Arecibo and the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2008

December 19, 2007 at 9:54 am | Posted in Space Law | Leave a comment

United States Congressby P.J. Blount with the blog faculty
Here’s another space related snippet from the Joint Explanatory Statement to Accompany Consolidated Appropriations Amendment Division B–Commerce, Justice, Science which gives explanations about the amendments to HR 2764: Consolidated Appropriations Act 2008. It calls for Congress to grant further funding for Arecibo Observatory and to have the National Research Council do a report on NASA’s approach to Near Earth Objects (hat tip planetarydefense):

Further, the Appropriations Committees are concerned that NASA may reduce support for the Arecibo Observatory which is used by NASA to observe and detect NEOs. The committees believe that this observatory continues to provide important scientific findings on issues of near-space objects, space weather, and global climate change, as well as numerous other research areas. The Committees believe that these endeavors will have scientific merit far beyond the end of the decade. NASA is directed to provide additional funding for the Arecibo Observatory.

In order to assist Congress in determining the optimal approach regarding the Arecibo Observatory, NASA shall contract with the National Research Council to study the issue and make recommendations. As part of its deliberations, the NRC shall review NASA’s report 2006 Near-Earth Object Survey and Deflection Study – and its associated March 2007 Near-Earth Object Survey and Deflection Study as well as any other relevant literature. An interim report, with recommendations focusing primarily on the optimal approach to the survey program, shall be submitted within 15 months of enactment of this Act. The final report, including recommendations regarding the optimal approach to developing a deflection capability, shall be submitted within 21 months of enactment of this Act. The NRC study shall include an assessment of the costs of various alternatives, including options that may blend the use of different facilities (whether ground- or space-based), or involve international cooperation. Independent cost estimating should be utilized.

For back ground on the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2008 see NASA Budget and COTS and Omnibus Appropriations Bill Debate. For more on Arecibo’s funding see Funding for Arecibo Observatory.

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