Aviation Week has a letter in its July 30th issue (summarized in a blog post on Aviation Week’s web site) from Apollo lunar module manager Joseph P. Gavin who is critical of the current direction of the Vision for Space Exploration: not because of the choice of architectures, but because of the decision to go back to the Moon instead of directly to Mars:
“I have been somewhat surprised to see the lack of active criticism of the administration’s vision for space exploration,” says Gavin in his letter to Aviation Week. “It seems to me to be more concerned with the ‘how’ as opposed to the ‘why’,” he says.
Gavin thinks that, after the ISS, the next major priority for NASA should be enhanced robotic exploration of Mars to determine if human missions there would be “warranted”. Given NASA’s, and the administration’s, current commitment to the Vision, it seems unlikely such a reconsideration would be made before 2009, if even then.