Monday, November 2, 2009

Ares I-X test may not save Ares I, but could help future NASA funding

Shelby G. Spires

NASA's spectacular launch of the Ares I-X test rocket last week may not save the Ares I crew rocket developed at Marshall Space Flight Center, but it could pave the way for more NASA funding overall, a local space expert says.

An independent White House panel gave the president several choices for NASA - options like landing on asteroids, flying around Martian moons or building a lunar outpost - but none relied on the Ares I.

All options need a boost to NASA budgets of about $3 billion a year for several years. The successful Ares I-X test could help that effort, said McDaniel.

"This test gives NASA credibility, not that it was needed from the perspective of engineering. It was needed from the political side," said Mark McDaniel, a Huntsville attorney who formerly sat on the NASA Advisory Council and still advises congressmembers on space issues.

Read the analysis, HERE.

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