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Dear Administrator Bolden:
We are writing to express strong concern about NASA Headquarters actions and comments regarding the Constellation programs, the programs which together form the human spaceflight programs authorized by Congress in 2005 and in 2008, under Republican and Democrat control, respectively.
The President’s Budget cancels Constellation and replaces it with a bold new approach that invests in the building blocks of a more capable approach to space exploration that includes:
* Research and development to support future heavy-lift rocket systems that will increase the capability of future exploration architectures with significantly lower operations costs than current systems – potentially taking us farther and faster into space.
* A vigorous new technology development and test program that aims to increase the capabilities and reduce the cost of future exploration activities. NASA, working with industry, will build, fly, and test in orbit key technologies such as automated, autonomous rendezvous and docking, closed-loop life support systems, in-orbit propellant transfer, and advanced in-space propulsion so that our future human and robotic exploration missions are both highly capable and affordable.
* A steady stream of precursor robotic exploration missions to scout locations and demonstrate technologies to increase the safety and capability of future human missions and provide scientific dividends.
the safety criteria list for the new "commercial" programs proposed by NASA (in the new sense of being the primary means of human spaceflight) are still weeks away from being finished, and that those criteria have an enormous impact on the real budget cost of the President's new plan.