Letters to the Editor - Defending Michael Griffin

Dear Editor:While I found Mike Sandoval's letter ("NASA's False Hope," 1/23/09) entertaining, I would like to address some of its statements. Michael Griffin was indeed nominated by President Bush in March of 2005. He was confirmed by the Senate on April 13, 2005. The administrator of NASA serves at the pleasure of the President. Mr. Griffin did not, as the letter stated, resign from NASA; in fact, his wife petitioned the Obama administration to retain his position. This failed and President Obama appointed Air Force Maj. Gen. Scott Gration. Each orbiter was designed for a projected lifespan of 100 launches or 10 years' operational life and was named in a manner similar to ships and numbered using the NASA Orbital Vehicle designation. The system was designed to carry and return payloads to and from low and high Earth orbit, provide crew rotation for the International Space Station, and perform servicing missions. The shuttle system was never designed to leave earth orbit, therefore never to fly to the moon. Mr. Griffin was not behind the moon base, the Mars missions or the timeline for shuttle retirement, The Vision for Space Exploration announced by President Bush in 2004, or mandates that NASA must use the space shuttle to finish construction of the International Space Station by the end of 2010. The announcement also included Bush's desire to pursue a manned station on the moon in anticipation of future flights to Mars and beyond - the initiative was quickly abandoned due to a myriad of issues. Astronauts, cosmonauts and space tourists survive on shuttle and Soyuz missions, and live and work on the International Space Station for months at a time despite the dangers of solar radiation. There were those who said man would never fly, never explore the deep oceans or the galaxy, and then there were those that said, 'Why not?' Just a bit of research can truly go a long way. -Mike Riche, Downey ********** Published: January 30, 2009 - Volume 7 - Issue 41