Constellation Chief Slams Augustine Commission, Commercial Spaceflight Option

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Moon-Mars chief knocks ‘false claims’
Florida Today

The director of NASA’s embattled moon-Mars program says President Barack Obama’s human spaceflight commission is making false claims about the advantages of alternatives and ignoring “anything positive” about the program NASA already has spent $9 billion on over the past five years.

In an e-mail obtained by FLORIDA TODAY, NASA Project Constellation Program Manager Jeff Hanley also says the committee is “dismissive” of the recommendations of Columbia accident investigators.

The panel decided NASA’s Constellation program is on “an unsustainable trajectory” and Obama should consider canceling NASA’s Ares I crew launcher and instead fly astronauts on commercial rockets.

Hanley said that idea raises significant legal issues and would put at risk future U.S. human space exploration.

“We are betting the farm on severe speculation,” Hanley told Coats, a veteran shuttle pilot and mission commander.

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