Rep. Bishop responds to NASA’s efforts to end the Constellation program early

In a Thursday press release, First District Congressman Rob Bishop, R-UT, is responding to NASA’s attempts to end the Constellation program earlier than expected. Rep. Bishop says he obtained information released during a conference call Wednesday held by NASA officials detailing the latest in a series of attempts to force contractors into early termination of the manned space flight program known as Constellation.NASA Administrator Charles Bolden also sent a letter to House Science Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN) this week regarding termination costs. NASA has asserted that they have “no choice” but to require that NASA contractors withhold estimated termination costs from “program funds”, even though Congress has not authorized NASA to terminate the Constellation program in Fiscal Year 2010. “This recent directive handed down by NASA officials shows blatant disregard for the laws set forth by Congress to prevent this very action,” says Rep. Bishop. “The administration is disregarding these policies with reckless abandon and doing so in a way that I find to be in complete violation of the legal parameters. “Such actions are disingenuous at best and are creating unnecessary vulnerabilities within our own space program and national defense capabilities at a time when many unstable countries are ramping up both their space and missile systems. Thousands more will be out of work and our industrial base will suffer an irreversible blow.” Last year Congress anticipated that the Obama administration may want to terminate Constellation and, in a strong bi-partisan effort, included language in the Omnibus Appropriations Bill (Public Law 111-117, pg. 111) which states that, “Provided, That notwithstanding section 505 of this Act, none of the funds provided herein and from prior years that remain available for obligation during fiscal year 2010 shall be available for the termination or elimination of any program, project or activity of the architecture for the Constellation program nor shall such funds be available to create or initiate a new program, project, or activity, unless such program termination, elimination, creation, or initiation is provided in subsequent appropriations Acts.”

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