Indeed, why does Charlie Bolden keep changing the numbers to continue Constellation and develop our human space flight capability. And why does he misstate that Constellation is 80’s and 90’s technology when the program began in 2004?
Thanks goes to Nelson Bridwell who posted on the Facebook site, Support NASA and the Space Program, a link to great article covering Johnson Space Center Director Mike Coats concerns about changes to Constellation and their effect upon Johnson and its employees. In the article, there’s a video link of galvnews.com’s Monday interview of NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. Mike Coats is the tall man with white hair who looks like he’d rather be standing alone and unclothed at the North Pole than in that room listening to his boss ramble.
One of the more interesting quotes by NASA Administrator Bolden is that NASA would need an extra $7 B a year for several years to complete Constellation. According to the Augustine Committee in its final report, the amount was $3 B per year, not $7 B. Perhaps the NASA Administrator, a former astronaut and Marine fighter pilot, got his numbers mixed up, but not likely. Rather, it could also be the case that NASA’s executive leadership is passing out bad information to cast Constellation’s cancellation in a better light and justify their diktat to terminate Constellation.
For those who might not know, Johnson Space Center is the lead for the Orion program that is tasked with building a spacecraft replacement for the Shuttle. Interestingly, when NASA Administrator Bolden and Deputy Administrator Garver were considering killing the Constellation program, a big part of which consists of the Orion program, Johnson’s Coats was not consulted.
AmericaSpace take: There is a hell that Mike Coats is in now. Hopefully, Congress will help him out.