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antoniseb
2008-Aug-05, 02:53 PM
Here (http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/8/5/1052/20991/745/561666) is a link to an article about a recent speech that Obama gave in Titusville FLA about his plans for space.

Please note that this topic DOES fit into our exception for prohibition on political discussion, but it won't take much to get off the track. Let's keep this to facts about things that have been said by the main candidates (including Obama, McCain, Barr, and Nader) about the future of spaceflight and astronomy.

Launch window
2008-Aug-05, 03:13 PM
With the Shuttle nearing end and the VSE coming to a key crossroad in these latests rocket tests. What kind of expectations to people have for the new US Vice President. Will the next VP back NASA? Will they be a lot more supportive than say Al Gore or Dick Cheney?

NEOWatcher
2008-Aug-05, 03:23 PM
Here (http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/8/5/1052/20991/745/561666) is a link to an article about a recent speech that Obama gave in Titusville FLA about his plans for space.
It sounds good.
A lot of what he says sounds like what NASA is there to begin with. So; it's great that he's not letting it drop.

But; He did say close the gap with only the phrase "continued funding".
Sure, I'm reading between the lines, but without those lines to read, how else do I take it?

And; what does he mean by private sector? Isn't the private sector involved as contractors now? Aren't there international partners now? Aren't they doing aviation research now? Aren't they studying the planet and climate now?

I think I need more information before passing any kind of a judgement.

antoniseb
2008-Aug-05, 03:25 PM
... What kind of expectations to people have for the new US Vice President. Will the next VP back NASA?...

I don't think the VP will be very influential about how NASA is seen or supported. The real topic of this thread is what the presidential candidates HAVE said. Please try not to speculate about who might say what later.

antoniseb
2008-Aug-05, 03:27 PM
It sounds good.
...
I think I need more information before passing any kind of a judgement.

Yes, no question about that.

Nicolas
2008-Aug-05, 06:34 PM
What surprised me (in a good way) was that he did not only discuss the "S" but also the "A" of the National Administration. People tend to forget the "A" part...

clint_dreamer
2008-Aug-05, 06:43 PM
Thanks for posting. I'm happy to hear that space exploration is something that Obama has on his mind already and I think his comments are very positive for NASA...if he makes it into office.

novaderrik
2008-Aug-05, 06:51 PM
how does this jibe with speeches he gives in areas where NASA doesn't have some sort of a major presence?

tofu
2008-Aug-06, 12:53 PM
Sure, I'm reading between the lines

Note that all political speeches are very carefully crafted to let you read whatever you want to read into them. Case in point, some people think that manned exploration is a big waste of time. Others see it as vitally important. Where does Obama stand? "I'll reestablish the National Aeronautics and Space Council so that we can develop a plan to explore the solar system – a plan that involves both human and robotic missions" So if you *want* to believe that he agrees with you, you can read that statement as agreement with your position regardless of what your position actually is. My conclusion: he didn't actually say anything of substance, and this is very typical of a political speech.

We wont really know how he feels about space exploration until we see the budget he proposes to Congress. I'm confident it's *way* down his list of priorities.

Robonaut
2008-Aug-06, 01:04 PM
I agree that the statements are kind of vague.

Now, if Obama had said something like "I commit to doubling NASA's budget during my first year in office", then I would take more notice.

On the positive side, at least he didn't say that he was going to dismantle NASA and cease all space exploration efforts.

NEOWatcher
2008-Aug-06, 01:54 PM
Note that all political speeches are very carefully crafted to let you read whatever you want to read into them.
Yes; My point exactly...
I didn't think I needed to explain that part, I just wanted to point out the specifics of that vagueness.

samkent
2008-Aug-07, 12:10 PM
Does anyone have any links to the other candidates space speeches? We shouldn’t assume that McCain will continue down the same path as the current admin.

KaiYeves
2008-Aug-07, 01:12 PM
It's good to see that he cares. After all, given current circumstances, the fact that we keep on hoping is quite audacious.

matthewota
2008-Aug-08, 01:08 AM
Obama sure changed his tune from a year ago, when he proposed deferring the Constellation Program for ten years in order to divert the funds to an "education initiative". Perhaps he did so after seeing that there are hundreds of thousands of aerospace workers that are also voters.

Nicolas
2008-Aug-08, 08:02 AM
...or when he realised that project Apollo was one of the largest "education initiatives" ever. When saying "education" you need to think about more people than children only. Apollo was one huge engineering educational program thousands and thousands of people in the USA. Of course, it was more than just education. Win-win. :) Nicolas For President ;)

publiusr
2008-Aug-08, 05:27 PM
I don't believe Obama myself.

cjl
2008-Aug-08, 08:45 PM
Why?

Tinaa
2008-Aug-08, 09:40 PM
This is one of the few topics that allows political discussion. Let's keep it focused.

ToSeek
2008-Aug-08, 09:45 PM
To be totally clear, Obama's credibility is not a legitimate topic for discussion on this forum. His space policy, however, is.

ToSeek
BAUT Forum Moderator

ryanmercer
2008-Aug-09, 03:46 AM
Thanks for sharing the link... I'd add my two cents, but I know I won't be able to keep it non-political, so I'll just hold my tongue.

Tensor
2008-Aug-09, 04:20 AM
Ya know, the BA has a comment on the differences between McCain and Obama on his blog, here (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2008/08/04/obama-and-mccain-on-space-exploration/)

Tuckerfan
2008-Aug-09, 06:36 AM
Does anyone have any links to the other candidates space speeches? We shouldn’t assume that McCain will continue down the same path as the current admin.

I haven't seen anything from McCain recently, but the last statement McCain made was limited to solely talking about keeping the SDI (i.e. Reagan's "Star Wars" program or whatever its being called now) going. That's it.

I note that as I predicted (many times here) that Obama's talking about extending shuttle flights. While I don't like the idea of the shuttles no longer flying, I know that they have to be grounded (and grounded soon) as its only a matter of time before another one explodes or has another fatal accident.

What NASA needs, and needs desperately, is a budget boost. Adjusting for inflation, their budget is currently $3 billion/yr in 1966 dollars. If NASA doesn't get it, its likely NASA won't be going back to the Moon before 2030 or so (private companies are another matter).

bunker9603
2008-Aug-09, 08:17 AM
Does anyone have any links to the other candidates space speeches? We shouldn’t assume that McCain will continue down the same path as the current admin.

STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN ON S. 1745/H.R. 3093, THE COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE FY 08 APPROPRIATIONS BILL

http://mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=1133D46A-1321-0E36-BA19-601D22074F97

"Since the bill has been brought to the floor, over $1 billion worth of spending has been added. Specifically, the Senate voted to add $1 billion on top of the $10 billion the bill already provided to NASA. I continue to support NASA and space research, but at what cost to our nation’s children who will inherit the largest national debt this country has seen?

Tuckerfan
2008-Aug-09, 08:47 AM
STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN ON S. 1745/H.R. 3093, THE COMMERCE, JUSTICE, SCIENCE FY 08 APPROPRIATIONS BILL

http://mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=1133D46A-1321-0E36-BA19-601D22074F97

"Since the bill has been brought to the floor, over $1 billion worth of spending has been added. Specifically, the Senate voted to add $1 billion on top of the $10 billion the bill already provided to NASA. I continue to support NASA and space research, but at what cost to our nation’s children who will inherit the largest national debt this country has seen?
Wow. One could say all kinds of things to that. I can't think of too many of them which would fit within the board's rules, so I'll just remain quiet.

KaiYeves
2008-Aug-09, 07:00 PM
Perhaps he did so after seeing that there are hundreds of thousands of aerospace workers that are also voters.
Maybe. But whatever the reason, I'm happy!

novaderrik
2008-Aug-10, 05:33 AM
Maybe. But whatever the reason, I'm happy!
some day, maybe you will learn to never be happy whenever a presidential candidate says something that appeals to you during an election year- especially if it plays on your emotions.
generally, they will say anything to get elected- even if it contradicts things they said in front of a different crowd a few weeks before.
this is called "pandering", and their promises usually last no longer than a week or two- or what's called a "news cycle".
then, they will find a reason to "rethink their position due to new information" that they have received, or figure out a way to explain how what they said before isn't exactly what they really meant to say.
this way, some people will only remember the things that they said that agree with their own personal opinions while making it look like they have an open mind and adapt their viewpoints based on changing circumstances.

now, if a politician was to have a 30 year track record of backing NASA and they were to make consistent promises about their vision for NASA during their tenure as president if they are elected, then it might be time to get a little bit excited.

