December 2002 Archives


25 December 2002: Roy S. Estess named recipient of space trophy, The Citizen

"Roy S. Estess, former director of the NASA Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, is the recipient of the prestigious 2003 National Space Trophy, said officials with the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Foundation."

17 December 2002: NASA Senior Associate Deputy Administrator Daniel R. Mulville to Retire

"Mulville's retirement is effective Feb. 3, 2003. He became NASA's Associate Deputy Administrator in 1999. He served as NASA's Acting Administrator from Nov. 19 to Dec. 21, 2001, and directed NASA's daily operations pending confirmation of Administrator O'Keefe by the U.S. Senate."

17 December 2002: ESA's Ian Pryke Honored by Washington Space Community, SpaceRef

"Last night Ian Pryke, Head of the European Space Agency's Washington Office for two decades, was honored for his accomplishments. Pryke recently stepped down from his position and has been succeeded by Frederic Nordlund who has assisted Pryke for the past several years."

< 9 December 2002: Francis T. Hoban, 67; Official at NASA, GMU, Washington Post

7 December 2002: Notice, Washington Post

5 December 2002: Frank Hoban has died.

Editor's note: Frank Hoban passed away suddenly this morning at his residence in Taneytown, MD. On a personal note Frank and I got together for lunch often - but never often enough. He was one of the most engaging, witty, and knowledgeable folks NASA's family ever produced. Frank would often tell me some of the most amazing stories - ones which stretched all the way back to NASA's earliest days. In recent years he was almost obsessed with capturing NASA talent as people walked out the door at NASA (via buyouts or retirement) and bringing this expertise back to NASA on an as-needed basis. He will be missed.

5 December 2002: Dorothy Hayden-Watkins Named Assistant Administrator for Equal Opportunity Programs, NASA HQ

5 December 2002: George Reese Moves to Education Initiatives Office, NASA HQ

27 November 2002: Arnauld Nicogossian Retires After More Than 30 Years With NASA

"Administrator Sean O'Keefe has announced the retirement of Arnauld E. Nicogossian, M.D., effective Jan. 3, 2003. Dr. Nicogossian will join the School of Public Policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., where he will head the Office of Medical Policy."

27 November 2002: Spence Armstrong to Retire from NASA

"Spence M. (Sam) Armstrong, Senior Advisor to NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, will retire from NASA effective Dec. 31, ending a career of public service that spans nearly half a century."

19 November 2002: Presidential Rank Awards, OPM

"Each year, the President recognizes and celebrates a small group of career Senior Executives with the President's Rank Award for exceptional long-term accomplishments... Distinguished rank recipients receive a lump-sum payment of 35 percent of their base pay; Meritorious rank recipients receive 20 percent of base pay. All recipients receive a framed certificate signed by the President."

2002 Distinguished Executive Award Winners:

"NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION: Ghassem Asrar, Nancy F. Bingham, Michael R. Luther, Samuel E. Massenberg, John D. Schumacher, Tereasa H. Washington"

2002 Meritorious Executive Award Winners:

"NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION: Shannon D. Bartell, Michael D. Christensen, Paula Cleggett, N. Jan Davis, Olga M. Dominguez, Douglas L. Dwoyer, Joseph Fries, Jay H. Greene, James E. Hansen, Jon C. Harpold, Terrence J. Hertz, James L. Jennings, John W. Kilpatrick, Dennis A. Kross, Kenneth W. Ledbetter, James D. Lloyd, Thomas S. Luedtke, Alison L. McNally, Robert R. Meyer, Daniel R. Mulville, Arthur F. Obenschain, Michael F. O'Brien, Vicki C. Pendergrass, William F. Readdy, Phillip A. Sabelhaus, Jack A. Salzman, Arun K. Sehra, Jerry W. Simpson, Darrel R. Tenney, Stephen J. Varholy, Edward J. Weiler, Diane E. Williams"

Editor's note: In both categories, only DoD had more winners. This is rather curious given the relative size of NASA to other Agencies and Departments. Such was also the case in 2001 (i.e. pre-O'Keefe).

7 November 2002: George W.S. Abbey Announces Retirement, NASA HQ

"George is a demanding leader who rarely accepts compromise," added Administrator O'Keefe."

Editor's note: An understatement, to be sure. A kind one at that given that Abbey was the first person to be moved out of a senior management position at NASA - barely a month into the Bush Administration - nearly a year before the President even got around to naming an Administrator.

29 October 2002: Condon Named Associate Director for Astrobiology and Space Programs, NASA ARC

"NASA Ames Research Center has appointed Estelle Condon as associate director for astrobiology and space programs. Condon has served as acting director of the Astrobiology and Space Research Directorate since March 2002."

29 October 2002: NASA Announces New Associate Administrator for Education

"Administrator Sean O'Keefe announced Dr. Adena Williams
Loston, The Administrator's Senior Advisor for Education, as
the Associate Administrator for Education at NASA
Headquarters in Washington, effective Oct. 28. She will be
responsible for guiding NASA's efforts to organize and
enhance agency education programs."

22 October 2002: Bill Stevenson has died

Editor's note: Bill Stevenson died Saturday at St. Lukes Hospital in Texas. He was 65 years old. I had the great pleasure of working with Bill at SSFPO in Reston.

Obituary and memorial service information, Houston Chronicle

17 October 2002: NASA Announces New Stennis Space Center Deputy Director

"Michael U. Rudolphi has been named Deputy Center Director for NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi, effective in November after the next Space Shuttle launch, STS-113. As Deputy Director, Rudolphi will support Center Director William W. Parsons in managing NASA's rocket propulsion test capabilities and Earth Science applications."

16 October 2002: NASA Administrator Names Deputy Chief Financial Officer

"Gwendolyn Brown has been selected as NASA's Deputy Chief Financial Officer, effective Nov. 1. As the Deputy Chief Financial Officer at NASA Headquarters in Washington, she will manage day-to-day financial operations, direct the preparation and submission of annual financial and related reports, and coordinate Agency financial management activities with other related federal agencies."

16 October 2002: Mark K. Craig Named JSC Associate Director, Space Development and Commerce

"Prior to his work at Stennis, Craig served on the NASA administrator's staff at NASA HQ and was the principal architect of the NASA Strategic Plan. He became deputy director of Stennis in 1995 and acting director there in 2001."

11 October 2002: Gary L. Martin Named as NASA'S Future Technology Architect

"Gary L. Martin has been named to a key new position within the agency designed to help make NASA's future exploration and research goals possible. Martin, who has served as Assistant Associate Administrator for Advanced Systems in NASA's Office of Space Flight, will serve as the agency's Space Architect. The Space Architect reports to the Deputy Administrator. Martin will set NASA's future technology requirements and monitor development programs, to ensure systems will be ready when needed, to support next-generation science objectives."

26 September 2002: NASA Headquarters Names News Chief

"Robert Mirelson has been selected as the new Chief of News and Information at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Mirelson succeeds Bob Jacobs, who was named Media Services Director earlier this summer."

