In an interview with editors and reporters at the Huntsville Times late last week, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver declared an end to the impasse in Washington over the U.S. space agency’s future, saying the agency is ready to begin work next year on a heavy-lift rocket if that’s what Congress ultimately decides. She also reassured local readers that NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center would lead heavy-lift development.

“‘I do not feel like we are in a stalemate anymore,’ Garver said of the White House and Congress. ‘We are talking.’”

What NASA wants now is “robust” work on a new heavy-lift rocket starting next year, Garver said. If Congress agrees with that priority, Marshall will lead the program.

“‘Many things are still uncertain, but one thing is not uncertain,’ Garver said during a visit to Huntsville Friday. ‘Marshall will lead the heavy-lift launch program’”

Garver’s comments come as Congress debates legislation that would direct NASA to get started immediately on the development of a heavy-lift rocket capable of launching astronauts into deep space. A NASA authorization bill passed by the Senate in late July prescribes a space-shuttle derived heavy lifter.

The Huntsville Times posted a short writeup of the editorial board with Garver and Marshall Director Robert Lightfoot on its blog late Aug. 20.


READ IT AT: [Huntsville Times]