EXCERPTs Retrieved by Pat Darnell [HERE]
[See: also "Last Shuttle Launch Bumped until November HERE"]
REview this youTube of Senate Session 2010-04-15 starting at 00:23:00 please... Senator Kay Hutchison
Steve Douglass | NASA's space shuttle fleet will be retired at the end of this year, leaving the Russian Soyuz capsules as the only avenue into space until commercial ventures are ready to do the job, expected to be years away. Obama's proposal to use commercial transport to reach orbit "cannot be predicted with any certainty, but is likely to take substantially longer and be more expensive than we would hope," the astronauts said.
"America's only path to low Earth orbit and the international space station will now be subject to an agreement with Russia to purchase space on their Soyuz (at a price of over 50 million dollars per seat with significant increases expected in the near future) until we have the capacity to provide transportation for ourselves," they wrote.
Cernan, Lovell and Armstrong said the more than $10 billion spent so far on Constellation -- including the Orion space capsule and the Ares rockets to boost it into space will be wasted by the cancellation "and, equally importantly, we will have lost the many years required to recreate the equivalent of what we will have discarded."
The president's plans would shift some funding away from NASA's costly human space flight program to NASA's scientific programs, including robotic missions to other planets.
Apollo Astronauts Slam Obama's Plan
Steve Douglass | Thursday, April 15, 2010
Washington (CNN) -- The Obama administration's vision for the future of manned space flight will bump the United States to "second or even third-rate" status as a space-faring nation, the commanders of three U.S. moon missions warned Wednesday.