24 September 2002: Sam Venneri to retire

Editor's note: word has it that NASA Chief Technologist Sam Venneri will retire effective 3 October 2002.

20 September 2002: Houston College President Selected as Senior NASA Education Advisor

"Administrator Sean O'Keefe today announced Dr. Adena Williams Loston, President of San Jacinto College South in Houston, as the Senior Advisor for Education at NASA Headquarters in Washington, effective next month."

19 September 2002: G. Scott Hubbard Named NASA Ames Research Center Director, NASA ARC

"Hubbard replaces Dr. Henry "Harry" McDonald, who will join the faculty at the University of Tennessee (UT) at Chattanooga after assisting with the transition as Hubbard's special assistant. McDonald has been named Distinguished Professor of Computational Engineering at UT."

17 September 2002: Conduct of employees; post-employment restrictions; waivers: Culbertson, Frank, NASA via the Federal Register

"SUMMARY: The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has determined, after consultation with the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, that it is in the national interest to waive the post-employment restriction of section 207(c), Title 18, United States Code, with respect to the former International Space Station Expedition Commander for Expedition 3, Frank Culbertson."

16 September 2002: Former Astronaut Frank L. Culbertson, Jr. Joins SAIC As Senior Vice President and Program Manager

"Science Applications International Corporation's (SAIC) Space, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (SEAS) Group today announced that Frank L. Culbertson, Jr., USN (ret) has been named senior vice president and program manager of the Safety, Reliability and Quality Assurance (SR&QA) contract at the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas."

30 August 2002: Stephenson Rumors Unfounded

Editor's note: rumors have been circulating of late suggesting that MSFC Center Director Art Stephenson is about to depart/be replaced. Multiple, reliable sources at NASA tell NASA Watch that this is not at all the case and that there are no plans to replace Stephenson.

30 August 2002: Astronaut Frank Culbertson Departs NASA

"Astronaut Frank L. Culbertson Jr. (Capt., USN, Ret.) ended his NASA career, retiring last week from the U.S. astronaut corps to pursue new opportunities in the private sector. An International Space Station commander, space shuttle commander and pilot, and NASA manager for the Phase I Shuttle-Mir Program, he departed NASA on Aug. 24."

26 August 2002: New Director Named for JSC Space and Life Sciences Directorate

"On Sept. 9, Dr. Jeffrey Davis will assume the duties of director, Space and Life Sciences Directorate, at NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston."

26 August 2002: Mark Craig Moving to JSC

Editor's note: word has it that Mark Craig is heading to JSC to become Associate Center Director (Technical).

22 August 2002: NASA's Acting Chief Financial Officer Retires

"Administrator Sean O'Keefe today announced the retirement of Stephen J. Varholy, Deputy Chief Financial Officer for NASA Headquarters in Washington, effective September 3. Kenneth J. Winter, from NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., will serve as Acting Deputy Chief Financial Officer until a permanent replacement is selected."

15 August 2002 NASA names its first Black deputy administrator, St. Louis American

"As deputy administrator, Gregory is chief operating officer for the agency, which includes directing and managing NASA's programs and day-to-day operations. "His considerable experience as an astronaut and aviator, and his leadership in space flight safety are needed at this critical time for the agency," says NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe.

12 August 2002
Gregory Sworn in as Deputy Administrator; Readdy Becomes OSF AA

Editor's note: Fred Gregory was sworn in as Deputy Administrator of NASA this evening in a small private ceremony on the 9th floor of NASA Headquarters. Effective immediately, Bill Readdy is the Office of Space Flight Associate Administrator.

6 August 2002
Administrator Sean O'Keefe Selects Astronaut William F. Readdy as Space Flight Associate Administrator

1 August 2002 U.S. Senate Confirms Frederick D. Gregory NASA's First African- American Deputy Administrator

10 August 2002 Astronaut Bolden retires from Marines, The State

30 July 2002 NASA Watch Update Status

HEDS Chief
Scientist Leaving NASA

Editor's note: Kathryn Clark, Ph.D., Chief
Scientist for HEDS (Human Exploration & Development of
Space) at the Office of Space Flight is leaving NASA.
Best wishes.

25 July 2002 HREF="">HMP-2002
Photo Report: Advanced Wireless Data Technology
Demonstration on Huckins Rise, Devon Island

On 24 and 25 July 2002 a Haughton Mars Project/NASA
ARC traverse team visited "Repeater 2 Hill"
overlooking Science Site #9 on Devon Island to perform
a test of NASA AMES MEX-HORSE equipment with the Simon
Fraser University developed PlanetNet2 technology. On
several ocassions, the team was able to sucessfully
connect back to the HMP Base Camp from a distance of
5.5 kilometers without line of sight at data rates of
9.6 mb/sec over hilly, rocky terrain.

On 25 July 2002, the HMP renamed 'Repeater 2 Hill' as
"Huckins Rise" in honor of NASA's Earle Huckins who
passed away several days before these tests were

24 July 2002 HREF="">Dr.
Earle Knowlen Huckins III, Manager of Space Science
and Space Station Programs and NASA HQ , dies at

24 July 2002 Earle Huckins has passed

Editor's note: Earle Huckins passed away a
couple of days ago. According to a friend at NASA HQ:
"He was at home toward the end, but he was still tied
in to meetings and things via telephone so that he
could still continue to feel useful and make

24 July 2002 HREF="">Roy
Estess Retires, NASA Adminstrator Names Bill Parsons
as New Stennis Director

"Roy S. Estess, center director for NASA's John C.
Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, today announced
plans to
retire after 42 years in government service, 37 with
Administrator Sean O'Keefe named William (Bill) W.
Jr., the current Center Operations and Support
Director at
Stennis, as Estess' successor, effective August

23 May 2002: New Director for Strategic Management and Planning

Editor's note: Doug Comstock (who used to work with Sean O'Keefe and Steve Isakowitz at OMB) is moving to NASA HQ to become the new Director for Strategic Management and Planning for Code B. He will be on the job on or around 3 June 2002.

14 May 2002: NASA Administrator Names New Deputy Associate Administrator for International Space Station and Space Shuttle

"NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today named retired Air Force Major General Michael C. Kostelnik as Deputy Associate Administrator for International Space Station and Space Shuttle, a newly created senior management position within the Office of Human Space Flight."

8 May 2002: Maj. Gen Michael Kostelnik to be New Deputy AA for ISS and Space Shuttle Programs

Editor's note: Maj. Gen Michael Kostelnik, a retired two star USAF General, will be named shortly as Deputy Associate Administrator for International Space Station and Space Shuttle Programs at Code M. At one point this position was titled as "Program Executive Officer (PEO)". This title has been dropped so as to avoid confusion with its usage at DoD.

Official Biography of Michael Kostelnik

"Education : ... 1996 National Security Leadership Course, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University and Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Syracuse, N.Y. "

14 May 2002: NASA Administrator Names Langley Director Associate Administrator of Aerospace Technology, NASA HQ

"Dr. Jeremiah F. Creedon, Director of the NASA Langley
Research Center, Hampton, Va., has been named Associate
Administrator for the Office of Aerospace Technology at NASA
Headquarters in Washington, effective June 15."

