Garver–Against Constellation Before She Was For It, Then Against It Again

NASA Deputy Lori Garver

In interesting quote in the Wall Street Journal’s Andy Pasztor’s article, Feud Over NASA Threatens America’s Edge in Space,

“One of the first things Ms. Garver said she did was to ‘look under the hood’ of the Constellation program. She didn’t like what she found. The program was years behind schedule and over budget, and she said she had doubts about its long-term viability.”

But Ms. Garver’s history on supporting, then not supporting, then supporting yet again until she was (again) opposed to Constellation goes back as far as 2004 to the Vision for Space Exploration, which spawned Constellation. Here are some quotes from Ms. Garver regarding the Vision for Space Exploration and Constellation:

The Bush initiative [VSE] is simply hot-air” – Lori Garver July 18, 2004 post on Kerryspace Yahoo! Group.

Garver claimed that the Bush space policy [VSE] made human and robotic exploration “the sole purpose of NASA” and that “the plan is based on political rhetoric rather than technical and fiscal reality. Exploration is exciting, but it isn’t the only thing we get from space. Sending a few people to Mars (maybe) isn’t the most inspirational thing that we can be doing.” – Lori Garver during campaign space policy debate with Frank Seitzen October 14, 2004.

I have personally been very supportive of the vision ever since it was announced by the president Jan. 14, 2004.” – Lori Garver in Letter To The Editor, Space News November 28, 2004.

I have been personally, very publicly supportive of the vision — from the beginning.” – January 19, 2005 email to Jim Hillhouse.

We do not intend this post to be a personal attack upon Deputy Administrator Garver. But it is clear that she was a key player in policy that leads to the destruction of our nation’s human space flight program. As such, we feel it is important to point out her past, contradictory positions on our current nation’s human space flight program, Project Constellation.

As the WSJ’s Pasztor notes, Ms. Garver came into NASA questioning Constellation’s budget and long-term viability; in truth, her opposition to Constellation predates her role as either head of the Obama NASA Transition Team or Deputy Administrator of NASA and goes back to 2004, the very time in which she herself wrote that she “…was supportive of the vision”. At the very least, this makes her disingenuous. Worse, Ms. Garver’s comments regarding beyond earth human space exploration during the debate with Frank Seitzen in October 2004 raise the issue of her commitment to human space exploration.

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