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Unformatted text preview: racticable." However, NASA itself has already concluded that such a plan is not practicable. The January 2011 report issued by your agency entitled the "Preliminary Report Regarding NASA's Space Launch System and Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle" concluded that "NASA does not believe this goal is achievable based on a combination of the current funding profile estimate, traditional approaches to acquisition, and currently considered vehicle architectures." Based on this conclusion, we believe that it is not "practicable" to continue the existing contracts. Instead, we believe that NASA should open a competitive bidding process for the SLS to ensure that the agency obtains the best technology at the lowest possible cost. Our national space program is already under public scrutiny as a result of delays and cost overruns; new non-competitive billion dollar contracts will only further inflame those who question the need to make these investments. We recognize that this is a controversial issue, and we hope to work with you to ensure that the final decision is in the best interest of the American taxpayer, not parochial special interest groups. We appreciate your consideration of our request and we look forward to your prompt response. Sincerely, Dianne Feinstein United States Senator Barbara Boxer United States Senator Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) opposes current Space Launch System plans and technology Leone, NASA Staff Writer at Space News, 2011 (Dan, 6/16/11, Space News, “Shelby to NASA: Hold Competition for SLS Boosters”, , 6/21/11) EK WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) has joined two Democratic colleagues in calling for NASA to solicit bids for work on propulsion elements of the Space Launch System (SLS), the heavy-lift rocket Congress ordered the agency to build last year. “I strongly encourage you to initiate a competition for the Space Launch System booster,” Shelby wrote in a June 10 letter to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. Shelby said he had “seen no evidence that foregoing competition for the booster system will speed development of SLS or, conversely, that introducing competition will slow the program down.” Shelby also bluntly critiqued some of the technology NASA is considering for the SLS. He said he was “particularly concerned” that NASA is considering space shuttle-style boosters fueled by solid-rocket propellant. Gonzaga Debate Institute 2011 128 Mercury Politics Solving Gap – Popular - Congress Congress concerned about filling gap in space transit Morgan, Congressional Research Service spet in science and technology policy, 7-8-10 [Daniel, Congressional Research Service, “The Future of NASA: Space Policy Issues Facing Congress”, p. 7-8,, accessed 6-20-11, AFB] Issue for Congress: “The Gap” and Utilization of the Space Station In order to fund the cost of the Vision and because of safety concerns following the Columbia disaster in 2003, NASA intends to end the space shuttle program...
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