13 May 2002: NASA Administrator Selects Chief Engineer, NASA HQ

"NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today named Theron M. Bradley Jr. as the agency's Chief Engineer, responsible for the overall review and technical readiness of all NASA programs."

10 May 2002: Science Brief: Enhancing Diversity on Earth and in Space, Special to by Keith Cowing,

"To get the message out, NASA enlisted an individual whom many thought embodied the future of what the astronaut corps would come to represent: Nichelle Nichols, who portrayed Lt. Uhura on the bridge of the Enterprise. When I asked Fred Gregory what impact Nichols had on him, he told me, "Nichelle Nichols had a significant influence on my decision to apply to NASA. I saw her on TV standing in front of a 747 in her neat blue astronaut suit. She pointed a finger at me and said something like, 'I want YOU to apply for the Space Shuttle program.' I did and look where it led me!"

10 May 2002: NASA Administrator Taps New Legislative Affairs Chief, NASA HQ

"NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today appointed Charles T. Horner III as Assistant Administrator for Legislative Affairs, effective immediately."

8 May 2002: White House Moves to Fill NASA Deputy Administrator Position, NASA HQ

"If confirmed as Deputy Administrator, Gregory will serve as the chief
operating officer for the agency and report directly to Administrator
O'Keefe. He will be responsible for directing and managing many of the
programs as well as the day-to-day operations and activities at NASA."

8 May 2002: President Bush to Nominate Frederick D. Gregory to be Deputy Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, White House

Editor's note: Apparently the White House's web folks are graduates of the Dan Quayle school of spelling - i.e. "Orbitor" and fact checking: space shuttle "Discover". When contacted by a concerned Congressional staffer this afternoon about this error, the White House Web folks didn't seem to care enough to fix it.

30 April 2002: NASA Administrator Names New Associate Administrator for Safety, NASA HQ

30 April 2002: Bryan O'Connor to be New Code Q Associate Administrator

Editor's note: on or around 1 June Bryan O'Connor will assume the position of Associate Administrator for the Office of Safety and Mission Assurance at HQ.

6 September 2001: Statement of Bryan O'Connor, Futron Corporation, before the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space: Shuttle Safety

23 April 2002: Robert W. Cobb Takes Office as NASA Inspector General, NASA OIG

"Mr. Cobb was previously Associate Counsel to the President. In this role, he handled the administration of the White House ethics program under the supervision of the Counsel to the President and was responsible for administration of the conflict of interest and financial disclosure clearance processes for candidates for nomination to Senate-confirmed positions."

15 April 2002: New NASA Deputy Administrator Rumors

Editor's note: today's favorite rumor at NASA HQ is that OSF AA Fred Gregory is the new lead candidate for the number 2 slot at NASA. Stay tuned.

15 April 2002: Bill Berry's retirement from NASA ARC

"The Center Deputy Director, William E. "Bill" Berry has announced that he will retire from federal service on May 3, 2002. Until a permanent appointment is made, Nancy Bingham, Associate Director for Systems Management & Planning, will serve as Acting Deputy Director when Mr. Berry retires."

25 March 2002: 'Father' Of Module Dies - Thomas J. Kelly led team that created lunar device, Newsday

"After his work on the lunar module, he served as the vice president and deputy director of Grumman's space shuttle proposal, and president of Grumman's Space Station Integration Division in Reston, Va., among other positions. He was awarded NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal in 1972 for his work on Project Apollo."

14 March 2002: DOD Concerns Trump Popular Nominee For Top NASA Job, Aviation Now

14 March 2002: White House yanks NASA deputy nominee, Florida Today

14 March 2002: White House Withdraws Nominee for NASA, NY Times

"A spokesman for NASA, Robert Jacobs, said the directive "caught the administrator off guard."

13 March 2002: Deputy Administrator Nomination Withdrawn, NASA

13 March 2002: White House Pulls the Plug on Bolden Nomination to No. 2 Position at NASA, SpaceRef

"Bolden's appointment may have been torpedoed by Armed Services Chair Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI). According to multiple sources on Capitol Hill Levin sent a letter to White House Counsel Alberto Gonzalez requesting evidence that a precedent exists for placing an active duty military officer into a Senate-confirmed slot - one designated as being for a civilian appointee. Levin reportedly expressed a preference that Bolden resign his commission if he wanted to serve as NASA Deputy Administrator."

Editor's rant: I was thoroughly disappointed to hear that the White House had pulled Charlie Bolden's nomination. Actually, I am rather angry. Word of Bolden's nomination made a lot of people inside and outside the agency (including me) VERY happy. He is among the best that NASA has ever produced and would have been a sterling asset.

6 March 2002: DoD News Briefing - Secretary Rumsfeld and Gen. Franks, DoD

Secretary Rumsfeld: "... as your question suggests it creates an enormous incentive for the defense establishment to stop using the men and women in the armed forces for things other than military tasks. We have them spread all over town as detailees, in one place and another."

12 March 2002: Keegan Resigns as NASA's Chief Engineer, NASA GSFC

"W. Brian Keegan has announced his resignation as NASA's Chief Engineer, effective April 3, ending a 36-year career with the agency."

4 March 2002: NASA Administrator Names Gregory Associate Administrator for Space Flight, NASA HQ

"NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe today named Frederick D. Gregory as the Associate Administrator for Space Flight, placing him permanently in charge of the agency's Human Exploration and Development of Space Enterprise. "

"Astronaut William F. Readdy will remain in the critical senior leadership position of Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Flight with expanded responsibilities over major programs, operations and management of the Human Exploration and Development of Space Enterprise."

4 March 2002: NASA Administrator Selects New Biological and Physical Research Associate Administrator, NASA HQ

3 March 2002: New Code OBPR AA Appointed

Editor's note: Mary Kicza from NASA GSFC has been appointed to be the new Associate Administrator for the Office of Biological and Physical Research (OBPR).

NASA HQ has been searching (in vain) for an AA for OBPR for more than a year. Dan Goldin said that he was looking for "world class" candidates. Many people from outside the agency were interviewed. Many turned down the offer. Others withdrew their names in frustration over the glacial and confused process NASA went through as it sought to vet each candidate. A number of otherwise qualified candidates I spoke with did not even bother to apply since they felt that NASA was either not serious about science or that the internal management of NASA's OBPR programs was broken beyond repair.

When an OBPR representative made a presentation last week at the NASA Advisory Council at JSC, the NAC was told that Code U's input into the ISS redesign effort would not be provided until June 2002. One member is reported to have replied with some annoyance that it is taking Code U "three times as long" as Tom Young's committee took to do their initial report.

Kicza's forte is management. That is what Code U needs right now.

28 February 2002: White House Nominee for NASA Inspector General

Editor's note: The White House has nominated Robert Watson Cobb to be NASA's new Inspector General. The date for Cobb's confirmation before the Senate Commerce Committee is still pending. Cobb currently works in the White House as Associate Counsel to the President.

