5 Surprising Passages From the Full Augustine Report, Popular Mechanics
"NASA released the full text crafted by its Review of Human Spaceflight Plans Committee (the so-called Augustine committee) today. The 157-page examination lacked an endorsement of an overall strategy, but there are a few passages of interest that were not included in the summary that was released in September. Here are a few passages that leapt out at us."
Throttling back ambitions would leave NASA adrift, opinion, Houston Chronicle
"NASA has been trying to explore space on a shoestring. Because the cash-starved Orion won't be ready until at least 2016, and the shuttle is being retired next year, the U.S. will be forced to launch astronauts on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft at $51 million per seat."
"Houston, we have a problem: According to a blue-ribbon panel, the U.S. space program is on an unsustainable trajectory. This past week, the Human Spaceflight Plans Committee released a report saying that unless NASA receives more money fast, the space agency will have to scale back its near-term ambitions."
NASA. It's worth it., editorial, Houston Chronicle
"The government has already allocated close to $800 billion on economic stimulus, so it's difficult to understand why NASA, with a full-time and contractor workforce totaling nearly 60,000 nationwide and 18,000 in the Clear Lake area, isn't worth an additional investment to continue manned space exploration. NASA's role in stimulating technological development with widespread applications to other industries is well established."
"And the two panel members in addition expressed their interest in bypassing a landing on the moon--the destination set by U.S. President George W. Bush in 2004--in favor of a lunar flyby or rendezvous with an asteroid or Martian moon."