NASA says there is no rift between itself and the Obama transition team, although tensions are indeed high

NASA Administrator Michael Griffin recently stated there is no tension between his NASA administration and President-elect Barack Obama's transition team.  Obama's team is looking to collect information about the possibility of possibly grounding NASA's next moon mission, according to an article published in the Orlando Sentinel.

In the Orlando Sentinel article, Griffin described as not cooperating with Obama's team, and continues to obstruct their effort to learn where the U.S. space agency currently stands.  Furthermore, Griffin reportedly dismissed Lori Garver, the Obama transition team's space leader, saying Garver is "unqualified" to analyze and assess the NASA rocket program.

Griffin said the article is "simply wrong," and said NASA will continue to work with the new administration.

"This report, largely supported by anonymous sources and hearsay, is simply wrong," Griffin told NASA employees in an e-mail after the Orlando Sentinel article was published.

"There is no natural tension," space historian John Logsdon told the Houston Chronicle.  "The transition team is asking questions that are on everyone's mind.  The NASA administrator is saying, 'Trust me.  You don't need to ask these questions.'  The transition team can't accept that response."  

Griffin is not coaching NASA employees on what to say to the investigators, and he urges "full and free cooperation with the transition team," according to a NASA spokesperson.

Tensions will remain high as the U.S. space program moves into an unknown future, when the current generation of space shuttles will be retired.  NASA will then have to rely on Russian spacecraft to get supplies and astronauts to the ISS, which has caused political tension among U.S. politicians weary of giving money to Russia, especially after its attack on Georgia.

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