28 February 2002: Steve Isakowitz to be new NASA Comptroller

Editor's note: OMB's Steve Isakowitz will be coming to NASA to be Comptroller. NASA's current Comptroller, Mal Peterson, is retiring. Isakowitz is currently Branch Chief of Science and Space Programs at OMB. This should be an interesting experience for Steve. It is one thing to set the tough budgets that others have to follow (as he has for NASA during the past decade). It is another matter altogether to actually implement one of those tough budgets.

27 February 2002: George F. Page, Former Deputy Director of KSC, Dies

"George F. Page, deputy director of Kennedy Space Center (KSC) from July 1982
until his retirement in October 1984, died Feb. 26, 2002. During the course
of his aerospace career, George Page was involved in all of the U.S. human
space flight programs from Mercury to the Space Shuttle. He was 77."

19 February 2002: NASA's Inspector General Is Leaving

Editor's note: word has it that Roberta Gross will be leaving NASA in two weeks. NASA Watch wishes her well.

14 February 2002: SAFEO Names Ed Heffernan vice president of Government Relations, SAFECO

"Heffernan served at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from 1994 to 2001, holding key positions including chief of staff for NASA Administrator Dan Goldin; associate administrator for legislative affairs; and liaison to the White House. In these roles, he specialized in working with federal, state and local agencies and securing Congressional support for key NASA programs, including the International Space Station."

12 February 2002: NASA Astronaut Dr. Shanon Lucid Selected as Chief Scientist, NASA HQ

"Lucid will be responsible for ensuring the scientific merit of the agency's programs. She will report for duty as soon as she fills her responsibilities as Capcom for STS-109."

Editor's note: simple speculation on my part would be that Dr. Lucid was selected such that her considerable hands-on operational experience in space will be focused mostly on correlating a focused set of scientific goals and objectives upon the ongoing redesign of the ISS program - and to serve as an advocate for this research. I hope (and fully expect) that she will assemble staff well-versed in NASA's other research endeavors.

Dr. Lucid's experience over the past several decades has been one of an on-orbit implementer of other scientists' research - not one of personally initiated peer-reviewed research. As such, the selection of an Associate Administrator for the Office of Biological and Physical Research - someone with recent research and management experience - is all that more important. This position must be filled soon if the ISS program is to meet the recommendations laid out by the Young Committee.

12 February 2002: NASA Administrator Names Retired Marine General to Lead Johnson Space Center, NASA HQ

"Howell, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General and former commander of Marine Forces, Pacific, currently serves as Senior Vice President and Program Manager for the Safety, Reliability, and Quality Assurance contract at JSC. He is employed by Science Application International Corporation (SAIC)."

12 February 2002: Jefferson Davis Howell, Jr. Named as Johnson Space Center Director, NASA JSC

"Jefferson Davis Howell, Jr., has been named Director of the Johnson Space Center effective April 1. Howell, a retired U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General, is only the eighth person to serve as Director in the center's 40-year history."

6 February 2002: Local Marine Corp general Bolden nominated for NASA's No. 2 spot

"The appointment would also make Bolden the first active military officer to fill the No.2 spot at NASA. The deputy administrator position was traditionally reserved for civilians, but an amendment to the NASA budget for fiscal year 2002, which began in October 2001, allowed the president to nominate a military officer. The provision expires at the end of this year."

Editor's note: Bolden will get his third star too.

5 February 2002: George Abbey has landed on his feet again

Editor's note: word has it that former JSC Center Director George Abbey is now the lead NASA representative to the World Space Congress as a senior fellow at the Baker Institute. This event will be held from 10-19 October 2002 in Houston.

31 January 2002: Former JSC director joins Baker Institute

"George W.S. Abbey, former director of the Johnson Space Center (JSC), has joined the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice, where he will guide space policy efforts related to the World Space Congress being held in Houston this fall. He is on assignment from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in Washington, D.C., where he is special assistant to the administrator."

31 January 2002: White House, NASA Administrator Move to Fill Key Agency Positions

"The President announced his intention to nominate former NASA
astronaut and Assistant Deputy Administrator, Major General
Charles F. Bolden, U.S. Marine Corps, as NASA's next Deputy
Administrator. Administrator O'Keefe filled additional positions at NASA
Headquarters. Paul Pastorek will serve as the agency's General
Counsel at NASA Headquarters."

31 January 2002: White House nominates Charles Bolden as Deputy Administrator of NASA

Editor's note: As first reported on NASA Watch, the White House has nominated former astronaut Charles Bolden to serve as Deputy Administrator of NASA. Paul G. Pastorek has also been named to the NASA General Counsel's position.

10 January 2002: NASA General Counsel Candidate Under Serious Consideration?

Editor's note: word has it that Paul G. Pastorek, a partner in the law firm Adams and Reese LLP is under consideration for the NASA General Counsel's position. Adams and Reese LLP have offices in New Orleans, Louisiana and across the south - as well as in Washington, DC. Pastorek is an alumnus of Loyola University and got his B.A. in 1976 and his J.D. in 1979. Sean O'Keefe got his B.A. from Loyola in 1977.

26 December 2001: Charles Bolden to be named Deputy Administrator of NASA

Editor's note: the following is circulating among MSFC management:

"Effective on or about 1 Feb 02, MajGen Bolden will stand detached from
his position as CG Third MAW and will report to Washington DC as the new
Deputy Director for NASA. His new position is a Three Star billet. His
immediate replacement is unknown at this time."

Bolden is a former astronaut and is currently the Assistant Wing Commander, HQ 3rd MAW Miramar, San Diego, California.

Bolden Bio - NASA

Bolden Bio - USMC

28 December 2001: Columbia, S.C., Native Under Consideration for No. 2 Job at NASA, Houston Chronicle

9 January 2002: Death of Burt Edelson Highlights his NASA Legacy, NASA

8 January 2002: Burt Edelson has died

"Burt Edelson, former Associate Administrator for Space Science and Applications died following a massive heart attack January 6, 2002 in New York City, where he was visiting family and friends."

"A memorial service will be held Thursday, January 10 at the Cosmos Club, 2121 Massachusetts Ave, N.W., Washington DC 20008, at 1:30 p.m. There will be an opportunity to visit with the family following the service."


12 December 2002: Small crack found on Discovery raises concerns about Columbia, Orlando Sentinel

"During a standard inspection this week, technicians discovered the crack on a metal ball inside a line that feeds super-cold liquid oxygen to the shuttle's three main engines."

12 December 2002: The Last Scientist On The Moon, Rand Simberg, Transterrestrial Musings, Fox News

"Now let's look at reality. The station currently has three astronauts aboard. Most of their time is consumed in simply keeping the space station functional. While there's now (borrowing from Star Trek) an official "science officer" aboard, it's more public relations than reality. Whenever budgets are cut, the first place to look for savings is from "science." There's no centrifuge aboard the station to provide controls for different gravity levels. Too expensive. The power level of the station is barely sufficient to sustain the basic function of the facility--not to provide power for experiments."

