Last Augustine panel meeting ends in debate over Ares I, Orlando Sentinel
"The last public hearing of a White House space review committee on Thursday ended in a debate over whether NASA's controversial Ares I crew rocket was safer than other rockets and should be scored higher in rankings of the various options the panel would present to the White House. The decision was made to not rate the safety of any rockets, in part because the committee members decided it was impossible to accurately assess the safety of space ships that have never flown before, like the Ares I."
"The specific vehicles and systems involved in the missions were not a significant factor, said Ed Crawley, an MIT professor and committee member, in introducing the meeting. Still, some members, notably Bohdan Bejmuk, chair of the Constellation program Standing Review Board, argued that the Ares I should get a higher safety rating than its competitors. "I completely disagree with that assessment," shot back Jeff Greason, CEO of XCOR Aerospace and vice-chair of Personal Spaceflight Federation."
'Deep space' mission is frontrunner in NASA review, New Scientist
"Augustine noted that the committee would not give an overall ranking for the options, since it would require making judgements about the relative importance of the various criteria. "That's beyond the committee's capability," he said. "For example, we're not in the position to judge the possibility of adding funds to the various programmes."
Panel's report threatens NASA's mission, The Hill
"A report suggesting that NASA's space travel goals are too ambitious for its budget is imperiling efforts by Florida and Texas lawmakers to win more money for the agency's budget. The Human Space Flight Committee, which was created by President Barack Obama, said this week that NASA's flight program is on an "unsustainable trajectory" due to its "pursuing goals that do not match allocated resources."