“The reason we have to be unnamed is NASA has a reputation for making life miserable for anyone who’s working on [DIRECT],” said an engineer who works at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and asked not to be identified. “Quite a few have been transferred to undesirable locations.”
NASA denies taking punitive action against DIRECT project participants. “What they do in their own time is their business,” said agency spokesman Grey Hautaluoma.
So far, reception to their ideas from political decision-makers has been less than enthusiastic. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Science and Space, “sees no reason to second-guess NASA’s own experts,” his office said.
A White House spokesman said the Obama administration would not comment on Constellation and the alternative proposed by DIRECT until it names a replacement for former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin, who stepped down in January.
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