Making Sure The Workforce Gets The Message

Editor's note: It would seem that Mike Griffin and Mike Coats want to be extra certain that everyone within NASA's contractor workforce knows what Neil Armstrong thinks about Mike Griffin and the Obama Transition Team.

-----Original Message-----
From: Coats, Michael {JSC-Center-Director}(JSC-AA)
Sent: Sat 12/27/2008 3:33 PM
To: JSC-DL-JSC-Contractors
Subject: FW: WSJ Letter by Neil Armstrong

-----Original Message-----
From: Griffin, Michael D. (HQ-AA000)
Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2008 8:38 AM

Future Space Opportunities Are the President's Call

You recently reported on the decisions that the new administration will face in connection with the American manned space program (" Tough Decision Looms on Space Shuttle's Fate ," U.S. News, Dec. 17). Your article indicated that President-elect Barack Obama's transition team "faces a tough early choice between extending the life of the aging space shuttle and accelerating its replacement."

I certainly hope that isn't accurate, in that the transition team should play no part in such decisions. While these men and women are experienced and enthusiastic space program veterans, they are neither aerospace engineers nor former program managers and cannot be sufficiently knowledgeable to make choices in the technical arena.

The transition team does have the responsibility to collect information to assist President-elect Obama in understanding the issues and decisions he will be facing. The making of decisions of such import, however, is the responsibility of the president and should be guided by the best advice from the most able and skilled experts on the subject. He should have no difficulty receiving high-quality information from NASA. Engineers are painfully honest and insist on presenting any assumptions used in their decision process. Therefore a conclusion can only be challenged when an erroneous assumption can be identified. Because this approach is somewhat unfamiliar in business and politics, its importance is often overlooked.

A great deal of thought and analysis has gone into NASA's program to return to space exploration as the principal focus of the agency. The breadth of NASA's creative thinking was limited by the funding constraints, and compromises had to be made. Even so, the agency has fashioned a challenging but credible program to return to the moon and go on toward Mars.

NASA's management is very strong and its engineering and scientific talent extraordinary. I believe they can be counted on to deliver new knowledge, excitement and inspiration as they continue their expansion of the human boundary.

Neil Armstrong
Former Astronaut
Cincinnati

------ End of Forwarded Message

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on December 29, 2008 10:45 AM.

COTS Pick: A Sea Change? was the previous entry in this blog.

Mike Griffin Has A New Book Out for Christmas is the next entry in this blog.

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