Politics

NASA's New Direction: 'Ticket to Nowhere'

Ref. Nancy Smith's Friday column, 'Bill Nelson, NASA's Coulda-Been Hero Who Wasn't'
By: Christopher C. Kraft | Posted: July 22, 2011 6:15 PM
Christopher Kraft

Christopher C. Kraft | Credit: Nasa

You are right on about Senator (Bill) Nelson and you could say what you said in spades about the present NASA administrator.

I and other past NASA notables tried desperately to get Florida Senator Nelson and his fellow congressmen, who had influence relative to the space program, to continue the shuttle program.

We showed them a way to do so with little to no effect on the NASA budget by way of a commercially operated shuttle as proposed by the current NASA contractors (U.S.A., et al.).

What is so terrible about what Nelson has done is that he brags about the present NASA concept for the future and its ability to explore the cosmos. Any good aerospace engineer knows that the program NASA is selling and conceived by people like Senator Nelson is a "Ticket to Nowhere."

The space shuttle system could have done everything we need to do in space for the next decade and beyond, and done it better!

Christopher C. Kraft
Former Director, Johnson Space Center

Editor's note: Christopher C. Kraft Jr. was a NASA flight director who worked many breakthrough missions. In 1972, he was named director of what would become the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. He retired in 1982, and in 2010 was awarded the National Air and Space Museum Trophy for lifetime achievement.
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