NASA's Plan To Waste Its Space Station Investment

Remarks by Mark L. Uhran Assistant Associate Administrator, International Space Station at STA Luncheon

"So this brings us reasonably up to date. I can't discuss many more details because we're still in the competitive phase of acquiring this cooperative agreement, but I can say that NASA has received multiple proposals from a strong and highly competitive field. The selection decision is imminent, and you can expect an award announcement later this summer upon successful completion of final negotiations."

Keith's note: Once again, NASA is incapable of meeting its own timeline. "Later this summer" is not 31 May 2011 - as NASA had promised. Rather, it is months away. (see "ISS National Lab: Two Weeks Late - Still No Word") NASA does not know what it wants to do with the ISS - and does not know that it does not know. Moreover, it was forced at legislative gunpoint to pursue the NGO path. As such, it follows that selecting someone to implement such a non-existent utilization strategy is taking time to accomplish.

As you read through Mark Uhran's comments to the STA yesterday, you will see two decades of stale, old-fashioned thinking recycled yet one more time - with the few examples of attempted ISS utilization sprinkled in as supposed examples of things to come. Uhran is welded to the old notion that only NASA can somehow stimulate private sector investment and empirical research on the ISS while retaining total control of the equation. This approach has not worked yet and it won't work in the future. I agree that the ISS has vast untapped potential - the true scope of which NASA has yet to understand. Alas, civil servant Uhran and his NASA organization are the least equipped to help realize that potential - yet they are in charge. This is a recipe for disaster and the squandering of a totally unique resource.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on June 16, 2011 9:37 AM.

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