"[John Holdren]: We knew when we came in that we had to rebalance NASA, and we had a committee chaired by Norm Augustine that looked at the space programme and declared that Constellation [NASA's human space-flight effort] was "unexecutable". And that report informed what we did to scale Constellation way back. We still have an Orion multi-purpose space capsule. We still have the Space Launch System, a heavy-lift rocket, under development. But we scaled them back to the point that there was enough money to revitalize Earth observation, to revitalize planetary science, to revitalize robotic exploration, to think about new missions."
"There are some fairly big whoppers in there, so let's unpack the response. It is absolutely true that the president convened the Augustine panel, and in the wake of the panel's report, tried to scale Constellation back. However, when Congress objected, the Obama administration folded. In the last full year before Obama took office, fiscal year 2008, the agency spent $3.3 billion on exploration, which included Constellation. In fiscal year 2016, the agency will spend $4.0 billion on similar programs. It is not clear how a 21 percent budget increase can be considered scaling back NASA's human exploration program. Moreover, when Obama assumed office, Constellation's initial exploration aim was the Moon - an aim the Augustine report found to be "unsustainable." Now NASA's stated goal is to send humans to Mars- the so-called "Journey to Mars"- which is an order of magnitude more difficult both from an engineering and fiscal standpoint. In this sense, NASA's goals have become more unexecutable, not less."
- Preserving The Status Quo For The Journey To Nowhere, earlier post
- #JourneyToMars Via #ReturnToTheMoon, earlier post
- Previous exploration posts