Romanus
2008-Aug-10, 04:35 PM
^
Ditto--which is why I'm paying zero attention to what either candidate says about space exploration until Inauguration Day.

KaiYeves
2008-Aug-10, 11:17 PM
Dude, I've got a lot of summer homework, I NEED something to be happy about.

tofu
2008-Aug-11, 02:40 PM
From the universe today blog:
Saturday's statement was followed by some detailed text on Obama's campaign blog outlining his priorities for the US dominance in space, the possibility of extending the Shuttle's operations and speeding up development of the Constellation program

Whoa, I love the shuttle and all but it's time to let the old girl die. Why would he even suggest that? I think it's another example of what I pointed out in my previous post to this thread. Politicians don't say what they believe, they say whatever makes people like them. This statement about supporting both the shuttle and constellation is a carefully crafted ploy to make everyone happy all the time. His interns and speech writers figured out that some people like the shuttle and some people like Constellation. So he makes a speech where he says he likes both.

As a pessimist, I predict the following: whoever is elected president will do the easy thing - he'll throw money at the shuttle so that he can have empty, meaningless fireworks to entertain the public. "look everyone, I support NASA, see the shuttle? do you see it? isn't it pretty?" He'll cancel Constellation because it doesn't look good and it's not going to fly during his presidency anyway. Why should he support something that doesn't give him a photo opportunity? Plus, it's easy to cancel a project that nobody has seen anything from except models, and it's easy to justify it. "Orion's parachute didn't work, the whole project was a failure!"

A truly visionary leader would say, "I'm going to support a project that has a future, and phase out the shuttle, which, though successful, has outlived its usefulness." But the difference between a politician and a leader is that a leader goes in one direction, even if it's not the popular direction. A politician goes every which way in order to maximize immediate popularity. A good leader is the one who picks the right direction. A good politician is the one that everybody likes.

Also, I'm grouchy on monday mornings.

Disinfo Agent
2008-Aug-11, 02:49 PM
Off-topic: for some reason, every time I see the title of this thread my mischievous brain insists on half-misreading it as "Obama in space". (Reminiscences of The Muppet Show? ;)) I guess after his grand tour of Europe and the Middle East, space would be the next logical destination. :p

Solfe
2008-Aug-11, 03:31 PM
Off-topic: for some reason, every time I see the title of this thread my mischievous brain insists on half-misreading it as "Obama in space". (Reminiscences of The Muppet Show? ;)) I guess after his grand tour of Europe and the Middle East, space would be the next logical destination. :p

That might not be a bad idea.

If we demanded that all Presidents fly in space (Space-Force One could be one of those atmosphere skipping craft.) then I bet the funding would be pretty good. :)

Solfe

Tuckerfan
2008-Aug-13, 09:40 AM
McCain seems to have shifted his position. (http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewsr.html?pid=28843)
As President, John McCain will -

Ensure that space exploration is top priority and that the U.S. remains a leader;


Commit to funding the NASA Constellation program to ensure it has the resources it needs to begin a new era of human space exploration.

Review and explore all options to ensure U.S. access to space by minimizing the gap between the termination of the Space Shuttle and the availability of its replacement vehicle;


Ensure the national space workforce is maintained and fully utilized; Complete construction of the ISS National Laboratory;

Seek to maximize the research capability and commercialization possibilities of the ISS National Laboratory;


Maintain infrastructure investments in Earth-monitoring satellites and support systems;

Seek to maintain the nation's space infrastructure;.
There is more at the link. It's certainly seems to be a much more forward-looking position than what I have seen from him in the past.

NEOWatcher
2008-Aug-13, 01:45 PM
...It's certainly seems to be a much more forward-looking position than what I have seen from him in the past.
Is it? Here's a post from months ago (http://www.bautforum.com/1240784-post7.html).
It seems like he was apposed to research subsidies but eager on pure research.

Dgennero
2008-Aug-13, 04:57 PM
Well, I've been following the two candidates' positions for several months.
Some months ago McCain was the one who claimed to support NASA and supported the Orion program and human space exploration too, no Buts.
Obama at that time wanted to delay the replacement of the Shuttle and divert funds to "education" and also argued that robotic exploration is cheaper.

Any shifts since then, especially Obama's sudden enthusiasm for space exploration, are IMO tactical.

Overall, I think when it comes to human space exploration and the Moon/Mars-program, we are better off with McCain who hopefully will stick to it ( his party initiated the program anyway ).

Well, I'm libertarian-leaning anyway and think it is very likely a private Enterprise (pun intended) will place the corporate flag on Mars first :)

Neverfly
2008-Aug-13, 05:40 PM
I'm about to be hated for talking...


If there's one thing I can't stand about a candidate, it's wishy-washingess.
Changing on issues to pander to the polls is not a good sign.
Now, I understand that the president is a servant to the nation, not a ruler.
But, I have far more respect for a candidate that makes a decision and stands by it.

So I would rather vote for a candidate that says he doesn't like NASA than one that sometimes claims to support NASA and sometimes claims to not support NASA.
It might be tough on NASA for four years, but I prefer the former over the latter.
At least then, I know where he stands. I know where I stand.
I know he can be influenced to support NASA as a public servant, even if he doesn't agree with it. At least then i know he's real and doing his job.
The latter, I have no idea what changes might take place. I have no idea what he might do next. Or which voter or lobby he will try to placate once he's done with me.

If Obama says he supports NASA today, that doesn't mean I will trust him on those words tomorrow.

Chip
2008-Aug-13, 11:52 PM
I'm all for human and robotic space missions but I won't vote for someone just because they say they'll support the Orion program and space exploration while every other aspect of their policy is backward and irrational to me. In my own opinion (not stated by Mr. Obama,) true forward progress in space cannot be made until there is a balance of progressive private enterprise designers and contractors working in harmony with commissioned projects from a large, stable federal government in a liberal democracy. With political candidates we cannot expect them to have all the answers but can support the ones who have intellect and guts to see the big picture, and by all indications will try, so I favor Obama.

Tuckerfan
2008-Aug-14, 09:43 AM
I'm about to be hated for talking...


If there's one thing I can't stand about a candidate, it's wishy-washingess.
Changing on issues to pander to the polls is not a good sign.
Now, I understand that the president is a servant to the nation, not a ruler.
But, I have far more respect for a candidate that makes a decision and stands by it.

So I would rather vote for a candidate that says he doesn't like NASA than one that sometimes claims to support NASA and sometimes claims to not support NASA.
It might be tough on NASA for four years, but I prefer the former over the latter.
At least then, I know where he stands. I know where I stand.
I know he can be influenced to support NASA as a public servant, even if he doesn't agree with it. At least then i know he's real and doing his job.
The latter, I have no idea what changes might take place. I have no idea what he might do next. Or which voter or lobby he will try to placate once he's done with me.

If Obama says he supports NASA today, that doesn't mean I will trust him on those words tomorrow.
Well, JFK was not big on space originally, but was persuaded to change his mind. My general rule of thumb is to expect a politician to do the exact opposite of what he or she promises during the campaign.

Dgennero
2008-Aug-14, 08:59 PM
I know it is kind of narrowminded to choose a candidate solely for his attitude towards space exploration; however, in the long run (I'm talking millennia here) mankind definitely will expand into space; the sooner the better, because it would mean that e.g. the next "killer asteroid" won't destroy mankind because it can't impact into two planets at the same time.
Compared to the great adventure of space, all earthly matters like stupid gas price debates dwindle away.
I know, I can't see the trees for the forest :)

KaiYeves
2008-Aug-14, 09:07 PM
Compared to the great adventure of space, all earthly matters like stupid gas price debates dwindle away.
I agree completely.

Tuckerfan
2008-Aug-15, 09:20 AM
I know it is kind of narrowminded to choose a candidate solely for his attitude towards space exploration; however, in the long run (I'm talking millennia here) mankind definitely will expand into space; the sooner the better, because it would mean that e.g. the next "killer asteroid" won't destroy mankind because it can't impact into two planets at the same time.
Compared to the great adventure of space, all earthly matters like stupid gas price debates dwindle away.
I know, I can't see the trees for the forest :)

It is no more narrowminded than some of the other issues that folks can be "single issue" voters on, and unlike some of those "single issues" there is a definite economic benefit to space exploration.

KaiYeves
2008-Aug-15, 12:35 PM
If we demanded that all Presidents fly in space (Space-Force One could be one of those atmosphere skipping craft.) then I bet the funding would be pretty good.
I think that when VG has done several safe tourist flights, a president might be allowed to go on board. Just as Teddy Roosevelt waited a few years before being the first president to fly in an airplane.

