"C.E.V is a Deadend" says SFF... Jul 26, 2006 23:38:39 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jul 26, 2006 23:38:39 GMT -6
Space Frontier Foundation Slams NASA CEV Plans
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Jul 27, 2006
The Space Frontier Foundation announced Wednesday it has issued a whitepaper calling NASA's post-space shuttle plans the initial stages of complete failure. As the first step in a long-term campaign, the organization said it considers the agency's Crew Exploration Vehicle effort "a dead-end that is both unaffordable and unsustainable."
The foundation views are presented in an 18-page paper that also proposes specific solutions drawn from recommendations in the President's Commission on Implementation of U.S. Space Exploration Policy, a panel appointed by President George W. Bush to advise NASA on how to return astronauts to the Moon and go on to Mars.
"America is the most powerful and wealthy nation in the world because we are better at business, not because we are better at bureaucracy," said Bob Werb, the foundation's chairman.
"Using the power of the private sector is our nation's best and only chance to have an affordable and sustainable human exploration program. NASA was told to do just that, and they have obviously and blatantly ignored this direction from the people who the President selected to give them guidance - with predictable results," Werb added.
The SFF paper uses official NASA documents, the President's Commission report, and statements by NASA Administrator Mike Griffin to document how NASA's plans to implement America's Vision for Space Exploration constitute a clear rejection of the commission.
The report's findings state that if the United States is ever to succeed in the long-term opening of space, including a return to the Moon and Mars, "NASA must decisively transform its relationship with private industry, most immediately in low Earth orbit," the foundation said in a statement.
The paper also describes how all of NASA's major budget problems could be fixed with a few specific and decisive actions, and without an increase in NASA's budget.
"We must have a new partnership if this is going to work. The Commission stated that 'NASA's role must be limited to only those areas where there is irrefutable demonstration that only government can perform the proposed activity,'" said Jeff Krukin, the SFF executive director.
"Consistent with this recommendation, NASA should immediately cancel plans to send the (CEV) to the International Space Station and use commercial carriers instead. The agency can then focus on the far frontier," Krukin added.
The paper claims that the "gap in U.S. human spaceflight" is likely to be much larger than NASA has led politicians to think, that the agency appears to have used a "bait and switch" tactic to ignore national security policies, and why U.S. commercial vehicles and the growing private space industry are the solutions.
"The President's Commission report used the word 'commercial' over 40 times in describing how NASA could get us back to the Moon and on to Mars in a way that would allow us to stay and expand there," said SFF co-founder Rick Tumlinson.
"Yet the agency is spending less than 1 percent of its budget on innovative commercial approaches. Just like the space station, we are watching another NASA train wreck in progress, and just like station, they are trying to hide the facts," Tumlinson added.
I think the CEV is in the right direction, and I also think a little NASA pride might be an obsticle is a private partnership.