From NBC's Mark Murray and Scott Foster
In First Thoughts this morning, we noted how Neil Armstrong and a couple other NASA heroes wrote letters to NBC and the White House, criticizing the administration's plans to scuttle NASA's Constellation rocket program.
Now the White House has released a letter from another NASA luminary, Buzz Aldrin, that supports the administration's approach.
As an Apollo astronaut, I know full well the importance of always exploring new frontiers and tackling new challenges as we explore space. The simple truth is that we have already been to the Moon - some 40 years ago. What this nation needs in order to maintain its position as the 21st century leader in space exploration is a near-term focus on lowering the cost of access to space and on developing key, cutting-edge technologies that will take us further and faster - while expanding our opportunities for exploration along the way. The President's program will help us be in this endeavor for the long haul and will allow us to again push our boundaries to achieve new and challenging things beyond Earth. I believe that this is the right program at the right time, and I hope that NASA and our dedicated space community will embrace this new direction as much as I do. By so doing we can together continue to use space exploration to help drive prosperity and innovation right here on Earth.