US Plan to Put Man on the Moon Ended by O Team

June 14, 2010 at 09:10 (General Stupidity)

Pathetic. Just sad and pathetic.

Nasa has begun to wind down construction of the rockets and spacecraft that were to have taken astronauts back to the Moon — effectively dismantling the US human spaceflight programme despite a congressional ban on its doing so.

Legislators have accused President Obama’s Administration of contriving to slip the termination of the Constellation programme through the back door to avoid a battle on Capitol Hill.

Constellation aimed to build upon what was arguably America’s greatest technological achievement, the first lunar landing of 1969, by launching new expeditions to the Moon and to Mars and worlds beyond. Mr Obama proposed in February that it should be scrapped because it was “over budget, behind schedule and lacking in innovation”, but he has met opposition in Congress, which has yet to approve his plan.The head of Nasa, Major-General Charlie Bolden — an Obama appointee — has now written to aerospace contractors telling them to cut back immediately on Constellation-related projects costing almost $1 billion (£690 million), to comply with regulations requiring them to budget for possible contract termination costs.

The move has been branded a “disingenuous legal manoeuvre” and referred to Nasa’s inspector-general for investigation. “It’s bordering on arrogance by the Administration to boldly and brazenly go forward with this approach. It shows a blatant disregard for Congress,” said the Republican Congressman Rob Bishop, of Utah, whose constituency stands to lose thousands of jobs. Two weeks ago the Senate passed legislation that compels Nasa to continue work on Constellation unless Congress directs otherwise. That legislation is due to be signed into law by Mr Obama this month while Congress continues its deliberations over his proposal to cancel the current space space progamme.

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