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Old February 10 2009, 12:22 AM   #30
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Re: Should the USAF take over incompetent NASA?

Herbert wrote: View Post

Further, I don't see why manned spaceflight would be of any interest to the U.S. Air Force.

There's this corporate connection to the guys who supply hardware for the US Air Force and guys who deliver satellites for the DOD. Boeing and Lockheed Martin are not just sellers of Aircraft, they made money in other areas also like hundreds of millions in commercial satellite contracts. When Griffin backed Ares-I and Ares-V he showed he wanted to keep the Shuttle staff and dump the Boeing/Lockheed teams who were providing some great satellite launch service. The EELV program was dumped in favor of corporate welfare program for ATK Thiokol, the hardware that gets us to the Moon again is the same hardware derived from dangerous Shuttle componets.

Obama Team told EELVs can save NASA

For more than three years, NASA chief Mike Griffin has maintained that the safest, most reliable and affordable way to return astronauts to the moon is on the Ares I, a rocket that he helped design from parts of the space shuttle. Alternatives, he insisted, such as modified military rockets, were simply not capable of carrying humans to the moon and beyond.

But interviews, as well as documents obtained by the Orlando Sentinel, indicate that military rockets can lift astronauts safely into space - and to the moon - for billions less and possibly sooner than NASA's current designs.
On Oct. 27, Walker told county commissioners, U.S. Reps. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, and Dave
Weldon, R-Indialantic, and representatives of the local aerospace community that the word at the conferences was "that Ares I could be on the chopping block."

Industry officials say that a few days later, Griffin called Robert Stevens, the CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp., which jointly owns ULA together with Boeing Co., and demanded that Stevens stop what Griffin said was the subsidiary's efforts to "kill Ares I" by promoting versions of its own rockets that could carry humans to space.

NASA confirmed the conversation but provided no details. Lockheed Martin said it does not comment on conversations with government officials. Spokesman Scott Lusk* said Lockheed is "fully supportive of NASA's Project Constellation and is not engaged in any activities advocating alternative launch vehicles."

But Griffin has said before that EELV supporters have exaggerated troubles with the Ares as a plot to undermine the program. In April, he lashed out at ULA, and its parent companies, both of whom have lucrative Constellation program contracts.
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