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NASA chief blasts US space policy in leaked email

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An internal email from NASA chief Mike Griffin has been leaked to the media. It expresses Griffin's frustration with recent US space policy, says that White House oversight offices have waged a "jihad" against the space shuttle, and offers a gloomy view of the future.

The Ares rockets and Orion capsule will be NASA's next manned spacecraft, but they will not be in service until 2014 or later. Meanwhile the shuttle is currently marked for retirement in 2010, leaving the US dependent on Russian Soyuz ships for access to the International Space Station (ISS).

Given the recent chill in US/Russian relations following events in Georgia, Griffin is far from alone in seeing this as a problem. He's quite clear where he thinks the blame lies: with the White House Offices of Management and Budget and of Science and Technology Policy (OMB and OSTP), which set funding and brief the president on tech matters.


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