Former NASA chief on US space policy: “No vision, no plan, no budget”

Michael Griffin addresses the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics 100th Anniversary Celebration in 2015. (credit: NASA)

During a congressional hearing Thursday, former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin had harsh words for the space agency—and the space policy crafted by President Obama's administration. Under the Obama administration's guidance, NASA has established Mars as a goal for human spaceflight and said that astronauts will visit the red planet by the 2030s. However, a growing number of critics say the agency’s approach is neither affordable or sustainable.

On Thursday, Griffin, administrator of NASA from 2005 to 2009, joined those critics. The United States has not had a serious discussion about space policy, he testified, and as a result, the space agency is making little discernible progress. NASA simply cannot justify its claims of being on a credible path toward Mars, he added.

“To quote my friend and colleague Jim Albaugh, the now-retired CEO of Boeing Commercial Aircraft, the current administration’s view of our nation’s future in space offers ‘no dream, no vision, no plan, no budget, and no remorse,’” Griffin said during a hearing of the House Science Committee. “We must remedy this matter with all deliberate speed.”

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