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Senate subcommittee adds Hubble funding
Posted: Wed, Jun 22, 2005, 8:40 AM ET (1240 GMT)
US Capitol A subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee added $250 million to NASA's proposed 2006 budget to support a servicing mission for the Hubble Space Telescope. The Commerce, Justice, Science subcommittee marked up an appropriations bill Tuesday that includes $16.4 billion for NASA in the next fiscal year. Senators, led by longtime Hubble proponent Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), added $250 million to the budget to help pay for a possible shuttle servicing mission to the telescope. NASA has not committed to such a mission yet, but NASA administrator Michael Griffin said shortly after starting work at the agency two months ago that he would be open to approving such a mission once the shuttle safely returns to flight. Neither the original NASA budget proposal, nor a House version of the appropriations bill, included such funding. Despite the additional funding the full NASA budget still falls about $60 million short of the President's request and about $75 million less than what the House approved last week. Details about which programs were cut were not immediately released, but senators said that the shuttle, ISS, and CEV programs are fully funded in the budget. The full appropriations committee is scheduled to take up the bill later this week.
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