Friday, June 26, 2009

Hutchison inserts funds for A&M Advanced Robotics for Lunar and Martian Exploration

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed and sent to the Senate the first draft of NASA's budget for FY 2010, which begins October 1. The Senate, as expected, voted not to concur with the House proposal, principally authored by Rep. Alan Mollahan (D-WV), chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science.

An initial drafts of Senate changes to the House plan restore overall funding totals requested by President Obama, though mark-up in the Senate allows Senate members to include amendments that channel funds to special projects in the home state. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), who has announced plans to retire to challenge Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 2010 announced on Thursday the Senate Appropriations Committee had accepted an amendment offering $750,000 ti Texas A&M University's Advanced Robotics for Lunar and Martian Exploration.

According to a press release from Senator Hutchison's office, she said, “At this critical juncture in human space flight and exploration at NASA, Texas A&M University will be at the forefront of robotic research and Lunar and Martian investigation.

"The Advanced Robotics for Lunar and Martian Exploration project, led by Dr. John Junkins, a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science, will develop new robotic technologies that enable multiple robots to collaborate, under high-level human supervision in exploration and construction activities for NASA exploration plans. The initiative will also develop advanced sensing and computing architectures to enable robotic landings on rough terrain"

No comments: