Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Congress Hammers NASA Administrator

From EE Times:

NASA’s administrator again came under heavy fire on Wednesday (May 26) during a House Science and Technology Committee hearing on the space agency’s plan, which calls for canceling a U.S. moon rocket program in favor of investing in "game-changing technologies" that would again boost U.S. astronauts beyond Earth orbit.
NASA chief Charles Bolden again faced skepticism from lawmakers from both parties about whether the plan will maintain U.S. leadership in space exploration and, in the near team, ensure that U.S. astronauts can reach the International Space Station. "The task today was to convince this committee that this is truly a well-thought out, responsibly budgeted, executable plan," said Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn). "Unfortunately, many of these issues remain unresolved and serious questions exist about the plan’s executability."
Moon walkers Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan again expressed serious reservations about the administration’s proposal. Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon, took issue with the Obama plan to cancel the Constellation moon rocket program. "It is improper to conclude that Constellation was beyond help" in terms of budget and schedule, Armstrong testified, adding, "Leadership, access and exploration are my priorities."
Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon on Apollo 17, condemned the administration’s plan as a "blueprint for a mission to 'nowhere.'"

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