Tom Stafford’s Take On Augustine Committee

It may be that the difficulty of conducting spaceflight operations safely and reliably is not fully appreciated by those who are recommending the cancellation of the present system being developed by NASA, and the early adaptation of the presently nonexistent commercial government crew delivery alternatives.

That’s a quote of former astronaut, Apollo 10 and Gemini IX mission Commander Tom Stafford’s testimony before the Augustine Committee, according to a post by Aviation Week & Space Technology’s Frank Mooring. Tom Stafford was not swayed by the Augustine Committee’s assessment of the problems with man-rating launchers designed for other missions.

Mooring went on to write,

Based on his long experience with human-rated launch vehicles, starting with the Gemini program’s Titan II launchers and continuing through the Saturn V that sent him to lunar orbit on Apollo 10, astronaut Tom Stafford criticized the lack of attention to crew safety represented in the final report of the human spaceflight review committee headed by former Lockheed Martin CEO Norman Augustine.

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