Gemini
2008-Aug-15, 06:48 PM
I think that when VG has done several safe tourist flights, a president might be allowed to go on board. Just as Teddy Roosevelt waited a few years before being the first president to fly in an airplane.



John Glenn actually ran for president in the the early eighties.

KaiYeves
2008-Aug-16, 12:26 AM
John Glenn actually ran for president in the the early eighties.
Of all the sad words on tounge or pen, the sadest are these- "What might have been".

Neverfly
2008-Aug-16, 02:10 AM
Of all the sad words on tounge or pen, the sadest are these- "What might have been".

"I might have been killed..."


Yeah, I see what you mean.

Tuckerfan
2008-Aug-16, 08:40 AM
Of all the sad words on tounge or pen, the sadest are these- "What might have been".

Senator Glenn was a less than inspiring candidate. (This comes from a native Ohioian and space geek, BTW.) Had he managed to get the nomination the first time he ran for President, he would have been going up against Reagan in '84, the odds of him being able to defeat Reagan would have been slim. In '88, he would have faced George H. W. Bush, which would have been a more even match. I doubt that if he had won the White House, Glenn could have gotten the support to increase NASA's budget to a meaningful level. Certainly, he would have made sure that the agency had focus, and its possible that the Challenger explosion would not have occurred, but I can't see him as being able to give a big shift to space as a national priority. Still, some times a small shift in the right direction can reap big rewards.

(Glenn, it should be noted, was dogged by some questionable accusations during one of his runs. He never was convicted of even the slightest ethical violation [and his squeaky clean image is most likely not a put-on], but it did weaken his position as a Presidential candidate to a degree.)

Ara Pacis
2008-Aug-20, 06:16 PM
A truly visionary leader would say, "I'm going to support a project that has a future, and phase out the shuttle, which, though successful, has outlived its usefulness." But the difference between a politician and a leader is that a leader goes in one direction, even if it's not the popular direction. A politician goes every which way in order to maximize immediate popularity. A good leader is the one who picks the right direction. A good politician is the one that everybody likes.emphasis mine

That seems to have caused some issues of late. I'm not starting a political discussion, but using that to point out that a leader, a good leader, will make it popular. Look at Kennedy, not only did he follow a policy that would take us to the moon, he made made people want it to happen. A leader needs to be more enthusiastic than saying "oh, now that you mention it, sure, I want NASA to succeed."

01101001
2008-Nov-04, 07:03 PM
Obama shuttle topic (here, Obama on Space (http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/77419-obama-space-post1305875.html))... or McCain shuttle topic (Extending Shuttle life - McCain's letter to the President (http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/78134-extending-shuttle-life-mccains-letter-president.html))... where to put this...

I choose... here. This one got a little more discussion.

MSNBC Cosmic Log: How safe is the shuttle? (http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/11/03/1631680.aspx)


Both of this year's presidential candidates - Barack Obama as well as John McCain - have called on NASA to look into the idea of flying the space shuttle fleet past its scheduled 2010 retirement date.

Now the space agency is providing some sobering estimates of the costs and the risks that would be involved - leading one seasoned space observer to wonder whether the shuttle program should be throttled back rather than extended.
[...]
The question NASA has to ask itself is whether each mission between now and the fleet's retirement is worth a 1-in-80 risk of losing the crew. Griffin is saying it's worth that risk for finishing the space station (and fixing the Hubble Space Telescope). But in his view, it's not worth that risk for transporting crew members back and forth - particularly if there's a Russian alternative.
[...]

Michael Griffin's guest column in Florida Today this weekend: Time to Retire the Shuttles (http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20081102/COLUMNISTS0205/81031029/1138/OPINION)


If NASA was directed to fly the space shuttle past 2010 without additional funds to develop systems to replace it, our nation would continue to be stuck in Earth orbit, as it has been for more than 35 years since Apollo 17. We would continue without a guiding vision, while other nations are out on the space frontier.

KaiYeves
2008-Nov-04, 08:24 PM
Tonight's the night. Gosh, I'm worried.

Tuckerfan
2008-Nov-09, 09:31 AM
Well, President-elect Obama is looking for suggestions. (http://change.gov/page/s/yourvision) Those with a pro-space viewpoint might want to drop him a note or two.

KaiYeves
2008-Nov-09, 08:31 PM
Now is the sort of time I really wish I had an e-mail address.

John Jaksich
2008-Nov-12, 02:23 AM
As someone who grew up during the space race of the 1960s and 70s--I remember being glued to my analog T.V. watching and cheering for Gemini and Apollo programs. It occurs to me that this was one of the reasons for my eventual studies. I feel that the Obama/Biden ticket will be much more responsive to the needs of our country than an any other administration could be. We do have shortages of scientists and engineers...I, personally, feel that he would address the crisis in science/math research and education. I hope I have not gone too off-topic...

Argos
2008-Nov-14, 05:19 PM
Off-topic: for some reason, every time I see the title of this thread my mischievous brain insists on half-misreading it as "Obama in space".

Brief Hijack: it would be cool to see a presidential visit to the space station [after all, they´ve made themselves present at war fronts, aircraft carriers, etc.]. A superb PR for the space program. :)

01101001
2008-Nov-14, 05:34 PM
Universe Today: New NASA, New Administrator Under Obama? (http://www.universetoday.com/2008/11/14/new-nasa-new-administrator-under-obama/)


NASA appears to be in the position of being a priority for our new president, somewhat of a rarity. So what can NASA expect under the Obama administration? NASA administrator Mike Griffin met with employees at the Kennedy Space Center on Thursday where workers asked if he would continue as administrator under the new president. “If the next president asks me to continue I would be happy to do it,” said Griffin, “But, I doubt that will happen.” However, if asked to stay, he would only if the Obama White House didn’t interfere with the direction NASA is going (presumably he meant the Constellation program and returning to the moon), and didn’t try to force any personnel on him. He also spoke out against extending the shuttle or using EELV rockets to transport humans to space instead of NASA's current Ares I rocket design.“If somebody wanted me to stay on but said, ‘No, we need to go over here,’ well,” he said with a shrug, “do it with somebody else.” So what can NASA expect with the new presidential administration?
[...]

More there.

KaiYeves
2008-Nov-14, 08:35 PM
Man, if NASA gets a new administrator next year I'm going to have to change my Age of the Phoenix story!

01101001
2008-Nov-22, 05:53 AM
MIT Technology Review: Obama's NASA Dilemma
(http://www.technologyreview.com/business/21695/?a=f)


The fate of the U.S. space program hangs in the balance

[...] By April 30, 2009, the new president must decide whether to shut down the Space Shuttle program--currently the United States' only way to get humans into space and to service the International Space Station (ISS)--or extend the program at no small cost. [...]

This is so critical that the General Accounting Office, a nonpartisan congressional agency that investigates government expenditures, included the conundrum of whether to retire the Space Shuttle on a list of the 13 most urgent issues for the next president beyond the economy and protecting the homeland. That's because the decision will have ramifications that go far beyond determining a retirement date for the Shuttle fleet. [...]

John Jaksich
2008-Nov-23, 01:09 AM
I don't as much find blame for the incoming administration as I find fault with the outgoing(!)...for better or worse ( or indifferent )... IMO Obama/Congress need to be lobbied vigorously (duh!?)...I, personally, will be writing letters...to as many Politicians that I can think of...

_____________________
aside:

There is an obvious civil defense component to space exploration (NEO, unwanted Solar Storms disrupting the power-grids, public-outreach and (?) education as why/how space exploration benefits us and continues to benefit us, etc, ...)---- I don't need or want to seem as if I am bemoaning (or for that matter belittle) the situation... and again ... best wishes...

Tuckerfan
2008-Nov-23, 01:23 AM
I don't as much find blame for the incoming administration as I find fault with the outgoing(!)...for better or worse ( or indifferent )... IMO Obama/Congress need to be lobbied vigorously (duh!?)...I, personally, will be writing letters...to as many Politicians that I can think of...


This is something everyone should be doing.

KaiYeves
2008-Nov-23, 05:36 PM
I wrote a letter to him back when he was running. I can only hope it was received.

01101001
2008-Nov-23, 07:06 PM
AP: Official: Richardson to be commerce secretary (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h2qtj24vzZZS2Jid8I03W0bz7zXwD94KNK1O1)

That puts a pro-space, and pro-space commerce, person on the Cabinet. Some had suggested Richardson as head of a recreated NASC (Wikipedia: National Space Council) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Aeronautics_and_Space_Council), but that was probably too low-level for his broad skills. Maybe he can head Commerce and NASC.

