Phoenix Aviation Examiner
When the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter blasted into space on top of an Atlas V rocket June 18 on a year-long mapping enterprise, NASA's hopes to return astronauts to the moon a few years hence rode with it.
The return, the first in decades, was to be built around a high-tech program of rockets and capsules called Constellation.
Constellation's core is comprised of the Ares I and Ares V rockets - one to launch crew, the other cargo, respectively.
But as the LRO transmits its stunning pictures to earth, the Constellation program is coming under increasing criticism, from both within NASA and without, that it is too expensive and has too many technical issues (severe vibration, chiefly) to be continued. And, in the midst of this deepening recession, those voices are being heard.
Read the Op-Ed HERE.