At a March 28, 2012 congressional hearing, Rep. Ralph Hall (R-Texas), chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology told NASA officials:
I hear excuses and delay after delay for the supposedly simple act of delivering cargo to the space station.
The congressman also complains:
NASA’s spent $1.6 billion on this effort so far and the nation doesn’t have very much to show for it.
Uh, Congressman…you might not want to take that tack. First, the private SpaceX design is due to set off to the ISS in a little over a month. More monetarily, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have cost upwards of $4 trillion. What have we got to show for that? Bodies? Broken men & women and their families? Give NASA 1/100 of that to add to their budget and see what you get.
It’s this sort of political nonsense that I abhor. First you and your ilk mandate space programs, you under-fund them, you tweak them with your “expertise”, then you cut funding, and you expect everything to move at some arbitrary schedule without delay or mishap like it’s some high-end coffee shop? (Hmmm….can we try this with congressional campaigns? Oh, and the espresso machine is leaking…would you like some tea instead?)
Given Mr. Hall’s track record with NASA and his opinions on commercial space vehicles, I’m not surprised. And I do believe that’s the aroma of political special interests wafting in the breeze.