Back to Top

ASK OCE — May 10, 2006 — Vol. 1, Issue 8


NASA Administrator Dr. Michael Griffin told the House Appropriations Committee that delays to the Crew Exploration Vehicle could be strategically damaging to the nation’s space program.

“A longer gap in U.S. human spaceflight capabilities will increase risk and overall costs and lead to even more delays in pursuing the nation’s vision,” Dr. Griffin said in his testimony to the Subcommittee on Science, the Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce, and Related Agencies on March 30, 2006.

While emphasizing his commitment to implementing the goals of the Vision for Exploration, Dr. Griffin acknowledged that not all of NASA’s stakeholders were happy with his decisions. “The plain fact is that NASA simply cannot afford to do everything that our many constituencies would like the Agency to do,” he said. “We must set priorities, and we must adjust our spending to match those priorities.”

He cited multiple reasons for adding to the budget for the Shuttle and International Space Station between 2008 and 2010. “Foremost among them is that our nation will keep its commitment to our international partners on the ISS,” he said.

He also warned about the risks posed by an extended gap in the nation’s ability to send astronauts into space after the retirement of the Shuttle in 2010. “I experienced first-hand the stagnancy in the aerospace industry that existed during the gap in human spaceflight between the end of the Apollo program and the first flight of the Space Shuttle in 1981, and I know that our nation’s space program suffered greatly from the unintended loss of critical expertise. Our nation’s space industrial base withered.”

Read Dr. Griffin’s full testimony. (PDF)

In This Issue

Message from the Chief Engineer

NASA on the Hill: Administrator Griffin Testifies about Budget

This Week in NASA History: Magellan Heads to Venus

PM Challenge 2006 Draws 1,000

GAO: NPOESS Requires Agency Attention

Risk Communication: One PM’s Perspective

Leadership Corner: A Speech is Not a Data Dump

It’s a Small, Small World: NASA Nanotechnology

Archimedes Archive: The First Flight of Traian Vuia

About the Author

Share With Your Colleagues