Skip to comments.Congressional Support Grows For Heavy-Lift
Posted on 07/02/2010 9:06:07 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
A small groundswell is rising in Congress for a faster start on the heavy-lift launch vehicle President Barack Obama says he wants, but it may be swamped by the backwash from growing irritation over NASAs sluggish production of justification for its game-changing new approach.
A bipartisan gang of 62 House members wants Obama to initiate the immediate development and production of a heavy-lift launch vehicle that, in conjunction with the Orion crew exploration vehicle, may be used for either lunar or deep-space exploration.
Their June 22 letter to Obama, circulated by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), follows word from Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) that a new NASA authorization with at least some bipartisan support would include both a heavy-lifter and a crew exploration vehicle leveraging the workforce, contracts, assets and capabilities of the shuttle, Ares I and Orion efforts.
But, while some lawmakers appear ready to compromise with the White House on ending the Constellation program that has been funding Orion, the Ares I crew exploration vehicle and other follow-ons to the retiring space shuttle fleet, other space leaders are moving in completely different directions.
Retired Sen. John Glenn (D-Ohio), the first American in orbit, says he will lobby this week to keep the space shuttle flying beyond its planned retirement date early next year. And a key group of NASA watchers in the House has lost patience with the agencys search for numbers to support the proposed policy.
(Excerpt) Read more at aviationnow.com ...
Right now, we can’t afford an artists rendition of a heavy-lift vehicle, let alone the real thing.
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