"Tomorrow, February 25 at 10:00 a.m. ET, the House Science Committee will hold a hearing on the need for stability at NASA through changing presidential administrations. The hearing will feature former astronaut and first female Space Shuttle pilot and commander, Colonel Eileen Collins, as well as former NASA Administrator Michael Griffin. Rep. John Culberson, chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, will also testify. Culberson is the author of legislation the Science Committee will review on Thursday, the Space Leadership Preservation Act, which is intended to bring stability to NASA despite changing presidential administrations."
Keith's note: So ... would Mike Griffin entertain the notion of being Donald Trump's NASA Administrator?
"I believe program cancellation decisions that are made by bureaucracies, behind closed doors, and without input by the people, are divisive, damaging, cowardly, and many times more expensive in the long run. As a shuttle commander, I would never make a huge decision without input from all the experts, even the ones I do not agree with. So what will keep us from having surprises like this that set us back years? Answer: A continuity of purpose over many years, over political administrations, and over normal changes in leadership throughout the chain of command. I know there must be ways to do this through policy, organizational structure, and strong leadership."
"What might the "right path" look like? I have been clear in the past and hope to be clear now to me the most logical step beyond the ISS is an international partnership, led by the United States, to return to the Moon, this time to stay. In the course of so doing we will learn what is needed to go beyond, to go to Mars. And if, as I have long suspected, the Moon turns out to be quite an interesting and useful destination in its own right, well then, so much the better."
"Our ongoing work has also found that the Space Launch System and Orion, the two largest projects in this critical stage of development, face cost, schedule, and technical risks. For example, the Space Launch System program has expended significant amounts of schedule reserve over the past year to address delays with development of the core stage, which is the Space Launch System's propellant tank and structural backbone. The Orion program continues to face design challenges, including redesigning the heat shield following the determination that the previous design used in the first flight test in December 2014 would not meet requirements for the first uncrewed flight. The standing review boards for each program have raised concerns about the programs' ability to remain within their cost and schedule baselines. If cost overruns materialize on these programs, they could have a ripple effect on the portfolio and result in the potential postponement or even force the cancellation of projects in earlier stages of development. We have ongoing work on both of these programs and we plan to issue reports on them later this summer."