Bolden Balks at Congressionally Designed Rocket [SpacePolicyOnline.com]
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said March 25 that the agency does not want to build the heavy-lift rocket mandated by Congress in the 2010 NASA Authorization Act, Spacepolicyonline.com reports.
Speaking at a Space Transportation Association luncheon on Capitol Hill, Bolden said NASA prefers to build a launch vehicle that can be evolved to carry astronauts to deep space destinations.
"Although it is unusual for Congress to dictate detailed technical parameters in law, in this case it did, telling NASA that the new SLS (also known as a heavy lift launch vehicle - HLLV) must have an initial launch capability of 70-100 metric tons, increasing to at least 130 metric tons with the addition of an integrated upper stage. The law authorized funding levels for the SLS, MPCV, and commercial crew."