Normally, I have little sympathy for NASA. But when the Senate starts prescribing their material solutions, that’s quite out of bounds. Fighting trousers? Technical foul? No, a red card.
Senators who agree that NASA is taking too long to develop a design and procurement strategy for the heavy-lift Space Launch System (SLS) that Congress ordered last year cannot agree among themselves on exactly what that design should be.
At issue is what kind of power will be used in the strap-on boosters needed to get the SLS off the pad, pitting powerful senators from both sides of the aisle against members of their own political parties in a letter-writing campaign to the executive branch aimed at generating jobs for their constituents.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) joined a group of Republican senators, notably Orrin Hatch of Utah, in an Aug. 2 letter to Bolden and OMB Director Jacob Lew also urging quick action on SLS. But that letter, co-signed by Idaho Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and James Risch and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), objects to the call for a propulsion competition endorsed by Shelby and the California senators until after initial flight testing with the solid-fuel boosters built by ATK in Utah.
What’s next? Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria?!