Election 2016: February 2016 Archives

Hearing: The Space Leadership Preservation Act and the Need for Stability at NASA

"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?

Hearing Charter: The Space Leadership Preservation Act and the Need for Stability at NASA

Statement by Eileen Collins: Hearing: The Space Leadership Preservation Act and the Need for Stability at NASA

"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."

Statement by Michael Griffin: Hearing: The Space Leadership Preservation Act and the Need for Stability at NASA

"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."

GAO: NASA: Preliminary Observations on Major Acquisition Projects and Management Challenges, GAO

"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."

Advising The Next President

Sean O'Keefe reflects on high-profile positions, recent appointment to advise next US president, Daily Orange

"O'Keefe's next challenge will be having a spot on the National Academy of Public Administration's (NAPA) Presidential Transition panels. As one of six panel members, O'Keefe will help advise the next U.S. president on issues involving public governance and public management. ... The six members on the panel come from very diverse backgrounds, O'Keefe said, but they all have one common denominator: they have previously served in a public capacity."

Keith's note: O'Keefe tells me that he and his fellow panelists serve in an honorary capacity and that they will provide advice across a broad range of issues. Whether the TBD administration listens to what they have to say, well, that is another question.

Bernie Sanders on Science and technology, Feel The Bern - unofficial Bernie Sanders Fan Site

"Does Bernie support funding for space exploration? Bernie believes space exploration is beneficial and exciting, and is generally supportive of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), but when it comes to a limited federal budget, Bernie's vote is to take care of the needs of struggling Americans on this planet first.

In a Q&A session on the online forum reddit on May 19, 2015, Bernie wrote: "I am supportive of NASA not only because of the excitement of space exploration, but because of all the additional side benefits we receive from research in that area. Sometimes, and frankly I don't remember all of those votes, one is put in a position of having to make very very difficult choices about whether you vote to provide food for hungry kids or health care for people who have none and other programs. But, in general, I do support increasing funding for NASA."

Keith's note: This is not an official Sanders campaign site, so your mileage may vary when it comes to what Sanders' official stance is on space. I doubt that there is much, if any difference, however. Of course what these Sanders fans have posted is simply a variation on the classic "why spend money in outer space when it should be spent on Earth" rationale for not supporting NASA. The millions in property damage (something that can disportionately affect "struggling Americans") that is avoided by better weather forecasting from satellite data seems to be unimportant- as are many well known benefits from space technology. Also, like it or not, 100% of the salaries paid to people by NASA are paid to people living on Earth and all of that money is spent by people on Earth who give that money to other people - on Earth. The color of the money paid to NASA employees or their contractors is precisely the same as is paid to employees (or grantees) of any other government agency or contractor and is of equal value when it comes to buying food or paying rent. Also, its sort of odd that NASA is always singled out as somehow depriving children of food when other government programs vastly greater in size (pick one) are never mentioned. The root of this common mindset is as much NASA's problem by virtue of it not explaining what it does as it is with ignorant citizenry who never bother to learn what what their government does with their tax dollars.

Reminder to commenters: Stick to the topic of space policy in 2016. If you misbehave in the comments section I will delete your comments. If this turns into an other off-topic partisan food fight I will shut comments off completely. Have a nice day.



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This page is an archive of entries in the Election 2016 category from February 2016.

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