Washington, D.C. (AP) - Congress has approved a blueprint for NASA's
future that extends the life of the space shuttle program while
backing President Barack Obama's intent to use commercial carriers
to lift humans into near-Earth space.
The House vote late Wednesday sends to Obama a bill that
rewrites NASA's space agenda. It dismantles the program under which
former President George W. Bush sought to return astronauts to the
moon, and extends the life of the International Space Station from
2015 to 2020.
The bill relies mainly on the still-nascent commercial space
industry to transport astronauts to the space station over the next
five years. But in a nod to concerns about NASA jobs, it also
speeds up development of a heavy launch vehicle and funds the
shuttle program for another year.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)