Space.com: Obama Vetting Bill Richardson, Space Enthusiast (http://www.space.com/news/081122-bill-richardson-obama.html)


"Here's what I want to be sure of ... that the Obama administration is pro-commercial space ... that the administration is pro-space, pro-government space, pro-commercial space," Richardson observed.

He has fostered New Mexico state agreements with Armadillo Aerospace, Rocket Racing, and Spaceport America.

PraedSt
2008-Nov-23, 10:28 PM
That's cracking news :)

01101001
2008-Nov-25, 06:17 PM
Space.com: Obama Adds Three More To NASA Transition Team (http://www.space.com/news/081125-sn-obama-transition-team.html)


U.S President-elect Barack Obama has added a Virgin Galactic adviser and two more former NASA officials to the team leading the transition at the U.S. space agency.

The selection of Alan Ladwig, NASA's associate administrator for policy and plans under U.S. President Bill Clinton; Ed Heffernan, then-NASA Administrator Dan Goldin's chief of staff; and George Whitesides, executive director of the National Space Society and senior adviser to Virgin Galactic; brings the number of NASA transition team members to five.

tofu
2008-Nov-30, 08:07 PM
OBAMA TEAM SEEKS DATA ON POSSIBLE CHANGES TO ARES, ORION (http://www.space.com/spacenews/spacenews_summary.html#BM_3)


U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's NASA transition team is asking U.S. space agency officials to quantify how much money could be saved by canceling the Ares 1 rocket and scaling back the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle next year.

Not sure I like this.

KaiYeves
2008-Nov-30, 09:33 PM
Come on, dude, don't do this to us! This is the future now!

Nicolas
2008-Nov-30, 09:46 PM
If you'd cancel Ares 1, you could "scale back" the capsule to nothing at all. After all, who needs a capsule without its launcher?

And how about Ares5? ...

You know what, cancel NASA alltogether. Yes. At least you're sure they run nicely break-even that way.

Sarcasm aside, can they really not think beyond the "cancel" concept to make an agency more money-efficient?

Tuckerfan
2008-Dec-01, 06:12 AM
[Gene Krantz] We've just lost the Moon! [/Gene Krantz]

What it looks to me that they're wanting NASA to do is ditch the Ares I design, but keep the Ares V. In reading NASA's page on the Ares V (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/constellation/ares/aresV/index.html), it appears that the V can put a manned capsule in LEO, but if you want to put heavy loads up, or go to the Moon, you need to bolt an Ares I onto the V.

If they do this, we might as well call the Ares and the Orion CEV Space Shuttle 2: Electric Boogaloo, because we're going to end up with the same kind of thing: A great prototype that never gets moved to a production model, so it continues to fly long past its design life, with few essential improvements made to it.

Anyone who's ticked about this, might want to go to the "Technology Agenda" page of Obama's Change.gov site (http://change.gov/agenda/technology_agenda/) and drop them a note. Might want to drop them several.

Ara Pacis
2008-Dec-01, 06:45 AM
I agree with the article that asking such questions is due diligence. If an incoming administration is to make and defend decisions to either keep or eliminate specific programs, they need to know the specifics about them.

Tuckerfan
2008-Dec-01, 06:48 AM
I agree with the article that asking such questions is due diligence. If an incoming administration is to make and defend decisions to either keep or eliminate specific programs, they need to know the specifics about them.

But, as the article also points out, they didn't ask the same of some of the other programs which are already behind schedule and overbudget.

PraedSt
2008-Dec-01, 07:29 AM
I have a question. Which will cost less over the next 5 years?

1. Continuing with the current lunar path.

2. Starting off on the Mars path.

Budgetary problems might, sadly, force The President's hand. :(

Edit: I'm only sad because I personally prefer the Moon option. Changing over to Mars might be a win-win for both the President and others in the space community.

Ara Pacis
2008-Dec-01, 07:31 AM
But, as the article also points out, they didn't ask the same of some of the other programs which are already behind schedule and overbudget.

Yes, I noticed that.

John Jaksich
2008-Dec-01, 07:44 AM
In a previous post I alluded to writing letters...which I did... so much for grassroots...was the Bush vision for space exploration ever taken seriously by anyone besides the choir? :confused:

Time to write more letters...I guess...

Tuckerfan
2008-Dec-01, 08:38 AM
I have a question. Which will cost less over the next 5 years?

1. Continuing with the current lunar path.

2. Starting off on the Mars path.

Budgetary problems might, sadly, force The President's hand. :(

Edit: I'm only sad because I personally prefer the Moon option. Changing over to Mars might be a win-win for both the President and others in the space community.

I have a question. Which will cost less: Manned missions to the Moon and Mars, or giving Wall St. nearly $10 trillion? (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601110&sid=aDqw8_eMzrhU)

Bonus question: How much of that $10 trillion will actually be used for important stuff (business loans, etc.), and how much of it will be spent on things like pedicures (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=5973452&page=1) and spa treatments? (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/WallStreet/story?id=6223972&page=1)

Methinks we'd all better start screaming.

Nicolas
2008-Dec-01, 08:45 AM
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

Will that do for a start on the screaming?

PraedSt
2008-Dec-01, 08:47 AM
I have a question. Which will cost less: Manned missions to the Moon and Mars, or giving Wall St. nearly $10 trillion? (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601110&sid=aDqw8_eMzrhU)
Hehe. I've already screamed about this (http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/81635-nasa-s-black-hole-budgets.html). Oddly, I seemed to be the only one. Like I said in that thread, mirror universe. :confused:

No, I meant that as a serious question. It's too late for screaming. What would be cheaper?

Tuckerfan
2008-Dec-01, 12:44 PM
Hehe. I've already screamed about this (http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/81635-nasa-s-black-hole-budgets.html). Oddly, I seemed to be the only one. Like I said in that thread, mirror universe. :confused:

No, I meant that as a serious question. It's too late for screaming. What would be cheaper?

It doesn't matter, because if Ares I is cancelled, we won't have a hope of doing anything other than go to LEO.

PraedSt
2008-Dec-01, 02:32 PM
It doesn't matter, because if Ares I is cancelled, we won't have a hope of doing anything other than go to LEO.
No need to be so gloomy. :) Even without any change in plans, we were probably not going to get out of LEO within 5 years anyway.

Also there is this assessment in that article, and it seems ok to me:
"They are doing due diligence," said CharliePrecourt, ATK's vice president of NASA space launch systems. "If you are the incoming steward of all federal agencies you are going to ask a spectrum of questions like this." No, Presidential Visions are hard to stop, they have a momentum all of their own- U.S astronauts will get out of LEO. But this may happen at a slower pace (other launchers), or in a different direction (Mars).

Tuckerfan
2008-Dec-01, 03:50 PM
No need to be so gloomy. :) Even without any change in plans, we were probably not going to get out of LEO within 5 years anyway.But cancelling Ares I means we won't get out of LEO for at least a decade past Ares V going operational. Were we to continue with plans as they are, then we could expect to have 'Merkins getting their footie prints all over the Moon by 2019 or so. China and India (the two fastest growing economies on the planet) have already sent unmanned probes to the Moon. China's been doing manned flights, and India's looking to get into the game as well. They're catching up, and we're not even marking time.


Also there is this assessment in that article, and it seems ok to me:I've got no problem with them giving NASA programs a closer look, but with the talks being about cuts and not about the fact that the Ares/Constellation program is under-funded, I'm worried.


No, Presidential Visions are hard to stop, they have a momentum all of their own- U.S astronauts will get out of LEO. But this may happen at a slower pace (other launchers), or in a different direction (Mars).Actually, Presidential Visions are pretty easy to stop. George H. W. Bush proposed going back to the Moon and then onto Mars, it didn't happen. Apollo was on the verge of becoming extremely cheap when Nixon cancelled the program to foist the shuttle on NASA (with the promise that the orbiters would serve as prototypes, and be quickly replaced/upgraded with better models).

Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman says that one of the most important things the government can do for the economy is: (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/opinion/01krugman.html?_r=1)
One more thing: Fiscal expansion will be even better for America’s future if a large part of the expansion takes the form of public investment — of building roads, repairing bridges and developing new technologies, all of which make the nation richer in the long run.(bolding mine)

The best way to create a broad range of new technologies is to invest in the space program, and invest in it heavily. You don't do that by cutting the visionary parts of the space program.

tofu
2008-Dec-01, 04:51 PM
What it looks to me that they're wanting NASA to do is ditch the Ares I design, but keep the Ares V.

