CxP Fights Back: The Video

Keith's note: I can totally understand this. We went through an identical mindset at the Space Station Freedom Program Office in 1993. Something we had worked very hard on was taken away from us - unfairly, so we believed. We wanted to fight back - to tell the truth. But all we had was fax machines and email. FWIW it is out of my personal frustration with this experience that NASA Watch eventually emerged a few years later.

As time passed, and the bitterness faded, and the ISS became what it is, all of us from Freedom program eventually realized that "ISS" or "Alpha" was indeed "Freedom" after all. It was also clear that while a lot of what we did ended up in boxes sent off to recycling, that a small part of our efforts - our creativity - and our souls - ended up on orbit. That will happen for the Constellation folks as well.

Charlie Bolden talked about this today at the National Press Club in response to a question I asked.

If y'all want to use NASA Watch to vent, be my guest. I'll let you post without any commentary from me.

I have omitted all unnecessary detail. But this email has been getting very very wide circulation within CxP.

"From:Hanley, Jeffrey M. (JSC-ZA111)
Sent:Tuesday, February 02, 2010 4:06 PM
Subject:Fw: Save Constellation! (The Video)

From: [DELETED] (JSC-ZA111)
To: Hanley, Jeffrey M. (JSC-ZA111) [DELETED]
Sent: Tue Feb 02 14:53:10 2010
Subject: FW: Save Constellation! (The Video)

In the vein of 'not going down without a fight, 'one of our key I-X members put together this video after hearing about the proposed demise of CxP. It's a great memory of how far we have come in making real stuff in such a short time. You have to love our collective team."

"From:Turzillo, Calvin P []
Sent:Tuesday, February 02, 2010 9:14 AM

Subject:Save Constellation! (The Video)

You all know me, I'm not the passive type. Instead of just sitting back, I am going to take a stand. I've stayed up for 26 hours straight and dug through hundreds of hours of NASA archive footage. The end result is what I consider to be my best video to date. I even fully licensed the music so there is no legal ambiguity.

Post, distribute, and forward as you see fit. I tried to hit all the key folks that would be interested, but there are still plenty more that I have missed. Let's make the public aware that we need to save Constellation!

Calvin Turzillo

The thoughts and opinions expressed in the message are my own, and may not reflect those of NASA or its contractors."

Anonymous NASA Employee: The following youtube video, although originally created by a disgruntled USA employee from JSC, is now being widely circulated by the Cx program and none other than Jeff Hanley himself (see entire thread below).

The disturbing aspect of this is that the "save constellation" video reeks with distortions right from the beginning ... showing President Obama making the promises to keep NASA strong and maintain USA leadership in space, and then goes on to lament that "the PROMISE has been broken" .... with a stream of supposed Cx accomplishments following. The implication that Obama is bringing down human space-flight and breaking promises is disingenuous at best and a downright fabrication at worst. Maintaining a strong NASA and leadership in space does not (contrary to what the Cx-huggers would have one believe) necessarily mean funding a failed program indefinitely just because JSC thinks it should be so. Nowhere in the lead in to this video does the President to keep the Constellation program. Some might argue, including the Augustine commission, that dismantling Constellation is an act of immense support for NASA and the only way to sustain a strong program that won't we swallowed by cost overruns and misguided goals. The fact that Hanley is participating in the distribution of this kind of propaganda is deplorable. He should be removed immediately and certainly should not take part in planning exercises related to NASA's new direction. This is just one example of this kind of "dig-in" philosophy that is the undertone of all Cx led tele-cons (and I've been in on several already this week) describing the new vision. If we are lucky, part of the reason for canceling Constellation rather than restructuring it, is to make it easier to replace the entire management team going forward.

Other flaws of the video? The Desert Rats activity shown as immediate evidence of what has been built isn't even part of the Constellation program and will probably be protected under the new direction. The Ares 1X footage is weak at best if the intent is to show that we've made so much progress that NASA will be in ruins if we stop now. On the contrary, it may be in ruins if we continue. Time "invention of the year" aside, most engineers willing to really examine the evidence know that Ares 1x was as much a PR stunt as a demonstration of an advanced rocket. And then the video goes on to talk about the thousands of jobs that will be lost and the dreams of future generations that will go unrealized. For many people it is not a dream to repeat the accomplishments of 40-years ago using non-innovative technologies, being trapped with a point-design solution that gets us to the moon but nowhere else ... while at the same time robbing NASA of funds necessary for broader programs in space and Earth science (despite the "Earth, Moon, Mars" wording on the final pages pleading for people to contact their representatives.

Although I respect and admire the dedication of the person who made this, ultimately it is propaganda at its worst and has no place being forwarded endlessly by high-level Cx Project managers. These people claim to support Mr. Bolden and the change in direction as an opportunity while actively fueling resentment and deflating morale by encouraging the distribution of this kind of misguided and flawed message.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on February 2, 2010 8:25 PM.

The Politics Behind Opposing Changes at NASA was the previous entry in this blog.

Bolden Talks About The Constellation Team is the next entry in this blog.

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