Friday, May 08, 2009

Re-examining Constellation

White House OSTP press release:
"The Obama Administration today announced the launch of an independent review of planned U.S. human space flight activities with the goal of ensuring that the nation is on a vigorous and sustainable path to achieving its boldest aspirations in space. The review will be conducted by a blue-ribbon panel of experts led by Norman Augustine, the former CEO of Lockheed Martin..."

COMMENT: OK, Constellation needs reexamining, especially given the chronic problems with Ares-1. And Norm Augustine is respected throughout the aerospace community. The trouble is that a re-evaluation based on recent decisions - no Moonbase, only four astronauts on Orion - may well come out with a conclusion that's not "Apollo on steroids," but "Gemini with four people." Is a strictly limited Constellation with only LEO objectives worth doing? I don't know. It's a hideous letdown from what the President said during the campaign, that's for certain.

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