Hopefully, someone at NASA will speak up and make it abundantly clear that man-rating is a big, expensive deal. The beauty of the Ares I/V combination is that you man-rate the smallest piece that you can.

To a pencil-pushing politician it might sound like a good idea to put the capsule on the Ares V, but what they aren't understanding is that you then have to man-rate that huge beast of a rocket. That not only makes it more expensive, it also makes it heavier and that means less payload.

Come on Obama. (not to get political here, but) one of the big criticisms of certain other administrations is the way they mettle in technical fields and second-guess scientists/engineers. It's incredibly hypocritical to say, "look at Administration X, they're a failure, they don't listen to what scientists say about global warming, they think they're smarter than the scientists" and then turn around and do the exact same thing on a technical project! "Oh you engineers think you're so smart, but *I* graduated top of my class in political science at George Washington U. so I'll tell you how to design a rocket."

Blahh!! We're going to end up with an Ares V that carries less payload to LEO than the shuttle, and costs nearly as much as the shuttle to launch. And we wont make it to the moon, but we'll have the politically symbolic measure of astronauts in orbit. So the president can say, "look everyone! americans orbiting the earth! don't you feel patriotic! doesn't that bring a tear to your eye?" Sure, they're not going anywhere because I canceled the moon missions. Sure, they just orbit the earth and do experiments in a tiny capsule. But every four years, when it's time to get reelected, I'll make more empty promises about manned missions to Jupiter or whatever is en vogue.

This makes me sick.

PraedSt
2008-Dec-01, 05:02 PM
But cancelling Ares I means we won't get out of LEO for at least a decade past Ares V going operational.
Ok Tuckerfan, a couple of points first.

1. We're all worried.
2. We're all on the same side
3. If you want me to survive this debate, please don't quote Krugman again. :D

Right. My other points:

1. U.S vs other countries. Yes, everyone's catching up. But the US is miles ahead.
2. The President's hands are tied. I'm sure he'll do the best he can with what he's got.
3. Stopping Visions. Let me rephrase:
I think this Presidential Vision will be difficult to stop, it has a momentum all of its own- U.S astronauts will get out of LEO. But this may happen at a slower pace (other launchers), or in a different direction (Mars) Happy? Don't forget the last sentence! :)
4. And then we get to Krugman. Gaaaaaah!

This is my personal opinion anyway. Time will tell.

KaiYeves
2008-Dec-02, 02:26 AM
But we've just gotta go! What will I dream about?

Ara Pacis
2008-Dec-02, 03:35 AM
This sounds like DailyKos. Everyone reading too much into a blurb. Over there it's called a "concern troll". I say we should wait until we get more information before we assume the worst. Sure, you should write the presumptive president-elect, and your congressman and senator about space funding... but you should do that anyways.

I think he'll try to stick with the comparisons with JFK, and that means using space to distract us from problems at home.

But if the government is going to try solving problems by throwing money around, it might try investment in something that could have multiple returns on that investment by way of jobs, distraction, high tech, low tech, and other parts of the economy.

Tuckerfan
2008-Dec-02, 04:27 AM
1. U.S vs other countries. Yes, everyone's catching up. But the US is miles ahead.
Not really. The same guys who're offering the trips up to the ISS for $25 million a pop, are scheduled to start offering trips around the Moon on Russian Soyuz capsules for $100 million in a couple of years. We can't send the shuttle around the Moon, and without Ares I and V we can't get close to that.

Tuckerfan
2008-Dec-02, 04:31 AM
This sounds like DailyKos. Everyone reading too much into a blurb. Over there it's called a "concern troll". I say we should wait until we get more information before we assume the worst. Sure, you should write the presumptive president-elect, and your congressman and senator about space funding... but you should do that anyways.

I think he'll try to stick with the comparisons with JFK, and that means using space to distract us from problems at home.When he starts saying something like, "We choose to go to the Moon. . ." I'll stop worrying. There's a long history of the government giving money to NASA and then taking it back. At present, he seems more interested in making comparisons to Lincoln, which would incline one to expect him to focus heavily on more Earthly matters.


But if the government is going to try solving problems by throwing money around, it might try investment in something that could have multiple returns on that investment by way of jobs, distraction, high tech, low tech, and other parts of the economy.Key word being "might." Until I see somebody planting the American flag on the Moon, I'm not going to hold my breath that it'll happen.

Ara Pacis
2008-Dec-02, 07:25 AM
When he starts saying something like, "We choose to go to the Moon. . ." I'll stop worrying. There's a long history of the government giving money to NASA and then taking it back. At present, he seems more interested in making comparisons to Lincoln, which would incline one to expect him to focus heavily on more Earthly matters.

Key word being "might." Until I see somebody planting the American flag on the Moon, I'm not going to hold my breath that it'll happen.

I didn't realize you were that young. There's time. I barely caught the last one by a couple weeks.

PraedSt
2008-Dec-02, 11:54 AM
But we've just gotta go! What will I dream about?
Superheroes!

Tuckerfan
2008-Dec-02, 06:18 PM
I didn't realize you were that young. There's time. I barely caught the last one by a couple weeks.

I'm forty, and one of my earliest memories is of Apollo 17.

JonClarke
2008-Dec-02, 10:04 PM
Gemini 3 is the first crewed mission I was aware of. But I knew about Vostok and Mercury.

KaiYeves
2008-Dec-03, 12:59 AM
Superheroes!
I guess, but as cool as superheroes are, they can't hold a candle to real-life astronauts.

John Jaksich
2008-Dec-04, 09:07 PM
I received an e-mail message from Senator Feinstein (or one of her staff members) acknowledging my past e-mail letters; and, she tried to re-assure that me that (as we all know about budgetary restraints) there would be fiscal relief considered for the science budget...

Lets hope for he best at least...

01101001
2008-Dec-04, 10:46 PM
The shuffling begins...

AllHeadlineNews: NASA Deputy Chief Resigns Ahead Of Obama Taking Office (http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7013288943)


NASA Deputy Administrator Shana Dale will step down on January 17, 2009, as the Obama administration prepares to change staff at the space agency. "It has been an honor for me to work with those who support America's space program," Dale said on Thursday.

KaiYeves
2008-Dec-05, 12:46 AM
Over there it's called a "concern troll".
Well, en sure concerned us!
(En is a gender-neutral pronoun created by my friend.)

tofu
2008-Dec-08, 04:48 PM
Well, en sure concerned us!
(En is a gender-neutral pronoun created by my friend.)

"Per" is more common. It's short for "person." But even among those for whom this is an important issue, it's considered acceptable to use the gender-specific forms when the gender is known, as in this case.

HypothesisTesting
2008-Dec-08, 04:56 PM
If you'd cancel Ares 1, you could "scale back" the capsule to nothing at all. After all, who needs a capsule without its launcher?

And how about Ares5? ...

You know what, cancel NASA alltogether. Yes. At least you're sure they run nicely break-even that way.

Sarcasm aside, can they really not think beyond the "cancel" concept to make an agency more money-efficient?



I don't think the federal govt. is serious about space flight any longer. I agree with the intrepid RCH there. But I part company with him when he talks about an off-budget "dark mission" .
I watched the moon missions in high school, and it's been all downhill since then, except for Voyager, Cassini, and Mars Rovers , which are pretty important. But how much teeth pulling did the involved scientists have to do to even get those funded? Where is President Kennedy literally pushing NASA on, regularly making photo ops big launches, having ticker-tape parades for astronauts like WWII heroes, Rose Garden ceremonies for them? Where is vice president Johnson holding "Texas style" barbecues for the Mercury 7? Where are those days:question:

This year marks the 50th anniversary of lunar exploration, so the "space baby" is now 50 and old enough to join the senior club. Could it be that the novelty is wearing off for the politicians who really just used the scientists for political purposes all along any way?

matthewota
2008-Dec-10, 05:37 AM
I don't think the federal govt. is serious about space flight any longer. I agree with the intrepid RCH there. But I part company with him when he talks about an off-budget "dark mission" .
I watched the moon missions in high school, and it's been all downhill since then, except for Voyager, Cassini, and Mars Rovers , which are pretty important. But how much teeth pulling did the involved scientists have to do to even get those funded? Where is President Kennedy literally pushing NASA on, regularly making photo ops big launches, having ticker-tape parades for astronauts like WWII heroes, Rose Garden ceremonies for them? Where is vice president Johnson holding "Texas style" barbecues for the Mercury 7? Where are those days:question:

This year marks the 50th anniversary of lunar exploration, so the "space baby" is now 50 and old enough to join the senior club. Could it be that the novelty is wearing off for the politicians who really just used the scientists for political purposes all along any way?


