Twenty-seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives are warning NASA Administrator Charles Bolden not to shut down any part of the Constellation program this year, citing a provision included in a 2010 omnibus spending bill that bars the agency from terminating any part of the space shuttle replacement effort without formal congressional approval.

“We have become aware of the formation by NASA Headquarters of at least five ‘tiger teams,’ the job of which is to shut down Constellation and transition to the new program,” states a Feb. 12 letter to Bolden spearheaded by Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) and signed by 20 other Republicans and fiveDemocrats.

The letter also instructs Bolden to reinstate an unspecified “major contract related to Ares 1” that was put on hold Jan. 23, adding that any disruption to Constellation contracts will be viewed as a program termination.