1 November 2002: 'Lifeboat' efforts sinking for NASA, Houston Chronicle

"In the assessment, Hall criticized O'Keefe's responses to his questions about the lifeboat gap as too vague. O'Keefe informed Hall that the agency's lifeboat strategy will be incorporated into a soon-to-be-completed review of NASA's efforts to develop a new reusable rocket and to upgrade the space shuttle fleet, called the Integrated Space Transportation Plan. "The sum of Ralph's reaction is he expected clearer and better answers to his questions," said Dan Pearson, a spokesman for Hall."

31 October 2002: Boeing, LM To Study Launching ISS Crew Atop Heavy-Lift Delta IV, Atlas V, Aerospace Daily

"Boeing and Lockheed Martin will conduct feasibility studies for NASA on the possibility of launching future crews to the International Space Station (ISS) atop the heavy-lift variants of Boeing's Delta IV or Lockheed Martin's Atlas V expendable rockets, the companies said."

27 October 2002: NASA Looks to Replace Space Shuttle With Orbital Space Plane, SpaceRef

"Last weekend NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe and much of NASA HQ senior management went on a retreat at the Minnowbrook Conference Center at Syracuse University. Among the topics discussed: NASA's Integrated Space Transportation Plan (ISTP). The road ahead? The U.S. is now heading towards a 100% home-grown successor to America's Space Shuttle and alternative to Russia's Soyuz.

18 October 2002:
Further privatization, more competition urged for shuttle program, Orlando Sentinel

"The report calls the existing situation, with United Space Alliance as the prime contractor, "profoundly noncompetitive." The joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing makes it difficult to stimulate true competition, the report says."

10 October 2002: Aerospace Daily: NASA Eyes Lower Subcontractor Fees, Other Savings To Close Shuttle Deficit, Aerospace Daily

"NASA intends to eliminate a $46 million deficit in space shuttle operations partly by negotiating lower fees paid to private firms - including subcontractors for Boeing's Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power unit, which makes engines for the shuttle - according to an outline of the plan."

5 October 2002: Transit Authority Model Eyed for Space Shuttle, Aviation Week and Space Technology

"NASA will examine shifting shuttle management to a corporate "space authority," similar to a ground-based regional mass transit authority, as part of assessments on how to restructure the shuttle program for an additional 20 years of operation. The concept would be structured to incur debt and "float bonds" to maintain, operate and modernize the shuttle system for the second half of its service life. As part of the model, the International Space Station could be run by a nongovernmental organization (NGO) serviced by a space transit authority that would operate the shuttle."

4 October 2002: NASA Awards $25 Million Contract Addition to Lockheed Martin

"NASA has awarded work valued at $25 million involving telecommunications support services to Lockheed Martin Space Operations, Houston, as an addition to the broader Consolidated Space Operations Contract (CSOC) currently held by Lockheed."

23 September 2002: Shuttle Shakeup Eyed For Cost, Safety Goals, Aviation Week and Space Technology.

"The report found "full-scale privatization of the shuttle program is premature" but proposed several other competitive sourcing options. The findings, however, will generate controversy among astronauts and managers over shuttle safety oversight. This is, in part, because portions of the Rand findings run directly counter to a major shuttle privatization review led by the Johnson Space Center in late 2001. That assessment said any delay in shuttle privatization would threaten shuttle safety. "We debunked the Johnson findings," a Rand participant said. "All the Johnson team data was skewed toward NASA's current culture--and a cultural change in NASA is required.""

28 September 2001: NASA JSC Report: Concept of Privatization of the Space Shuttle Program, NASA JSC

"Privatization of the SSP has the potential to provide significant benefits to the Government. However, timing is critical. The continuing erosion of NASA skills and experience threatens the safety of the program. It is critical to take advantage of the existing NASA SSP expertise before further erosion affects the ability to plan and safely implement privatization. Today, the skill and knowledge legacy still remain to formulate the appropriate merger of the NASA SSP and private industry."

20 September 2002: KSC chief addresses canceled program's workers, Florida Today

"On Friday, NASA drove about 600 people in 20 buses to a conference facility at the KSC Visitor Complex."

19 September 2002: NASA chief upset with handling of dismissals , Florida Today

"O'Keefe described himself as "absolutely steamed" when he heard about the incident. He directed Kennedy Space Center Director Roy Bridges to investigate how it happened. A spokesman at KSC did not return a phone call Wednesday seeking a response from Bridges or other space center managers."

Editor's note: word has it that Roy Bridges will hold an all hands for the CLCS folks on Friday in a location with seats, air conditioning, and proper audio to discuss what comes next.

19 September 2002: Layoffs mishandled, NASA chief says, Orlando Sentinel

"You were at fault because you got this in the newspaper before we were able to get to our people," [Roy] Bridges told a Sentinel reporter Wednesday night. "You're actually ruining people's lives here."

Editor's note: Aw C'mon Roy - Blaming the media is taking the lazy way out. You have been getting bad news signals on CLCS for a long, long time. News of its cancellation was sitting here on NASA Watch for almost a month. If YOU had spent a little less time in denial - and more time concerning yourself with the welfare of people who work for you - and keeping them in the loop - this could have been handled in a much more professional, and less insulting manner.

18 September 2002:
O'Keefe Comments on CLCS Parking Lot Meeting at KSC

Editor's note: At a breakfast meeting with reporters at NASA headquarters this morning Sean O'Keefe said the following with regard to the parking lot meeting of all CLCS team members; "I found that to be an outrageous display of poor leadership. This is not a leadership model we seek to use in this agency."

Editor's note: O'Keefe was clearly not a happy camper. More to follow.

17 September 2002: CLCS Employees Given the Bad News

Update: From someone in the KSC area; "The entire CLCS staff was led to the parking lot this morning at 09:00 EDT and informed of the news that the CLCS Project has been cancelled. Most of these same employees were holding newspapers with the CLCS cancellation headline."

16 September 2002: CLCS All Hands Planned

Editor's note: All CLCS personnel have been informed of all hands meeting first thing tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. All CLCS KSC employees have been asked to go to a large parking lot a hundred yards from the VAB. CLCS trailers are located nearby - near press row. It is here that they will be given the bad news.

You read about all of this here first three weeks ago - even if other news sources below seem to omit that fact. The people affected deserved to know - as soon as I knew it - even if they - and their management were in denial.

17 September 2002: After $273 million, NASA scraps project, Orlando Sentinel

"After investing $273 million, NASA is canceling a cutting-edge launch-control computer system for the space shuttle that is over budget, behind schedule and too expensive to operate."

13 September 2002: Delays endanger KSC computer upgrade, jobs, Florida Today

"You might say I'm standing by to see what NASA headquarters might decide about this program," [KSC Center Director Roy] Bridges said."

26 August 2002: NASA to Shut Down Checkout & Launch Control System, SpaceRef

"NASA Headquarters has decided to terminate the CLCS (Checkout & Launch Control System) at NASA KSC. Instead, attention will be focused upon supporting the portion of the existing LPS (Launch Processing System), which the CLCS was originally intended to replace."

