Old safety report may be politically hazardous for Ares I

A four-year-old internal report questioning the safety of the Ares I rocket could make it harder for NASA to convince the White House to press ahead with its preferred next-generation system. The old report from NASA's Crew Survivability Office was sent to the presidential panel examining U.S. options in space, though the space agency has officially disputed its findings. ATK, the maker of the solid-fuel rocket booster, also noted that the report was "based on data that was not comprehensive." ATK executive Charlie Precourt, a former NASA chief astronaut, said of the report: "You have to put it in context with the date and remember afterward a bigger team concluded that [Ares I] is a good engineering choice."

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