While the disaster is fresh and many folks nerves are on edge, the question needs to be asked. Did politics and budgetary constraints factor into this disaster? The linked article is the Guardian, but the subject of the article and most of the quotes are from a NASA mission planner. Story Here. Did NASA shoot themselves in the foot on this one by forcing safety issues to the background? I'd be very interested in Mike's input as he has alluded to the idea that something has been amiss in this area.