In what can only be called amazing journalism, The Wall Street Journal’s Andy Pasztor is reporting in his piece, NASA Chief Bolden Seeks ‘Plan B’ for the Space Agency (Subscription required), that a March 2nd memo from NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden asks senior managers to draw up an alternate plan for the space agency after members of Congress very strongly and vocally dumped a White House proposal to hire private companies to ferry U.S. astronauts into orbit and beyond. The idea apparently is get a plan together of “what a potential compromise might look like” to satisfy what has been universal criticism on Capitol Hill of the Administration’s plan to terminate Project Constellation. By even considering an alternative plan, Mr. Bolden threatens to undercut White House efforts to get its proposed changes in NASA through Congress.
The move to draft a compromise highlights behind-the-scenes maneuvering by NASA officials to save big chunks of existing programs now in jeopardy.
AmericaSpace Note: To those who have been fighting to save Project Constellation, it is still very much too early to break-out the Champagne…the fat lady hasn’t even really warmed-up her voice yet. But there is no denying that this is a very big development, one which shows that the White House effort to take-out Constellation and put the Agency on a “New Direction” has not been has not gone down well within NASA.