The News Today

The News Today

February 1, 2010 Opinion, Our Policy Voice

Much of the mainstream response to Constellation’s cancellation and replacement by more effective spending reads like everything was going honky dory with Constellation in the first place. The reality is that this porker is already many years behind schedule and well along the path to failure. Rescuing Constellation would require dramatically increasing NASA’s budget and cutting out many of the other things NASA does. The first is improbably, to say the least, in the current environment. The second costs way more jobs than cancelling Constellation does and punishes success rather than failure.

All that the administration is proposing is that we recognize reality and refocus on things that might actually work. It spends less money and creates more jobs! What’s not to like?

If you care about a free and open frontier in space, are a US citizen, over 18 and can possibly get to DC next week Take Back Space is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring just a bit of reality about space to Capitol Hill. Don’t miss it.

4 Comments

  • James Rogers says:

    I don't know if you were listening in on the news conference today, but some of the comments about Constellation really hit the nail on the head. You can listen to a replay @ 866-431-2903 or 203-369-0952

  • Statement by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden
    http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/420994main_2011_Budget_Ad

    "Now let’s discuss the Constellation Program. The Program was planning to
    use an approach similar to Apollo to return astronauts to the Moon some 50
    years after that program’s triumphs. The Augustine Committee observed that this
    path was not sustainable, and the President agrees. They found that
    Constellation key milestones were slipping, and that the program would not get
    us back to the moon in any reasonable time or within any affordable cost. Far
    more funding was needed to make our current approach work. The Augustine
    Committee estimated that the heavy lift rocket for getting to the moon would not
    be available until 2028 or 2030, and even then they found “there are insufficient
    funds to develop the lunar lander and lunar surface systems until well into the
    2030s, if ever." So as much as we would not like it to be the case, and taking
    nothing away from the hard work and dedication of our team, the truth is that we
    were not on a path to get back to the moon's surface. And as we focused so
    much of our effort and funding on just getting to the Moon, we were neglecting
    investments in the key technologies that would be required to go beyond"