Saturday, December 08, 2007

NASA Innovation Fund and Sponsorhip Act

Spaceref presents a press release from Representative Ken Calvert on the NASA Innovation Fund and Sponsorship Act, H.R. 4308. The Act would allow NASA to earn money for the NASA Centennial Challenges prizes by offering advertising - a prospect that doesn't make commercial space companies that seek advertising sponsorship very comfortable. This concept was debated quite a bit earlier this year; check the "Ads for CC" tag below to see earlier posts and links on it.

The consensus in the discussions I read was that NASA should simply fund Centennial Challenges adequately and refrain from competing with private industry. This would be easy enough to do, since Centennial Challenges, even if considerably expanded, would still be a tiny part of NASA's budget, and there are certain activities with a troubled history that NASA currently does where budgets could be made available by trimming back NASA in-house efforts and using private services instead.

Having said all that, it would be good to have a funding source for Centennial Challenges. Here's an article by Representative Calvert promoting the idea.

Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) is a co-sponsor of the bill.

Update (Dec 9): Check RLV News, including the comments section there.