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Aderholt “Extremely Pleased” That NASA May Be Reconsidering Ending Constellation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) made the following statement after learning that NASA may be considering a “Plan B” to the President’s proposal to end Constellation. Congressman Aderholt serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, as a member of the Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee, which is responsible for funding NASA.

On February 24th, Congressman Aderholt pressed President Obama’s top science and technology advisor, Dr. John P. Holdren, on the Administration’s plan to end Constellation, during an Appropriations subcommittee hearing, pleading with him to scrap the plan to end Constellation and give NASA the appropriate funding to remain a world leader in human space flight.

“I am extremely pleased that NASA may be reconsidering the President’s proposal to cancal human space flight. Since the President announced his Budget last month, I and many of my Republican and Democrat colleagues have expressed our disapproval of the plan, along with our desire in continuing with Constellation. But the fight is not over. I will continue to work on this because I believe that human spaceflight and exploration beyond earth is the very reason for NASA’s existence.”

SPACE ART: NASA “Plan B” Movie Poster

NOTE: This Galaxy Wire movie poster was inspired by a May 5, 2008 graphic “Plan B For Outer Space.”


NBC News space correspondent Jay Barbree talks to msnbc’s Tamron Hall about second-string options NASA is mulling over to continue ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station.

NASA “Plan B” Email

Here’s the text of the entire “Plan B” e-mail:

From: Coats, Michael (JSC-Center-Director)(JSC-AA111)

To: Altemus, Stephen J. (JSC-EA111)

Cc: Lightfoot, Robert M. (MSFC-DA01); Cabana, Robert D. (KSC-Center-Director)(KSC-AA000); Mango, Edward J. (KSC-FA000); Geyer, Mark S. (JSC-ZV111); Hanley, Jeffrey M. (JSC-ZA111); Ochoa, Ellen (JSC-AB111)

Sent: Tue Mar 02 12:34:12 2010

Subject: Plan B team

Steve Robert and I talked to Charlie and he agreed to let us set up a “Plan B” team (my term, since Chairman Gordon asked Charlie about his “plan B” at the hearing) to look at what a potential compromise might look like. Charlie is meeting with Chairman Gordon in a couple days and asked for a one pager with talking points before his meeting. Please contact Gary Lyles, Ed Mango, and Mark Geyer to develop that one pager quickly, and set up a team (you can name it anything you want—I don’t recommend Constellation or Orion). Robert and I mentioned the importance of three areas: a human spacecraft development effort; a heavy lift launch vehicle development effort; a launch vehicle test program. Your white paper is a good basis, but please work with Gary, Ed and Mark. Our desire is to establish a team to flesh this out, then report to Charlie through Doug Cooke. Living within the budget is a huge issue, since it’s doubtful we’ll get more funding. Mike


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