Budget: January 2011 Archives

Constellation Celebration & Recognition Event at NASA LaRC

"All Constellation team members are invited to join Dale Thomas, our NASA Constellation Program Manager, Thursday, January 20th for a Constellation LaRC Celebration and Recognition Event in honor of the great accomplishments you've made to the program. It will be held in the Reid Center auditorium and starts at 8 am with breakfast (courtesy of the Constellation Program) followed by an All Hands and awards ceremony. A calendar invite will follow shortly."

Keith's note: Well, it would seem that Doug Cooke, Dale Thomas, ESMD, and CxP are putting that Congressionally-created money for the now-cancelled Constellation program to good use by buying breakfast for everyone on the team.

Anonymous senior SOMD reader note: "just read the comments on the article. What people are missing (and you understand) is perception. We used to have snacks, food, coffee, drinks outside all of our FRR's - this was not cheap. When we started laying people off, Gerst called an end to the practice. The message was: we are not going to spend scarce resources on cookies for upper management when we are laying teammembers off to save money. This provides insight into the difference between mission directorate leadership."

NASA SMD Memo: Status of Planetary's Research and Analysis (R&A) Program

"In order to maintain our fiscal responsibilities this situation demands that the Planetary Science Division Program Officers not over commit our R&A funds too early in the year. Therefore we will under-select in each of our R&A calls and put many more on notice that they are in the "selectable" range until it is clear what our final budget is and we can meet our obligations. As a reminder, a Principal Investigator who receives a letter that states his or her proposal is in the selectable range could be funded when NASA identifies the funds, which in this case, must wait until a final budget for NASA has been determined. We will also continue to use the technique of "active grants management" that we used last fiscal year for both new and existing awards which will enable PSD to keep the amount of unobligated funding as low as possible as we enter FY12."

Keith's note: Gee, why isn't Ed Weiler sending out this memo to everyone who is funded by SMD? Is he singling out Planetary Science Division for special treatment (punishment)?

Click on Image to enlarge "Cost and Schedule of Shuttle sidemount compared with HEFT alternatives. This is the only HLV option that meets all legal requirements and fits within the budget and schedule assumptions of HEFT. Data derived from SSP Study NSTS 60583, dated June 8, 2010"

HEFT, Lies and Videotape, Paul Spudis, Air & Space

"So as Oliver Hardy would say, here's another fine mess we've gotten ourselves into. NASA creates an unaffordable architecture (ESAS) to implement the VSE. The response by the new administration is to cancel the VSE and replace it with promises of more distant goals at some nebulous time in the far future. Congress directs the agency to build an HLV anyway, but the vehicle has no mission, so they pull out the specs of the last HLV America flew. NASA responds by saying they can't do it on the money and schedule specified, even though they themselves have in hand a report that shows how it can be done. Moreover, the agency still claims it doesn't know why anyone would want to go to the Moon, despite having been shown repeatedly that what we do there will create new space faring capability."

Keith's note: During its recent deliberations the HEFT II activity look at a variety of scenarios, reference missions etc. One of them, DM1, actually meets the costs and schedule specified by Congress. DM1 entails creation and use of an in-space propellant depot and refueling capability. It also makes use of EELVs and other commercial launch assets. But forces within NASA ESMD personnel - led by Doug Cooke - have purposefully sat on such ideas and have made certain that they were scrubbed from presentation charts and reports to Congress and other "stakeholders". Charlie Bolden is aware of this tactic.

Chairman Hall Assures Close Oversight og NASA Human Space Flight Program

"The report recently provided to Congress by NASA on its heavy lift development is only the beginning of a long conversation Congress will have with the Agency regarding the future of the human space flight program. It was this Administration that killed the Constellation program, which Congress had repeatedly endorsed. Instead of providing the resources that the Augustine Committee said were necessary to have a program worthy of a great nation, this Administration simply said it was unaffordable, choosing instead to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on other priorities."

NASA OIG Letter Regarding Constellation Program and 2010 NASA Authorization Act

"The Inspector General Act of 1978 directs Federal Inspectors General to, among other things, "review existing and proposed legislation and regulations relating to programs and operations" of their agencies and to make recommendations "concerning the impact of such legislation or regulations on the economy and efficiency in the administration of programs and operations administered or financed by such establishment." In addition, Inspectors General are required to keep their agency head and Congress informed about "serious problems, abuses. and deficiencies relating to the administration of programs and operations administered or financed by such establishment, [and] to recommend corrective action concerning such problems."

Keith's note: Any typos are a result of the poor quality of the original letter - parts of which are illegible - released to the media by the NASA OIG - in clear violation of Section 508 requirements, by the way.

NASA inspector general urges Congress to stop wasting money on Constellation rocket program, Huntsville Times

"Constraining NASA's ability to stop spending money on aspects of a rocket program that the administration and Congress have both agreed to cancel while at the same time prohibiting the agency from beginning the follow-on program called for in the 2010 Authorization Act strikes us as a problem ripe for correction," Martin said in the letter to the Senate NASA oversight committee dated Thursday. "Accordingly, we urge Congress to take immediate action," Martin said, "that will enable NASA to reduce or cease funding aspects of the Constellation Program in order to more efficiently redirect these funds to the priorities outlined in the Authorization Act."

AIP FYI Number 1: January 6, 2011 Of Note: Selected Quotations from FYI in 2010

"I will never be able to save all the jobs." - NASA Administrator Charles Bolden when commenting on NASA's human space flight proposal

"We were living a hallucination . . . I don't think we would have ever gotten there." - Administrator Bolden when commenting on NASA previous budgets

"We will find a solution to this problem." - NASA Administrator Bolden on the differences between the Administration and Congress over the agency's human space flight proposal

"In short, yes." - OSTP Director John Holdren when asked if the U.S. will return to the Moon and send humans to Mars

"When it comes to the space program, we are a bipartisan group." - Senate Commerce, Justice Science Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)

"Frankly, I think NASA has been starved during several Administrations." - Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

US science faces big chill, Nature

"Keith Cowing, editor of NASAWatch.com, says it is hard to see how NASA can finance the shuttle flight while juggling everything else. "It's like trying to take a large truck and do a sudden left turn," he says."

- Keep This In Mind When Ralph Hall Talks About Education and Competitiveness Priorities, earlier post
- Congress Still Funds a Cancelled Rocket, earlier post
- NASA Presses Ahead With STS-135 Preparations Despite Budget Uncertainty, earlier post



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This page is an archive of entries in the Budget category from January 2011.

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