Editor's note: The following selection is repeated - verbatim - from an ongoing "Ask the Administrator" dialog with Mike Griffin, located on InsideNASA, and can be viewed by anyone at NASA:
Question(s): I am very proud of working for NASA and I thank you and your senior managers for setting a positive tone and improving morale since 2005. For us to succeed, I believe the Agency needs to put more emphasis on long term, basic research and maintain our history of conducting innovative research. Unfortunately, over the last several years funding for basic research has been drastically cut for one reason or another. As a result, a lot of good quality research and ideas generated at GRC are not being patented, which is a great disservice to the tax payers and the Nation.
I am worried that we may be losing the space race to other countries such as China, Europe and India in the long term, which have robust long term programs. Why doesn't the Agency use its research centers more effectively as corporate R &D centers by funding long term research in support of future lunar and Mars landings and space exploration? From:Anonymous,Glenn Research Center
Response (on 26-Feb-2007): I believe that Ive answered this one previously, too, but one last time: At this juncture in our history, our priorities are as Ive stated them in the prior answer. Regrettably, addressing these priorities uses up nearly all of the money that we have; there just is not a substantial budget wedge for technology development. I understand and share your concerns. I wish our situation allowed for another answer. It does not.