As reported by The Wall Street Journal’s Andy Pasztor in Space Pioneer Burt Rutan Blasts NASA Plan, the aerospace and private space legend Burt Rutan makes clear to Congress that he does not like the Administration’s plans for NASA to terminate Constellation in lieu of commercial launchers one bit.
For those that don’t know, Burt Rutan is a legend in aerospace. His company, Scaled Composites, designed, built and flew SpaceShip One, the first private spacecraft to reach beyond 100 km, and for that accomplishment won the X-Prize. Following that success, he and Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin, founded The SpaceShip Company, with a goal of launching tourists on sub-orbital trips to space aboard SpaceShip Two. This makes Rutan the dean of commercial space, or New Space.
Rutan’s criticism that depending upon commercial launchers as our only means for human space flight access is risky is certainly not going to help the Administration as it tries to push its “vision” for “transforming” our nation’s human space flight program.
(Via Wall Street Journal.)