The reason our space program is so screwed up
By Michael Mealling
With some of the recent spaceport and Georgia Space Society discussions I've had some newcomers to the issue ask me why NASA seems to be going in circles for the past few decades. Here's a really good analysis of why:
In a similar vein, Spacepolicyonline.com relayed comments by Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, that cuts to Orion, ”were not politically possible” due to the influence of Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, whom she went on to praise profusely.
Although Mikulski is the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the deference to Shelby seems to represent a very unfortunate Faustian pact between two powerful Senators each supporting their own respective projects regardless of the consequences. For Mikulski, the object of her affection is the massively over budget and long-delayed James Webb Space Telescope, which compared to SLS, does at least have a defined mission, and also appears to be on a stable track.
I've been paying attention to and slightly involved in national space policy since around 2001 and in my opinion the Senator from Alabam is the #1 reason why things are so screwed up. Others in Congress can be self serving but not in the truly evil way that only Shelby can be.
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