Checkout Launch and Control System, excerpt from Upgrading the Shuttle, Committee on Space Shuttle Upgrades (1999), National Academy of Sciences

"The committee believes that an upgrade to the launch control system is necessary and worth pursuing. A modern system that incorporates advances in both hardware and software could not only reduce costs related to obsolescence and personnel but could also facilitate future computer-intensive shuttle upgrades, such as an integrated vehicle health management system. However, the committee has some serious concerns about the CLCS project as currently planned."

Editor's note: the chair of this Committee was Bryan O'Connor, the new NASA AA for Safety.

27 August 2002: Update from KSC

From: King-1, David (PH)

Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2002 1:59 PM

To: PH All\Shuttle Processing Directorate

Subject: CLCS Rumor abatement

This morning I was made aware of a "NASA Watch" article concerning CLCS. As a result, I personally called NASA Headquarters to find out if any such decision had been made. Headquarters has not made a decision to cancel the project as was stated in the article. The normal budget process is
in place and will render such a decision should it become necessary. I believe it is unfortunate that this kind of inaccurate and inflammatory information is published in such a widely read forum.

David A. King

Director of Shuttle Processing

Mail Code: PH

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

John F. Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

Phone: 321-867-4343

Fax: 321-867-3658

Editor's note: I stand by my story.

Checkout & Launch Control System Home page, NASA KSC

12 September 2002: New Webcam Promises Spectacular View of Space Shuttle Launches, SpaceRef

"The STS-112 mission, scheduled for launch on 2 October 2002, will have a live camera in a place where none has been placed before: on the Shuttle's large External Tank (ET). The view is certain to be spectacular."

10 September 2002: NASA Senior Official Appointments Emphasize 'One NASA' Management Approach

"NASA's Associate Administrator for Space Flight, William F. Readdy, today named James W. Kennedy as Deputy Center Director at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla., and David A. King, as Deputy Center Director at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala., effective November 3."

4 September 2002: On the table: A decision to Cancel CLCS, by

"This is a story of a major decision about to be made. It concerns countless lives, careers and the extreme dedication of KSC workers. The future of America's Space Program is at stake. On the surface it appears to be of local interest for Kennedy Space Center only. It is not. America's future in space is at stake. It is very possible that this decision will pass in the night without notice."

29 August 2002: Internal Letter to all USA Employess from Russ Truner Re: SFOC Extension Update

"We have more recently been informed by NASA that they do not intend to begin negotiations on the second two-year option at this time. "

29 August 2002: NASA Awards Payload Processing Contract to Boeing Space Operations Company, NASA KSC

"NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center in Florida has chosen Boeing Space Operations Co., Titusville, Fla., for the Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing Services (CAPPS) contract. CAPPS is the follow-on contract to the Payload Ground Operations Contract that has been performed by the Boeing Company since 1987. "

28 August 2002: CSOC and SFOC Update

Editor's note: word has it that NASA HQ has decided not to exercise a 5 year renewal option on Consolidated Space Operation Contract (CSOC) currently held by Lockheed Martin. Meanwhile, the Space Flight Operations Contract (SFOC) folks (USA) are about to get some bad news too. It would seem that NASA is reshuffling its entire operations portfolio. Stay tuned.

3 April 2002: Consolidated Space Operations Contract: Evaluating and Reporting Cost Savings, NASA OIG

"The NASA Office of Inspector General audit of CSOC cost savings found that NASA cannot substantiate the $62 million of cost savings reported to Congress for the first 2 years of the CSOC. As a result, Congress and NASA cannot evaluate current cost savings for the CSOC and cannot determine whether the contract will achieve the anticipated $1.4 billion cost savings through fiscal year 2008."

3 July 2002: NASA Oversight of United Space Alliance's Safety Procedures at Kennedy Space Center, NASA OIG

3 April 2002: NASA OIG: Lockheed Martin Space Operations' Use of Professional and Consultant Services, NASA OIG

10 April 2001: NASA OIG: Space Shuttle Program Management Safety Observations, NASA OIG

6 September 2001: Statement of Michael McCulley, United Space Alliance, before the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space: Shuttle Safety

26 August 2002: NASA to Shut Down Checkout & Launch Control System, SpaceRef

"NASA Headquarters has decided to terminate the CLCS (Checkout & Launch Control System) at NASA KSC. Instead, attention will be focused upon supporting the portion of the existing LPS (Launch Processing System), which the CLCS was originally intended to replace."

Checkout Launch and Control System, excerpt from Upgrading the Shuttle, Committee on Space Shuttle Upgrades (1999), National Academy of Sciences

"The committee believes that an upgrade to the launch control system is necessary and worth pursuing. A modern system that incorporates advances in both hardware and software could not only reduce costs related to obsolescence and personnel but could also facilitate future computer-intensive shuttle upgrades, such as an integrated vehicle health management system. However, the committee has some serious concerns about the CLCS project as currently planned."

Editor's note: the chair of this Committee was Bryan O'Connor, the new NASA AA for Safety.

27 August 2002: Update from KSC

From: King-1, David (PH)

Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2002 1:59 PM

To: PH All\Shuttle Processing Directorate

Subject: CLCS Rumor abatement

This morning I was made aware of a "NASA Watch" article concerning CLCS. As a result, I personally called NASA Headquarters to find out if any such decision had been made. Headquarters has not made a decision to cancel the project as was stated in the article. The normal budget process is
in place and will render such a decision should it become necessary. I believe it is unfortunate that this kind of inaccurate and inflammatory information is published in such a widely read forum.

David A. King

Director of Shuttle Processing

Mail Code: PH

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

John F. Kennedy Space Center

Kennedy Space Center, FL 32899

Phone: 321-867-4343

Fax: 321-867-3658

Editor's note: I stand by my story.

15 August 2002: NASA Bids Farewell to the Mission Operations Computer,

"This afternoon, in the large computer room on the first floor of the MCC that has been the home of the MOC from the early 1960's, a large crowd of Flight Controllers, Flight Directors, Engineers, Technicians, and management witnessed the final power down of the MOC. Missing from this event, unfortunately, were the computer operators and supervisors responsible for actually running the MOC.

They were laid off two weeks ago."

13 August 2002
Looks like Lance is coming home

Editor's Note: With no sign of the money required for Lance Bass to continue training at Star City, it is now only a matter of days (hours?) before Lance will be asked to leave. It would seem that the hype being spun by his agent is not enough to keep Lance's chances of flying aloft. Stay tuned.

13 August 2002 Space singer's deal under review, MSNBC

"In the past, Krieff has indicated that payments were hung up because of delays in getting insurance coverage for the sponsors who reportedly include Procter & Gamble and a soft-drink company as well as RadioShack. On Wednesday, he indicated that progress was being made on the insurance front but added that the contract concerns still had to be addressed."

Editor's note: It is unlikely that RadioShack will be putting any more money into this venture.

