Sunday, March 7, 2010
Garver Warns Against NASA Infighting
NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver
Space News reports that NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver "called on a space community divided over canceling the Constellation program to find 'common ground,' warning that infighting could jeopardize NASA’s proposed budget growth."
Garver told a Capitol Hill audience March 4 she empathizes with those seeking to save Constellation, a 5-year-old effort to replace the retiring space shuttle with new rockets and spacecraft optimized for lunar missions that U.S. President Barack Obama has proposed terminating. But Garver said continuing Constellation and pursuing the president’s priorities for NASA would cost $5 billion more per year than the roughly $19 billion a year the White House has budgeted for the space agency through the end of Obama’s first term.
"Think of it this way: If you are focused on getting the Constellation budget continued in the future — and I harbor no ill will against those of you who do … but if Constellation is put back in the budget without that $5 billion-a-year increase, where will we cut the budget?" she asked.
Garver's remarks came in the wake of conflicting reports that NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden had authorized a "Plan B" budget proposal. Bolden quickly responded that he had authorized no alternate budget proposal.