I know for a fact that Cassini was on the chopping block on more than one occasion and the only thing that saved it from Congress was the addition of the European Huygens probe. The mission became untouchable to the bean counters after that.

Nicolas
2008-Dec-10, 06:27 PM
You may thank us, let's see, through my bank account.

KaiYeves
2008-Dec-10, 11:35 PM
I know I've praised Australia and cooperation in general, but if I haven't said this already, I'd like to take a moment to get it out:

ESA rocks!

Ara Pacis
2008-Dec-11, 01:24 AM
The main problem with NASA is that it's the only game in town. I'd like to see private space access. The problem is that they raise raise the bar while appearing to set the bar. How can you convince investors in cheap access to space when all they see is expensive access to space. I wish NASA would "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."

01101001
2008-Dec-11, 03:59 PM
Not directly space-related, but suggestive of possible direction, is the coming nomination for US Energy Secretary.

AP: Officials: Obama chooses energy, enviro posts (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h776EhBm9MT8AWmnULEB5jp6pxCgD9506Q600)


The president-elect has selected Steven Chu for energy secretary, Lisa Jackson for EPA administrator, Carol Browner as his energy "czar," and Nancy Sutley to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Democratic officials with knowledge of the decisions said Wednesday.
[...]
Chu was one of three scientists who shared the Nobel Prize for physics in 1997 for work in cooling and trapping atoms with laser light. He's a professor of physics and molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Berkeley, and has been the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory since 2004, where he has pushed for research into alternative energy as a way to combat global warming. It is the oldest of the Energy Department's national laboratories, doing only unclassified work, and in recent years under Chu has been at the center of research into biofuels and solar technologies.

Wait. It mentioned 'solar'. Space-related!

KaiYeves
2008-Dec-12, 01:58 AM
The main problem with NASA is that it's the only game in town. I'd like to see private space access. The problem is that they raise raise the bar while appearing to set the bar. How can you convince investors in cheap access to space when all they see is expensive access to space. I wish NASA would "Lead, follow, or get out of the way."
I think both have their place, with the private sector focusing on suborbit and LEO and NASA focusing on the Moon and points beyond. Different niches allowing coexistence, like in ecology.

Ara Pacis
2008-Dec-12, 04:59 AM
I think both have their place, with the private sector focusing on suborbit and LEO and NASA focusing on the Moon and points beyond. Different niches allowing coexistence, like in ecology.

Actually, I wonder if it might be better to move space access to the Department of Transportation and attach Space Exploration to the Department of Education or Technology and leave space-based solar to the Deptartment of Energy.

I don't think there should be a niche. It should be a highway that anyone can drive on. Let governments set up a launch schedule and big orbital stations and a moon base and then lease space and mass allowance to private companies who can try to make a profit.

KaiYeves
2008-Dec-12, 08:50 PM
Your idea actually does sound better.

01101001
2008-Dec-18, 01:14 AM
AP: Obama announces energy and environment team (http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h776EhBm9MT8AWmnULEB5jp6pxCgD953DSN81)


"Obama selected Nobel-prize winning physicist Steven Chu as energy secretary [...]
His appointment should send a signal to all that my administration will value science. We will make decisions based on the facts, and we understand that facts demand bold action," Obama said.

Now, let's see about NASA...

01101001
2008-Dec-18, 03:38 AM
Wall Street Journal: Tough Decision Looms on Space Shuttle's Fate (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122948128013313059.html?mod=googlenews_wsj):


President-elect Barack Obama's NASA transition team faces a tough early choice between extending the life of the aging space shuttle and accelerating its replacement.

Mentioned in the above:

Wall Street Journal: Obama Team Considers NASA Use of Modified Military Rockets (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122954780414915393.html?mod=googlenews_wsj)


President-elect Barack Obama's transition team, considering ways to reduce the cost and risk associated with manned space exploration, has broached the idea of using modified U.S. military rockets to launch the eventual replacement for the space shuttle.

No decision has been made and the concept raises major technical, funding and policy issues. But in recent weeks, the transition team assigned to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has been asking aerospace industry officials about the feasibility of such a dramatic shift in priorities.

Argh. Full article requires subscription. Google News may bypass that.

Nicolas
2008-Dec-18, 09:21 AM
What is the idea, somehow convert a military rocket to a manned launcher faster than developing AresI, and then after a few years we have AresI, and then...? I could use the full article :).

01101001
2008-Dec-18, 03:39 PM
I could use the full article :).

Google News may bypass that.

Google News search on "No decision has been made and the concept raises major technical" (http://news.google.com/news?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLG,GGLG:2005-42,GGLG:en&q=%22No+decision+has+been+made+and+the+concept+rai ses+major+technical%22) should yield the WSJ article in full without subscription nagging.

I just tried it again and the News search now also yields a Discover Magazine blog article (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/80beats/2008/12/18/obama-team-raises-new-questions-about-nasas-plans-to-replace-the-shuttle/) -- but the site's not responding so I can't say if it's in full there.

01101001
2008-Dec-19, 12:13 AM
More clues as to direction...

Scientific American: John Holdren to advise Obama on science, reports say (http://www.sciam.com/blog/60-second-science/post.cfm?id=john-holdren-to-advise-obama-on-sci-2008-12-18)


President-elect Barack Obama is poised to name John Holdren, a well-respected Harvard physicist [...] as his pick for White House science advisor, according to online reports.

The anticipated appointment was first reported today by Science Insider, a news blog published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). According to the blog, Obama will name Holdren, who served as AAAS president in 2006, on Saturday.

AAAS Science Insider blog (http://blogs.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2008/12/sources-john-ho.html)


Strong indications are that President-elect Barack Obama has picked physicist John Holdren to be the president's science adviser.

A top adviser to the Obama campaign and international expert on energy and climate, Holdren would bolster Obama's team in those areas. Both are crowded portfolios. Obama has already created a new position to coordinate energy issues in the White House staffed by well-connected Carol Browner, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency, and nominated a Nobel-prize winning physicist, Steve Chu, to head the Department of Energy. That could complicate how the Office of Science and Technology Policy, which Holdren will run, will manage energy and environmental policy. "OSTP will have to be redefined in relation to these other centers of formulating policy," says current White House science adviser Jack Marburger.


Holdren is well known for his work on energy, climate change, and nuclear proliferation. Trained in fluid dynamics and plasma physics, Holdren branched out into policy early in his career. He has led the Woods Hole Research Center for the past 3 years and served as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (which publishes ScienceInsider) in 2006.

KaiYeves
2008-Dec-19, 12:42 AM
Well, Woods Hole is good stuff. At least the environment will be in good hands.

timb
2008-Dec-19, 01:21 AM
Wall Street Journal: Obama Team Considers NASA Use of Modified Military Rockets (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122954780414915393.html?mod=googlenews_wsj)


What are "military rockets" anyway? I assume he is talking about the Atlas V or Delta IV, neither of which is exclusively military. Man rating the heavy versions of either of these has been discussed on BAUT (http://www.bautforum.com/space-exploration/69370-ares-i-design-faces-serious-technical-difficulties-4.html#post1352552) before. I hope the Obama team goes through NASA like a dose of salts.

01101001
2008-Dec-20, 07:22 AM
LA Times: NASA's spending is under scrutiny (http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na-nasa19-2008dec19,0,3990922.story)


Of 74 questions submitted to the agency by Obama's NASA transition team, more than half asked about basic spending issues, including cost overruns.
[...]
For nearly two decades, NASA and its out-of-this-world projects have made a "high-risk" list compiled by government auditors because of cost overruns totaling millions -- sometimes billions -- of dollars.
[...]
NASA says that part of the problem is the cutting-edge nature of what it does.
"We start these things out, and we admit up front we don't completely know how to do them. That is what makes them interesting," Griffin said recently.
Agency officials said they had improved financial controls -- including forcing managers to better estimate costs.
But the problem is so bad that the Congressional Budget Office estimated that NASA's new moon rocket would go over budget by as much as $7 billion. It based the estimate on an analysis of 72 other programs that blew their budgets by an average of about 50%.

GOURDHEAD
2008-Dec-20, 08:14 PM
Well, Woods Hole is good stuff. At least the environment will be in good hands. More than good hands are needed. We need more rigorous models and analysts as well as definitive explanations to voters and lay people.

