Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Congress rips NASA plans as 'reckless'

Congress is standing firm on the primary importance of the Vision for Space Exploration and its first step, returning to the Moon to utilize its vast resources in moving into the rest of the solar system.

The Huntsville Times reports that:

The Obama administration's plan to cancel the Constellation space program received heavy criticism Tuesday after a congressional subcommittee hearing.

Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, came away dissatisfied with answers provided by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, who took questions posed by the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.

"The president's decision to end the Constellation program is reckless and could cripple U.S. human spaceflight for an unknown number of years," Aderholt said in a post-hearing statement.

"(Bolden's) testimony and answers did not calm my fears that our nation's space program will not remain a leading science program."

Subcommittee members questioned Bolden about the future of human spaceflight and various costs surrounding the Constellation program.

Under examination from Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Calif., Bolden apologized for a statement he made earlier in the hearing and paused several seconds to compose himself.

"When I responded to your question on China and the moon, it does make a difference to me who's first," Bolden said. "I think in my exuberance, I said something I didn't mean.

"It's important that we be first all the time. I am extremely competitive. So I apologize for making to you what was a flip statement."

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