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Goldin cautions NASA and Congress about SLI
Posted: Thu, Nov 1, 2001, 11:29 AM ET (1629 GMT)
Dan Goldin Outgoing NASA administrator Dan Goldin warned Congress and some elements of his own space agency Tuesday not to sacrifice the Space Launch Initiative (SLI) to cover space station cost overruns. Goldin, speaking at the International Space Symposium in Washington, said that SLI's efforts to reduce launch costs and increase launch reliability were critical to the future of the launch industry, and that the $4.5-billion program should not be used to cover ISS cost overruns of a similar amount. Goldin also said that full privatization of the space shuttle should take place, so long as there is real competition and not a single joint venture, as was the case when shuttle operations were transferred to United Space Alliance. Goldin criticized the aerospace industry for not accepting advanced technology at a faster rate, claiming that the communications spacecraft field was losing to terrestrial communications technologies, whose technology is advancing at a faster rate. The speech is likely one of the last major addresses by Goldin, who will step down as NASA administrator on November 17, over nine and a half years after first taking the office. Goldin said his tenure as NASA administrator was interesting and fun, and that he will be an interested — but not vocal, at least initially — observer of the agency after he leaves office.
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