“A Star On The Fridge”

This, coming from Jim Abrahamson, is pretty disappointing:

James A. Abrahamson, a retired Air Force lieutenant general and the chairman of the NAC’s Exploration Committee, praised the Constellation program to the Council at its quarterly meeting in Cocoa Beach, calling it the best program for the agency given its tight budget and schedule.

“The NAC is confident that the current plan is viable and represents a well-considered approach given the constraints on budget, schedule and achievable technology,” he said.

I agree with this comment (and I have a pretty good guess as to who made it):

One Washington-based space policy consultant said: “The NAC’s endorsement of Ares I reminds me of the so-called independent rating firms that kept saying that Lehman Brothers, Wachovia, and AIG were just fine.”

Yeah, I don’t think that the NAC is all that “independent.” By its nature, it tends to consist of space industry insiders drinking their own bathwater. Looking over the Exploration Committee, it doesn’t strike me that any of the members are space transportation experts (and no, you don’t become one by being an astronaut, as proven by Horowitz…). But I thought that Abrahamson was smarter than that.