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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

US Spending Bill Spares NASA Cuts

April 15, 2011

The 2011 spending bill passed by Congress has secured $18.5 billion for NASA and spares it from making any cuts, reports AFP.

“We appreciate the work of Congress to pass a 2011 spending bill,” NASA administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement.

“NASA now has appropriated funds to implement the 2010 Authorization Act, which gives us a clear path forward to continue America’s leadership in human spaceflight, exploration and scientific discovery.”

After months of partisan bickering and negotiation, the passing of the bill “lifts funding restrictions that limited our flexibility to carry out our shared vision for the future,” adds Bolden.

NASA’s space shuttle program is set to end in June, leaving astronauts reliable on Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft as the only way to access the International Space Station in the future.

The funding will help NASA “aggressively develop a new heavy lift rocket, multipurpose crew vehicle and commercial capability to transport our astronauts and their supplies on American-made and launched spacecraft,” Bolden states.

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