"With the industry already reeling from the cumulative impacts of these large SRM program cuts and terminations, NASA has now made an ill-advised and drastic decision to propose total cancellation of the Constellation manned space flight program, which would also include termination of the Ares 1 rocket, leaving our nation without a single large-scale SRM program in full production for the first time in 50 years! That will leave the U.S. to rely solely on the Navy's D-5 missile Life Extension program, with a production rate of only one booster stack per month, as the bedrock in sustaining our nation's ability to produce large scale solid rocket motors. .... This important staff briefing will be conducted by representatives from SRM producer, ATK, as well as their suppliers and aerospace industry teammates, followed by lots of time for Q&A."
Utahns in Congress all against cuts to NASA, Salt Lake Tribune
"Bishop, whose district include Alliant Techsystems, which produces solid rocket motors and employs 3,500 people, said that Obama's budget on NASA doesn't save any money and that it would actually cost $2.5 billion to end the Constellation program. Moreover, Bishop says Obama's move hurts the country's ability to enhance its missile defenses."
Keith's note: I find it to be a little strange that the other major U.S. manufacturer of SRMs, Aerojet, is not being invited to participate in this presentation. If Rep. Bishop truly intended this event to be a discussion about national capabilities, one would assume that he'd try and get a representative set of presentations - not just one company's - the one he represents in Congress. Truth be known, this is really all about ATK and the fear of lost business in Utah - with the arm waving about national issues used as a smoke screen. As for DoD concerns, there is clearly no consensus on this issue - either way. As for the D-5, its first stage stage (a SRM) is 24 feet long whereas Aerojet's SRMs on the Atlas V are 67 feet long - so clearly someone other than ATK can make large SRMs.
Pentagon Not Yet Concerned Over NASA Changes, Aviation Week
"[Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] did mention, however, that he and other defense officials have had longstanding concerns over the space industrial base, much the same way they do for shipbuilding. Like with warships, the admiral said there is consensus that the Defense Department is paying too much for old systems when it comes to space assets."
"During a Senate Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee hearing, Rear Adm. Stephen Johnson, said he expects solid rocket motor prices to rise 10 to 20 percent. He assured Vitter that 100 percent price growth is not likely. Johnson heads Navy strategic systems programs."
New NASA Policy = Higher USAF Launch Costs?, earlier post