Transitioning NASA: Tensions high between Griffin, transition team

Barack Obama has his scalpel poised over NASA's Constellation program and NASA Administrator Mike Griffin is fighting back, engaged in a no-holds barred campaign to save his baby, the Orlando Sentinel reports.fdIn a heated 40-minute conversation last week with Lori Garver, a former NASA associate administrator who heads the space transition team, a red-faced Griffin demanded to speak directly to Obama, according to witnesses.

Barack Obama has his scalpel poised over NASA's Constellation program and NASA Administrator Mike Griffin is fighting back, engaged in a no-holds barred campaign to save his baby, the Orlando Sentinel reports.fd

In a heated 40-minute conversation last week with Lori Garver, a former NASA associate administrator who heads the space transition team, a red-faced Griffin demanded to speak directly to Obama, according to witnesses. In addition, Griffin is scripting NASA employees and civilian contractors on what they can tell the transition team and has warned aerospace executives not to criticize the agency’s moon program, sources said.

Griffin said Garver is "not qualified" to assess the program. "There will be a change" at NASA, Garver said, hinting that "change" includes a new administrator.

How heated is the tension between Griffin and Garver? The Sentinel reports this exchange:

Tensions were on public display last week at the NASA library, as overheard by guests at a book party. According to people who were present, Logsdon, a space historian, told a group of about 50 people he had just learned that President John F. Kennedy’s transition team had completely ignored NASA.

Griffin responded, in a loud voice, “I wish the Obama team would come and talk to me.” Alan Ladwig, a transition team member who was at the party with Garver, shouted out: “Well, we’re here now, Mike.”

“If you are looking under the hood, then you are calling me a liar,” Griffin replied. “Because it means you don’t trust what I say is under the hood.

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