The impetus for this rocket was congressional pressure. First the Obama administration scrapped the Bush administration’s Constellation project of renewed lunar exploration, and as the Space Shuttle Program began to end. In response, lawmakers pressed for a new heavy-lift rocket that, far from incidentally, would preserve some NASA and contractor jobs, particularly in states such as Texas and Florida that are heavy with space facilities.
There is tremendous uncertainty about future space funding and whether any future administration — or for that matter, the Obama administration — will take seriously the President’s stated goal of sending humans to an asteroid by 2025 and to Mars at some later time.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Rocket to nowhere
Over at FrumForum, my latest: "NASA's New Rocket Won't Reach New Frontiers," about the just-unveiled plans for the Space Launch System. Excerpt: