I wonder why they wish the NASA Moon project to continue...would it be because their state could benefit from supplied materials and services. They are idiots that wish to promote a one-sided venture into space. "It is imperative that the United States remain the world's leading spacefaring nation,"...WRONG.
"US lawmakers urge Obama to save NASA moon program"
March 11th, 2010
March 11th, 2010
A group of US lawmakers Thursday urged the US administration to save NASA's Constellation project aimed at returning Americans to the moon in the next generation of space travel.
"Space exploration has been the guiding star of American innovation," the lawmakers -- 10 Republicans and five Democrats -- said in a letter to the NASA administrator Charles Bolden.
"It is imperative that the United States remain the world's leading spacefaring nation," they added.
They urged Bolden to assemble a team of NASA experts to review how exploration spacecraft and launch vehicle development can be kept within the existing budget to ensure "uninterrupted, independent US human space flight access to the International Space Station
The team should report back within 30 days on its findings, the lawmakers urged.
Seeking to cut the massive US budget deficit, President Barack Obama's administration has proposed scrapping the costly and over budget Constellation rocket program designed to return Americans to the moon by 2020.
Instead, NASA would concentrate on research and development that could, over a longer time-frame, eventually see astronauts travel outside low Earth orbit
and even aim for Mars.
The US space agency would also be encouraged to develop operations with commercial partners to fly astronauts to the ISS.
But the 15 lawmakers, most of them from Texas and Florida where much of the US space industry is based, were heavily critical of the plan.
"I am concerned that the Russians and the Chinese will get ahead of us... that English won't be the dominant language in space," Republican Representative Michael McCaul from Texas told a House hearing.
The United States is due to retire its aging shuttle fleet this year, and from then on will depend on Russian Soyuz flights to transport its astronauts to the ISS until the Ares 1 rocket and its Orion capsule are operational in 2015.
"By the time commercial low-Earth orbit vehicles are cleared for flight, US astronauts may have nowhere to go," the lawmakers said in the letter.
"NASA will no longer have a clear vision on its direction and ultimately the US will no longer be a spacefaring nation."
Obama is to host a space conference on April 15 in Florida to chart his vision for the future of human spaceflight, the White House revealed at the weekend.
Obama has proposed dropping the massively over-budget Constellation program launched by his predecessor, George W. Bush, because it was too costly, used outdated technology and would not be ready to ferry humans to the moon before 2028.
"The president's ambitious new strategy pushes the frontiers of innovation to set NASA on a more dynamic, flexible, and sustainable trajectory that can propel us on a new journey of innovation and discovery," the White House said in a statement Sunday.
"After years of underinvestment in new technology and unrealistic budgeting, the president's plan will unveil an ambitious plan for NASA that sets the agency on a reinvigorated path of space exploration," the statement added.