Earlier this week, NASA submitted a progress report that says it cannot build a shuttle-derived HLV within the time and budget restraints imposed by Congress. The politicians who mandated the vehicle clearly know better:
Senate Commerce Committee Members, including Chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Senator Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), and Senator David Vitter (R-La.), today issued a joint statement responding to a NASA report this week in which the space agency says it cannot build a capsule and heavy-lift rocket based on the cost and schedule outlined by Congress:
â€œWe appreciate NASAâ€™s report and look forward to the additional material that was required but not submitted. In the meantime, the production of a heavy-lift rocket and capsule is not optional. Itâ€™s the law. NASA must use its decades of space know-how and billions of dollars in previous investments to come up with a concept that works. We believe it can be done affordably and efficiently â€“ and, it must be a priority.â€
Huh. The Congressional hearings on this will be, if nothing else, highly entertaining — and nauseating.