September 1996 Archives

Dan Goldin On Fox News

26 September 1996, Fox Morning News

Lark McCarthy: Quickly tell us, what is NASA's next major goal? What's the next big thing you want to do?

Dan Goldin: We want to figure out whether life is unique to planet Earth. And we've begun that process. We have ten spacecraft going to Mars in the next decade, and we're going to figure out how people could live and work safely in space.

And if we could figure out that there's a really good scientific reason for getting to Mars, and solve the debilitating effects of living in space, we want to see a footprint of an American astronaut on the surface of Mars.

September 19, 1996
Mr. Daniel Goldin
NASA Headquarters
300 E Street SW
Washington, DC 20546

Dear Mr.Goldin:

The 1996 Headquarters Honor Awards ceremony scheduled on September 25, 1996, is to recognize achievement both by Headquarters employees as well as special service by individuals or groups of non-Governmental employees. The awards involve no monetary incentives, and are administered and conducted by the Headquarters Honor Awards Committee, a permanently established group of employees representing a cross-section of Headquarters operations. Nominees are peer-reviewed by the committee, following established procedures and internal rules, and recommendations are provided to appropriate Headquarters management levels for concurrence. Barring extraordinary circumstances, concurrence is the usual outcome.

This year, the nominees for the Special Service Award category included Mr.Keith Cowing, President, Reston Communications. Mr. Cowing, a former NASA employee, was cited for using his talents and capabilities to provide NASA employees with unfiltered and timely public information on a homepage (the NASA RIF Watch) he created and maintains on the Internet. This world wide web site contains topical information, including Congressional matters, NASA public documents, and articles and stories appearing in the national and local press, which is of high importance to the average NASA worker. The homepage brings together in one easily-accessible place a significant amount of data in the public domain relevant to the future direction and structure of Headquarters, as well as NASA overall.

SPACE COMMERCIALIZATION PROMOTION ACT OF 1996 (House of Representatives - September 17, 1996)
(i) a certification that the use of such missile--

(I) would result in significant cost savings to the Federal Government when compared to the cost of acquiring space transportation services from United States commercial providers; and

(II) meets all mission requirements of the agency, including performance, schedule, and risk requirements; and

(ii) comments obtained from United States commercial providers in response to prior public notice published in the Commerce Business Daily;

(B) the use of such missile is consistent with international obligations of the United States; and

(C) the Secretary of Defense approves of such conversion.

(2) The requirement under paragraph (1)(A) that the report described in that subparagraph must be transmitted at least 120 days before conversion of the missile shall not apply if the Secretary of Defense determines that compliance with that requirement would be inconsistent with meeting immediate national security requirements.

(c) Missiles Referred to: The missiles referred to in this section are missiles owned by the United States that were formerly used by the Department of Defense for national defense purposes as intercontinental ballistic missiles and that have been retired from service in compliance with international obligations of the United States.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Walker] and the gentleman from California [Mr. Brown] each will control 20 minutes.

The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Pennsylvania [Mr. Walker].

Mr. WALKER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I bring before the House H.R. 3936, the Space Commercialization Promotion Act of 1996. Commercial space activities by U.S. companies generated over $6.2 billion of revenue in 1994 and $7.5 billion of revenue in 1995.

This legislation aims to improve the legal and regulatory conditions that currently handicap the commercial space industry. The present environment accommodates Federal, civil, and military space programs, not business opportunities. By providing investment incentives and risk reduction measures for investors, H.R. 3936 will encourage private sector participation in the space industry.

Through this bill we are striving to provide the stable business environment that businesses need to invest their money, build commercial space businesses, offer new and better services to the American people, and employ more Americans in high-skilled jobs.

Briefly this bill amends the Commercial Space Launch Act to take into account the legal and technical advances that have occurred since its enactment; gives the Department of Transportation the responsibility and authority to license reentry from orbit, in anticipation of the day when commercial experiments will be returned to Earth, and the reusable launch vehicle will be in operation; updates the Launch Services Purchase Act of 1990, so that government will act more like a commercial buyer when it places payloads in space; makes changes to the Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992, updating it to take into account the experience we have gained over the last few years in licensing the operators of remote sensing satellites; eliminates, in a very narrow situation, some of the postemployment restrictions that could prevent NASA civil servants with critical skills in space shuttle operations from transferring to the new single prime contractor; and encourages NASA to purchase scientific data about the Earth and solar system from the private sector.

During my years of service on the Committee on Science, I have been an ardent advocate of space commercialization and the promise that it holds for a new economic frontier. For all of the wonderful accomplishments NASA has achieved in designing and building space transportation vehicles, sending humans to the Moon, and exploring our solar system and beyond, this Nation has only begun to realize the potential of doing business in space. It is not for lack of imagination; there are entrepreneurs who envision all kinds of space commerce, from on-orbit power stations to revolutionary pharmaceuticals.

Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Director's Meeting September 9, 1996

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and Center Director's Meeting on September 9, 1996. Mr. Goldin was not in attendance. Action assignments have been placed in brackets [ ] for easy identification.

September 6, 1996

The Honorable Daniel S. Goldin
National Aeronautics And Space Administration
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20546

Dear Administrator Goldin:

We are writing once again to express our concern over NASA's plan to consolidate aircraft at the Dryden Flight Research Center. Our specific concern relates to NASA's apparent insistence on proceeding with aircraft consolidation despite analysis showing consolidation to be neither cost effective nor programmatically sound.

As you know, on August 12 the office of the Inspector General released a final report on aircraft consolidation. The report estimates nonrecurring costs of $11.3 million and annual savings of $218,049, resulting in a payback of 52 years. Furthermore, the report estimates that NASA will never recover its financial investment if the cost of money (the discount rate) is factored into this analysis. Consequently, the report clearly recommends that "NASA should reevaluate its decision to implement the current aircraft consolidation plan because it is not cost effective."

Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Director's Meeting September 3, 1996

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and Center Director's Meeting on September 3, 1996. Mr. Goldin was in attendance. Action assignments have been placed in brackets [ ] for easy identification.



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