From: Rep. Pete Olson
Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010
"Ending Constellation is the Right Thing To Do..."
Washington, Apr 15 - Today, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) reiterated his support for the administration's new space plan, including the cancellation of NASA's Constellation program, outlined by President Obama during his speech at Kennedy Space Center.
"President Obama reiterated the nation's long-term space goal - America, and American astronauts, exploring the solar system. This remains the right goal," said Rohrabacher. "We as a nation must remain committed to the goal - not just on particular methods to get there."
"Ending the Constellation program is the right thing to do," continued Rohrabacher. "Overstated and unrealistic expectations destined Constellation for failure. NASA would need an annual budget increase between 15% and 25% for Constellation to have any chance at success. In a time of record deficits, that does not make sound fiscal sense."
Rohrabacher also agreed with the biggest change in the plan - completing the Orion space capsule. "Finishing Orion makes sense," said Rohrabacher. "It's one of the few areas in the $9 billion Constellation program with actual technology development."
A modified version of the Orion capsule will be capable of serving as a rescue lifeboat for crews on the space station, as part of an exploration vehicle for the near-term, and as an American back-up to commercial systems for Earth-to-orbit transportation. "With a relatively affordable budget, NASA can focus on technology development; create a new industry with thousands of private sector jobs; and prepare for the long-term human exploration and settlement of space" Rohrabacher said. "And with this new plan, exploration can begin sooner - within the next few years instead of waiting for the next few decades." Rohrabacher also said the exploration missions will escalate as the new technologies are developed.
"Getting the private sector more involved in space efforts will free up NASA to explore the solar system and the universe beyond." Rep. Rohrabacher is a senior member of the House Committee on Science and Technology and former Chairman of the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee.
// end //