Houston’s newly elected Mayor, Annise Parker, wrote President Obama on March 5th expressing her opposition to the Administration’s plans for NASA.
Her letter is a well-argued critique of why the Administration’s plans for NASA will take the agency, and our human space flight program, down the wrong path. While the Houston Mayor states her support for developing the commercial launch sector, she quickly dispatches the notion that any company is ready for the critical role that the White House is granting them.
“The commercial option is untested and, in fact, the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, and independent group of experts that has been evaluating NASA’s safety performance and advising the agency since the panel was established in 1968 [after the Apollo 1 fire], even reported that is unsafe for human space flight. The report stated: No manufacturer of Commercial Orbital Transportation Services is currently qualified for human-rated requirements, despite some claims and beliefs to the contrary. To abandon the program of records as a baseline for an alternative without demonstrated capability or proven superiority is unwise and probably not cost-effective”