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About Constellation’s cancellation

8 Feb 2010, 03:56 UTC
About Constellation’s cancellation
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The Constellation program was proposed in 2004 as a program to return humans to the Moon through the development of two new rockets and a whole slew of new hardware. Unfortunately, the administration at the time neglected to allocate much funding for the program, which forced NASA to cut funding to a lot of other programs to operate Constellation with a shoestring budget (even increasing NASA’s budget to what amounts to occupying Iraq for about a week was apparently too much). It didn’t help that the Augustine Commission had a less than stellar opinion of the program.

Given all its problems and the current economic climate, it isn’t a terrible surprise that the current administration proposes to cancel the Constellation program. It’s sort of a mixed bag: it could give way to cheaper and/or better ways of exploring space (one thing I would like to see is staying in space and not just planting flags: it would be great if there were more extensive but cheaper ways living in space than with what we have with the International Space Station), and it could expand the market for private space launch companies such as SpaceX. On the other hand, it is ...

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