The idea of alternatives to shuttle- and Ares-derived concepts, both of which used solid rocket motors, is anathema to the Utah senators and congressmen. “I join my colleagues in admonishing NASA to strictly adhere to the law and use solid rocket motors in the development of the new Space Launch System,” Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) said in the statement. “Today’s meeting confirms that we are in a long-term fight over the future of NASA’s manned space flight program,” added Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT). “I remain very concerned that NASA continues to delay the transition from Constellation systems toward the new heavy-lift program while they needlessly explore private start-up technologies that remain unproven, require more money and are unfit for human-rated space travel.”
What complete nonsense. They require much less money, and are far safer than solids. And ULA doesn’t employ “start-up technologies.” Both Atlas and Delta have been flying for years, with no major failures. I wonder if he really believes this, or if he’s lying? Time to get Pork Busters and the Utah Tea Party after them. And this is a battle over the future of NASA’s manned space flight program, they’re the ones endangering it, by insisting on unaffordable solutions that will wipe out its budget. But it’s not — it’s just a battle over Utah jobs. I hope that Hatch loses his primary in 2012, as Bennett did this year. I sure won’t miss him.