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House committee approves NASA authorization bill
Posted: Sat, Jul 24, 2010, 9:28 AM ET (1328 GMT)
US Capitol A House committee approved Thursday an authorization bill for NASA that would sharply restrict commercial crew and technology development programs proposed for the agency. The bill, approved by the House Science and Technology Committee on Thursday after an extended markup session, would authorize government development of a spacecraft and launch vehicle that would replace, and likely be closely derived from, the Orion spacecraft and Ares 1 launcher that were the cornerstones of Constellation. The bill would also limit commercial crew development funding to $50 million a year for three years, plus $100 million a year for a new loan guarantee program. The bill differs from a Senate version passed last week that included more funding for commercial crew and called for immediate development of a heavy-lift launch vehicle that could place at least 70 tons into low Earth orbit by the middle of the decade.
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