13 August 2002 Hollywood, Russia squabble over Lance Bass' space trip, AP

"[Television producer David] Krieff declined to discuss whether a payment was due Tuesday, saying there was a nondisclosure agreement. He singled out space agency spokesman Sergei Gorbunov as a vocal critic of Bass' voyage. Gorbunov called such comments "foolish."

9 August 2002: NASA: 'N Sync Idol Wants Space Shot, Billboard

9 August 2002: Singer's space bid inches forward, MSNBC

"The only acknowledged sponsor so far is RadioShack, but Procter & Gamble and a yet-to-be-identified cola company are also reportedly on board. Krieff declined to say which network would air the "Celebrity Mission" TV series - but other sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, have confirmed reports pointing to MTV."

7 August 2002
Russia space agency says 'N Sync star must pay up, Reuters

"Russia's space agency said Wednesday it might scrap plans for 'N Sync singer to join an October mission to the International Space Station because he had failed to meet a payment deadline."

23 July 2002 Bass Inks Space Deal As Russia's Partners Voice Concerns, MTV

"The financial terms weren't released, but the source said the cost of sending Bass into space is close to previously reported estimates of $20 million."

Editor's note: Dennis Tito got the same flight for $13 million.

12 August 2002 Transporter woes derailing shuttle plans, UPI

"While space shuttle technicians wrap up repairs on shuttle Atlantis' propulsion system, another equipment problem threatens NASA's plans to resume flights in September. Workers have found cracked bearings in the massive Apollo-era crawler transporters that taxi the shuttles to the launch pad, NASA said Monday."

2 August 2002 Space Shuttle Fleet Set for Return to Flight Sept. 28

"Following an extensive investigation into the cause of tiny cracks inside fuel lines of the four space shuttle orbiters, NASA today announced the team is ready to resume preparations for launching on Sept. 28, with Atlantis up first on an assembly mission to the International Space Station (ISS)."

2 August 2002 NASA Exercises Space Flight Operations Contract Option

"NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, has exercised an existing option under the Space Flight Operations Contract in support of the Space Shuttle Program. This two-year option extends the contract period of performance through September 30, 2004."

25 June 2002: NASA Grounds Shuttle Fleet, AP, CBS

"These days, the value of safety is higher in the NASA culture than it has ever been," Keith Cowing, editor of NASA Watch, a watchdog Web site and frequent space agency critic, said Tuesday."

24 June 2002: NASA Managers Delay STS-107 Launch

"NASA managers today temporarily suspended launch preparations for Space Shuttle Columbia until they have a better understanding of several small cracks found in metal liners used to direct the flow inside main propulsion-system propellant lines on other orbiters in the fleet.

Columbia's launch on STS-107, previously planned for July 19, will be delayed a few weeks to allow inspections of its flow liners as part of an intensive analysis that is under way. "

12 June 2002: Office of Space Flight Reorganization Package (120 K Powerpoint)

"Why the need for the change?

OSF implementing approach/organization for programs and institutions focused on:

    Reestablishing Level 1 roles/responsibilities
    Rebalancing Center Director and Program Manager roles
    Bringing financial management on par with technical excellence
    Clear control and accountability of personnel and resources
    Streamlined requirements flow down, visibility, reporting
    Enhanced checks and balances

- Strengthen the HQs role in resources analysis and integration

- Better manage OSF's relations with external groups

    Congress (through Code L), Media (through Code P), International, Intergovernmental (OSTP, GAO, IG, etc.), External Advisory Committees and Boards, Industry, Other NASA functional offices

- Change processes, through forward planning, to enable effective and efficient responses to our customers

- Emphasize the need to better manage our institutional assets and investments"

29 May 2002: KSC Contractor Layoffs in the Offing

Editor's note: Boeing and Lockheed Martin are planning to announce layoffs soon at KSC. The rationale being the reduction in flight rate this year from 8 to 6 fights per year. One would expect additional layoffs if the flight rate is reduced further next year per the recommendations made in the Young Commission report.

24 May 2002: Space Station: Can Space Station Science Be Fixed?, Science

"Next month, a star-studded, 20-member scientific panel appointed by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe will propose a firm list of priorities for research aboard the space station. To be effective, the panel must make a case convincing enough to win the backing of a cash-strapped NASA, a parochial Congress, and a fed-up research community--a tall order. The timing may be right, however."

16 May 2002: NASA fears attack on shuttle carrying Israeli astronaut, Ha'aretz Daily

"The U.S. space agency NASA is concerned that the July launch of its space shuttle, which will include for the first time an Israeli astronaut, could become a target for a terrorist attack on July 19."

16 May 2002: Israel's first astronaut: NASA's security makes him feel safe, AP, Yahoo

"Additional security is planned for Ramon's launch, currently targeted for July 19. While privately expressing worry, NASA officials fully support Ramon's participation in the flight, which was planned long before the current crisis in Israel. The mission features several Israeli experiments, including research into desert aerosol."

15 May 2002: Letter from ISS and SSP Program Managers regarding "Establishment of the Flight Commercialization Office"

"This office will establish broad-based teams to evaluate, negotiate, and implement commercial proposals and partnerships in coordination with NASA Headquarters and field center personnel."

19 April 2002: NASA Defends Its Plans For Replacing Space Shuttle, Aviation Week

"The fact is that the Administration's got to get its act together on space," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), the Science subcommittee chairman. "

19 April 2002: Panel calls NASA on the carpet, Orlando Sentinel

"Sam Venneri, NASA's head of aerospace technology, said that it's unlikely any kind of selection from the prototypes now in development would be made before 2006. Given the need to completely test and tweak the new vehicle -- and launch it for at least a short time as a complement to the shuttle fleet -- Venneri said 2012 is a difficult target to meet."

18 April 2002: Space Shuttle and Space Launch Initiative Hearing Charter - House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

"The Space Transportation Subcommittee of the Aerospace Technology Advisory Committee has been advising the NASA Aerospace Technology Enterprise for several years. The last report of the Space Transportation Subcommittee stated, "The basic structure of the SLI (program orientation, objectives, schedule, technology) renders the program impossible of successful completion. These elements are so obviously lacking in credibility as to discourage best efforts by either government or industry. Major restructuring is needed along the lines of the four recommendations below." According to publicly available Advisory Committee meeting minutes, NASA management's response to the Space Transportation Subcommittee was that its recommendations "would get the Program into trouble and would not get it any OMB and Congressional support."

18 April 2002: Testimony of Mr.Gerard W. Elverum to The Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics Of The House Committee on Science

"NASA should commit the FY01 SLI budget effort almost entirely to Systems Analysis of RLV alternatives. Each alternative must have clear credibility as candidates for a near-term second- generation RLV that can specifically satisfy all NASA's committed mission and ground operations needs. These should include multistage-to-orbit systems ( including enhancing the basic Shuttle with any applicable sub-systems accepted for the other system candidates), etc. top-level needs. "

18 April 2002: Statement of Frederick D. Gregory, Associate Administrator, NASA Office of Space Flight, Before the House Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics

"Leadership of human space flight must start at the top at NASA Headquarters, and specifically in the Office of Space Flight. To that end, I have resumed chairing the Flight Readiness Review for each mission, which had been delegated down to the center."

