NASA: $2 billion to jumpstart Constellation program, Orlando Sentonel
"If NASA is to close the five-year gap between retirement of the space shuttle and the first launch of its successor, the space agency needs $2 billion more in funding over the next three years, NASA officials told a U.S. Senate subcommittee on Thursday. The money would enable NASA to launch its first Constellation mission in September 2013, rather than the current March 2015 projection. But it's uncertain whether NASA allies can find the dollars on Capitol Hill."
Editor's note: The $1 billion that Sens. Mikulski and Hutchison pushed through for Shuttle return to Flight costs has now apparently disappeared. As such, the notion that this White House - one which has already walked away from its financial committment to the VSE - would suddenly spring for this extra money is laughable.
"NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said he agreed with Nelson, but the agency now was a victim of poor foresight by previous NASA leaders and Congress."
Editor's note: So ... instead of using rockets that already existed to loft the CEV, Griffin spent money on developing a new rocket from scratch - and gutted numerous NASA programs in the process. I wonder how this will be viewed by the person who replaces him in 2009 ...
"I do not want to leave this hearing or this committee with the impression that we are in a good position," he said. "We are not. The failure to plan for a successor to the space shuttle, and to bring it online in a timely way, was a failure of U.S. strategic planning. We are not in the position I would wish the United States to be in. We are, I think, doing the best that can be done."
Editor's note: Gee Mike, did you happen to mention these concerns to the White House when you interviewed for the job of NASA Administrator? Isn't it a little late in the game to start complaining? Oh yes, you do know that it is your current boss (President Bush) who approved this whole VSE in the first place - including the gap between Shuttle and CEV, right?