Andrew Lawler, writing in Science Insider, is reporting on more details of the emerging Obama space plan. Here is what Lawler says President Obama has in store. Ares 1 will be cancelled. Resupply and crew transfer of the International Space Station will be handled by a commercially leased launch vehicle, perhaps the Dragon launched on SpaceXs Falcon 9. NASA will concentrate on the development of a simpler heavy lift lancher, possibly the Ares V Lite or a shuttle derived vehicle. The heavy lifter will be ready by 2018. More possible details of Obama space plan for NASA emerges That has some space experts worried that the Ares I project might be dead, although NASA has spent $3 billion and four years developing the rocket. Is Ares I a dead rocket after $3 billion spent? | Space News from The Huntsville Times - al.com Dragon is a free-flying, reusable spacecraft being developed by SpaceX under NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program. Initiated internally by SpaceX in 2005, the Dragon spacecraft is made up of a pressurized capsule and unpressurized trunk used for Earth to LEO transport of pressurized cargo, unpressurized cargo, and/or crew members. The Dragon spacecraft is comprised of 3 main elements: the Nosecone, which protects the vessel and the docking adaptor during ascent; the Spacecraft, which houses the crew and/or pressurized cargo as well as the service section containing avionics, the RCS system, parachutes, and other support infrastructure; and the Trunk, which provides for the stowage of unpressurized cargo and will support Dragons solar arrays and thermal radiators. In December 2008, NASA announced the selection of SpaceXs Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft to resupply the International Space Station (ISS) when the Space Shuttle retires. The $1.6 billion contract represents a minimum of 12 flights, with an option to order additional missions for a cumulative total contract value of up to $3.1 billion. Space Exploration Technologies Corporation - Dragon Now while this subject may not hold much appeal to many in the United States as it once did, we have much to be thankful for, ofr the space progra, On this borad, I have seen a question over and over again, as to what Govt. does right, and as you all know, not many of the departments within the Federal Govt. have a good track record on such matters with one exception and thats NASA. So what I find as constantly surprising is the willingness of some to cut programs for pure political reasons. Let's look at this a moment, as the budget deficit gets larger and larger and if the Ares I is cancelled after spending 3.1 Billion dollars and while the launch facilites are being constructed with tax payer funds as we speak, we would have gotten, exactly NOTHING for our tax dollars. Further by this cancellation, we as a nation will have finally raised the flag of surrender to other nations when it comes to space exploration. One other thing of note here, is that in a time when many are in need of jobs and especially American jobs, to cancell a program that over it's life will employ tens of thousands of Americans does little to improve that situation and to further recommend outsourcing our nations space needs to other nations does little if anything to help this nation in the long term. Perhaps, one day Russia or China when they are next to land on the moon will be kind enough to give us a discount to ride on one of their rockets.