Please remind your Representative & Senators they are not rocket scientists!
Let NASA compete all the best ideas for a Space Launch Systemâ€¦
Donâ€™t mandate an unaffordable/unsustainable â€œSenate Launch Systemâ€!
Six months into Fiscal Year 2011 the U.S. Congress is still trying to write a budget for a year thatâ€™s half over.Â Down in the weeds of the final â€œcontinuing resolutionâ€ (CR) will be NASAâ€™s budget for human space exploration.Â Â The House-passed CR provides flexibility for NASA to choose the most affordable and sustainable approach.Â The Senateâ€™s draft CR, which didnâ€™t even pass the Senate, told NASA to build a 130-ton heavy-lift launch vehicle right awayâ€¦ using current contractors and 1970s era technology.
Everyone reading this alert wants NASA to start exploring again.Â But there are a lot of options for exploration transportation that donâ€™t require paying the huge fixed costs of the Shuttle or Constellation forever.Â Heavy-lift capabilities can be developed incrementally over time, as we can afford them and are ready to use them.
Our space program needs an open and fair competition among not just different contractors but different and even multiple approaches to see which are the most affordable, most flexible, and most sustainable to develop and operate.
Instead, some in Congress want to make NASA build their favorite rocket, without competition, even though NASA has already told them it canâ€™t be done for the resources available on anything like the timetable Congress wants.Â Itâ€™s time to stop the Congress from mandating the Senate Launch System, and let NASA compete ideas for one (or more) Space Launch System(s).
We canâ€™t afford to repeat the mistakes of Constellation, and just rubber-stamp a pre-selected design for a rocket.Â No more sole-source, non-competitive procurements for cost-plus contracts!
Every pro-space American should call their Senators and Representative, and tell them that they must encourage NASA to compete the Space Launch Systemâ€™s design and contracts!Â This means you!!!
What weâ€˜re asking you to do: Call the congressional switchboard (202-224-3121) â€“ when you talk to them, tell them who your Senators and Representative are (or where you live), and theyâ€™ll connect you to the appropriate office.Â Alternatively, look them up at http://www.whoismyrepresentative.com/ then call or fax their Washington, D.C. office.
How to communicate: Be polite and respectful, but donâ€™t lose your passion.Â Itâ€™s important to avoid swearing or insulting words, but at the same time itâ€™s also important to let the staffer know that this issue is important to you.
What to say: Congress should stop telling NASA what kind of rocket to build, and instead advocate the tried and true American approach of competition.Â NASA should be encouraged to compete not just the contractors but the best, most affordable ideas for exploration transportation.Â Anything less will be unaffordable, unsustainable, and un-American.
Thanks for your help!
Chairman of the Board
Space Frontier Foundation