http://www.space.com/news/051103_nasa_griffin.html<br /><br />"The Project Prometheus nuclear power and propulsion program, once a major initiative, has been reduced to a low-level research effort. Its 2005 budget of $430 million shrinks to $100 million in 2006, all but $10 million of which will be used to pay closeout costs on canceled contracts"<br /><br />I know the problems with the budget have more to do with the Space Shuttle than with the ESAS architecture, but if NASA wasn't so wedded to the white elephant concept of developing a Heavy Lift Vehicle then nuclear propulsion development wouldn't be discarded so thoughtlessly.<br /><br />I'm also shocked at the develpment cost of the CEV. NASA has a budget of 1.9 billion next year for the CEV. The total development cost of the CEV is projected at 5 billion dollars. 5 billion for a glorified Apollo capsule and service module? That's nuts!<br /><br />The Russians claim they can develop the Kliper for only a billion dollars, and it's a much more sophisticated lifting-body design than the NASA semi-ballistic capsule CEV. t/Space claims they can develop both the CXV capsule spacecraft and it's launch vehicle for only 400 million dollars. Now the claims of the Russians and t/Space are no doubt overly optimistic, but it shouldn't take 5 billion dollars to re-create the supposedly 'simple and inexpensive' design of the Apollo.