Tweeted yesterday by Hyperbola, below is the full text of Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan's response to Associated Press science writer Alicia Chang:
That is not a "NASA plan"; it is the proposed budget from the White House. It will likely be revised by the Congress. I am for NASA doing either true Research, or doing forefront Exploration, with taxpayer $.
Ares/Orion is more of a Development program than a Research program, so I am not depressed to see it disappear. I am concerned to see NASA manned spaceflight disappear, since they provided world leadership in the 60s and part of the 70s. The result was America's universities being the leader in Science/Engineering PhDs.
Many American kids will be depressed by the thought that our accomplishments will not be continued and thus America will fall deeper away from our previous leadership in Engineering/Science/Math. I believe our future success depends on our ability to motivate our youth.
I would support a restructuring of goals and funding so NASA can be allowed to perform like the 60s on space Research and on Exploration. There is not a shred of evidence that the President sees any value in those goals.
Alicia, my thoughts have also been distributed to other Media.