Congressman Parker Griffith had the opportunity to ask astronauts and leading space officials to review the President's proposed plan for space flight during a Science and Technology Committee meeting. The House Committee on Science and Technology held the meeting to examine the proposed National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Human Spaceflight Plan and to review issues related to the budget, cost, schedule, and potential impacts of the plan.
Testimony during the meeting was given by NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong, Apollo 17 Commander Capt. Eugene Cernan, and former executive vice president of Lockheed Martin Thomas Young.
Griffith: "The thing I am concerned about as the discussion is framed, is that I keep hearing budget. I don't think we're talking about money here, I think we're talking about commitment. I think that if American can do a $780 Billion stimulus plan, bailout AIG, and the other things that we have done in the last 18 months and we can't find $12 Billion to finish Ares 1, our heavy lift vehicle Ares 5 - which will eventually be the very soul of America to the rest of the world -- it is a lack of commitment.
"When Mr. Augustine said over again that all the Constellation Project needs is money, I believe he's right. And I don't think that it is a budgetary concept. I think it is a commitment concept that we have not made and that we need to make and I think that is why the Obama Administration is running into a stone wall here. My only question to you, is do you agree with Mr. Augustine? That our technology is there, that our Ares 1 and Ares 5 solution is sound and had we not committed proper funding to it, we would not be having this discussion?"