Election 2012: October 2012 Archives

Charlie Bolden Intends To Press President Obama on Mars Mission Mandate for NASA

"This long term ISS operations plan did not sit well will NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden. Bolden said that he needed to know directly from President Obama whether or not missions to Mars starting in the 2030s was to be NASA's ultimate goal. If this is not the President's goal for NASA, then Bolden wondered why NASA should be expected to continue funding the ISS for another decade and a half. At one point, Bolden teared up and said that "Mars is the Goal". Bolden claimed that he was intent upon going to the White House, "pounding his shoe on the table", and demanding a commitment from President Obama to direct NASA to send humans to Mars. Bolden said that he needs that commitment to allow him to decide what to do (not do) with regard to extending the ISS."

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

Romney for president, Houston Chronicle

"As Texans, it is a particular vexation that this president's attitude toward the interests of our state has occasionally bordered on contempt, particularly in decisions relating to the NASA budget and the energy sector. The hurtful symbol of this attitude of insensitivity to Texans' feelings was the administration's choice to deny Space City's bid to become home to one of the retired space shuttles."

The Chronicle is wrong on NASA, opinion

"While the Romney campaign has largely been quiet on space policy except to criticize President Obama or mock Newt Gingrich's lunar base proposals, what noise has been made from his camp is coming from the same former administrators and policy wonks who got us into this mess in the first place, like former NASA Administrator Mike Griffin."

Ryan tells Fla. crowd: Obama 'not telling you what his second-term plan would be', The Hill

"Ryan was later pressed about what his administration would do about funding to NASA, a potent issue in the state that houses Cape Canaveral. The Wisconsin lawmaker used the opportunity to swipe at the president for saying "just about everything that is wrong today was the last president's fault," parlaying that into an attack on the Obama administration's changes to NASA funding. "The Obama administration came in and they inherited a plan for NASA from the Bush administration. They had a plan for space. They jettisoned that plan," Ryan said. "They put it on, basically got rid of that plan. Now we have effectively no plan. We are not putting people in space anymore." Ryan noted that NASA now sends astronauts to space aboard Russian spacecraft, and transitioned into an attack on the looming sequestration deal that could cut defense spending."

Keith's note: Former U.S. Senator - and astronaut - John Glenn appears in this Obama campaign video. While astronauts have endorsed candidates in the past - and even run for (and won) office, I think (as best as I can tell) that this is the first time that an astronaut has appeared in a campaign video (film) in support of a specific presidential candiate. Fact checking by NASAWatch readers would be appreciated.

Obama Space Endorsements

Astronauts, Business Owners, and Space Leaders Agree: Obama Vision for Space Exploration Ensures a Brighter Future, BarackObama.com

"Sunday night's successful SpaceX launch marks another extraordinary new milestone in space. It also provides an opportunity to assess the significant advances we've seen in just four years on Florida's Space Coast. ... We, the undersigned, believe that President Obama's vision for growing America's leadership in space through investments in U.S. commercial space companies, high-tech research and development, and deep-space exploration capabilities, is critical for Florida's Space Coast and essential for continued U.S. leadership in space."


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