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Congressman criticizes O'Keefe, NASA
Posted: Thu, Apr 18, 2002, 10:24 AM ET (1424 GMT)
Sean O'Keefe (White House) NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe’s "honeymoon" with Congress came to an abrupt end on Wednesday when a leading member of the House called O'Keefe's plan for human spaceflight "timid and anemic." Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX), the House Majority Whip, sharply criticized O'Keefe during a hearing of the subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee that oversees NASA's budget. Delay said that Congress specifically gave $40 million to NASA in the 2002 budget to fund continued development of the X-38, a prototype of a proposed ISS crew return vehicle; NASA is instead using the funding to shut the program down. Delay told O'Keefe that "rather than pushing the envelope in space exploration, you seem to be pulling back." O'Keefe replied that NASA is currently reviewing its human spaceflight plans, including proposals to privatize the space shuttle, and would complete those reviews by the fall. O'Keefe said such a review was not timid but "responsible."
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