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The Not-So-Great Compromise: Introduction

23 Aug 2010, 02:11 UTC
The Not-So-Great Compromise: Introduction
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It's an interesting time in the NASA exploration battle that has been raging since 2005 and the introduction of the Ares rockets that eliminated most of the Vision for Space Exploration, and made the rest of that vision unattainable. The Obama Administration's proposal to emphasize technology development, commercial participation, and robotic precursor missions, all essential parts of the Vision for Space Exploration, but to do so using a Flexible Path to Mars sequence, has met with counter-proposals from the House and Senate. Most supporters of the technology/commercial/precursor approach seem to favor the Senate's proposal over the House proposal, even though the House fully funds the Administration's ambitious Space Technology line. This is probably because the House proposal essentially wipes out robotic precursors, exploration-specific technology development and demonstrations, and commercial crew transportation, while continuing the troubled Ares rockets. I won't discuss the House proposal in any more detail, since there seems to be considerable opposition to it in Congress and industry, since most of its supporters in industry seem to have no preference for it over the Senate budget, since NASA and the Administration haven't favored it, and since I personally don't find it to be credible. It has some isolated ...

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