Details have been leaking for a while now, led by the Orlando Sentinel’s Mike Cabbage last month, but NASA’s finally planning an official press briefing next week, possibly Monday, to give us the word on what form its big-budget shuttle-replacement will take.
NASA administrator Mike Griffin briefed the White House on the plan on Wednesday and will brief Congress tomorrow, according to this report from space.com. The space.com story also confirms that the new spaceship will use shuttle-derived technology, ostensibly to make the project easier and the final vehicle safer, but we all know what kind of safety record the space shuttle has. The real reason for using shuttle technology is to keep all of the existing shuttle contractors and the politicians beholden to them in the money.
And what a lot of money it will be. According to the space.com article, NASA wants to spend a total of $10 billion for a new space capsule and launcher. Not sure where they plan to get all that money, since they’ll be shoveling billions of dollars into the space shuttle at the same time, but perhaps I’ll find out in next week’s press briefing.