An Orlando Sentinel article just released makes it clear that tensions are running high between NASA Director Mike Griffin and Obama transition team leader Lori Garver, with the defensive Griffin going so far as to accuse Garver as being “unqualified” to lead the Obama team.
According to the Sentinel, the issues arose when Garver and her team members began to question the wisdom of the overall Constellation program for returning to the Moon and then going to Mars. More specifically, Griffin got testy when the question of NASA’s new and hopelessly flawed Ares 1 rocket came up. As most readers of our blog know, the Direct 2.0 alternative, proposed by a consortium of industry engineers and ex-NASA managers, is a much cheaper and more proven concept, and pretty much superior in every way to Ares 1. Griffin is portrayed as a staunch advocate of Ares 1, and he’s apparently trying to defend the underpowered and overpriced program from budget cuts in the incoming administration.
While it’s unlikely Constellation will be scrapped in its entirety, the Obama administration can be expected to behave pretty much as all liberal administrations do; they will suppress dissent, slash defense and space budgets, and instigate new social dependencies in an attempt to consolidate power. Looking at the underperforming Ares 1 and the viable alternative of Direct II, it would seem to be an easy target for the incoming Obama team.
But one wonders if there isn’t something more to this than simply the politics of left and right. Griffin’s resistance doesn’t make a whole lot of sense politically. He seems to be overacting to the inquiries of the Obama team at a time when he should be looking to smooth things over and keep the broader Constellation program going. It’s almost as if there is something bigger and potentially much darker that he’s trying to protect. Why would he be so threatened by a simple accounting of the state of NASA’s biggest current space imitative? Unless perhaps he’s worried that the Obama team may find the real, occult agenda behind the Constellation program…
As Garver was overheard to say to Griffin, “Mike, I don’t understand what the problem is. We are just trying to look under the hood.”
Given what we all know is “under the hood,” maybe that in itself is the real problem.
UPDATE: Richard made an interesting observation in a recent phone call. His take is that Griffin is causing all this strife because he needs a direct meeting with Obama in order to tell him privately what he can't let Garver find under the hood.