I got news of this one via my NASA Watch feed. When I first read the headline of the Orlando Sentinel Article, I thought it must be a typo. Sad to say it is not.

It is a true story of how things fall through the cracks in our top heavy government. So encumbered by its bureaucratic obesity that 500 million has, in fact, just slipped through our government’s hands. At least one third of it is to be spent on a solid rocket booster that NASA may never use. It is part of the cancelled Constellation program. How could this happen? Here is how it is happening;

  • There is a clause in the 2010 budget regarding the Ares rocket program that bars NASA from shutting it down until Congress passes a new budget. It was done to protect jobs.
  • President Barrack Obama signs into law a new NASA plan which cancels the Constellation program
  • In October 2010, Congress did not approve a 2011 budget but extended the 2010 budget
  • NASA is bound by the clause in the 2010 budget until March 2011

The article also leads me to believe that the Ares I program may not have been such a brilliant idea in the first place. It said that an astronaut would not survive a lift off explosion for the flaming solid rocket debris would burn the parachutes up.

Any way you slice it, it is a horrible waste. NASA must spend money on a canceled program and that money could have gone to something they might actually use.

I tried to think of something witty or funny to say about this but it is just too sad. Sad that they waste our money so easily and live like royalty. Should we even allow such clauses in the budget? Why should anyone’s paycheck be guaranteed by the Federal Budget?