"At the meeting, United Launch Alliance, a Boeing and Lockheed Martin joint venture that markets the unmanned Atlas and Delta rockets, pitched an upgraded version of its rockets to replace NASA's planned Ares booster, an option a NASA-backed study found to be less expensive. But the consultancy that prepared the study cautioned that would only be cheaper if NASA dropped plans for a second Ares rocket, a heavy-lifter that could carry cargo to the moon."
"In dueling PowerPoint presentations before the 10-member panel, appointed by the Obama administration in April, NASA officials defended their progress in developing the next generation of rockets, while challengers said that they could do the job more quickly and less expensively."
"NASA simply can't do the job it's been given - the President's goal of being on the moon by 2020,'' Mr Nelson told the first public meeting of the Review of US Human Space Flight Plans Committee in Washington."
Review panel hears competing proposals to replace space shuttle, Orlando Sentinel
"Elon Musk, who runs the rocket company SpaceX, suggested NASA turn over more work to private business. SpaceX is under contract to build a rocket that can haul cargo - and could take humans - to the space station. "If commercial companies handle low-Earth orbit then NASA [can] handle the stuff beyond low-Earth orbit" such as the moon and Mars, Musk said."