Shelby Defends Constellation, Rips Augustine Commission

richard-shelbyShelby slams Augustine commission, touts Constellation
Orlando Sentinel

In a forceful floor speech, Alabama’s senior senator defended NASA’s current plan to return astronauts to the moon and jabbed the recent findings of a presidential space panel tasked with evaluating the agency’s troubled Constellation program.

“While I commend the Augustine Commission for their hard work, I find many of the aspects proposed in their summary report to be unsatisfactory and disappointing,” said U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby on Monday, referring to a 10-member space panel led by retired Lockheed Martin CEO Norm Augustine….

“This [Constellation] program is built on a foundation of proven technologies, using existing capabilities and infrastructure. The Ares I team will soon launch the first test flight and the groundwork for the Ares V heavy lift vehicle is well underway,” said Shelby, a Republican, whose state is home to the Marshall Space Flight Center and thousands of future Constellation jobs.

Like other Constellation backers, Shelby focused on the point that the program would be in much better shape if it received billions more in funding over the past several years. And in a blunt message to the White House, Shelby warned President Barack Obama that Congress has a major say in NASA’s future.

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