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NASA still unsure how to end Constellation and move forward

NASA has been plagued with financial issues and a continued lack of innovation, but now faces the equally daunting task of leaving behind the Constellation program.

President Obama and numerous space observers have been appalled at how poorly operated NASA has been in the past, with internal struggle and political opposition expected to make change even more difficult.  NASA Administrator Charles Bolden has garnered support from some politicians who said the White House is doing whatever it likes instead of working with experts.

As part of the agreement to end Constellation, NASA is expected to pay $2.5 billion to contractors already working on the Ares Rockets, Altair lunar lander, and Orion space capsule.  However, it's unknown how accurate the $2.5 billion estimate is, even though NASA relied on its own analysts and industry analysts to calculate the price.

NASA originally hoped to return to the moon by 2025, as other space nations plan to send lunar spacecraft and manned missions in the same time frame.  China, Japan, Russia, India, and several other developing space programs have expressed interest in landing on the moon by 2030 -- space industry observers think China will be the next country to reach the moon.

The 2011 budget has likely ended any chance of NASA returning to the moon, with private companies expected to help transport astronauts into space.

President Obama must now try to limit ongoing bickering as he works with NASA, private contractors, and legislators during his presidency.  The U.S. space agency will now rely more on the private contractors until current funding problems are sorted out in the future.

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NASA Struggling to End Constellation
By jimker on 3/1/2010 4:53:41 PM , Rating: 3
What a joke. The only person at NASA who wants to end Constellation is Obama's stooge Bolden. Look at the history of this BS:

1. During his campaign Obama write's in his Education Plan that he will end Ares1 (to save money). No research done, no experts questioned.

2. Obama creates the Augustine Committee to give him ammunition to kill Ares1. The Committee is headed up by the ex-CEO of Lockheed Martin (who will compete with Ares1 companies. In a few weeks the Committee trumps the years of research done prior.

2. The senate writes a bill to stop Obama from making any changes to Constellation without their prior review and approval.

3. Obama ignores the senate and the law and proposes to kill Constellation. He directs his stooge Bolden to do his dirty work.

4. Both republicans and democrats in Congress rise up and call BS!

The senate doesn't want to kill Time magazine's Number One Invention of 2009 and lay off 30,000 people. They don't want to let the Russians and Chinese (amoung others) leap past us in space and have to give us rides. They don't want U.S. companies have to pay the Russians to launch our satellites.

Why is anyone surprised?

By porkpie on 3/1/2010 5:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
" The only person at NASA who wants to end Constellation is Obama's stooge Bolden"

While debatable, what does that prove? The end of Constellation means massive reductions at affected NASA departments. Do you actually expect anyone involved to talk themselves out of a job?

The Augustine Commission concluded Ares I should be abandoned. This wasn't some wild hair Obama had on his own.

By wwwcd on 3/2/2010 9:53:32 AM , Rating: 2
Ou yea beby! Your joke things very liked to me.

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