The house passed a spending bill that includes a modest increase for NASA, but does not fully fund the Administration request for Commercial Crew.
Still, they must have been paying some attention to the Russian threats to cut off access to the International Space Station – or to the ever-increasing price of rides on the Russian Soyuz rockets, perhaps – because even though they didn’t get to the Administration’s proposed budget level, they have still funded Commercial Crew at a higher level than ever before.
Of course, the Senate still has to weigh in with its version of the spending bill, and then any difference between that and the house one will be reconciled in committee. Traditionally, the Senate has voted a higher budget for Commercial Crew than the house. We’ll have to wait and see how it all turns out.
Here we have the interior of the Dragon V2 manned spacecraft from SpaceX, unveiled just yesterday in a ceremony reminiscent of an auto show.
But don’t be fooled by the glitz. This is almost all flight-design hardware. Here’s a short animation of the new spacecraft docking with the International Space Station and then returning to Earth – in the coolest way possible:
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You can be sure there’ll be lots of it! Only yesterday, Space Exploration Technologies unveiled their Dragon V2 private manned space capsule – one that returns from orbit to land propulsively with helicopter-like precision.