01101001
2008-Dec-21, 12:18 AM
BA Blog: Is Obama going to gut NASA? (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2008/12/20/is-obama-going-to-gut-nasa/)


And now there are reports that Obama is looking very closely at NASA’s budget. I agree — quite strongly — that NASA really needs to tighten up its budget management.
[...]
NASA doesn’t need budget cuts. It needs better fiscal management, and it needs more money. Money to build bigger telescopes that take pictures of surpassing beauty, images of distant realms that inspire children and make adults gasp in awe. Money to build satellites that study our home planet and see what man has wrought. Money to research how to build better airplanes (that’s what the first "A" in NASA is, after all). Money to reach out and touch other worlds. And money to design cheaper access to space to make all this possible.


Studying the Universe, exploring it, trying to understand it, is part of what makes us human.

We need that, and it costs so little. I hope some of the brilliant scientists Obama has chosen to advise him can make that point to him. I would consider it one of their most important duties.

Nicolas
2008-Dec-21, 10:04 AM
Question: am I the only person working in a private company that also regularly has budget overruns? Somehow it's hard for me to believe that NASA would be the only agency with this problem. That said, I do agree that they need better financial management.

Ara Pacis
2008-Dec-21, 06:37 PM
Question: am I the only person working in a private company that also regularly has budget overruns? Somehow it's hard for me to believe that NASA would be the only agency with this problem. That said, I do agree that they need better financial management.

In this economy, you might be the only one here working.

01101001
2008-Dec-21, 07:47 PM
Somehow it's hard for me to believe that NASA would be the only agency with this problem. That said, I do agree that they need better financial management.

I don't think anyone is asking people to believe NASA is the only government agency with a budgeting problem.

They are a flashy agency so they get scrutinized more. And they do space and astronomy, so their actions get special notice here. And if NASA has a problem, it's not mitigated by pointing at the other agencies doing as badly, or worse.

Maybe, as it has so often, if NASA decides they have a problem and they figure out brilliant ways to solve it, NASA can once again be a leader, and show other agencies how things should be done.

Nicolas
2008-Dec-23, 10:14 AM
I agree with what your said.

What I meant was that "NASA has budget overruns" shouldn't be an argument to step away from the VSE, because nearly everyone has budget overruns. On the other hand, as you say, that doesn't mean they shouldn't try to do something about the overruns. let's hope they can be leaders both in space exploration and financial control :).

publiusr
2009-Jan-13, 01:09 AM
Frankly, I think Obama has lied about supporting space exploration. I will continue to call him a lier until proven otherwise. His first instinct was to delay VSE by years.

The opposition made him change his tune. The Vice-President is actually friendly to pro-space advocates.

01101001
2009-Apr-27, 07:00 PM
BA Blog: Obama champions science… but where’s NASA? (http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/04/27/obama-champions-science-but-wheres-nasa/)


[...] speaking at the National Academy of Sciences today, President Obama confirmed what most of us in the reality-based community have been hoping for: a massive reinvestment in science. In his speech today, he outlines a tremendous increase in science investing by the government. It includes a doubling of the budget for the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, both of which are fundamental supporters of basic research in the U.S.

But, then there's the NASA situation...


But whence NASA? When will you find the time to make sure our most famous and one of the most important agencies gets your attention, the attention it deserves and so desperately needs?

(Beware some political content in BA Blog.)

Edit: Just for status: Florida Today: With leader unnamed, clouds shroud NASA (http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20090426/NEWS02/904260318/1006/news01)


The retirement of the shuttle was identified as one of 13 urgent national issues facing president-elect Barack Obama last fall, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

But nearly 100 days into his administration, Obama has yet to nominate a leader for NASA, and uncertainty swirls around the future of the shuttle and its replacement program, which will affect thousands of Brevard County workers.

The three-month wait for a new administrator is not unprecedented, "but it's certainly producing high anxiety," said space industry expert John Logsdon, a fellow at the Smithsonian Institute's National Air and Space Museum and professor emeritus at George Washington University.

01101001
2009-May-07, 07:37 PM
Planetary Society Blog: NASA 2010 Budget: Strong Support for Science and Exploration (http://planetary.org/blog/article/00001930/)


Planetary Society board members gave a thumbs up to the proposal for NASA's 2010 budget that was released today, with Executive Director Lou Friedman commenting that the Administration's "strong support for science and exploration makes it clear that President Obama indeed wants the American space program to inspire the world with new discoveries."

Planetary Society press release (http://www.planetary.org/about/press/releases/2009/0507_Planetary_Society_Says_Proposed_NASA.html)

NASA news release (http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/news/releases/2009/M09-036.html)


NASA to Hold FY 2010 Budget Briefing May 7; Marshall Center Acting Director Robert Lightfoot to Speak with Media at 3:30 P.M. CDT

What: NASA Associate Administrator Christopher Scolese will present the agency’s fiscal year 2010 budget proposal in a briefing at 1:30 p.m. CDT on Thursday, May 7. The briefing will originate at NASA Headquarters in Washington and will be broadcast live on NASA TV. Scolese and other NASA officials will answer questions about the budget only from members of the news media in Washington.

NASA TV (http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html) (or NASA TV Yahoo! source (http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/nasa/index.html) or high-resolution (http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1368163)) (about one hour from posting time; check that -- NASATV schedule has it 1430 EDT; 1330 CDT; 1130 PDT; press release has 1530 CDT in headline, but 1330 CDT in content)

Tuckerfan
2009-May-07, 08:20 PM
I'm gonna say it, only $18.7 billion!?! (See the PDF of the budget which can be found here. (http://www.nasa.gov/news/budget/index.html)) For frack's sake, that's almost nothing in terms of a budget increase for NASA and a mere pittance when compared to money the government has, as even they will admit, urniated away to some extent.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I know, we should be "grateful" that there wasn't a cut, but I, for one, am tired of being "grateful" that the worst didn't happen. Having Obama hand NASA $100 billion is out of the realm of possibility, of course, but I don't think increasing NASA's budget to $25 billion is unreasonable.

KaiYeves
2009-May-07, 09:57 PM
It's funny to look back at my old posts on this thread and see how scared I was about Obama and space. He really seems to like hanging out with astronauts, for one thing.

bunker9603
2009-May-08, 01:23 AM
I'm gonna say it, only $18.7 billion!?! (See the PDF of the budget which can be found here. (http://www.nasa.gov/news/budget/index.html)) For frack's sake, that's almost nothing in terms of a budget increase for NASA and a mere pittance when compared to money the government has, as even they will admit, urniated away to some extent.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know, I know, we should be "grateful" that there wasn't a cut, but I, for one, am tired of being "grateful" that the worst didn't happen. Having Obama hand NASA $100 billion is out of the realm of possibility, of course, but I don't think increasing NASA's budget to $25 billion is unreasonable.

I think NASA also gets an additional 1 Billion from the Federal stimulus funds for a total of 19.7 billion. I do agree with you though that 25 billion would be much better. :)

PraedSt
2009-May-11, 08:42 PM
A Spacereview article on the Administration's review of human spaceflight. Its conclusion is good or bad, depending on your point of view re. NASA.

Bob Park gets his wish: "It's time for another Augustine Report" (http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1370/1)


“Never set up an inquiry unless you know in advance what its findings will be.”
...
The appointment of Norman Augustine to lead the review makes the outcome even more predictable.

When Vice President Quayle established an independent review of the space program in 1990, he took the naive risk of actually making it independent. The review came back with findings that directly contradicted the Bush Administration’s policies, notably the Space Exploration Initiative. The Augustine Commission put science as the highest priority of NASA, with guaranteed funding. Aeronautics, human spaceflight, and engineering were a distant second(My bold)

I've mirrored this in Damburger's Ares V thread.

Ara Pacis
2009-May-12, 02:07 AM
Sounds good to me, as long as we start up a new agency responsible for space infrastructure and access but not science.

01101001
2009-May-15, 04:37 AM
MSNBC: Former astronaut likely to be new NASA chief (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30753761/)


Former astronaut Charles F. Bolden Jr. will meet with President Obama in the Oval Office on Monday morning and likely will be appointed the new NASA administrator, a senior administration official told NBC News on Thursday.

Tuckerfan
2009-May-15, 06:12 AM
I gotta say, looking over his Wiki entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_F._Bolden,_Jr.), that I'm impressed with the guy's resume. A Marine, combat pilot, and he's flown on the shuttle four times. With that kind of a background, it seems unlikely we'll see a dramatic scaling back of manned spaceflight.

