March 01, 2010
In typical Teh Won short-sightedness, it looks like shutting down Constellation - the program that was supposed to get us back on the moon - is going to be harder than it sounds. Funny how, when you sign a contract and then decide to reneg on it, you still have to pay the people you contracted. Then, to further complicate matters, as I mentioned a few months ago, Congress has made it impossible for NASA to cancel any of its space programs without express consent from - oh, yes! - Congress. Not Teh Won, but Congress.
Letters have gone out to Constellation contractors, asking how much it will cost to shut their work down. Monday, NASA wrote to ATK Launch Systems Inc., which is building the first stage of the Ares I, requesting estimates of termination costs "as of the end of this and each of the next three [financial] quarters."
The agency was careful to point out that the letter "is in no way to be construed as direction to cease [work]." Congress has forbidden NASA from canceling any part of Constellation without its permission, which so far it shows no signs of giving.
Indeed, about 30 members of Congress wrote Bolden recently to warn that his efforts to prepare for termination without permission from Congress — including gathering information about closeout costs — could be viewed as illegal.
Then, at a hearing Thursday, some of those same members berated Bolden for not having a cost figure.
"You really don't have a handle on what the cancellation cost will be," said U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop, R- Utah, in disbelief. "To me, it's somewhat of a backwards approach. It would be nice for a congressman or somebody making policy decisions if we knew what the costs would be before you actually make that decision."
This is such a giant clusterfuck, and it gives me immense, incredible joy to point out that The Suit-In-Chief hasn't had the foresight to consider any of this before he went about shutting down an expensive program that is all about the Hope and Change he tries to espouse. Shit, the Congressional rule that NASA can't close shit down without their permission happened in 2009, which means that it crossed Obama's fucking desk!
I hate to go back to an old meme, but seriously, Obama, good, solid B+. Yep.
(H/T Slashdot via Joe Collins)
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