POLITICS
12/27/2010 08:07 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

NASA's Ares Rocket Dead, But Congress Lets You Pay $500 Million More For It

Thanks to congressional inaction, NASA must continue to fund its defunct Ares I rocket program until March -- a requirement that will cost the agency nearly $500 million at a time when NASA is struggling with the expensive task of replacing the space shuttle.

About one-third that money -- $165 million -- will go to Alliant Techsystems, or ATK, which has a $2 billion contract to build the solid-rocket first stage for the Ares I, the rocket that was supposed to fill the shuttle's role of transporting astronauts to the International Space Station.

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