As the House took up legislation other than the NASA authorization bill Thursday, others spoke out against plans to rush the bill through the House under suspension of the rules. Late Thursday The Planetary Society called for a more extensive debate about the bill: “The future of the space program is too important to rush through a controversial change in policy,” the organization stated. “Therefore, the Society urges the House leadership to wait until after the August recess to bring the bill to the House Floor, allowing a full and open debate and for amendments to improve the bill.”
Meanwhile, the DIRECT Team, a group that has advocated development of a shuttle-derived heavy-lift booster, called on the House to adopt the Senate’s version of the authorization bill instead. The Senate version calls for immediate development of an HLV not unlike what the DIRECT group has proposed, while the House calls for the initial development of a smaller crew launch vehicle similar to the Ares 1, deferring the HLV develop until later in the decade.