Budget Cuts Could Slow Commercial Space, Program

LOS ANGELES (March 28, 2013)--Federal spending cuts could eventually slow progress on commercial efforts to fly to space,
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said Thursday two days after SpaceX's Dragon capsule returned from a supply run to the International Space Station and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean.

SpaceX operates a rocket motor test facility in McGregor west of Waco to which the capsule will be shipped for unloading.

Bolden said there's no significant impact to the commercial space program this fiscal year, but said automatic budget cuts could affect how much the space agency can dole out to private companies down the road.

With the shuttles retired, NASA is relying on private enterprise to fly cargo and eventually astronauts to the orbiting lab.

The latest SpaceX trip started off with a mechanical problem, but CEO Elon Musk said engineers have found the cause and said it won't happen again.

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