Trakar
2009-May-15, 06:18 AM
I gotta say, looking over his Wiki entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_F._Bolden,_Jr.), that I'm impressed with the guy's resume. A Marine, combat pilot, and he's flown on the shuttle four times. With that kind of a background, it seems unlikely we'll see a dramatic scaling back of manned spaceflight.

Except that NASA administrators don't decide agency policy, they implement administration policy.

Tuckerfan
2009-May-15, 06:30 AM
Except that NASA administrators don't decide agency policy, they implement administration policy.How many Marines have you dealt with? If he's not happy with the direction Obama wants to take NASA, he will speak up about it. He'll do it in private, he'll do it politely, but he will get his point across, and he'll be Obama's equal in intelligence. I have a feeling that if Obama wants to gut the manned program, Maj. Gen. Bolden will raise one heckuva ruckus, resigning in protest if he thinks that will help (and I seriously doubt that he'd even take the job before finding out exactly what Obama wants to do with NASA).

Trakar
2009-May-15, 07:11 AM
How many Marines have you dealt with? If he's not happy with the direction Obama wants to take NASA, he will speak up about it. He'll do it in private, he'll do it politely, but he will get his point across, and he'll be Obama's equal in intelligence. I have a feeling that if Obama wants to gut the manned program, Maj. Gen. Bolden will raise one heckuva ruckus, resigning in protest if he thinks that will help (and I seriously doubt that he'd even take the job before finding out exactly what Obama wants to do with NASA).

Actually, I was a career military officer (Army, not Marines) and I have quite a bit of experience in dealing with other military officers of all service branches. Above and beyond personal druthers with regards to what he personally feels would be the best direction for the space program, a career military man is goiing to follow the orders of, and accomplish the mission given to him by the commander in chief.

Tuckerfan
2009-May-15, 07:22 AM
Actually, I was a career military officer (Army, not Marines) and I have quite a bit of experience in dealing with other military officers of all service branches. Above and beyond personal druthers with regards to what he personally feels would be the best direction for the space program, a career military man is goiing to follow the orders of, and accomplish the mission given to him by the commander in chief.

And in a case where he disagrees with those orders, he'll most likely resign. The man left NASA and returned to the Marines, like the original Mercury astronauts, he's got combat experience, which means that he's not likely to be a "political" general (though he's no doubt got measurable skills in that area as well).

Obama stated in the past that he wanted to see NASA return to being the inspirational agency he remembered from childhood. Picking a director who comes from a similar background as the original astronauts as well as having been in space fits within that statement of Obama's much better than a "bean counter" who could be expected to keep costs low (see the years when Goldin was in charge and the mantra was "better, faster, cheaper").

bunker9603
2009-May-15, 12:25 PM
I agree with Tuckerfan, Bolden is pro manned spaceflight and I don't think he would have accepted a job that goes against his beliefs. I would much rather have a former astronaut than a bean counter any day.

Trakar
2009-May-15, 01:56 PM
And in a case where he disagrees with those orders, he'll most likely resign. The man left NASA and returned to the Marines, like the original Mercury astronauts, he's got combat experience, which means that he's not likely to be a "political" general (though he's no doubt got measurable skills in that area as well).

Obama stated in the past that he wanted to see NASA return to being the inspirational agency he remembered from childhood. Picking a director who comes from a similar background as the original astronauts as well as having been in space fits within that statement of Obama's much better than a "bean counter" who could be expected to keep costs low (see the years when Goldin was in charge and the mantra was "better, faster, cheaper").

Well, we shall see. The only issue that concerns me, is the quoted statement (which is all too familiar and unwelcome among manned flight advocates)
The appointment of Norman Augustine to lead the review makes the outcome even more predictable.

When Vice President Quayle established an independent review of the space program in 1990, he took the naive risk of actually making it independent. The review came back with findings that directly contradicted the Bush Administration’s policies, notably the Space Exploration Initiative. The Augustine Commission put science as the highest priority of NASA, with guaranteed funding. Aeronautics, human spaceflight, and engineering were a distant second

You may be right in that he would resign or refuse to take the position, but then choosing an astronaut to place manned spaceflight on a back burner is a pretty politically shrewd move. Especially if phrased right. Its real easy to put a lot of people off the scent if things are characterized as "revisiting the shuttle replacement issue," "rescheduling the manned lunar return issue in light of current national economic concerns," etc.,. I mean even if the intent were to totally kill all manned space flight, it is doubtful that any president would couch such in those terms.

From my read of this administration so far, and their approach to science, and space issues in particular, they're looking for splashy headlines with the minimal amount of expended effort or real investment. probably something along the lines of a scaled back Orion with all or most of the beyond LEO capability and functionality stripped out leaving it basically a taxi to ISS. Simultaneously they may announce a new round of paper studies for a more robust Shuttle replacement. Regardless, at least they are, hopefully, about to put a face on NASA, and we shall know soon enough if that is good or bad.

KaiYeves
2009-May-15, 07:15 PM
Would this be the first time NASA would have an administrator with actual spaceflight experience?

01101001
2009-May-15, 07:32 PM
Would this be the first time NASA would have an administrator with actual spaceflight experience?

Acting Administrator Frederick_D._Gregory (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick D Gregory)


Frederick Drew Gregory (Colonel, USAF, Ret.) is a former NASA astronaut and former NASA Deputy Administrator. He also served briefly as NASA Acting Administrator in early 2005, covering the period between the departure of Sean O'Keefe and the swearing in of Michael Griffin.

I don't see other candidates in the List of Administrators (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NASA_Administrators).

JeDi
2009-May-25, 06:43 PM
I don't see other candidates in the List of Administrators (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_NASA_Administrators).

May I introduce Dick Truly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_H._Truly)? ;)

KaiYeves
2009-May-25, 09:17 PM
*Knocks head into wall*

Why do I stink at research?

Tuckerfan
2009-May-26, 03:46 AM
BBC article on Bolden. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8065890.stm)
"He's a real leader," George Abbey, a former head of Nasa's Johnson Space Center in Houston, and friend of the major-general, told the Associated Press news agency.

"Nasa has been looking for a leader like this that they could have confidence in."

CJSF
2009-May-27, 01:38 PM
Actually, I was a career military officer (Army, not Marines) and I have quite a bit of experience in dealing with other military officers of all service branches. Above and beyond personal druthers with regards to what he personally feels would be the best direction for the space program, a career military man is goiing to follow the orders of, and accomplish the mission given to him by the commander in chief.

Except that if Bolden is a NASA Administrator, Obama isn't his commander-in-chief.

CJSF

Trakar
2009-May-27, 04:54 PM
Except that if Bolden is a NASA Administrator, Obama isn't his commander-in-chief.

CJSF

We were discussing career military mindsets, and my comments were made in response to the suggestion that as a career Marine officer, the nominated NASA chief wouldn't let Obama tell him what to do and wouldn't follow a course he didn't believe in.

KaiYeves
2009-May-27, 11:11 PM
People refer to the President as their commander-in-chief all the time, even if they've never been in the military at all.

CJSF
2009-May-31, 06:12 AM
Kai, the president is not the "people's" commander-in-chief. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the US armed forces. If one refers to him as everyone's commander-in-chief, they are in error. He IS the "people's" chief executive, but that is a very different thing.

I understand your statement, Trakar, I just respectfully disagree. Obama should have no authority over NASA Adminstrator Bolden as a commander-in-chief of the armed forces. If he were made administrator of some military space agency, then it would be a different matter.

CJSF

KaiYeves
2009-May-31, 01:38 PM
I wasn't saying that it was correct to refer to the President as the people's commander-in-chief, just that non-military people sometimes do, even though it is erroneous to say so.

CJSF
2009-May-31, 02:21 PM
Understood...carry on.

:)

CJSF

Trakar
2009-Jun-01, 01:42 PM
Kai, the president is not the "people's" commander-in-chief. He is the Commander-in-Chief of the US armed forces. If one refers to him as everyone's commander-in-chief, they are in error. He IS the "people's" chief executive, but that is a very different thing.

I understand your statement, Trakar, I just respectfully disagree. Obama should have no authority over NASA Adminstrator Bolden as a commander-in-chief of the armed forces. If he were made administrator of some military space agency, then it would be a different matter.

CJSF

Though the majority of NASA is composed of current and ex-military personnel and it has a military priority, special relationship with the DoD, its status as a prima facie "civilian" space agency is completely irrespective of the nature of the discussion or statements made.

IOW, I understand (and generally agree with) your statement, it merely has no bearing in the discussion in which my statements were made.