On Wednesday, hours after word came out that NASA was reassigning Constellation program manager Jeff Hanley to a new position at JSC, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) questioned the move, saying she was “deeply troubled” by it and called for an investigation by NASA’s Inspector General. On Thursday Hutchison, the ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee, was joined in that request by the committee’s chairman, Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV). The two released a joint letter to NASA IG Paul Martin, asking him to conduct such an investigation, including “whether his removal as program manager was related to Mr. Hanley’s well-publicized efforts to preserve the Constellation Program, consistent with Congressional enactments, notwithstanding the President’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 Budget request calling for elimination of the program.”
Separately, Sen. George LeMieux (R-FL) is also calling for an investigation into Hanley’s transfer. “This is yet another example of NASA taking actions to cancel the Constellation Program, and that is a violation of law,” claimed LeMieux to the Orlando Sentinel.