Gov. Norm Bangerter fired a missile Friday at Congressional proposals to build a government-operated $500 million space shuttle booster factory, calling the idea absurd.

NASA has proposed such a facility, meaning Morton Thiokol's Wasatch Operations would be squeezed out of the booster-building business.Bangerter said there is no way the federal government can do a better job than private industry with the space shuttle program.

Competition forces private industry to control and cut costs, he said. "The federal government's track record in cutting costs and working within a budget has been anything but stellar.

Bangerter said he wants to testify before the Space Science Subcommittee of the House Committee on Science and Technology and talk to NASA administrator James Fletcher about the issue.