Coordinated Fact Avoidance Among Romney Space Advisors

Mitt Romney: Lost in Space ..., opinion, Jim Kohlenberger (former Obama OSTP official), Space News

"In 2008, the U.S. Government Accountability Office had identified poor planning around the looming space shuttle retirement and its follow-on program as one of 13 "urgent issues" that any new president would have to confront when they came into office in 2009. Because of years of mismatch between vision and resources, the independent Augustine commission found that the Constellation program was not viable under any feasible budget scenario. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle agreed. Rather than walking away, President Obama knew we had to do better and laid out an ambitious new agenda of human and scientific missions that promise to take NASA and America's space program to historic new heights."

... Or Ready to Restore Lost U.S. Leadership in Space?, Opinion, Scott Pace and Eric Anderson, Space News

"Unfortunately, American leadership is in jeopardy. Today we have a space program befitting a president who rejects American exceptionalism, apologizes for America and believes we should be just another nation with a flag. President Barack Obama has put us on a path that cedes our global position as the unequivocal leader in space. For the first time since the dawn of the Space Age, America has chosen to forgo its own capabilities for putting astronauts into space and instead relies on the Russians. The space shuttle's planned retirement was known on the day President Obama took office, yet the earliest that Americans will again ride American rockets into space is 2016."

Keith's note: What a pair of memory-challenged hypocrites.

Its rather odd that Space Adventures CEO Anderson would be party to such comments. in April 2010, when he was Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, Anderson is quoted as saying the following about the Obama Administration's space policy: "This visionary plan is a master stroke. It's exactly what NASA needs in order to continue to lead the world in space exploration in the 21st century." In May 2012, on the occasion of the first launch of the SpaceX Dragon, CSF Chairman Anderson is again quoted, saying "This is a testament to the viability of the commercial spaceflight industry ... Congratulations to SpaceX for successfully completing the first steps of this demonstration flight. Elon and his team's success today is an important milestone in achieving a sustainable space program."

That's quite a reversal in opinion for Mr. Anderson given what he is quoted as having said before. Curiously CSF hasn't changed their stance and Anderson continues to serve on their board.

Its also rather curious that Anderson would be against flying American astronauts (for a fee) on board Russian Soyuz spacecraft and also a plan whereby American commercial vendors (such as SpaceX) would be used to fly cargo and eventually future American crews to the ISS given that Anderson's company has been taking money from rich Americans to buy seats on the very same Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS. Indeed each sale his company facilitates results in a large check being written to Russian companies. How is that helping the U.S. commercial launch sector? - especially when Gov. Romney has already identified Russia as being "without question our number one geopolitical foe."

Scott Pace's comments evidence total amnesia on his part. Regardless of whether you think it was a good or bad idea, the plan to retire the Space Shuttle and rely upon Russia to transport Americans to the ISS for a number of years was put in place by the Bush Administration - not the Obama Administration. After working in the Bush White House to develop that policy, Scott Pace spent 4 years with Mike Griffin at NASA during the Bush Administration implementing this policy. FYI I am told this phenomenon has become known as "Romnesia"

Pace and Anderson lament a gap between Shuttle retirement and first possible U.S. access to space in 2016 yet that date was already accepted as fact for Orion/Constellation while Pace and Mike Griffin were still running NASA. Indeed 2018 was cited as a more realistic estimate. As for the commercial access to space being pursued by SpaceX and others, Mike Griffin (one would assume with Scott Pace's agreement) signed a number of agreements with private companies to bolster their involvement with NAS A including this one with SpaceX and Orbital in 2008.

In other words Scott Pace and Eric Anderson were most certainly for the things that the Obama Administration has been doing - before they were against them.

- Double Standards and Sour Grapes From the Romney/Griffin Camp, Earlier Post

- The Romney Campaign has a Space Policy Etch-A-Sketch, Earlier Post

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on October 22, 2012 11:19 AM.

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