EHS DB8 2011-12
Obama’s “Flexible Path” plan cance
lled the Constellation program, eliminating theonly U.S. program for colonizationHalvorson 10
Todd Halvorson, Kennedy Space Center Bureau Chief, April 14, 2010, Florida Today [Andrew Alvarado]Armstrong's crewmate
,the second man to stand on the moon, has endorsed the proposal, saying it will "allow us to again bepushing the boundaries to achieve new and challenging things beyond Earth." Obama's plan would extend International Space Stationoperations through 2020 and direct NASA to invest $6 billion in the development of commercial space taxi services for astronautstraveling to and from the outpost. But it would kill Project Constellation and the Ares rockets and Orion spacecraft NASA has beendeveloping for six years at a cost of more than $9 billion. "
It appears that we will have wasted our current
$10 -plus billion
investment in Constellation and
, equally importantly,
we will have lost the manyyears required to recreate the equivalent of what we have discarded,
" the former astronautssaid. Armstrong, Lovell and Cernan all said the Ares I and Ares V rockets were patterned after the modular concept Werner von Braunemployed for developing the Saturn 1B and Saturn V rockets that took American astronauts to the moon. The three raised seriousconcerns about the idea of shifting the responsibility for designing, developing and operating the rockets and spacecraft flown by U.S.astronauts from NASA to the private sector. "The availability of a commercial transport to orbit as envisioned by the president?sproposal cannot be predicted with any certainty, but is likely to take substantially longer and be more expensive that we would hope,"the astronauts said. "
Without the skill and experience that actual spacecraft operationprovides, the USA is far too likely to be on a long downward slide to mediocrity,"
America must decide if it wishes to remain a leader in space. If it does, we shouldinstitute a program which will give us the very best chance of achieving that goal