Augustine panel: NASA needs a new vision -- and more money, Orlando Sentinel
"Last week, senior executives from NASA's contractors -- including ATK; The Boeing Co.; Pratt Whitney; and Lockheed Martin Corp -- held a teleconference to map out a strategy to press for more money to keep Ares and its Orion capsule alive Tuesday, a senior executive for ATK, which is building the solid-rocket first stage of the Ares I and would have much to lose if the rocket was supplanted by commercial lifters, took issue with that recommendation. Charles Precourt, a former chief astronaut for NASA and now an ATK vice president for launch systems, told the Cocoa Beach chapter of the National Space Club that the space community needed to understand the consequences of giving commercial companies a larger role. Asked whether he thought NASA would be willing to put astronauts on a commercial rocket, he said, "I wouldn't be if I were [still] the chief astronaut."
Keith's note: It is stick-in-the-mud, "only NASA can do hard risky things", commentary by former astronauts that only serves to make the commercialization of space harder - not easier. Oh wait ... he works for ATK. Small wonder he is against anything that might work better and cost less than Ares 1. His paycheck depends on Ares. As they say, where you stand depends on where you sit.