An interesting article, JSC Chief ‘Anxious’ About Facility’s Future, appeared in yesterday morning’s Houston Chronicle about the concerns of Johnson Space Center director Mike Coats in responding to the proposed cuts to Constellation. Coats has held-off on publicly talking about the “new” direction that NASA Administrator Bolden and Deputy Administrator Garver are forging, until now.
What really struck me was that Mike Coats was not consulted ahead of time when Bolden & Garver were drawing up NASA’s new roadmap. After all, Johnson is the lead center for the human space flight program both under the Shuttle as well as the Constellation programs. Johnson is responsible for the new Orion spacecraft. One would think that if one were considering changing NASA’s human space flight direction that one would at least percolate that down to the center director most responsible for human space flight. That did not happen here. Why not?
“The Constellation program being canceled was a total surprise to us,” [Mike Coats, JSC Center Director] said. “A week ago we found out like everyone else.”