NASA Fuming over Budget Cut, SpaceX, Boeing Plans on Hold for 2 Years

SpaceX Dragon atop the Falcon 9 rocket at the launch pad in Florida.(Photo: NASA)

SpaceX Dragon atop the Falcon 9 rocket at the launch pad in Florida.(Photo: NASA)

With the US Congress set to slash its budget by $300 millions, NASA is fuming as its astronauts will have to fly by Russian launch vehicles to go to the International Space Station at the cost of about $70 million per flight.

Already buoyant with its plans for another space station, Russia may take lead in the space race as the U.S. Senate Appropriations subcommittee voted to cut over $300 million from NASA’s budget, that may cripple the US space agency to cancel its agreements with private players like SpaceX and Boeing to build rockets for missions from 2017.

“I am deeply disappointed that the Senate Appropriations subcommittee does not fully support NASA’s plan to once again launch American astronauts from U.S. soil as soon as possible, and instead focuses to write checks to Russia,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said on Wednesday.

He said NASA will be forced to rely on Russia and pour into the Russian space program hundreds of millions instead of developing its own space program. “By gutting this program and turning our backs on U.S. industry, NASA will be forced to continue to rely on Russia to get its astronauts to space – and continue to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the Russian economy rather than our own,” he noted.

NASA has recently signed contract worth $4.2 billion with Boeing and $2.6 billion with SpaceX to send manned missions to the moon.Though the budget cut may go to the Senate subcommittee where an amendment is expected to take few more days.

Democrat Senator Bill Nelson of Florida has clarified the that the American flights still face two years of delay, forcing the US rely upon the Russian launches. “We need to wake up to what is happening,” he said.

The worst affected from the delay is SpaceX, which has pushed its plan to build a massive new airport hangar to keep its Falcon Heavy vehicle and two Falcon 9 rockets, just adjacent the Kennedy Space Center.


  1. SpaceX plans with LC39A are not affected by this decision. The primary use of LC39A will be to launch the Falcon Heavy not Commercial Crew.

  2. Derle Smith Jr.

    If we are to continue space exploration in earnest, we must “privatize” our space program. That means removing our dependence on political involvement and directly supporting private companies such as Dragon, SpaceX, and Boeing. It is time for American citizens to make a stand. If those of us who have a compassion for privately-funded space exploration will chip in and contact these companies individually, there is a good chance that we can all realize a turnaround in the space industry. Cheers, Dr. D.

  3. This will not significantly hurt SpaceX because their primary business right now is running supply runs to and from the ISS and as a commercial satellite launch provider. Their launch manifest is already booked up for years to come. All that will happen is that Musk will concentrate on other market segments. But the story for Boeing is much more dire. Boeing (and other “defense” contractors) are heavily dependent on no-bid contracts and intentional cost overruns and delays. Their Space Division desperately needs the NASA and Pentagon money for them to attempt to catch up with SpaceX and stay alive as disposable rocketry, craft-made launch vehicles, sea recovery and vehicle reusability are coming to a rather sudden close. Just compare the specs of the Dragon 2 and the CST-100 capsules to see how much Boeing is still peddling 1960’s technology.

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