18 April 2002: Statement of Richard Blomberg, Former Chair, Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, before the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

"In all of the years of my involvement, I have never been as concerned for Space Shuttle safety as I am right now. That concern is not for the present flight or the next or perhaps the one after that. In fact, one of the roots of my concern is that nobody will know for sure when the safety margin has been eroded too far. All of my instincts, however, suggest that the current approach is planting the seeds for future danger."

18 April 2002: Statement of Sam Venneri, Associate Administrator, Office of Aerospace Technology before the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

"In its first year, the SLI plan has been validated and its investments are now focused on enabling current mission requirements, such as servicing the International Space Station and delivering satellites to orbit. The research and development of technologies critical to meeting safety, reliability, and cost goals is well underway."

18 April 2002: Concern Expressed for Shuttle Safety, House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics

"NASA budget cuts and subsequent delays in Shuttle safety upgrades and infrastructure will put the safety of the Space Shuttle in serious jeopardy, a former chairman of an advisory group warned the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics today."

18 April 2002: Prepared Statement by Rep. Dave Weldon - Space Shuttle Launch Initiative Hearing

"To be blunt, NASA has to come clean about what its plans are for manned rated vehicle operations. For the better part of the past decade NASA has been working under the assumption that a Shuttle-class replacement would be on the near term horizon. This caused for the Space Shuttles to have upgrades deferred or cancelled. This glide path toward expected retirement of the Shuttle within the first decade of the 21st century also caused the literally crumbling Shuttle related infrastructure to be given patchwork improvements or trauma center-like repairs. "

18 April 2002: Opening Statement of Chairman Dana Rohrabacher: Space Shuttle and SLI Hearing"

"The Space Shuttle program and the Space Launch Initiative are inextricably linked and perhaps they are at a crossroad. The programs we will discuss today will likely cost the American taxpayer $50-60 billion over the next ten years. Issues involving levels of investment for Shuttle safety and supportability upgrades, Shuttle privatization, and the credibility of the SLI program will define how this country proceeds in improving its national launch capability."

18 April 2002: Space Transportation Association White Paper: Space Shuttle Upgrades, Space Transportation Association

"The Space Transportation Association urges NASA and the Congress to fully fund Space Shuttle upgrades and to accelerate those Shuttle upgrades that will reduce costs and improve safety of flight operations. NASA should leverage technology investments in the Space Launch Initiative (SLI) program such as engine and vehicle health maintenance systems that could be applied to the existing Space Shuttle fleet."

18 April 2002: Congress Should Fund Minimum of Six Annual Shuttle Missions, Space Transportation Association

"The Space Transportation Association released a White Paper Thursday on the future of the Space Shuttle program calling for no fewer than six annual Shuttle missions and full funding for the program's upgrade budget. The organization also called for an infrastructure roadmap that covers the full service life of the Space Shuttle, as well as greater attention to workforce retention issues."

18 April 2002: Hearing on Space Shuttle Upgrades, Privatization initiative, safety and future status

3 April 2002: "Reassessing Space Shuttle Upgrades Strategy"; Letter from OSF AA Fred Gregory to JSC Center Director

"As discussed at the March 14, 2002 Human Exploration and Development of
Space (HEDS) Program Management Council (PMC), the current Space Shuttle
Upgrade Strategy was based on the premise of ensuring the Space Shuttle can
fly safely until 2012. I request that you develop a strategy as part of
initial planning efforts to identify upgrades and supportability investment
that may be required to maintain the Space Shuttle fleet capability to fly
safely through 2020."

28 March 2002: Crumbling Infrastructure at KSC

Editor's note: There has been a lot of talk of late by the ASAP and others about KSC facilities falling apart due to age - and lack of preventive maintenance. A few days ago a piece of concrete 3 x 3 x 12 inches in size broke off of the real ceiling at the Launch Control Center and fell through the false ceiling onto a test conductor's desk.

28 February 2002: California, Florida duking it out over NASA move, Florida Capital News

"Though [Sean] O'Keefe said moving shuttle repairs to the launch pad will save millions of dollars, he said he could not provide an exact figure and estimates from NASA's press offices have varied. [U.S. Rep. Bill Thomas, R-California] said Wednesday that NASA refuses to give him details of the Florida move."

6 February 2002: Space Shuttle OMM Transfer Represents Culmination of Multi-Year Effort by Rep. Weldon

"Unfortunately, the Clinton Administration opted to appease California rather than make a smart policy decision. However, in recent meetings with NASA Headquarters and the White House Office of Management and Budget, Rep. Weldon continued to make the case for transferring this work to Florida, and the Bush Administration ultimately recognized the cost savings and efficiencies gained by such a move. Rep. Weldon's position was also supported by numerous studies completed by NASA and its contractors."

5 February 2002: Kennedy Space Center to Perform Shuttle Modifications, NASA KSC

"After completing detailed, independent cost and risk assessments, the agency has decided to perform Space Shuttle Orbiter Major Modifications (OMM) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida."

6 February 2002: Cutbacks produce gains, Orlando Sentinel

"Florida's gain is a loss for a Boeing manufacturing plant in Palmdale, Calif., northeast of Los Angeles"

6 February 2002: NASA's Shuttle Toilet makes the Smoking Gun

Editor's note: amazing what a FOIA request can uncover...

" ... And as for the recommended deodorization method, we can't believe NASA's four official "sniffers" actually chose Wizard Stick Ups over a hanging tree car freshener. If it works for a Gotham taxi, it should suffice for the International Space Station."

23 January 2002: Broken Crawler Delays Columbia Rollout, Newschannel 2000

"The Space Shuttle Columbia was supposed to make a trip to the launch pad Wednesday, but the giant crawler that carries the shuttle hasn't budged."

Here we go ....

31 December 2002: Notice to Ames Research Center Vendors

"The following letter was distributed on December 12, 2002 Dear NASA Vendor: Ames Research Center will be shutting down its financial systems in early January to cut over to a new integrated financial management system. The shut down may result in some payment delays."

NASA Watch reader comment from GRC: "GRC is one of the "pilot" centers initiating the IFMS. The system is so fouled up that our purchase account at Bank of America has been suspended (No credit card purchases are being allowed by BofA) since the new system has so many bugs in it that payment can't be made (so far GRC is more than 90 days in arrears)."

Another NASA Watch reader comment from GRC: "The travel manager package was not issuing reimbursement checks for a couple of months, especially to those people who made changes from their
original plans. There was a problem with getting the P-card software to authorize the
SAP software to make a payment to the Bank of America for our Mastercards that we use to make purchases. Bank of America recently "cancelled" our bankcards. We can't buy anything since shortly before Christmas. They were trying to correct the problem, but as of Tuesday morning, no word was given on success. Management meetings have not been occurring since no one can download the financial data."



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