Should NASA spend $10 billion across six years using shuttle-based/shuttle-derived/shuttle-recycled components to test a new crew capsule while they figures out what they really want to do regarding a next-generation heavy lift capability?
And interestingly, the shuttle-based effort keeps the incumbents ATK and Lockheed on board (and on the payroll and gives them perhaps significant head start on the next “competition”) while a new heavy-lift capability is pondered.
Sounds like a groan-inducing waste, crony capitalism, regulatory capture, and can-kicking regarding the real issue: what is the future of manned space flight?
I’d offer that the low-earth orbit being “explored” by the ISS should be pretty well known at this point. What’s next?
Critics in the Orlando Sentinel have even given the shuttle-based idea a name: the booster to nowhere, or alternatively, the Senate Launch System.
NASA: not about space anymore?
Telling snips from the article:
“It’s a complete farce,” said Berin Szoka, a member of the FAA’s Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee…
Added U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., a senior member of the House committee that oversees NASA: “I think it’s a wasteful compromise that is being proposed for political reasons and not for any long-term space strategy that makes sense.”