No space for Constellation? Former NASA Administrator speaks out - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

No space for Constellation? Former NASA Administrator speaks out

By Eric Sollman – bio | email

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF)- No space for Constellation? That's the word circling the country.

Blogs and on-line articles are already predicting a cut to NASA's constellation program.  Talks include completely eliminating it from NASA's future and calling NASA's plans to return to the moon, as well as the rockets designed to take people there, dead.

Former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin, who's now a UA Huntsville Professor, shared with WAFF 48 News his hypothetical picture of NASA's future with-out Constellation.

"I personally believe the rumors are likely to be true," said Griffin. "If they're true it's a very bad day for the nation and the space program." 

Griffin said tens of thousands of people will be affected by cuts. 

It's a decision that would nix years of work on flying machines, like Ares, that were designed during Griffin's four years as NASA Administrator.

"If the Constellation program is canceled completely then there won't be a human return to the moon led by the United States. We will watch as other people do it."

A loss of pre-eminence that nauseates Griffin.

In the Rocket City, a watch and wait feeling already hangs in the balance of President Obama's budget.

"I don't think we know yet how it will economically affect the Huntsville community because all we're hearing is what's being canceled. We're not hearing what is being done," said Griffin. 

With space shuttle Endeavor scheduled to make the last night-launch of a shuttle on February seventh, we're reminded of a legacy more than 50 years in the making.

The heritage of human space flight.

"The space program is about nothing less than America's future in world civilization. If we take a step backward from that, we're not the nation we need to be and we're not the nation our ancestor's left us," added Griffin. 

Griffin said this is the president's budget and congress hasn't spoken.

He hopes lawmakers speak loudly in favor of constellation.

©2010 WAFF. All rights reserved.

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