On a day when NASA announced its plans for the next great adventure in human spaceflight, Space Coast Rep. Bill Posey declared he wants to turn back the clock fifty years.
Posey issued a press release announcing he would introduce legislation called the RE-asserting American Leadership in Space Act, or REAL Space Act, that would force NASA to begin work on returning astronauts to the Moon.
The press release claimed the legislation is “bipartisan” but the only Democratic co-sponsor is Houston Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, whose district includes Johnson Space Center employees. The other eight co-sponsors are Republicans, most of whom represent districts with NASA centers and/or NASA contractors.
Although the text of Posey's bill has yet to appear online, it would appear similar to legislation he introduced in May 2011 with the same title and many of the same co-sponsors. That bill went nowhere.
Posey's press release claims that his legislation “sets a clear course for NASA toward human space flight while keeping within current budgetary constraints,” but otherwise offers no evidence of how he would pay for a lunar expedition program likely to cost hundreds of billions of dollars. The 2011 version did not.
This proposal is similar to the empty promises made in January 2004, when the Bush administration introduced the Constellation program — lots of vision, but no money to support it.
At the initial Constellation hearing on January 28, 2004, Senator John McCain said in his opening remarks, “A vision without a strategy is just an illusion.”
The so-called “REAL Space Act” is just more smoke and mirrors from Rep. Posey.