a work force.”
Aerospace and mechanics’ workers unions are also worried about the potential loss of jobs. Nelson is now talking about trying to boost NASA’s 17 billion dollar budget to try and get the “Constellations” test launches to start earlier.